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N.Y. Baptists receive gift of disaster relief unit from Texas

LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (BP)–A new disaster relief unit was presented to the Baptist Convention of New York during its 33rd annual session Nov. 7-8 in Liverpool, N.Y.

The unit, capable of producing 12,000 meals per day compared to the current New York unit’s 3,000-4,000 meal daily capacity, is the gift of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Texas Baptist Men.

Dick Talley, ministry logistics coordinator of the Texas Baptist Men, and disaster relief volunteer Donovan Phipps delivered the unit and presented the keys to BCNY Executive Director J.B. Graham.

A standing ovation by the audience and tears in the eyes of Graham and BCNY volunteer coordinator Woody Minister expressed the magnitude of appreciation felt by all.

“Our Heavenly Father has blessed us beyond our expectations,” Graham said in his message to the convention, “and he expects us to give to others.”

Graham also commended various BCNY groups for their mission trips to China, Tibet, Burkina Faso, Canada and South Africa.

“We are considering seriously ways that we can take less from the mission agencies and give more to all SBC causes,” Graham said.

Messengers approved a 2003 budget of $3,334,056, a 2.5 percent increase over the 2002 budget. From the overall budget, some 80 percent is dedicated to state convention Cooperative Program ministries.

The budget includes anticipated Cooperative Program giving of $752,538 from New York churches. Messengers voted to increase the percentage of CP receipts to 25.5 percent designated for Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministry, a half-percent-of-receipts increase.

The annual meeting drew 166 messengers representing 73 churches to Liverpool’s Northside Baptist Church. Hosted by the church and Central New York Baptist Association, the convention focused on the theme “Now is the Time.”

Jerry Lepasana, pastor of Bible Church International in Garfield, N.J., was elected president in a runoff with Taylor Field, pastor of East Seventh Street Baptist Church in New York. Pastor Mike McCoy of Ridgecrest Baptist Church in New Windsor, N.Y., also was on the initial ballot.

Lepasana’s election marks the first time an international has been elected BCNY president; he is Filipino.

Field was then elected as first vice president and McCoy as second vice president over Mike Collins, pastor of Brunswick Baptist Church in Troy, N.Y. David Shepherd, a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Niskayuna, N.Y., was re-elected as recording secretary for the fifth year.

The convention’s outgoing president, Bruce Aubrey, pastor of the hosting church, challenged pastors to “reach out to lost people in your community … move forward … be cheerleaders to your people … be faithful, build people and dream again.”

Messengers of the convention approved a resolution expressing appreciation to their hosts; no other resolutions were suggested.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 6-7 in Rochester.

Overall, the New York convention includes 370 churches and missions encompassing about 28,000 members.

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  • Bonnie Novak