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W.Va. Baptists increase budget

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (BP)–The West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists convened at Westmoreland Baptist Church in Huntington to hear reports from state convention and Southern Baptist Convention leaders.

The theme was “Turning Our Hearts Back to God,” and 159 messengers conducted business on behalf of the state’s 212 churches and missions.

At the Nov. 6-7 meeting, Frank Page of the North American Mission Board spoke on Southern Baptists’ national evangelism strategy God’s Plan for Sharing and Jimmy Bledsoe, evangelism director for the West Virginia convention, explained how Baptists will be attempting to share the Gospel with every household in the state next spring.

Craig Culbreth, partnership missions director for the Florida Baptist Convention, reported that more than 400 volunteers from Florida churches had traveled to West Virginia since the partnership began.

R. Philip Roberts, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, preached from 2 Chronicles 7:14 and challenged messengers to trust God and obey Him. Terry Harper, executive director of the West Virginia convention, emphasized repentance during his address. The convention sermon was delivered by Jack Miller, pastor of West Ripley Baptist Church in Ripley.

Messengers approved an overall budget of $2,882,579 for 2010, an increase of 1.5 percent. From $1.3 million in anticipated Cooperative Program giving from West Virginia churches, the convention will continue to forward 38 percent to national and international missions and ministries.

Seth Polk, pastor of Cross Lanes Baptist Church in Cross Lanes, was elected president of the convention; Todd Hill, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Parkersburg, first vice president; Greg Varndell, pastor of Fairlawn Baptist Church in Parkersburg, second vice president; and Helen Mellquist, a member of First Southern Baptist Church in Fairmont, recording secretary.

Three churches were received into the West Virginia convention at the annual meeting.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 5-6 at First Baptist Church Fairlea in Ronceverte.
Based on reporting by the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists.

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