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SBC registration up in 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)–Interest in the Great Commission Resurgence helped fuel a great attendance resurgence at the 2010 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention June 15-16 in Orlando, Fla.

This year’s unofficial messenger count was 11,070, compared to last year’s 8,790, SBC registration secretary Jim Wells told Baptist Press.

Wells said a family friendly convention site like Orlando was likely another big draw.

“It’s a great place to have a convention,” Wells said. “That definitely helped draw people in. It was a good cross-section of people. I think Johnny Hunt’s leadership brought in some younger folks, but attendance was up across the board.”

If the unofficial count holds, this year’s messenger tally will be the third-highest total in recent years and the highest since 2006:

— 8,790 in Louisville (2009)

— 7,277 messengers in Indianapolis (2008)

— 8,630 in San Antonio (2007)

— 11,639 messengers in Greensboro, N.C. (2006)

— 11,641 total in Nashville (2005)

In Orlando, host state Florida tallied 1,886 messengers this year, a huge jump over last year’s 393, and 600 more than the next-largest delegation — Georgia with 1,266.

The registration process “went very smoothly,” Wells said. He praised the participation of collegiate volunteers from Baptist Collegiate Ministries in Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina. About 80 percent of messengers pre-registered online.

As for next year in Phoenix, Wells said he is anticipating a dip in attendance.

“That’s a long way away for a lot of people,” he said.

The unofficial state-by-state messenger registration numbers are as follows: Alaska, 16; Alabama, 869; Arkansas, 332; Arizona, 30; California, 117; Colorado, 49; Connecticut, 5; Washington, D.C., 12; Delaware, 8; Florida, 1,886; Georgia, 1,266; Hawaii, 16; Iowa, 27; Idaho, 11; Illinois, 207; Indiana, 143; Kansas, 64; Kentucky, 670; Louisiana, 298; Massachusetts, 3; Maryland, 127; Maine, 2; Michigan, 59; Minnesota, 12; Missouri, 295; Mississippi, 447; Montana, 10; North Carolina, 829; Nebraska, 8; New Hampshire, 6; New Jersey, 20; New Mexico, 38; Nevada, 39; New York, 52; Ohio, 169; Oklahoma, 285; Oregon, 2; Pennsylvania, 41; Puerto Rico 13; Rhode Island, 1; South Carolina, 630; South Dakota, 1; Tennessee, 868; Texas, 529; Utah, 10; Virginia, 361; Vermont, 8; Washington, 12; Wisconsin, 10; West Virginia 87; Wyoming, 15.

Official totals for the 2010 annual meeting will be available at the end of June, Wells said.
Compiled by Brian Koonce, a staff writer for The Pathway (www.mbcpathway.com), newsjournal of the Missouri Baptist Convention, with additional reporting by Baptist Press staff.

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