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New England Baptists see budget increase

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. (BP) — New England Baptists, at their 2013 annual meeting, adopted a $2,489,905 budget for 2014, a 2 percent increase over this year’s revised budget.

The new budget includes projected Cooperative Program giving of $728,071 from BCNE churches, an increase of $34,157 or 4.9 percent over 2013 receipts. The budget includes $1,583,954 from the North American Mission Board and $65,000 from LifeWay.

The BCNE will forward 25 percent of its CP receipts to national and international missions in 2014, the same percentage as this year, after allocating $260,398 for expenses shared by the BCNE and the Southern Baptist Convention, up from $252,439 in the current budget.

SBC President Fred Luter delivered the keynote address at the BCNE 31st annual session, Nov. 8-9 in Westborough, Mass. The 147 registered messengers and 118 guests in attendance represented 87 churches, eight languages and all seven associations in the states.

Messengers presented the Robert H. Brindle award for church planting to Curtis Cook, pastor of Hope Fellowship Church in Cambridge, Mass., honoring the church’s continued focus on planting congregations.

The BCNE approved three resolutions honoring those who have made significant contributions to the ministry in New England: Charlotte Hoover, a generous donor to BCNE and SBC causes; Richard Lake, a former longtime pastor; and Johnnie and Lahoma Loar, longtime Mission Service Corps volunteers in Vermont.

In a fourth resolution, messengers affirmed the biblical doctrine of the “wrath of God,” pointing out efforts of some to dilute the doctrine.

Gary Palmer, longtime pastor of New Hope Community Church in Ayer, Mass., preached the annual sermon.

Newly elected officers are: president, Neal Davidson, pastor of Hope Chapel in Sterling, Mass., and vice president, Gary Rowe, a member of Island Pond Baptist Church in Hampstead, N.H. Sandy Coelho was reelected clerk and Sandy Wideman was reelected historian.

The convention’s 2014 annual meeting will be Nov. 7-8 in Westborough.

Messengers chose John-Paul Lotz, pastor of Church of the Redeemer in Osterville, Mass., to preach the annual sermon, with John Revell, pastor of Stamford Baptist Church in Stamford, Conn., as alternate.

The BCNE includes more than 340 churches and church plants in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Compiled from a report by Jim Wideman, executive director of the Baptist Convention of New England.

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