Alaska Baptists begin partnership, endorse SBC's boycott of Disney

JUNEAU, Alaska (BP)--The Alaska Baptist Convention, in its 52nd annual convention Aug. 5-6 in Juneau, highlighted a partnership linking Baptists in Alaska and Far East Russia slated to begin next year.

Messengers at the convention also endorsed the Southern Baptist Convention resolution adopted in June for a boycott of The Disney Company for moral stewardship reasons in light of the entertainment conglomerate's anti-family direction.

Messenger registration totaled 113, representing the 67 churches and 25 missions in the convention. Total convention attendance was about 200.

In the upcoming partnership, Randy Covington will be the coordinator on the Russian front for volunteer mission projects. Covington and his wife, Robin, are two of the three career missionaries appointed by the International Mission Board to Far East Russia.

Covington was born and reared in Alaska and is known across the state after having served in staff positions in several Alaska churches prior to being appointed as an IMB missionary.

Messengers approved a 1998 budget of $1,662,249, a 4 percent increase over the current year.

In Cooperative Program giving from Alaska churches, $568,000 is anticipated, with 33 percent to be sent on to the SBC for world missions, the same percent as the current year.

Wally Smith, pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Fairbanks, was re- elected as president by acclamation. Marvin Owen, pastor of First Baptist Church, Anchorage, was elected first vice president and Royce Christmas, pastor of Glacier Valley Baptist Church, Juneau, was elected second vice president.

In addition to a resolution supporting the SBC's Disney resolution, messengers approved resolutions commending state legislators for a ban on partial-birth abortion and a requirement for parental consent for abortion on a minor in Alaska; for recognizing home schooling as a legitimate form of education and allowing home-schooled children the use of publicly funded facilities; and for setting aside the first Thursday of May of each year as a Day of Prayer in Alaska, in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer.

The theme of this year's meeting, held at Juneau's Chapel by the Lake Presbyterian Church, was "Will You Start Something New?"

Next year's meeting will be Aug. 11-12 at Fairbanks' University Baptist Church.

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