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Kentucky Baptists celebrate evangelism

By Kentucky Today Staff

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (KT) – A total of 684 messengers gathered at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown to celebrate God’s faithfulness and the Gospel work of churches who have navigated another year of pandemic changes and stresses.

Although last year’s attendance was around 40 percent of typical attendance, this year’s attendance was back to more normal levels at 809.

Messengers approved a 2022-2023 total Cooperative Program budget of $22.2 million, a slight increase from last year. The KBC allocates half of the funds to the Southern Baptist Convention for international missions, disaster relief, seminaries and other vital ministries.

The other half stays in Kentucky to assist efforts such as church consulting, missions mobilization, church planting, campus ministry and other vital ministries.

Kentucky Baptists welcomed eight new churches and celebrated 40 salvations resulting from Crossover 2021, an evangelism-focused partnership between the Kentucky Baptist Convention and local churches. They also celebrated the success of the “Gospel to Every Home” initiative and heard about “Calling Out the Called,” a new three-year initiative to help meet the staff needs of churches.

Messengers passed five resolutions, including one calling for the protection of the unborn.

Like many other state conventions, Kentucky Baptists also voted to form a task force to evaluate how the KBC currently responds to sexual abuse allegations.

KBC officers for the upcoming year were elected by acclamation. Harold Best, pastor of Burlington Baptist Church in Burlington, will serve as president. Norm Brock, pastor of First Baptist Church East Bernstadt, is first vice president. Bobby Sellers, associational mission strategist of the Little River Baptist Association, was elected second vice president.

Wilma Simmons, of Big Spring Baptist Church in Vine Grove was re-elected by acclamation as secretary. She was first elected convention secretary in 1991.

Pat Reaves, of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Louisville, also was re-elected by acclamation as assistant secretary, a position she has held for 13 years.

Dozens of Kentucky Baptist were elected to serve in roles to support the KBC Mission Board’s work. The full slate of approved nominations are available on the KBC website.

The 2022 annual meeting is set for Nov. 15 at First Baptist Church in Bowling Green.

Additional stories about the KBC annual meeting are available at kentuckytoday.com.

Texas Baptists celebrate unity, peace

By Baptist Standard Staff

GALVESTON, Texas (BP) – Texas Baptists elected officers and approved a nearly $34.6 million budget during the first business session at the Baptist General Convention of Texas annual meeting in Galveston on Nov. 15.

The meeting’s hybrid format allowed messengers to participate online via Zoom, as well as in person at the Galveston Island Convention Center.

BGCT Executive Director David Hardage encouraged messengers with updates about the convention’s young leaders cohort, missionary partnerships, help for pastors, college outreach and more.

Messengers to the annual meeting re-elected as president Jason Burden, pastor of First Baptist Church in Nederland, and as first vice president Julio Guarneri, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen.

They elected Nebiye Kelile, pastor of Pathway Church and Orchard Hills Baptist Church in Garland, as second vice president. The incumbent second vice president, Jordan Villanueva, now a professor at Howard Payne University, did not seek a second term.

Messengers also approved a $34,588,280 total Texas budget for 2022, a $321,592 increase over the 2021 budget.

The 2022 budget, recommended by the BGCT Executive Board, projects a $32.8 million net Texas budget based on Cooperative Program giving and investment income. It depends on $27.37 million in Texas Cooperative Program receipts from churches.

Next year’s budget anticipates slightly more than $5.4 million in investment income and more than $1.77 million in additional revenue from conference and booth fees, product sales and other sources.

Messengers also voted to continue the division of undesignated receipts from affiliated churches, with 79 percent allocated for the BGCT and 21 percent for worldwide causes. Each church determines the recipient or recipients of its worldwide giving.

An anticipated $1 million in worldwide missions initiatives and partnerships will be allocated in this manner: $340,000 for missions mobilization, $200,000 for River Ministry and Mexico missions, $100,000 for Texas Partnerships, $55,000 for the Baptist World Alliance, $5,000 for the North American Baptist Fellowship, $50,000 for intercultural international initiatives, $200,000 for Go Now Missions, $20,000 for the Hispanic Education Task Force and $30,000 for chaplaincy.

Messengers approved a motion submitted by Chris McLain, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bandera, that calls for the formation of a task force to recommend ways to involve individuals age 40 and younger in BGCT life and ministry.

Read the full story here.

Additional stories about the BGCT’s annual meeting can be found at baptiststandard.com.

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