2017 State Annual Meeting Reports

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  • Sermon in Spanish marks a first for Fla. convention

    by Keila Diaz & Nicole Kalil, posted Friday, December 01, 2017 (12 days ago)

    Photo from Facebook
    BRANDON, Fla. (BP) -- With the theme "Eyes on Eternity," messengers and visitors at the Florida Baptist State Convention heard testimonies of the cooperative work taking place across the state.

    Many were grateful for the disaster assistance that quickly came following hurricanes Irma and Maria while others expressed their gratitude for Florida Baptist Convention partnerships that led to ministry and revitalization in communities around the Sunshine State.

    For the first time in the history of the Florida Baptist Convention annual meeting, the convention sermon was preached in Spanish with simultaneous English translation. Carlos Tellez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Coral Park in Miami, preached a sermon encouraging all to place their eyes on eternity and focus on sharing the Gospel with as many people as possible. Read More

  • Ohio Baptists hold to 50-50 SBC distribution

    by SCBO & BP Staff, posted Thursday, November 30, 2017 (13 days ago)

    Photo courtesy of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio
    CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (BP) -- With the sound of the "Ray Roberts Gavel" -- honoring a former State Convention of Baptists in Ohio executive director for whom the state missions offering is named -- SBCO President David Starry called the convention's 64th annual meeting to order Nov. 8.

    The meeting was hosted by Chillicothe Baptist Church whose pastor Timothy Cline welcomed the 260-plus participants.

    Starry, pastor of Vandalia First Baptist Church, chose the theme "Mission Ohio: Moving Forward with Your Head Up" to guide the one-day meeting in historic Chillicothe, the first capital of Ohio. Read More

  • Responding to God's call focus of BGAV

    by Nathan White, posted Wednesday, November 29, 2017 (14 days ago)

    BGAV photo
    HAMPTON, Va. (BP) -- The Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) focused on how individuals and churches can respond to God's call during literal and figurative storms of life at its 194th annual meeting Nov. 13-15 in Hampton, Va.

    During evening worship Nov. 13 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, BGAV Executive Director John Upton set the tone by interpreting the event's theme, "God's Call ... Now What?" Upton invited attendees to consider the courage and excitement of the first disciples in Matthew 4:18-22, who left everything they knew to follow Jesus. Read More

  • La. Baptists urge prayer, 'aggressive going'

    by Brian Blackwell/Baptist Message, posted Wednesday, November 29, 2017 (14 days ago)

    Photo by Philip Timothy/Baptist Message
    BATON ROUGE, La. (BP) -- The time for a spiritual harvest has arrived, Louisiana Baptists were reminded during the 2017 LBC Annual Meeting Nov. 13-14 at Istrouma Baptist Church.

    Amid the largest statewide evangelism effort by Louisiana Baptists on record, 873 congregations have signed on through Nov. 15 to participate in a commitment to "pray for every home and share Christ with every person."

    After two years of developing a strategy, enlisting churches and piloting methods, a strong push will take place in 2018 for concentrated prayer and intentional soul-winning. The cooperative effort includes a diversity of mass evangelism strategies as well as one-on-one evangelism approaches: multi-church crusades, door-to-door outreach, one-on-one evangelism, single-church revivals and other activities which leverage compassion ministries to share about the love of Christ. Read More

  • Ariz. So. Baptists increase CP, report church planting

    by Elizabeth Young, posted Tuesday, November 28, 2017 (15 days ago)

    Photo by Lainee Pegelow
    TUCSON, Ariz. (BP) -- During their 89th annual meeting, Arizona Southern Baptists were challenged to multiply disciples, leaders and churches for the sake of the lost in their cities. Looking beyond Arizona, messengers adopted a 2018 budget that will send more to Southern Baptist Convention causes.

    "Multiply" was the theme of the meeting held at First Southern Baptist Church of Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 17. It was attended by 243 messengers and 36 registered guests from 99 of Arizona Southern Baptists' 460 churches. Read More

  • Ga. Baptists honor White; add college budget goals

    by Joe Westbury/The Christian Index, posted Tuesday, November 28, 2017 (15 days ago)

    Photo by Scott Barkley/Christian Index
    LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (BP) -- Messengers to the 196th annual meeting of the Georgia Baptist Convention recognized J. Robert White on his 25th anniversary as GBC executive director, approved a $41.2 million budget and collected more than 34,000 backpacks for needy children.

    Messengers gathered at North Metro First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville for the Nov. 13-14 meeting, which was preceded by the Sunday evening Inspirational Rally where International Mission Board President David Platt, an Atlanta native, spoke. Read More

  • Ala. Baptists spotlight CP, Samford relationship

    by Alabama Baptist staff, posted Tuesday, November 28, 2017 (15 days ago)

    Photo by Maggie Walsh/courtesy of The Alabama Baptist
    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (BP) -- For several years, the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM) has been leading the Alabama Baptist State Convention (ABSC) to move its budget toward a 50–50 split of funds with Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministry causes. What started out as a gradual goal was accomplished this year as Samford University in Birmingham withdrew from state convention funding, freeing up $3.5 million.

    With that in mind, messengers to the annual meeting Nov. 14-15 at Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala., unanimously approved a $37 million budget for 2018 -- $3 million less than the current year's $40 million budget to be more in line with current giving receipts. Read More

  • Ark. Baptists begin new CP formula for SBC causes

    by Arkansas Baptist News Staff, posted Monday, November 27, 2017 (16 days ago)

    Arkansas Baptist News photo
    RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (BP) -- At the 164th annual meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, with "Encourage to Engage" as its theme, ministers and laypeople worshiped, prayed, elected officers, conducted business, approved resolutions, enjoyed fellowship and heard inspirational messages.

    ABSC leaders reported 549 messengers from churches across the state registered for the Nov. 7-8 ABSC sessions at First Baptist Church in Russellville. Read More

  • Illinois churches prepare for new ministry frontiers

    by Meredith Flynn, Lisa Misner Sergent & Eric Reed, posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 (22 days ago)

    Illinois Baptist photo
    DECATUR, Ill. (BP) -- The urgent need to get the Gospel to more people was a driving theme of the 111th annual meeting of the Illinois Baptist State Association, with churches challenged to make four "Pioneering Spirit" commitments in the areas of church planting, evangelism, giving and leadership development.

    The Pioneering Spirit theme also coincides with Illinois' 200th anniversary to be celebrated in 2018. In keeping with the state's bicentennial, IBSA is asking 200 or more churches to make each of the four commitments. Read More

  • Tenn. Baptists adopt resolution against racism

    by Lonnie Wilkey & David Dawson, posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 (22 days ago)

    Baptist and Reflector photo
    HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Messengers to the Tennessee Baptist Convention's annual meeting overwhelmingly spoke against racism during the Nov. 12-16 sessions of The Summit at First Baptist Church in Henderson.

    David Leavell, pastor of First Baptist Church in Millington in West Tennessee, was elected president during the meeting, which drew 993 messengers from 422 churches.

    The total did not include eight messengers from First Baptist Church in Jefferson City, as the convention voted overwhelmingly not to seat those from the church, which called a woman as senior pastor earlier this year. See Baptist Press story on Tuesday, Nov. 14 Read More