WRAP-UP: W.Va. Baptists focus on prayer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (BP)--West Virginia Baptists gathered to celebrate "A Year of Prayer and Spiritual Awakening" at Westview Baptist Church in Martinsburg Nov. 2-3.

Local missionaries or their representatives from each of West Virginia's 10 Baptist associations led messengers in "Celebrating 300 Years of Cooperation though the Association." Two or more of the associations were featured as part of the opening worship for each of the four sessions. Though each report was unique, all focused on God's work in a particular region of the state.

Total attendance at the 37th annual meeting was 189, including 132 registered messengers from the approximately 200 churches affiliated with the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists.

After the annual meeting, the convention hosted the West Virginia Prayer Conference with the theme "Broken Before the Throne." About 500 people attended various sessions of the Nov. 3-11 prayer emphasis, which featured Henry Blackaby, Sammy Tippit, T.W. Hunt and others as speakers.

From an anticipated $1.3 million in Cooperative Program giving from West Virginia churches in the coming year, messengers voted to continue sending 38 percent to national and international missions and ministries of the SBC. The convention's overall 2008 budget, meanwhile, will be a record $2,754,411, up $80,899 over the current budget, including CP receipts and other income.

Tim Kearney, a member of Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Scott Depot, was elected president of the convention over Cledith Campbell, pastor of Altizer Baptist Church in Huntington.

Other officers were elected without opposition: Seth Polk, pastor of Cross Lanes Baptist Church in Cross Lanes, first vice president, and Todd Hill, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Parkersburg, second vice president.

Helen Melquist, a pastor's wife from First Southern Baptist Church in Fairmont, was elected recording secretary, replacing Fred Morgan, a layman from Fairlawn Baptist Church in Parkersburg, who declined to be re-elected after serving in the role for the last 11 years.

Messengers approved a resolution expressing appreciation for the convention officers and staff as well as resolutions the service of two new retirees from the West Virginia staff: Kay Boyd, an administrative assistant, and Tom Young, director of music and family.

They also passed a resolution on prayer and expressed appreciation for the troops involved in the global war on terror. Another resolution thanked the Florida Baptist Convention for their ongoing missions partnership.

Next year's annual meeting will be Nov. 7-8 at Fairlawn Baptist Church in Parkersburg.


John Adams is editor of the West Virginia Southern Baptist newsjournal.

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