Ind. Baptists affirm biblical marriage

GREENWOOD, Ind. (BP) -- Indiana Baptists affirmed biblical marriage and increased their Cooperative Program giving to the largest percentage in the group's history at its 56th annual meeting Oct. 20 – 21 at Calvary Baptist Church in Greenwood, Ind.

Stating that they are "sensitive to and challenged by the recent seismic cultural shifts regarding marriage," Indiana Baptists reaffirmed support of Article 18 of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, defining marriage as "the joining of one man and one woman with the promise of being faithful to one another for life."

Indiana Baptists also voted to give the Southern Baptist Convention 39.5 percent of the state's Cooperative Program receipts next fiscal year, topping this year's giving of 39 percent, reported Steve McNeil, communications team leader of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.

The 2015 annual budget of $4,005,176, which messengers approved, anticipates $2,473,013 in Cooperative Program receipts from aligned churches, $697,000 in North American Mission Board church planting funds, $64,000 from LifeWay Christian Resources for church health, and $771,163 from other income sources, primarily fees from events.

In other action, messengers approved the report of the convention's administrative committee and executive leadership team establishing a priority list and action plan to accomplish the convention's mission and vision. Penetrating lostness, church planting and church and leader development are among top priorities, McNeil reported.

The convention planted 29 churches in 2013 and has planted 23 to date this year, reported Bobby Pell, church planting team leader.

A total of 108 professions of faith were received at convention events including the Transformed Women's Retreat, the High Impact Leader Lab, and other camps and conferences this year, McNeil reported.

Convention president Randy Forsythe, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Portage, Ind., opened the meeting with the theme, "Like a Mighty Rushing Wind," calling for revival in convention churches and in the United States.

Newly elected officers are president Darin Garton, senior pastor of Oak Creek Church in Mishawaka; first vice president Bob Parnell, senior pastor of Black Oak Baptist Church in Gary; and second vice president Roger Kinion, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Greenfield.

Convention speakers included Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; outgoing Indiana convention president Randy Forsythe; Reginald Fletcher, pastor of Living Word Church in Indianapolis, who delivered the annual sermon; and Cecil Seagle, convention executive director.

In attendance were 236 registered messengers and 73 guests.

The 2015 annual meeting will be held October 12-13 at the Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis.

Reported by Steve McNeil, communications team leader of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.
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