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SBCV sessions stir messengers toward renewal & evangelism

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (BP)–Messengers to the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia focused on the theme of “Risking to Renew” their hearts’ affection for Jesus during the convention’s eighth annual meeting, Nov. 8-9 at Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg.

Speakers included Tim Hight of Main Street Baptist in Christiansburg, Mark Becton of Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, Randy Hahn of Colonial Heights Baptist Church in Colonial Heights and Eric Thomas of First Baptist Church in Norfolk. They touched on such themes as having a fresh awareness of the presence of God; being sensitive to sin; responding to the Word of God; and having a deep sense of joy and renewal and of fruitfulness in evangelism.

Bobby Welch, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, reminded the 938 messengers and guests at the convention that they are in a war for souls and challenged them to the kind of evangelistic outreach that will result in 1 million baptisms in SBC churches in a year’s time.

Messengers adopted a record $7.75 million Cooperative Program ministry plan — up 11 percent from the previous year — and will continue to allocate 50 percent of receipts for state ministries and the other half for national and international missions and ministries.

Executive Director Doyle Chauncey reported that 429 churches are now affiliated either uniquely or dually with the SBCV and that the convention supports 163 missionaries serving in Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C., area.

The two-day sessions were highlighted by five state ministry reports presented by Geoff Hammond, senior associate director of the SBCV, focusing on how God is renewing His people and reaching the unchurched across Virginia.

Ten churches were presented Eagle Awards for sponsoring new church starts. Church planter Julio Avila shared that although he was wounded in a drive-by shooting while out visiting, bullets would not stop the Gospel. Even if he were killed, he said, God would raise up another to take the Gospel to all peoples.

Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., said in an address that renewal comes when believers respond to the lordship of Christ. Hershael York, pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, Ky., and professor of preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., reminded messengers not to sacrifice inner holiness for outer success or trade past obedience for present indulgences.

Outgoing president Tim Piland, pastor of Nansemond River Baptist Church in Suffolk, presided over the business sessions that included the admission of 18 new churches to the SBCV.

SBCV officers for the coming year, all elected without opposition, are Carl Weiser, pastor of Hyland Heights Baptist Church in Lynchburg, president; Jeff Ginn, pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Colonial Heights, first vice president; Thurman Hayes, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Yorktown, second vice president; and Jeff Meyer, associate pastor of River Oak Church in Chesapeake, secretary.

Messengers unanimously adopted a resolution supporting a federal Marriage Protection Amendment; a second resolution on the war on terrorism; and one on the secularization of today’s culture. T.C. Pinckney, a messenger and editor of The Baptist Banner, presented a resolution on education that failed to receive the majority required for adoption.

Keynote speaker Voddie Baucham offered the convention a cure for lukewarm Christianity. Baucham spoke from Revelation 3 and Psalm 96 and reminded messengers that worship is a key to renewal and worship is multi-directional.

The 2005 meeting will be Nov. 14-15 at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond.

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  • Delton M. Beall