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West Virginia Baptists hear of ‘Miracles in the Mountains’

ELKINS, W. Va. (BP)–Miracles in the Mountains was more than the theme of the 29th annual meeting of the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists. Over 350 messengers and visitors celebrated the miracles God has wrought in their midst during this past year. The atmosphere of the convention was one of excitement and celebration mixed with a strong measure of gratitude to the Lord.
On Friday night, Paige Patterson, president of both the Southern Baptist Convention and the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, challenged everyone to begin the next 60 days by praying for a daily opportunity to share Christ. The aisles and the front of the auditorium were filled with messengers and visitors kneeling in prayer and commitment.
God’s blessings were evident in the celebration of missions. Sixteen new works were started — four times the annual number of church starts from just a few years before. Over 4,300 mission volunteers came to West Virginia from South Carolina and other states. Our partnership with South Carolina Baptists was extended for two years to run through December 2001.
The convention adopted a budget of $2,032,810. Missions giving was raised again as West Virginia Southern Baptists increased the portion of Cooperative Program going to world missions through the SBC to 36 percent, an increase from the current 35.5 percent. The overall SBC portion of the Cooperative Program giving has risen over 24 percent in the last three years.
God’s blessings were evident in the celebration of opportunity. Several new ministry opportunities have been launched. Celebrate Jesus 2000 is an opportunity for churches and West Virginia Southern Baptists to use simultaneous revivals, door-to-door witnessing and prayer, block parties, and much more to reach every person in our state with the gospel over the next two years. The Mountaineer Mission Corps is an opportunity for West Virginians to minister to their fellow West Virginians in volunteer mission projects. The Appalachian Mountain Ministry is a new consortium of nine state conventions along the Appalachian Trail to reach this entire region for Christ.
Elected as new officers for the WVCSB were Kenny Stidhem, pastor of Good Shepherd Southern Baptist Church, Scott Depot, president; Don Yeager, pastor of Fairlawn Baptist Church, Parkersburg, first vice president; Richard Carbaugh, pastor of Grandview Baptist Church, Daniels, second vice president; and Fred Morgan, layman from Fairlawn Baptist Church, Parkersburg, secretary/clerk.
The 1999 Convention will be held at First Baptist Church, Princeton, Nov. 5-6.