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Spirit of unity defines Kan.-Neb. annual meeting

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (BP)–A spirit of unity was evident among messengers attending the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists’ 56th annual meeting Oct. 16-17 in North Platte, Neb.

In somewhat of a surprising move, the convention’s vice president, Tony Lambert, who was anticipated to be nominated to serve as president, shared with messengers that he had prayed about being nominated. Lambert said he wanted to serve as president, but after asking for God’s guidance the answer was not at this time.

Lambert is pastor of Westside Baptist Church, Omaha, Neb., the largest congregation in the two-state convention. Instead of being nominated, Lambert nominated Glenn Davis, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Salina, Kan., for president, and messengers unanimously elected him to the post.

Ray Kempel, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Hutchinson, Kan., also was elected unanimously as vice president. Bryan Jones, pastor of First Baptist Church, Junction City, Kan., and Dan Pearce, pastor of Sublette Baptist Church, were elected as recording and assistant recording secretary, respectively.

A $5,266,945 budget was approved for the 2002 fiscal year, reflecting a 3.1 percent increase from 2001. The budget anticipates Cooperative Program giving of $3.1 million from churches in Kansas and Nebraska, with 31.75 percent continuing to be designated for SBC national and international missions and ministries.

During his presentation of the budget, the convention’s executive director, R. Rex “Peck” Lindsay, noted that Southern Baptists in Kansas and Nebraska had given $1.7 million to mission causes beyond the two states through the Cooperative Program, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions.

Outgoing President Randy Caddell gave the presidential address. Caddell is pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Garden City, Kan. Terry Fox, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Wichita, delivered the annual sermon.

Frank Pollard, past of First Baptist Church, Jackson, Miss., conducted each session’s’ Bible study. Paul Powell, former president of the SBC Annuity Board, gave the convention’s final address.

Messengers approved two resolutions. One resolution pledged prayer support for those who experienced loss during the Sept. 11 tragedy in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. It also encouraged Southern Baptists to be sensitive to the needs of people and to offer the hope of Jesus Christ to them. The other resolution thanked the Oregon Trail Baptist Association and the Sandhills Convention Center in North Platte for hosting the meeting, which was attended by 232 messengers representing 99 churches, along with more than 70 visitors.

Next year’s Oct .14-15 annual meeting will be hosted by First Southern Baptist Church, Hutchinson, Kan.

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  • Randy Cowling