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New England Baptists look to ‘His Mission Our Mandate’

AYER, Mass. (BP)–New England Baptists rallied under the theme “His Mission Our Mandate” during the Baptist Convention of New England’s 22nd annual meeting, Nov. 11-12 at New Hope Community Church in Ayer, Mass.

Bruce James, president of the convention and pastor of Gallup Hill Baptist Church in Ledyard, Conn., delivered a message based on Luke 15:1-7 and called on believers to be witnesses for the Gospel, not prosecuting attorneys or judges.

Terry Dorsett, an associational missionary with the Green Mountain Baptist Association, delivered the annual sermon based on Matthew 14:22-23, focusing on the hope and challenges that come from fully trusting Jesus.

Messengers and guests represented all six New England states and all seven associations, with registered messengers numbering 155. The BCNE currently has 227 churches and missions with a membership of 23,082.

James was re-elected as president, and Bob Remick, a bivocational pastor at Victory Baptist Church in Marshfield, Mass., was elected vice president.

Jim Wideman, executive director of the BCNE, told messengers the purpose of the convention is to push back the spiritual darkness, build vibrant, reproducing churches and expand the Kingdom of God in New England. Directors of missions and representatives from the seven associations updated the convention on what God is doing in each region.

Messengers approved a budget of $2,691,463, marking the fourth consecutive year the budget has remained flat. The BCNE designates 79 percent of Cooperative Program receipts to state ministries and 21 percent to national and international missions and ministries.

The convention recognized long-term partnerships with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The partnerships were also included in a resolution of gratitude. Other resolutions included prayer support for President Bush and support and defense of the traditional definition of marriage.

Murray Wheeler was honored for his 16 years of service as Mission Service Corps director in New England, and the first Raymond C. Allen award for Excellence in Missions and Evangelism was given to Friendship Baptist Church in Litchfield, Conn.

Next year’s meeting will be Nov. 10-11 at Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in Londonderry, N.H.

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