Iowa Baptists thank disaster relief workers

DES MOINES, Iowa (BP)--Familiar yellow Southern Baptist disaster relief shirts and hats were prominent at the 13th annual session of the Baptist Convention of Iowa Nov. 14-15 as messengers thanked more than 60 workers who were among those who responded to the state's widespread flooding during the past year.

Jimmy Barrentine, the convention's executive director, and Ty Berry, the evangelism and pastoral care team leader, presented pins and certificates to the volunteers and to churches that hosted them. Berry said a total of 144 Iowans had served in disaster relief efforts in 2008.

Five new congregations seated messengers during the meeting: Cathedral of Faith Baptist Church in Waterloo; True Bible Baptist Church in Des Moines; Waukee Hispanic Church in Waukee; Westwind Church in Waukee; and Word of Life Baptist Church in Davenport.

Crossroads Community Church in Grimes and Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Council Bluffs hosted the meeting at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Des Moines. The meeting's theme was "Reach Out to Others," derived from the convention's five-year strategy plan.

A team from Shiloh Baptist Church in Waterloo led in music, and messengers used new Baptist Hymnals on loan from LifeWay Christian Resources.

Bob Stout, the convention president and pastor of Quimby (Iowa) Baptist Church, preached from Joshua 14:6-12 on Caleb's promise.

Max Carmichael, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Leon, delivered the annual sermon with an evangelism emphasis based on Isaiah 6:1-6 and Hebrews 2:1-4. Carmichael is the longest tenured current pastor in the state, having served since 1976.

Messengers approved a 2009 budget of $1,744,068, up 2 percent from the current year. The budget includes anticipated Cooperative Program giving of $566,442 from the convention's 100 churches and missions with a combined membership of 13,644. The allocation of CP gifts will continue at 80 percent for Iowa outreach and 20 percent for Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries.

Attendance at the annual meeting included 129 messengers from 51 churches as well as 30 guests. Barrentine and the convention staff presented recognition certificates to several churches for high achievement in missions giving and baptisms.

Messengers heard reports from Will Hall of the SBC Executive Committee; R. Philip Roberts of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Jeff Sparks of LifeWay Christian Resources; Tom and Judi Kent of the International Mission Board; Mike Harris of GuideStone Financial Resources; and Chris Emery of the North American Mission Board.

Dan Wiersema, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, was elected president; Ted Keys, pastor of Community Southern Baptist Church in Waterloo, was elected first vice president; Eugene Guthrie, pastor of Crestwood Baptist Church in Des Moines, was elected second vice president; and Jean Johnson, a member of Rolling Hills Community Church in Ft. Dodge, was elected secretary. All were nominated without opposition and elected by acclamation.

Through a resolution, this year's annual meeting was dedicated to retired North American missionaries Richard and Lois Lamborn of Winterset and Ross Harmonson of Spencer. Another resolution expressed appreciation for the ministry partnership Iowans enjoy with the Southern Baptist Convention and its entities.

Iowa Baptists voted to dissolve the resolutions committee and refer resolutions activity to the administrative committee of the executive board in the future.

Next year's annual meeting will be Nov. 6-7 at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Des Moines, hosted by Waukee Baptist Church and Crest Baptist Church in Creston.


Richard Nations is editor of the Iowa Baptist newspaper.

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