Kansas-Nebraska Baptists celebrate 75 years
By Eva Wilson
SALINA, Kan. (BP) – Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptists were urged to seek heart renewal and proclaim Jesus Christ with boldness during their 75th anniversary annual meeting Oct. 11-12 at Webster Conference Center. The meeting drew 228 registered messengers and 40 visitors.
Hance Dilbeck, president-elect of GuideStone Financial Resources, was the keynote speaker. Using Psalm 2 and Acts 4 as his texts, Dilbeck urged the crowd:
- Be prepared for opposition
- Don’t despair in the face of opposition
- Proclaim Jesus with boldness
“In churches today, we are spending more time cursing the dark than we are preaching the light,” Dilbeck said. “Church, let’s don’t lose our Gospel confidence.”
Before he presented the 2022 KNCSB budget, KNCSB Executive Director David Manner thanked Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptists for their faithful giving to the Cooperative Program.
“We are in good shape because of your faithfulness,” he said.
Messengers approved the 2022 KNCSB budget of $4,323,660, which is an increase of 9.24 percent above the 2021 budget. Giving to the national Cooperative Program will be increased by one half percentage point to 30.5 percent.
Cooperative Program receipts in 2022 are anticipated to be $3 million, $200,000 more than the 2021 budget.
Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, contacted Manner to thank Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptists for their part in a record Annie Armstrong Easter Offering of $66.5 million in 2021.
Each meeting session featured a presentation on the convention’s 75th anniversary.
During the opening session on Monday afternoon, Oct. 11, current and past KNCSB executive directors were interviewed. KNCSB has had only five executive directors in its 75-year history.
Peck Lindsay was executive director from 1977-2009. Bob Mills succeeded Lindsay and retired Feb. 28, 2021. Mills was honored during a dinner Monday afternoon.
Mills joined the KNCSB staff in 1998 as director of missions, and ffter retiring as executive director, he became the part-time KNCSB director of church health.
Manner succeeded Mills, becoming executive director on March 1, 2021. He joined the KNCSB staff in 2000 and became associate executive director in 2012.
New officers elected were President Doyle Pryor, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Topeka, Kan.; and Vice President David Gibbs, pastor of First Baptist Church, Towanda, Kan.
Other officers were all reelected by acclamation – Recording Secretary Bryan Jones, pastor of Tyler Road Southern Baptist Church, Topeka, Kan.; Assistant Recording Secretary Susan Pedersen, member of Prairie Hills Southern Baptist Church, Augusta, Kan.; Historian: Tony Mattia, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Wamego, Kan.
Manner also recognized the outgoing officers – President Voyt Lynn and Vice President David Martinez. Lynn is director of missions in South Central Baptist Association in Kansas. Martinez is lead ethnic church planter strategist for both KNCSB and the North American Mission Board. He is associate pastor of Northern Heights Baptist Church, Norfolk, Neb.
In other activity, messengers voted to replace the current KNCSB Constitution and Bylaws with a new Constitution and Bylaws developed by a committee chaired by Sandy Peterson, KNCSB parliamentarian.
Unity brings unstoppable strength in Nevada
By Karen L. Willoughby
LAS VEGAS (BP) – The annual meeting of the Nevada Baptist Convention Oct. 18-19, 2021, at Life Baptist Church in Las Vegas, centered around a theme of Unstoppable, from Job 42:2.
But its undercurrent was unity.
“People are drawn to the Lord when they enter a church or convention like ours and smell the sweet aroma of unity,” Nevada Executive Director Damian Cirincione said during the Tuesday evening session. “You can’t force unity. You can’t create unity. But you can pray for unity.”
“The movement of God is always propelling forward,” he continued. “Our God is unstoppable in so many ways, including His relentless pursuit for us! I believe we are all in expectation of what this coming year will hold for us as Nevada Baptists.”
Cirincione said he wanted to “get to know the pastors, hear their hearts and how we can better resource them. … It’s imperative to engage our people to evangelize. We have such an influx of people and growth in our state. We need to pray through this and think creatively how to be better at multiplying churches and growing disciples to reach our communities and our families.”
The 124 messengers from 49 of Nevada’s 183 churches and missions passed a $1,329,800 budget; recommitted to sending 50 percent of its Cooperative Program giving from churches to global SBC causes; approved two gratitude resolutions; passed an organizational change to the state convention’s constitution and bylaws; and elected new officers.
“It was a powerful two nights to reignite our passion to seek and save the lost,” said Cirincione, who took on the executive director’s role Sept. 7. In Nevada for 25 years, Cirincione most recently was executive pastor of Shadow Hills Church in Las Vegas. “My heart’s desire is to see more and more churches on fire to spread the gospel and see God’s people being unified together.”
The budget is $132,000 more than last year, with $1.1 million anticipated from Nevada churches, a $550,000 CP percentage split, up from last year’s $427,500. The resolutions expressed gratitude for Ted Angle’s “faithful service” for his time as interim executive director, and to Life Baptist Church for “their overflowing hospitality and labor of love.”
The constitution/bylaw change created an executive committee consisting of the chairmen of three standing committees to work with the executive director between business sessions. The need for this was noted in the interim between executive directors, Cirincione explained.
Tim Royal, pastor of The Bridge Church in Spring Creek, Nev., was elected president. Steve Witt, pastor of The Well Church in Henderson, was elected vice-president.
Leroy Gainey, senior professor of educational leadership at Gateway Seminary in California, spoke to the annual meeting’s theme.
“Our God is unstoppable and will see us through unimaginable, unpredictable and unpreventable times,” Gainey said. “Stand up for Him always. It may get hot but our God will see us through because of His unstoppable nature.”
The next annual meeting of the Nevada Baptist Convention is set for Oct. 17-18, 2022, at Life Church in Reno.