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N.Y. convention marks 40th year

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. (BP)–The 40th annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of New York was held in conjunction with the Davis College Leadership Forum and homecoming on the campus of the Baptist-affiliated school in Johnson City, N.Y.

The sessions kicked off with worship led by the Davis College praise band, and each session began and ended with prayer offered by BCNY staff members. Both Ed Hart, director of the Central New York Baptist Association, and Dino Pedrone, president of Davis College, gave words of welcome.

Messengers approved an overall budget of $3,322,725 for 2010. The budget includes anticipated Cooperative Program gifts from BCNY churches of $836,429 and an increase in CP giving, from 27.5 percent to 27.75 percent, even though the CP giving from churches in the convention is down by nearly 5 percent. The convention has a goal of sending 50 percent of its receipts to national and international missions and ministries.

The budget also includes a challenge budget that will distribute 50 percent of excess funds to the Cooperative Program and 50 percent to BCNY causes.

Terry Robertson, the convention’s executive director, presented a plaque to Todd Luce, chairman of the executive board, for his year of service.

Messengers re-elected Rick Wilburn, pastor of Tupper Lake Baptist Church in Tupper Lake, N.Y., as president and Mark Davis, pastor of West Monmouth Baptist Church in Freehold, N.J., as first vice president.

Steve Charles, pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church in Canandaigua, N.Y., was elected second vice president and Glenn Igleheart, a member of Bellewood Baptist Church in North Syracuse, N.Y., was elected as recording secretary.

Thursday’s business session was followed by the Davis College Leadership Forum with Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, speaking. Also that evening, the annual sermon was delivered by Mike McQuitty, pastor of University Baptist Church in Syracuse and a campus missionary at Syracuse University.

Two years ago, the Baptist Convention of New York entered a cooperative relationship with Davis College, formalizing a fraternal relationship that had already existed informally for decades.

With about 300 students, the Binghamton-area college, according to its website, is Bible-centered and is “committed to making an impact upon the world for Jesus Christ by the fostering of Christian character and the equipping of students with the knowledge, competencies and skills needed in an ever-changing world for service and leadership within the church, Christian organizations and society.”

Founded in 1900 as the Practical Bible Training School by a young evangelist, John A. Davis, the school has no official denominational connection but embraces fundamentals of the Christian faith common among Southern Baptists. In August 2004, the institution’s name changed to Davis College, a Practical College of Bible and Ministry.

Robertson, the convention president, delivered his address Friday morning, encouraging the convention to reach 1 million people for Jesus. He also presented a plaque to honor George Russ, a former BCNY staff member who now serves as director of the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association, and to Roger and Mary Knapton for faithful years of ministry within the Baptist Convention of New York territory.

A total of 120 messengers and 52 registered visitors attended the annual meeting Sept. 23-25.

Other action included a rewording of Article 2 Statement of Faith in the constitution and bylaws of the BCNY, to be voted on at next year’s annual meeting. Also, by ballot vote, messengers deleted the Historical Committee and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee listed in Bylaws Article IV: Committees, Section 2.

Also at the annual meeting, the BCNY Women’s Tapestry celebrated the 40th anniversary with a women’s breakfast with the theme “God of This City.” The guest speaker was Amanda Burgos from the David Dean Mission House. Cathy Charles was elected the new WMU president and Mary Vasconcellos was elected vice president.

The BCNY serves churches of New York State, northern New Jersey, southwestern Connecticut, western Massachusetts, as well as Cornwall and Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The convention has 414 churches and missions with 29,728 members.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Sept. 26-28 at Bible Church International in Randolph, N.J.
Based on a report by The New York Baptist.

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