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Louisiana Baptists call for personal revival through prayer

By Brian Blackwell/Baptist Message

NORTH MONROE, La. (BP) – The 530 messengers registered for the 2021 Louisiana Baptist Convention meeting approved five resolutions, welcomed new churches, elected officers and more during their meeting Nov. 15.

The resolutions expressed appreciation for the host church, North Monroe Baptist, as well as for the many disaster relief ‘partners in the Gospel’ that helped the state in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Other resolutions dealt with racial reconciliation and Louisiana’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.

Messengers approved a Cooperative Program budget of $17,626,136, a decrease of $1,027,564, or 5.5 percent, from last year. Cooperative Program projections are based on actual receipts from August 2020 through July 2021. The allocation formula for distributing Cooperative Program gifts between the Southern Baptist Convention and Louisiana Baptist causes was not changed – 63.26 percent to support ministries in the state and 36.74 percent to be forwarded to fund national entities.

Reggie Bridges, pastor of Temple Baptist Church, Ruston, was elected president. Steven Kelly, pastor of Bayou Vista Baptist Church, Morgan City, and director of missions for Gulf Coast Baptist Association, was elected first vice president, and Price Harris, an evangelist from Calvary Baptist Church, Shreveport, was elected second vice president. All three men were given individual votes of acclamation by the Convention – a single ballot cast by the LBC executive director in view of no opposition to any of the candidates.

LBC Executive Director brought a message pleading for revival. He encouraged messengers to participate in ‘Change Me,’ a 28-day personal revival guide he authored based on Psalm 139:23-24.

“I believe our churches and our nation have no problems that humility before God and His Word would not fix immediately,” Horn said.

The 2022 Annual Meeting is scheduled for Nov. 15 in Alexandria at Calvary Baptist Church.

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More information about the Louisiana Baptist Convention Meeting is available at baptistmessage.com.

Maryland/Delaware Baptists celebrate blessings, set 2025 goals

By Sharon Mager/BCMD

LAUREL, Md. (BP) – Three hundred sixty-five messengers and 29 guests at the 185th session of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) met at First Baptist Church of Laurel Nov. 15 under a theme of “Maryland/Delaware Baptists for Christ’s Glory!” Messengers celebrated stories of God moving in churches and heard news and updates from BCM/D staff. Interim Executive Director Mark Dooley shared the vision and goals for 2025. And in business, messengers approved the 2022 budget, elected officers, and approved two resolutions.

General Mission Board Administrative Committee Chairman Victor Kirk presented a plaque on behalf of the convention to former Executive Director Kevin Smith, who resigned in October to pastor a church in Florida. Looking to Smith, Kirk said, “You brought stability and restored integrity between our two states and the Southern Baptist Convention.”

In the interim executive director report, Dooley shared from Acts and the ministry of Paul and Barnabas. They proclaimed the Gospel, started churches, installed leaders, and followed up to “stoke the fire.”

He encouraged Maryland/Delaware churches to follow that example in proclaiming the Gospel and planting and strengthening churches.

Dooley said the church is too often known for what it is against rather than the Good News.

“The Gospel is about the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he stated. “And that, friends, is the message we are to proclaim. We need to shout about ‘your sins are forgiven; will you accept that?’”

Messengers elected Glenn Swanson, pastor of Bayside Baptist Church in Chesapeake Beach, Md., as president; Jim Testerman, pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bel Air, Md., as first vice president; Vernon Lattimore, pastor of First Baptist Church of Mount Rainier in Maryland, as second vice president; Stephanie Greer, member of The Garden Church in Baltimore, as recording secretary; and Michael Fillis, pastor of Fenwick Island Baptist Church in Delaware, as assisting recording secretary.

They adopted a 2022 budget of $6,963,899 that includes an anticipated $3,500,000 in Cooperative Program (CP) gifts from BCM/D churches, $1,761,955 in total Skycroft Conference Center receipts, $125,000 in State Missions Offering gifts, and $937,000 from the North American Mission Board (NAMB). The budget reflects 48 percent of CP receipts forwarded to SBC national and international missions and ministries, unchanged from last year.

Additionally, messengers approved a Caring Well resolution concerning churches and sexual abuse and an appreciation to FBCL for hosting the meeting.

Dooley presented Vision 2025 Cooperative Efforts for the BCM/D, with the following goals for 2022-2025:

  • 50 new churches.
  • 100 churches engaging in revitalization efforts.
  • 10,000 baptisms.
  • 1,000,000 missional engagements among BCM/D churches.
  • 100 percent of BCM/D churches engaging in the Caring Well initiative.

Dooley encouraged messengers and guests to grasp the vision and move forward. He shared an upcoming evangelism emphasis in 2022, including a Maryland/Delaware evangelism conference featuring Johnny Hunt, an author and former BCM/D president and pastor.

In the final message of the day, outgoing BCM/D President Harold Phillips told messengers, “We steward something special … as Maryland/Delaware Baptists, it is our calling to do everything we can to steward life and the giving away of life.”

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