'Be the church,' Colo. Baptists urged

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (BP) -- The Colorado Baptist General Convention approved a budget that designates more than half of Cooperative Program receipts after shared expenses for Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries as messengers gathered around the theme "Be the Church" at the CBGC annual meeting in Centennial.

The proposed budget of $3.7 million is a .2 percent decrease from the current year.

Included in the 2015 budget: $1,986,011 in anticipated CP giving from Colorado's churches, for about 54 percent of the budget; $1.59 million from the North American Mission Board, or 43 percent; and funding from LifeWay Christian Resources along with other designated income.

The convention will continue to forward 50.5 percent of CP receipts to the Southern Baptist Convention's national and international missions and ministries. The budget also includes $166,195 in shared expenses with the SBC, or 8.36 percent of CP receipts.

During their Oct. 13-14 meeting, messengers also adopted budgets for the Baptist Foundation of Colorado and Ponderosa Retreat and Conference Center.

Elected as the convention's 2014-15 officers were: president, Michael Atherton, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Lone Tree; first vice president, Ray Shirley, pastor of Monument Baptist Church in Grand Junction; second vice president, Mike Hensley, pastor of Heart of the Springs Baptist Church in Colorado Springs; and recording secretary, Ginger LeBlanc, executive team ministry assistant at the CBGC.

All the officers were reelected to positions in which they served during 2013-14.

Tracy Simmons, pastor of Christ Community Church in Anchorage, Alaska, led in worship along with the worship team from Community of Grace Church in Centennial, which hosted the meeting.

Atherton told the 135 messengers from 44 churches, "God has called us to be something before He has called us to do something." He added that pastors should pray Ephesians 3:19-20 over their churches daily, asking God to help believers "know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge" and "be filled with all the fullness of God."

Jason K. Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, delivered two messages. Citing 2 Timothy 3:1-4:5 and Luke 16:1-13, he told messengers "the stance of 'status quo' for a church is disastrous."

In his second message Allen said, "Are we exercising faithfulness and generosity? ... The issue is not that your church, convention [or the SBC] need more money ... The issue is more people need Christ."

Joel Bundick, pastor of Community of Grace Church, delivered the annual sermon, in which he preached from John 4:3-4 on worship and forgiveness. He cited the need for worship in spirit and truth.

New pastors and ministers in Colorado churches were introduced: Scott Morter, Arapahoe Road, Centennial; Jeremy Edwards, High View, Woodland Park; Paul Trimble, Bent Tree, Loveland; Ralph Helen, Bent Tree, Loveland; Darrell Morgan, Cornerstone, Lone Tree; Kyle Vatole, Community of Grace, Centennial; Seth Alexander, International Christian Fellowship, Colorado Springs; Tim O'Reiley, International Christian Fellowship, Colorado Springs; Randy Armstrong, Open Range, Craig; and Greg Judy, Mountain View, LaVeta.

New churches welcomed into the convention were: Country Gospel Cowboy Church in Evans, pastor Johnny Lee; Church of the Open Door in Florence, pastor Henry Adams; Elevation Church in Loveland, pastor Angus McKinley; Belmar Baptist Church in Lakewood, pastor Derald Gautier; Bent Tree Church in Loveland, pastor Paul Trimble; and Calvary Baptist Church in Littleton, pastor Dan Freng.

Resolutions expressed appreciation to Community of Grace Church for hosting the meeting, annual meeting speakers and worship leaders and Executive Director Mark Edlund and CBGC staff.

With approximately 43 percent (150 of 357) of Colorado Southern Baptist Churches reporting statistics, there were 1,429 baptisms in the past year and total church membership of 36,133.

The 2015 annual meeting will be held at the Hilton Inn in Ft. Collins Oct. 12-13, 2015. Longs Peak Baptist Association will host the meeting.

Ginger LeBlanc is executive team ministry assistant at the Colorado Baptist General Convention and the convention's recording secretary.
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