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SBCV sees largest attendance, approves 20% boost in budget

ROANOKE, Va. (BP)–The Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia recorded the largest attendance in the convention’s history — 763 registered messengers and more than 300 guests – during Nov. 11-12 sessions at First Baptist Church in Roanoke.

A $6 million dollar Cooperative Program budget was approved — a 20 percent, or $1 million, increase over the current budget. The SBCV will continue to forward 50 percent of its receipts to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries. The budget was approved as part of the executive board report presented by Doyle Chauncey, SBCV executive director and treasurer.

Tim Piland, pastor of Nansemond River Baptist Church in Suffolk, was elected SBCV president. Piland and the other new officers were elected on ballots with one other nominee. The SBCV’s new first vice president is Chip Roberson, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Chesapeake; second vice president, Carl Weiser, pastor of Hyland Heights Baptist Church in Lynchburg; and secretary, Dan Cook, associate pastor of Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg.

Geoff Hammond, SBCV senior associate director, introduced multi-media missions and ministry reports in each convention session based on the annual meeting’s theme of “Completing the Task to Light up Virginia with the Gospel.” Testimonies and inspiring messages told the story about the impact of SBCV missions and ministries across the state.

One of the four strategic objectives adopted by the convention in last year’s meeting served as the focus for each session: 1) Strengthening existing churches; 2) Supporting pastors, staff and their families; 3) Starting new churches and 4) Mobilizing and educating volunteers in SBC missions.

Kelly Burris, chairman of the SBCV implementation task force and pastor of Kempsville Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, presented a progress report on the implementation plan for restructuring the convention, which had been approved by the executive board. The task force had assisted Chauncey in setting forth five ministry areas and in the employment of missionaries to serve in the designated areas, as well as the employment of their supervisor, Geoff Hammond, who will serve as the state missions team leader.

Messengers approved the board’s recommendation authorizing the task force to finish the task of implementation, which includes revision of the constitution and bylaws along with a business plan, policies and procedures.

Delton Beall, Don Matthews, Phil Mitchell and Phil Martin were introduced as state missionaries recently employed to serve in the designated ministry areas under the decentralized plan for ministry to the churches.

A special eagle award was presented to churches that had sponsored a new church start in the past year; 335 baptisms were reported from church plants in the last year.

SBC keynote speakers at the convention were SBC President Jack Graham, pastor of the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, and Tom Elliff, chairman of the SBC Council on Family Life and pastor of the Oklahoma City-area First Southern Baptist Church in Del City.

Other speakers included John Marks, outgoing SBCV president and pastor of Kingsland Baptist Church in Richmond, and Harry Greene, president of Good News Jail and Prison Ministry.

The 763 registered messengers represented 198 of the 372 churches in the SBCV. Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 10-11 at London Bridge Baptist Church in Virginia Beach.

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