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Utah-Idaho Baptists rally to Lottie Moon missions offering

BOISE, Idaho (BP)–A call for churches in the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention to give sacrificially to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions was adopted by messengers to the convention’s annual meeting in Boise.

Messengers passed a 2004 budget of $2,105,554, or 1 percent over the current budget year. The convention will continue to forward 21 percent of Cooperative Program gifts from the churches to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries.

One hundred sixty messengers and 32 visitors from 68 churches attended the Oct. 21-22 sessions at Boise’s Pierce Park Baptist Church.

Three new officers were elected, all by acclamation. Marty Taylor, music director at Mountain View Baptist Church in Layton, Utah, was elected president; Mike Palmer, pastor of Salmon Valley Baptist Church in Salmon, Idaho, first vice president; and Herb Stoneman, outreach pastor for Southeast Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, second vice president. Ann Dayton, a member of Mountain View Baptist, was re-elected recording secretary.

In a resolution on missions, messengers urged prayer for the International Mission Board and for “our churches to support the International Mission Board and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering through prayer and sacrificial giving.

In other resolutions, messengers urged daily prayer for world, national, military and local leaders and dedicated the convention’s minutes to the late Beatrice “Bea” Conrad, Lavoid Robinson and Oliver Lusk.

Conrad served as Women’s Missionary Union consultant for the Utah-Idaho convention for 15 years and was a member of First Baptist Church in Brigham City, Utah. She was described as a “servant of God in our state for over 40 years.”

Robinson was described as a “pioneer in Baptist work” who served as pastor of several churches in Idaho and Utah and as evangelism director for the two-state convention. The resolution noted that he “especially loved, prayed for, and evangelized the Latter-day Saints”

Oliver Lusk was a pastor and chaplain who served on the convention’s executive board.

In other business, Mary McFarling, a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Idaho Falls, made a recommendation to explore a missions partnership with a people group from the Arabian Peninsula.

Also, John Williams of Monticello, Utah, made a motion that the convention establish a fund and solicit the services of a marriage counselor for its pastors, wives and staff. Messengers passed a motion that referred Williams’ motion to the convention’s executive board.

John Avant, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga., was the featured speaker. The convention’s outgoing president, Kirk Casey, preached on the “Kingdom Seeker Church,” referencing Mark 9:14-29. Casey is pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Idaho Falls. Dennis Stoneman, pastor of First Baptist Church in Burley, Idaho, preached the convention sermon.

Next year’s meeting is scheduled for Oct. 26-27 at First Baptist Church in West Valley City, Utah.

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