BOLIVAR, Pa. (BP) — The Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey (BRN) at its annual meeting celebrated the upcoming retirement of interim Executive Director/Treasurer Stanley K. Smith.
Smith will retire in March, 2017, after 32 years with the BRN, most recently as interim executive director following the March 2016 retirement of longtime executive director David Waltz. Previously, Smith served as associate executive director and director of the missions division.
The annual meeting Nov. 3-4 at Antiochian Village & Conference Center in Bolivar, Pa., marked BRN’s 46 years of service to Southern Baptists in Pennsylvania and South Jersey. Messengers approved a 2017 budget, elected officers and heard stories of spiritual transformation.
The new budget of $2,929,270 includes a 2.68 percent increase over the 2016 allocation and anticipates $908,270 in Cooperative Program receipts, a 4.8 percent increase over anticipated current year receipts. Messengers agreed to forward 26.1 percent of CP gifts to the Southern Baptist Convention for national and international missions and ministries, compared to the 26 percent of CP receipts forwarded in 2016.
CP giving has been strong this year, Smith said at the meeting, with year-to-date receipts of just over $734,662 (as of Nov. 3) higher than they have been year-to-date since 2009’s tally of about $777,623.
Newly elected officers are president Kevin Roberts, pastor of Community Baptist Church, Charleroi, Pa. and first vice-president George Tynes, pastor of Truth Baptist Church, Philadelphia. Other officers included recording secretary Elizabeth Benge, a member of Stewartstown Baptist Church, Stewartstown, Penn.; assistant recording secretary Antoinette Buie, a member of Ezekiel Baptist Church, Philadelphia; historian Frederick Boehlke, a member of Paoli Baptist Church, Paoli, Penn., and parliamentarian Jeff Slagle, a member of Mason Dixie Baptist Church, New Freedom, Penn.
The annual meeting theme “Fostering Spiritual Transformation in a Changing World” was based on James 1:17 and reminded Christians to cast their cares on the Lord, “who does not change like shifting shadows.” In attendance were 263 messengers and guests from the 117 of the 325 active churches in the BRN.
A special reception honored Smith’s contributions to Southern Baptist life, which has included pastorates in Allentown, Pa., and Harwood, Mo., and service as an International Mission Board journeyman in Indonesia where he ministered to college students and pastored an English church in Yogyakarta. He has been active in overseas mission projects in the Ukraine, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Philippines, India and Italy. He and his wife Lynda have two adult children, Keith and Beth, and three grandchildren.
Kim Grueser, chairman of the BRN executive director/treasurer search committee, told messengers the committee will recommend to the BRN Executive Board a candidate for the position in the coming months.
The 2017 annual meeting is set for Nov. 2-3 at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in York, Pa.