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Wyo. Baptists urge prayer for nation

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (BP)–Messengers to the 25th annual meeting of the Wyoming Southern Baptist Convention at Sunnyside Baptist Church in Cheyenne Nov. 13-14 encouraged prayer for the United States in days of uncertainty and of a political transition of power.

“In recent months our nation has experienced turmoil in the stock market, the housing market, the job market; and our national economy,” messengers noted in a resolution, adding, “Over the decades, our nation’s moral values have also eroded; and our nation needs forgiveness and healing from God.”

The resolution called on churches “to pray for our newly elected president, his cabinet, our nation’s legislators, both in the Senate and House of Representatives, our federal judges, our Supreme Court justices and all those that lead our nation that God will impart His wisdom and discernment.”

The theme for this year’s convention was “Keep ablaze the gift of God … in power, love and sound judgment,” based on 2 Timothy 1:6-7. The meetings were filled with testimony of the activity of God across Wyoming and with messages from God’s Word that challenged the audience to pursue God in the days to come. Attendance at the annual meeting included 107 messengers and 30 guests.

Messengers approved an overall budget of $1,474,576 for 2009, which is the same amount as the current budget. Anticipated Cooperative Program giving from Wyoming churches was set at $607,024, up from $564,265 in 2008, and the percentage forwarded to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries remains at 32.5 percent.

Dave Stillie, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Rawlins, was reelected to a second term as the convention’s president. Stillie and has been active in several ministries including disaster relief chaplaincy and the state executive board.

Buddy Hanson, pastor of Mountain View Baptist Church in Casper, was reelected first vice president, and Max Janzen, pastor of Sunnyside Baptist Church in Cheyenne, was elected second vice president.

Messengers approved changes in the convention’s constitution and bylaws to conform with changes in the executive board structure of strategic workgroups as well as some changes to the WSBC Foundation constitution and bylaws to bring clarity to their work.

Representatives from various Southern Baptist Convention entities delivered reports on ways God is using Southern Baptists’ cooperative efforts in ministry. Reports by the state convention’s nominating committee and committee on committees were received and approved.

Bil Milligan, worship pastor at Sunnyside Baptist, coordinated the worship during the gathering, using the church’s praise team, youth from a Christian school that meets at the church, as well as a senior adult choir and a choir and orchestra assembled for the annual meeting. The schedule included three times of extended prayer for the state convention and for revival and spiritual awakening.

Messages from God’s Word were positioned throughout the sessions to focus attention on biblical mandates that should be given priority. Craig Cagle, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Wheatland, delivered the annual sermon, focusing on the need for the filling of the Holy Spirit to empower ministry.

During the executive director’s address, Lynn Nikkel called attention to the need to pursue ministry with confidence even in uncertain times. Stillie, the convention president, gave the closing message on being salt in the world with power that transforms lives.

Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 12-13 at College Heights Baptist Church in Casper.
Lynn Nikkel is executive director of the Wyoming Southern Baptist Convention.

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