SANDUSKY, Ohio (BP) -- Ohio Baptists celebrated 44 church starts and heard an address by Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter during their 59th annual meeting in Sandusky.
The new church plants include seven language groups and two primarily African American congregations, joining the 241 new churches that Ohio Baptists have planted the past 15 years, reaching a total of some 700 churches in the state.
Luter challenged Ohio Baptists to share the Gospel with a lost and dying world in his message "The Transforming Power of the Gospel," drawn from Romans 1:16-17. Reflecting the annual meeting theme "Mission Ohio: An Unchanging Mission in a Changing World," Luter proclaimed the Gospel as personal, powerful, practical and persistent.
The convention presented a Church Planting Achievement Award to Jim Mayes, retiring as associational missionary for the Buckeye Erie Baptist Association. The number of churches in Buckeye Erie doubled during Mayes' tenure.
In business sessions, messengers adopted a $4,371,479 budget for 2013 for the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio, anticipating $2,629,445 in Cooperative Program receipts from its churches. Messengers allocated 40.25 of CP receipts, or $1,771,330, to national and international SBC ministries, the same percentage as in 2012. The state budget does not utilize any SCBO/SBC shared expenses designation.
Through the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists support mission work from "Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" simultaneously, SCBO Executive Director Jack Kwok told the Nov. 7-8 convention.
Several Ohio Southern Baptist churches helped Ohio's Northcoast Baptist Association in Intensive Mission Projects to Affect Community Transformation (IMPACT) and as a result, many Northcoast churches are reporting professions of faith and new church starts, messengers were told.
In preparing for the next IMPACT outreach, targeting the Northwest Baptist Association, messengers prayed for Northwest associational missionary Steve Long and church pastors and members in the region. Those interested in supporting IMPACT 2013 may find details at www.scbo.org
Kwok and Randy Davis, executive director for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, signed a partnership agreement between the Tennessee and Ohio conventions.
Messengers adopted a resolution affirming Ohio's partnership with the North American Mission Board and agreeing to pray for NAMB's leaders. (The full text of the resolution follows this story.) In another resolution, Ohio Baptists voiced support for the SBC's Resolution on Marriage and Civil Rights.
Messengers re-elected the full slate of officers: president, Mike Wilson, pastor of the Lincoln Heights Baptist Church in Mansfield; first vice president, Mark Stinson, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Cambridge; and second vice president, James Edwards, pastor of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Bedford Heights. Also elected were recording secretary Faye Rodgers; assistant recording secretary Annett Dessecker; and historian Kwok.
In his presidential address, Wilson preached on "An Unchanging Message in a Changing World," reminding Ohio Baptists that while the Gospel is an exclusive message, offensive, abrasive and foolish to the world, it is to Christians the power of God to salvation.
David Starry, pastor of Vandalia First Baptist Church, delivered the annual sermon from Romans 12:1-2, exhorting messengers to wholly give their lives to the Lord in sacrifice and worship.
Messengers awarded Guy Morton the 2012 Darty Stowe Award in absentia and applauded national Bible drill winner Julia Bonifield, a member of the Kettering First Baptist Church in the Greater Dayton Baptist Association.
The 2013 meeting is scheduled Nov. 6-7, at the French Quarter Holiday Inn in Perrysburg. Rick Williams, pastor of Violet Baptist Church in Pickerington, is scheduled to preach the 2013 annual meeting sermon, with alternate Rick Shoemaker, pastor of New Carlisle First Baptist Church.
Adapted from a report by the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio.Affirmation of Partnership with the North American Mission Board
Whereas, The State Convention of Baptists in Ohio has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with the Home Mission Board and the North American Mission Board since the 1950's; and
Whereas, The partnership of the North American Mission Board has provided strong assistance in the starting of churches across Ohio; and
Whereas, Leadership of the North American Mission Board heard and responded to concerns voiced in a resolution of the 58th Annual Meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio; and
Whereas, The North American Mission Board earlier requested that the ratio of joint funding move from the current 62% NAMB and 38% Ohio ratio to a 55% NAMB and 45% Ohio ratio and later to a 50/50 ratio; and
Whereas, The North American Mission Board recently revisited the calculation of jointly funded ratios and determined to move those ratios to a financial basis of Cooperative Program gifts utilized within a state; and
Whereas, The new calculations for the joint funding ratio which move to a 75% NAMB and 25% Ohio ratio in 2013 are beneficial for Ohio by eliminating the earlier announced additional budget reduction from NAMB; and
Whereas, the millions of lost people in the state places Ohio as an under-reached and underserved area for the gospel of Christ; and
Whereas, Missionaries of the North American Mission Board continue to serve as an integral part of Mission Ohio in a number of ministries across the state; and
Whereas, The North American Mission Board has named Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland as SEND North America cities and serves as a key partner in church planting and promotes partnership development for church planting in those cities; and
Whereas, The North American Mission Board continues to serve as a partner in church planting and other joint ministries throughout the state of Ohio; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the messengers of the 59th Annual Meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio meeting in Sandusky, Ohio, affirm to pray for the president, vice-presidents, trustees, and employees of the North American Mission Board as they continue in leadership to work with partners across North America to help reach people for Christ; and be it further
Resolved, That we count it a privilege for Ohio Baptists to have the partnership of the North American Mission Board as we seek to reach people for Christ and work together to fulfill the Great Commission.