CEREDO, W.Va. (BP) — Messengers to the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists called for an end to public funding of Planned Parenthood and increased the percentage of Cooperative Program receipts they will forward to Southern Baptist Convention causes.
Meeting Nov. 5-6 at First Baptist Church in Ceredo, W.Va., 163 messengers and 29 guests celebrated the convention’s 45th annual meeting by welcoming executive director William Henard, who was elected Sept. 12 by the WVCSB executive board.
The 2016 budget of $2.5 million marks a 4 percent increase from this year’s budget. Some $1.2 million in anticipated CP receipts from churches will be supplemented by $1.1 million from the North American Mission Board and $55,000 from LifeWay Christian Resources.
Forty percent of CP receipts will be forwarded to SBC missions and ministries in North America and across the globe, a .5-percentage-point increase from 2015. The remaining 60 percent will be used for West Virginia missions and ministries. The budget includes no shared ministry expenses.
Under the theme “partnering together: from the mountains to the nations” based on 1 Chronicles 16:31, the convention heard a message from SBC President Ronnie Floyd on Thursday night. Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, challenged messengers to seek a movement of God through an unwavering commitment to prayer.
Elected as officers were: president, Ron McCoy, director of missions for the Upper Ohio Valley Baptist Association in Moundsville; first vice president, Todd Hill, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Parkersburg; second vice president, Paul Harris, pastor of Abundant Hope Baptist Church in Barboursville; and recording secretary, Jim Messenger, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in West Union.
All officer nominees ran unopposed except Harris, who defeated two other candidates for second vice president.
Two resolutions were adopted. One addressed the escalating drug abuse problem in West Virginia, with messengers vowing to “dedicate ourselves to active involvement in the effort to rid our country of drug abuse” and calling for “our Christian leaders and entities of the Southern Baptist Convention to minister to those harmed by drug abuse.”
The second resolution called for “an end to any and all public funding for Planned Parenthood.”
Messengers heard sermons from Bobby Thomas, pastor of Indian Creek Baptist Church in Middlebourne, W.Va., and John Freeman, outgoing convention president and pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Chapmanville, W.Va.
Henard challenged messengers to reach the 1.3 million unchurched people in West Virginia for Christ, calling the convention to prioritize church evangelism, church revitalization and church planting. Drawing from Proverbs 29:18, Henard urged messengers to set a vision that welcomed biblical parameters, visualized new possibilities, cultivated effective partnerships, set clear priorities and built evaluative processes.
The convention includes 223 cooperating churches with more than 20,000 total members. The 2016 annual meeting will occur Nov. 3-4 in Wheeling.