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Spirit of revival felt at Dakotas fellowship

BISMARCK, N.D. (BP)–“I feel like I went to a business meeting and ended up at a revival,” reflected pastor Dave Bohlander after the Oct. 21-22 annual meeting of the Dakota Southern Baptist Fellowship.
It was “very hard to leave” once the sessions had ended, said Bohlander, pastor of Capitol Heights Baptist Church in Pierre, S.D., because “the brotherly love amongst the fellow pastors felt so good.”
W.D. “Doc” Lindsey, the fellowship’s executive director, recounted to the 113 messengers at the convention various evidences of spiritual awakening in the fellowship:
— In 1998 for the first time, the Dakota fellowship’s 105 churches and missions surpassed the 500-baptism mark, recording 514 baptisms.
— “The number of baptism-less churches went down in comparison to previous years,” Lindsey said, including one church that baptized 20 people after several years without a baptism.
— A member of one of the fellowship’s Native American churches, Delbert Hopkins, has been called into the ministry. Wilbert Robertson, longtime pastor of Dakota Baptist Church, Fort Totten, N.D., is Hopkins’ pastor.
“Calling Out His Name” was the theme for this year’s meeting, held at Riverwood Baptist Church, Bismarck.
Mike Canady, missions strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, was among the annual meeting’s featured speakers in conjunction with the new missions alliance between Dakota and Louisiana Baptists begun in March.
In elections by acclamation, Ron Rich, pastor of Riverwood, was re-elected as president, while new officers include Jodie Robinson, pastor of Mobridge (S.D.) Southern Baptist Church, as vice president and Karen Hall, a pastor’s wife from Foothills Community Baptist Church, Piedmont, S.D., as recording secretary.
A fellowship budget of $1,097,000 was adopted, roughly the same as the current budget. The year-2000 goal includes an anticipated $190,000 in Cooperative Program giving from the fellowship’s congregations, of which 14 percent will continue to be forwarded to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries.
The fellowship honored Delores “Dee” Gilliland for her service in Woman’s Missionary Union. Gilliland, a WMU retiree who came to the Dakotas three years ago, is retiring for a second time Oct. 31.
Also honored for 11 years of service was Joe Todd, a Mission Service Corps volunteer who leads a team of six Baptist student workers for the two-state fellowship and who works on campuses in the Rapid City, S.D., area.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 26-27 at Capitol Heights Baptist Church, Pierre, S.D.

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