Nev. Baptists reach variety of cultures
RENO, Nev. (BP)--The Nevada Baptist Convention celebrated its 30th anniversary by welcoming nine new affiliated congregations including Filipino, Hispanic, Vietnamese and Korean churches.
During the meeting at South Reno Baptist Church in Reno Oct. 21-22, 105 messengers from 40 churches voted to accept Filipino International Christian Fellowship in Reno; Lake Tahoe Korean Church in South Lake Tahoe; Renaissance Baptist Church, Nueva Vida Baptist Church and Vietnamese Baptist Church in North Las Vegas; Hana Korean Baptist Church in Las Vegas; and The Way Baptist Fellowship, LifeSong Church and Central Valley Church in Pahrump.
Guest speakers at the convention included author Randy Singer; Fermin Whittaker, executive director of the California Southern Baptist Convention; and Michael Rochelle, pastor of Shadow Hills Baptist Church in Las Vegas.
Rob Boyd, pastor of Green Valley Baptist Church in Henderson, delivered the annual sermon. With Luke 15 as his text, Boyd spoke about transformation, exhorting messengers to seek a renewed burden for unbelievers, a renewed sense of hopefulness and a renewed sense of happiness.
Thane Barnes, the convention's executive director, and Theodore Kern, convention president, also spoke on the theme of "Transforming Head, Heart, Hands" based on Psalm 19:14, which says, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
"We lead the nation in all the bad stuff," Barnes said. "Wouldn't it be something if we could lead the country in spiritual transformation? How do we rebuild a nation, a city, a life? With bank failures, political maneuvering, stock market drops, bailouts.... Do you now feel secure?
"ABC News recently released a poll saying that 88 percent of Americans are worried," Barnes added. "As I was preparing for this message God drew me to a passage just down the page from our theme verse, Psalm 20:7, 'Some boast in chariots, and some in horses; but we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God.'
"A comparison was drawn between the symbols of wealth and power in biblical times and what we depend on for our sense of security today. We don't need to tweak something. We need to break out with a powerful change that only God can bring. We want the prayer meditations and our walk to lead to, and end with, Christ."
Messengers adopted a 2009 budget of $2.8 million, up 3 percent from the current year. The budget includes anticipated Cooperative Program giving of $1,267,804 from Nevada Baptist churches. The convention will allocate 29.5 percent of Cooperative Program receipts to national and international missions and ministries, an allocation increase of .25 percent. Nevada Baptists have increased their percentage of CP giving each year of their convention's existence.
Frank Bushey, pastor of Fellowship Community Church in Reno, was elected president of the convention; Mark Morton, pastor of Granite Hills Baptist Church in Stead, was elected first vice president; and Chris Miller, associate pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Fallon, was elected second vice president.
The Nevada Baptist Convention has 201 churches and missions with more than 34,000 members.
Next year's annual meeting will be Oct. 20-21 at Spring Valley Baptist Church in Las Vegas.
Sandy Farnham is editor of The Nevada Baptist newsjournal.