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Utah-Idaho celebrates 40 years ‘For the Glory of the Kingdom’

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (BP)–“For the Glory of the Kingdom,” based on Psalm 145:10-13, was the theme as the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention celebrated its 40th anniversary at First Baptist Church in West Valley City, Utah, Oct. 26-27.

A total of 123 messengers represented 54 churches from across the two-state convention that encompasses 163 churches and missions with 19,300 members.

A 2005 budget of $2,215,509 was approved, an increase of 5.29 percent over the current year. The messengers voted to continue forwarding 21 percent of Cooperative Program contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries.

In other business, Marty Taylor was elected by acclamation to a second term as convention president. Taylor is the minister of music and youth director at Mountain View Baptist Church in Layton, Utah.

Paul Thompson, pastor of Eastside Baptist in Twin Falls, Idaho, received the majority vote for first vice president over Ronnie Thompson, pastor of First Baptist in Payson, Utah. Messengers elected Dan Ozuna, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista Agua Viva in Boise, Idaho, as second vice president. Other nominees were Brian Ashcraft, pastor of South Point Church in Sandy, Utah, and Gordon Mills, pastor of Kingston Baptist Church in Kingston, Idaho. Ruth Burch, a member of Layton Hills Baptist Church in Layton, Utah, was re-elected by acclamation as recording secretary.

Messengers approved a resolution in support of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, declaring that the Utah-Idaho convention affirms any attempts by state or national government for constitutional amendments to define marriage.

Another resolution thanked Earl and Peggy Jackson for 25 years of ministry in Utah and Idaho while he was pastor to the Shoshone-Bannock Native Americans at Fort Hall Baptist Indian Mission and then director of missions for the Eastern Idaho Baptist Association and the Golden Spike Southern Baptist Association.

The 40th anniversary committee used Hebrews 3:4 as the verse to open their presentation of a video clip of the first meeting constituting the two-state convention on Oct. 29, 1964. Each executive director since the convention’s inception was recognized: Charles Ashcraft, 1964-69; Darwin Welsh, 1969-89, who currently is pastor of Alta Canyon Baptist Church in Sandy, Utah; Clyde Billingsley, 1989-94; Jim Harding, 1995-2000, current pastor of First Baptist Church in West Valley City, Utah; and Tim Clark, 2001-present.

Two churches were accepted by acclamation to join the convention: New Hope Fellowship in Clearfield, Utah, and Lakeside Church in Syracuse, Utah.

Four new executive board members were approved: Mack Green, a member of Mountain View Baptist Church in Layton, Utah; Gordon Mills, pastor of Kingston Baptist Church in Kingston, Idaho; Steve Winters, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Idaho Falls, Idaho; and Chris Costa, pastor of University Baptist Church in Boise, Idaho.

The minutes of the 40th annual meeting were dedicated to the memory of Edwin Fast for his many years of lay leadership at Calvary Baptist Church in Idaho Falls and in the Eastern Idaho Southern Baptist Association.

Robert White, executive director of the Georgia Baptist Convention, was the featured speaker for the convention, presenting four theme interpretations on the glory of the Kingdom. White said the heart of a missionary is a willingness to go to the most undesirable place on earth to witness for God. White noted how the Apostle Paul described himself in Romans 1:14-17: “I am debtor … I am ready for … and I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

In one of his messages, White drew from Genesis 2:24-25 to describe God’s plan for the family. First, believers must realize God has a plan for the family as “one man, one wife for life in a godly home.” White said a wife is not a slave but a partner who gives constructive input. Second, a man must leave his father and mother and bond with his wife. God will take care of the new couple, and parents and grandparents need to let them grow in their own struggles, White said. Third, the couple must cleave to one another. The family needs to be cohesive in order to grow as a strong unit. Fourth, husbands and wives must receive one another as they are.

Mike Palmer, pastor of Salmon Valley Baptist Church in Salmon, Idaho, gave the convention sermon. Palmer’s message from Joshua 5:13 told of three things God wants His people to do. Palmer said God wants people to “go where He tells them to go.” Palmer added, “If you are crying out about where you’re at, quit crying or get out and go where God wants you to be.” Next, people should do what God has told them to do –- apt instruction for a pastor, church, association and convention, he said. Lastly, people should do it the way God tells them to do it, not their own way — His way for His glory, Palmer said.

The 2005 meeting will be Oct. 25-26 at Calvary Baptist Church in Idaho Falls.

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  • Bill Pepper