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Southern Baptist conservatives add 41 churches to Va. convention

SALEM, Va. (BP)–Requests from 41 churches for alignment with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia were unanimously approved during the convention’s Oct. 11-12 annual meeting and Bible conference at West Salem Baptist Church, Salem.
The 41 churches, which had applied to the SBCV during the last 12 months, bring the total number of churches in the convention to 253 — 200 uniquely affiliated with the SBCV and 53 aligned with both the SBCV and the Baptist General Association of Virginia.
Since the convention’s founding in 1996 with 115 churches, annual accessions have been 43, 54 and 41. The SBCV total includes 13 uniquely aligned churches new to Southern Baptist cooperative work.
Messengers, totaling 514 from 147 churches, were told that more than 20 new mission starts are in progress, and each will be added to the total as soon as it constitutes as a church and receives approval. The SBCV goal is to begin another 70-plus church starts within the next two years in initiatives to reach the majority of Virginians who are unchurched.
Additionally, in campus ministries, messengers were told the SBCV has nine college interns working on campuses around the state, with two efforts already moving toward establishing college-oriented churches and with many students being won to Christ.
The SBCV’s unanimously adopted Cooperative Program budget goal for 2000 is $3,900,000. In his report, Executive Director Doyle Chauncey challenged SBCV churches to raise their CP giving to at least 10 percent of undesignated receipts.
CP giving by SBCV churches has grown rapidly each fiscal year since 1996’s $688,000 to $1,815,000, $2,790,000 and $3,537,000.
Among state conventions, only the SBCV and the new Southern Baptists of Texas Convention allocate 50 percent of all undesignated receipts to the SBC, which fulfills the initial vision of the CP when it was begun in 1925. In addition, a number of SBCV churches instruct the state convention to send more than half their CP dollars to the SBC. As a result, in 1999, 56.7 percent of received CP donations went to the SBC, well above the 50 percent allocation. There are no preferred items or exceptions deducted before computing the above CP percentages.
Kelly Burris, pastor of Kempsville Baptist Church, Virginia Beach, was re-elected SBCV president by acclamation for a second one-year term. David Johnson, pastor of Rileyville (Va.) Baptist Church, was elected first vice president, and Timothy Piland, pastor of Nansemond River Baptist Church, Portsmouth, was elected second vice president, both also by acclamation.
Three resolutions of interest were adopted, including an affirmation of the Cooperative Program and a challenge to SBCV churches to increase CP giving by at least 1 percent.
A second resolution “commends and affirms the Southern Baptist Convention and the International Mission Board for the … humble, loving, and gentle spirit in which the International Mission Board’s Jewish prayer Guide is written” and pledges “to pray for and witness to the many unsaved among us, including His specially chosen people, the Jews.”
The third resolution acknowledges “the biblical concept of pastoral authority over the flock of God” and expresses the understanding that “for the local church and its pastor to be biblically successful and be the recipients of God’s blessings, the pastor and those he leads for the causes of Christ must strive to serve each other in the manner of and according to the teachings of Jesus Christ … .”
Messages during the convention were brought by Burris; Charles Fuller, recently retired after 38 years as pastor of First Baptist Church, Roanoke; and James T. Draper Jr., president of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Speakers at the SBCV’s Oct. 11 Bible conference, with the theme, “Partners in the Harvest,” were Ronnie Brown, pastor of Swift Creek Baptist Church, Midlothian, Va.; Kevin Ezell, pastor of Highview Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.; and Stan Coffey, pastor, San Jacinto Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas, and president, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
The next SBCV annual meeting and Bible conference will be Oct. 9-10, 2000, at Liberty Baptist Church, Hampton.