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WRAP-UP: Messengers at Utah-Idaho meeting urged toward heavenly mindset

BURLEY, Idaho (BP)–Messengers to the 43rd annual meeting of the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention focused on the theme “A Heavenly Quest,” based on Colossians 3:1.

The Oct. 23-24 meeting convened just weeks after the resignation of executive director Tim Clark, who led the way in developing strategies in church planting, evangelism and church health.

Geoff Hammond, president of the North American Mission Board, delivered the opening message from 1 Peter 4:7-11. Hammond urged messengers to stand in prayer and to be clear-minded and stable for the purpose of prayer. Believers are to be fervent in their love for one another, he said, because love covers a multitude of sins.

Believers also are to be friendly to strangers without complaint. Hammond said most churches are “stranger neutral” or “stranger unfriendly.” Finally, believers are to employ their gifts in service to one another with the that strength Christ provides, the mission board president said.

Outgoing convention president Rodger Russell, pastor of Holladay Baptist Church in Holladay, Utah, spoke from 1 Corinthians 3 about strengthening and encouraging one another to keep maturing in the faith.

Scott Hanberry, pastor of NorthStar Church in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, delivered the convention sermon from Colossians 3:1-4. A heavenly vision allows believers to understand what it is like on the other side, he said, and it provides a Kingdom perspective which leads to a missional mindset.

Hanberry described three groups of church members: those taking the lost to Jesus, those standing in the way of a lost person coming to Jesus, and the lost man. He asked messengers to decided which best described them.

Paul Thompson, pastor of Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho, was elected president, and John Williams, pastor of First Baptist Church in Monticello, Utah, was elected first vice president, both by acclamation.

Dan Ozuna, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Agua Viva in Caldwell, Idaho, and Dave Carver, youth minister at First Baptist Church in Burley, were nominated for second vice president, and Ozuna was re-elected to the post by a ballot vote. Ruth Burch, a member of Layton Hills Baptist in Layton, Utah, was re-elected recording secretary by acclamation.

From an anticipated $913,943 in Cooperative Program giving from Utah-Idaho churches in the coming year, the convention will continue to forward 21.5 percent to national and international missions and ministries of the SBC. The convention’s overall budget approved for 2008 is $2,446,089, up 5.38 percent over the current budget.

Clark, Utah-Idaho’s executive director since 2001, resigned Sept. 5. He had played a key role in preparations for Southern Baptist work during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and had led the state convention staff in developing their core values, mission and vision statements.

The Utah-Idaho convention’s partnership with the Oklahoma Baptist General Convention was forged under Clark’s leadership in 2006, as was a partnership with the Arabian Peninsula that has included two mission trips to the region.

The convention’s annual Cooperative Program budget increased by about $200,000 during his tenure, and the number of churches and missions in the convention grew from 148 to 154.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 21 at Holladay Baptist Church in Salt Lake City.
Based on a report by Bill Pepper of the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention.

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