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SBC DIGEST: California Baptists’ annual meeting canceled; Gateway begins VP transitions

California Baptists cancel 2020 annual meeting

By Terry Barone

FRESNO, Calif. (BP) – Cancellation of the 2020 California Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting topped items of business at the CSBC Executive Board meeting held virtually Sept. 10.

Other items approved by the Board include:

  • Adoption of an operating budget for 2021 with restored percentages (35 percent) for Southern Baptist Convention worldwide missions
  • Election of a leader for the CSBC Evangelism and Missions Initiatives Team
  • A five-year partnership with the International Mission Board East Asian Peoples Affinity Group

With the cancellation of the meeting, the Board also recommended that CSBC produce a webcast to report to CSBC churches in lieu of the annual meeting. The webcast will premiere Tuesday, Oct. 27, and will celebrate achievements of California Southern Baptists since October 2019. The video presentation will remain online for viewing after its premiere.

On recommendation from the Committee on Convention Operations, the executive board voted unanimously to cancel the annual gathering because of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The action was taken in response to a recommendation from the Committee on Convention Operations, which is responsible for planning the annual gathering.

This is the only time in the 80-year history of the organization that it will not hold an annual meeting. The gathering was slated for Oct. 27-28 at Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis.

The Committee on Convention Operations has monitored pandemic developments since early May, and with the continued spread of the coronavirus as well as no sign that the State of California will begin allowing large gatherings, the committee voted Aug. 20 to recommend cancellation of the meeting.

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Key VP transitions begin at Gateway Seminary

By Jeff Jones

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) – Gateway Seminary has launched executive searches for a new vice president for academic services and a new vice president for business services to be added to the seminary’s executive leadership team.

“Our board of trustees has encouraged a healthy leadership transition to assure optimal seminary function as current leaders move toward retirement,” Gateway Seminary President Jeff Iorg said.

The search for a new academic vice president has begun with a goal of presenting a candidate to the board of trustees in April 2021. Once a new person is selected, the current vice president, Michael Martin, will become vice president for educational effectiveness. His major responsibilities will include advising the new vice president, finalizing the current ATS re-accreditation process, and filling an enhanced teaching load. Martin plans to retire at the conclusion of the academic year in mid-2022.

Another search has been launched for a new business services leader with a goal of presenting a candidate to the board in early 2021. Once a new vice president is selected, current vice president, Tom Hixson, will continue as vice president for administrative effectiveness until the new person is sufficiently trained and fully functional. Hixson plans to retire in late 2021.

Read the full story here.

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