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Northwest Baptists highlight ‘A More Excellent Way’

GRAND MOUND, Wash. (BP) — Messengers to the Northwest Baptist Convention’s annual meeting welcomed 19 churches into the network, adopted a $5,315,000 budget for 2020, approved a $140,000 Northwest Impact mission offering goal for 2020 and elected new board members.

Convened Nov. 12-13 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Wash., messengers also elected by acclamation three pastors as new officers: Barry Campbell, Highland Baptist Church, Redmond, Ore., president; Dan Panter, McKenzie Road Baptist Church, Olympia, Wash., first vice president; Dean Kelly, Tucker Road Baptist Church, Hood River, Ore., second vice president.

The annual fall gathering — using “A More Excellent Way” from 1 Corinthians 12:31 as its theme — drew more than 525 participants: 321 messengers, 102 visitors and more than 100 children of those attending taking part in activities hosted by the NWBC’s children’s ministry office.

Including the new churches added, about 510 congregations comprise the convention’s cooperative work across Oregon, Washington and north Idaho.

The 2020 convention budget continues a change adopted last year to allocate more Cooperative Program funds for mission work in the Northwest, rather than forwarding as much to Southern Baptist Convention entities. That change increased the Northwest percentage of funds used for church planting, evangelism, leadership development, collegiate ministries and other ministries across Oregon, Washington and north Idaho to 80 percent.

Next year’s spending plan anticipates $2,920,000 in Cooperative Program gifts from NWBC churches. Thus, $2,236,000 of the Cooperative Program funds would support mission work in the Northwest. The balance of the Cooperative Program funds will be split: $100,000 to support the work of Gateway Seminary’s Pacific Northwest Campus in Vancouver, Wash., and $584,000 forwarded to the SBC Executive Committee for disbursement to entities such as the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, six SBC seminaries, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and other national ministries.

The remainder of the 2020 budget is composed of $1,783,580 from the North American Mission Board, $64,000 from LifeWay Christian Resources, $120,000 from the Northwest Impact Mission Offering, $89,300 in restricted funds and another $338,000 from sources such as event registrations, rentals and investment earnings.

In other business, NWBC messengers approved a $140,000 goal for the 2020 Northwest Impact mission offering. For the 2018 Northwest Impact Offering, NWBC churches surpassed a $120,000 goal with gifts exceeding $136,000. It was the first time the offering goal was surpassed in a number of years.

The mission offering extends the reach of various mission efforts specifically in the Northwest — church planting, collegiate ministries, leadership development retreats for vocational ministers, ethnic/language church development, disaster relief and Vacation Bible School evangelism training.

No resolutions were presented by the Resolutions Committee. Committee chairman Chris Antone, pastor of Athol (Idaho) Baptist Church, reported the committee is examining ways to make the resolutions process more beneficial to the convention meeting than in the past. Messengers agreed to have the Executive Board take up the matter and offer a recommendation for the convention.

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  • Cameron Crabtree