SIDNEY, Mont. (BP)–Two pastors with strong involvement in church planting were elected by acclamation to lead the Montana Southern Baptist Fellowship, which met Oct. 7-8 at Fellowship Baptist Church, Sidney, on Montana’s border with North Dakota.
Daniel Lambert, the fellowship’s new president, has been pastor of Easthaven Baptist Church, Kalispell, for seven years. Lambert has led the church to start six new works. In addition to having five weekly outreach Bible studies, his church has sent out seven short-term foreign missions workers.
Dick Willoughby, the new vice president, has been pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, Billings, for 20 years, during which time the church has started at least nine new works, according to fellowship records. Bethel also has sent out a number of new pastors and church workers. Willoughby currently is starting a new ministry on the south side of Billings, the South Side Project, reaching out to people where they live through a neighborhood chaplaincy program, block-by-block visitation and children’s after-school activities.
Meanwhile, Bert Murphy, associate pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Great Falls, was re-elected as the fellowship’s recording secretary.
Messenger registration totaled 102 on behalf of the fellowship’s 117 churches and missions encompassing 12,000 resident members.
A 1999 budget of $1,201,773 was approved, up from the current year’s $1.15 million. In Cooperative Program giving, $361,000 is anticipated, with Montana Baptists to continue to send 22 percent to Southern Baptist Convention causes.
Lambert announced a change in policy for submitting resolutions at next year’s annual meeting, in which messengers will be asked to provide resolutions in writing to the resolutions committee during registration.
In a vote, the fellowship combined its successful Montana Church Leadership Conference with its Youth Camp and Family Camp. The meeting place will be at a camp near Hungry Horse, Mont., a gateway community for Glacier National Park. The 1999 dates for the new combined training school and camp will be Aug. 16-20, with a cost of $65 per person.
The annual meeting’s featured speaker was Richard Blackaby, president of the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary at Cochrane, Alberta, who noted that Montana Baptists have much in common with Canadian Baptists, with the seminary situated right next door, ministerially speaking, near Calgary, Alberta.
Clarence and Wanda Collier were given a plaque and a reception in honor of their 10 years service with the fellowship as Mission Service Corps volunteers. Clarence served as Brotherhood director and Wanda as WMU director. They plan to move to North Carolina as soon as they sell their house.
Larry and Jackie Bailes were elected to replace the Colliers in their respective duties, beginning Jan. 1. The Baileses formerly were missionary associates with the International Mission Board in Eku, Nigeria. For the past year or so, they have been working as volunteers at Yellowstone Baptist College in Billings.
Prior to the annual meeting, the number of ladies attending the Woman’s Missionary Union meeting outnumbered the men at the pastors’ conference by a ratio of three to two. Tuesday night, some of the pastors attending the pastor’s conference participated in a “Crossover Sidney” evangelistic outreach.
The fellowship’s 1999 meeting will be Oct. 6-7 at Kirkwood Baptist Church, Bozeman.
Reported by Jim Edlin.