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S.C. Baptists OK record budget, Romania Baptist partnerships

COLUMBIA, S.C. (BP)–Messengers attending the South Carolina Baptist Convention’s 177th annual meeting approved a record budget of $25.75 million for 1998 and launched a missions partnership with the Baptists of Romania.
David Gallamore, pastor of Rock Springs Baptist Church, Easley, was elected convention president in a 370-313 vote over Keith Kelly, the convention’s 1997 first vice president and pastor of Jackson Baptist Church, Wellford.
About 1,700 messengers attended the Nov. 11-12 meeting at Carolina Coliseum in Columbia. The South Carolina convention, with 1,900 churches encompassing nearly 730,000 members, is the oldest of the 37 state Baptist conventions.
The convention’s 1998 budget of $25.75 million is $1.42 million over the ’97 budget. It will continue allocations of 60 percent for South Carolina Baptist work and 40 percent for Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries.
The partnership with the Baptist Union of Romania, to begin in January 1988, will span three years.
The convention’s other top officers were elected by acclamation: Bobbi Horton, a member of Temple Baptist Church, Simpsonville, first vice president, and Brancie Stephens, pastor of Corinth Baptist Church, New Ellenton, second vice president.
Horton, the third woman to hold the first vice presidency in convention history, is the widow of the late Greg Horton, a former convention president who died earlier this year.
Messengers approved a resolution stating their continued opposition to legalized gambling. The resolution was approved Tuesday afternoon after being amended. The amendment called for South Carolina Baptists to “support any future attempts to make video poker payoffs illegal” and to encourage members of their churches who are involved “in any way” in the gambling industry to “divest themselves of those interests.”
A second resolution saluted the 75-year ministry of South Carolina Baptists to high school and college students.
For many messengers, the highlight of the 1997 annual meeting came during the Tuesday night session, in which local ministries and volunteers were recognized for “carrying the light of Christ” around the state, nation and world. Thirty-five different ministry groups were recognized, with representatives from several groups speaking about the impact their particular ministry has had on those they ministered to and on them personally. Among the types of ministry celebrated: equestrian ministry, literacy missions, resort area ministry, Sunday school work, ministry to internationals, deaf ministry and ethnic churches.
The 1998 annual meeting will be Nov. 3-4 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

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  • Amanda Phifer