WV Baptists Celebrate ‘A New Day’
Focusing an entire season themed as A New Day, the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists called their 46th annual meeting to order at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Wheeling Triadelphia at The Highlands, in Triadelphia, WV, November 3-4, 2016.
155 registered messengers and 48 guests gathered representing a total of 57 churches.
A New Day
A New Day is based on Amos 5:4-6, “Thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: ‘Do not seek Bethel, and do not enter into Gilgal; or cross over to Beersheba… Seek the Lord and live!’”
Each of these places represent where God had moved mightily, but Israel fell into the trap of thinking about God’s mighty movements as a thing of the past. God reminds us that His saving acts are not simply a thing of the past. We should seek them in the present.
“West Virginia Southern Baptists celebrate God’s past faithfulness, but believe the state’s best days are ahead. The unity among our associational DOM’s, pastors, and the state convention is unprecedented. There is nothing more beautiful than when a convention of God’s people work together. It truly is a new day,” said Dr. Bill Henard, WVCSB Executive Director-Treasurer.
Attendees were challenged throughout times of worship, prayer, fellowship, and instruction to pull together, expect great things of God, and attempt great things for God as Southern Baptists rebuild West Virginia after the recent flood disaster, continue to develop leaders, and make Jesus known.
Strengthen and Send
Dr. Henard and the state’s three new strategists, Cleve Persinger (Partnerships and Communication), Danny Rumple (Missions and Church Planting), and Tim Turner (Evangelism and Discipleship) presented a new mission and goals to usher West Virginia Southern Baptists to their 50th anniversary in 2020:
Strengthening and sending churches to make Jesus known in and through West Virginia
Everything the convention does to support its over 200 churches will be evaluated by two parameters: strengthen and send. They are committed to strengthening churches and sending Christians in and through West Virginia, to the ends of the earth, .
2020 Goals will drive the focus over the next four years, in order to position WVCSB well for their next 50 years, and include the following:
- Churches involved in church planting = 25%
- Success rate of church plants = 90%
- Additional Acts 1:8 partnerships in state, between states, and globally
- 5% increase in baptisms per year (of churches reporting)
- One successful revitalization, in process, in every association
Orders of Business
Messengers approved the only presented resolution, affirming thanks for the city of Wheeling and the Upper Ohio Valley Baptist Association for their hospitality in hosting the Annual Convention.
The convention unanimously adopted the 2017 budget of $2,504,244, an increase of 18% from the current year. Included in the 2017 budget: $1,197,833 in anticipated Cooperative Program giving from WVCSB churches, with a continued 60/40 split between WVCSB and SBC causes; $1,141,000 in anticipated funding from the North American Mission Board; and $55,000 anticipated from LifeWay Christian Resources.
All four current convention officers were re-elected to their respective positions: Ron McCoy, Associational Missionary for the Upper Ohio Valley Association, as President; Todd Hill, Pastor of Grace Baptist in Parkersburg, as First Vice-President; Paul Harris, Pastor of Abundant Hope Church in Barboursville, as Second Vice-President; and Jim Messenger, Pastor of Faith Baptist in West Union, as Recording Secretary.
The president’s message was delivered by Ron McCoy who affirmed, “It’s a new day,” and challenged, “We need a spirit of cooperation to take this state for the gospel. There’s no reason West Virginia cannot be the epicenter of revival in our nation.” CJ Adkins, Pastor of Westmoreland Baptist Church in Huntington, delivered the convention message, and reminded, “We have a resource in difficult times. The Almighty God is our strength.”
Guest speakers included Mark Dance, Director of LifeWay Pastors, who charged pastors to “stop and rest,” and Dr. Tommy Green, Executive Director-Treasurer for the Florida Baptist Convention.
Dr. Green closed the convention by calling WVCSB pastors to pray for one another, forgive the past, and seek God. “The gospel of Jesus Christ is what brings us together. If we’re going to reach West Virginia for Christ, we must be together.” Pastors gathered and knelt at the altar in response.
Worship times during the meeting were led by the worship team from Open Door Baptist Church in Colliers, WV.
The Pastors’ and Ministers’ Wive’s Conferences were held prior to the annual meeting.
The West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists 2017 annual meeting will be hosted at First Baptist Church of Fairlea, in Lewisburg, WV, on November 2-3.