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Nev. Baptists mark 25th anniversary with increase in CP gifts

HENDERSON, Nev. (BP)–In a year when many state conventions have been forced to reduce their budgets, Nevada Baptists — in their 25th anniversary year — raised the convention’s support for national and international missions and ministries.

Meeting Oct. 21-22 at Green Valley Baptist Church in Henderson, the 115 messengers representing 39 churches approved a total budget of $2,309,177, a 1.18 percent over the current budget.

Messengers increased the portion of anticipated Cooperative Program gifts to be forwarded to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries, to 28.25 percent of receipts, up from 28 percent for CP Missions last year.

Eddie Hancock, pastor of Grass Valley Baptist Church in Winnemucca, was re-elected as the convention’s president. Mike Farris, pastor of First Baptist Church in Tonopah, was elected first vice president, and Frank Bushey, pastor of Fellowship Community Church in Lemon Valley, was elected second vice president. All were the lone nominees for the posts.

Frank Lewis, pastor of First Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., presented a check for $5,000 on behalf of his church for use in a church plant led by Mike Farnham in Sparks. Farnham is in charge of community ministries for the Nevada convention. Lewis was pastor of Green Valley Baptist Church before moving to Nashville in 1996.

Thane Barnes, executive director of the Nevada convention, spoke about leadership development being the key to success in starting congregations, maintaining church health, initiating bold evangelism and practicing good stewardship. He urged Nevada Baptists to “leave an imprint on Nevada for Christ.”

Among the convention’s featured speakers, 24-year-old Candice Trummell, the youngest county commissioner in the state of Nevada, told of some of the challenges she faces as a Christian in politics.

Messengers passed a resolution expressing “sincere and genuine appreciation” to Harry Watson, director of missions for the Southern Nevada Baptist Association, as the association celebrates its 50th year of ministry and service to the congregations and people of Southern Nevada.

Another resolution extended congratulations and expressed appreciation to First Southern Baptist Church of Hawthorne for its faithfulness in Kingdom work in Nevada. The church is celebrating its 55th anniversary, and 19 churches and missions in Nevada and California can trace their heritage to the congregation.

Messengers also passed a resolution expressing appreciation for the ministry of the late Bob Nowell, who died in early October. Nowell began his ministry in southern Nevada in 1962 as pastor of Nellis Baptist Church in Las Vegas and started congregations at Indian Springs, College Park, Green Valley, Foothills, First Chinese and Mt. Charleston Baptist churches before concluding his ministry in 1992 at College Park Baptist Church in North Las Vegas. Nowell also served as president of the Nevada Baptist Convention from 1989-90.

The theme of this year’s convention was “Thy Kingdom Come.” The Nevada convention is composed of 124 churches and 47 missions.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 19-20 at South Reno Baptist Church in Reno.
Based on reporting by Sandy Farnham.

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