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Utah-Idaho Baptists highlight missions

LAYTON, Utah (BP)–Messengers to the 43rd annual meeting of the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention focused on the theme “The Great Commission — Bridging the Gap.”

A total of 119 messengers from 44 churches in Idaho and Utah gathered at Layton Hills Baptist Church in Layton, Utah, Oct. 19-20. The convention has about 150 churches and missions with nearly 20,000 members.

Messengers approved a 2011 budget of $2,480,080, down 1.8 percent from the current year, which represents a reduced goal for the York-Dillman State Missions Offering. The convention will continue to forward 25 percent of an anticipated $915,136 in Cooperative Program receipts to Southern Baptists’ national and international missions and ministries.

James Gregory, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Mountain Home, Idaho, was re-elected convention president by acclamation. Elected as new officers, also by acclamation, were Jim Panagoplos, pastor of First Baptist Church in Roy, Utah, first vice president, and Kirk Baker, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Idaho Falls, Idaho, elected second vice president. Arie Sparkman, a member of Desert Springs Fellowship in Kuna, Idaho, was re-elected recording secretary.

In a resolution, messengers recognized James Harding for 34 years of ministry in Utah and Idaho, including five years as executive director of the convention and 10 years as a religious education consultant. In another resolution, the convention proclaimed that its churches are “on mission with the Great Commission.”

Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 25-26 at Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Based on a report by Bill Pepper of the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention.

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