News Articles

Okla. messengers approve Malawi missions partnership

BETHANY, Okla. (BP)–Oklahoma Baptists approved a partnership with the Malawi Baptist Convention in Africa during their Nov. 10-11 annual meeting.
All officers of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma were re-elected at the meeting, which drew 1,083 messengers to Council Road Baptist Church, Bethany.
The three-year partnership with the Malawi convention was signed during the final session Nov. 11. Akim Chirwa, president of the Baptist Convention of Malawi, said he hopes to see Oklahoma churches involved in mission projects with the southeast African nation.
“It is my prayer that God will use you; that this not be a partnership between the Baptist Building and the Baptist Convention of Malawi, but one that will involve you individually.
“Come and help us,” he said. “God has prepared many mansions for us; our desire is that Malawian people will enter into those mansions through preaching, teaching and other ways.
“It is my prayer that Malawian pastors and leaders will be strengthened through this partnership.”
Chirwa said the name of his first-born son translates “Lord Send Us.”
“On our own, there is nothing we can do,” he said. “But with God’s power, if God be with us, who can be against us?”
Messengers approved an $18.5 million Cooperative Program budget for 1998, a 7 percent increase or $250,000 over 1997. It retains the same allocation between BGCO and Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries, with 60 percent staying in state and 40 percent going to the SBC.
BGCO President Ted Kersh, pastor of Village Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Village, was elected to a second term, as were all other officers by unanimous acclamation.
Other offices re-elected were David Willets, pastor of Parkview Baptist Church, Tulsa, first vice president, and John Allen, director of missions, Enon Baptist Association, second vice president.
Four resolutions passed by messengers included one against casino gambling and three resolutions of appreciation.
Oklahomans are scheduled to vote on whether to legalize casino gambling in a Feb. 10 election. The resolution calls casino gambling “a demonstrable social evil which destroys family finances, violates scriptural work ethics and victimizes society by promoting crime.” It then urges Oklahoma Baptists to take an active stand against casinos and vote against them.
One resolution of appreciation was to four people who retired or are retiring from the BGCO this year: Frances Grafton, women’s missions and ministries specialist; Frank Foutch, retired state Sunday school director and adult ministries specialist; Glenn Brown, retired Baptist Messenger editor; and Darlene Koch, retired children’s/preschool ministries specialist.
A second resolution of appreciation was to Bob Agee, who is retiring as president of Oklahoma Baptist University Sept. 1, 1998.
A final resolution thanked Council Road for hosting the state convention. The state convention will return to the Bethany church in 1998, Nov. 9-10.

    About the Author

  • Dave Parker