Copyright (c) 2016 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at bpnews.net/43658/100village-challenge-set-before-alaskans
100-village challenge set before Alaskans
SOLDOTNA, Alaska (BP) -- The challenge of 100 villages in Alaska with no evangelistic witness was set before messengers at the Alaska Baptist Convention's 69th annual meeting, Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in Soldotna.
The report by Butch Strickland, ABC director of church planting and missions, came alongside news from Jimmy Stewart, the convention's director of evangelism and church development, that Alaska Baptist churches baptized 417 people in 2013 -- 35 per month, 8 per week and 1.1 per day.
Don Shannon, convention president and pastor of Sunset Hills Baptist Church in Anchorage, presided over the two-day meeting -- themed "Mission: Alaska" -- at College Heights Baptist Church in Soldotna.
The credentials committee reported 83 messengers and 33 guests for a total of 116, representing 29 congregations.
The convention's budget and finance committee submitted the 2015 ABC proposed budget of $1,692,529, a decrease of 1 percent from the current year.
Included in the 2015 budget: $704,393 in anticipated CP giving from Alaska's churches, for 42 percent of the budget; $901,538 from the North American Mission Board, or 53 percent; $60,000 in support from LifeWay Christian Resources, 4 percent; and $26,598 from other sources, 1 percent.
The convention will continue to forward 36 percent of CP receipts to the Southern Baptist Convention's national and international missions and ministries. The budget also includes $64,841 in shared expenses with the SBC.
Elected as the convention's 2014-15 officers were: president, Todd Burgess, pastor of First Baptist Church in Eagle River; first vice president, Eric Ash, dean of Wayland Baptist University's campus in Anchorage; second vice president, Harold Conrad, pastor of Montana Creek Baptist Church in Talkeetna; and recording secretary, Judy Rice, member of First Baptist Church in Anchorage.
Mike Procter, ABC executive director, reported that the convention has entered into four partnerships with Baptist associations in the Lower 48: Central Coast Baptist Association in Silicon Valley area of California; Orange County Southern Baptist Association in Anaheim, Calif.; Oregon Trail Baptist Association in western Nebraska; and Bessemer Baptist Association in Alabama.
Bryan Myers, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Fairbanks, delivered the annual sermon, which he titled "Why do we do missions?" from Galatians 4:1-7. Tom Hoffman, pastor of Fairview Loop Baptist Church in Wasilla, was elected as the annual preacher for the 2015 annual meeting, scheduled for Sept. 28-30 at First Baptist Church in Palmer. Harold Conrad, pastor of Montana Creek Baptist Church in Talkeetna, is the alternate.
Among the annual meeting's guest speakers were International Mission Board missionaries identified as A. and L.S. for security concerns related to their work; Mike Hand, IMB missional church strategist; Rick Curtis, North American Mission Board regional mobilizer for the western states; Frank S. Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee; Jan Watkins, representing LifeWay; Eric Ash of Wayland; Anne Nytes, girls' clinician for Alaska Baptist Family Services; and Mike Harris, senior relationship manager for GuideStone Financial Resources.
The annual meeting began with a mission rally on Monday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. at College Heights. Missionaries A. and L. S. gave their testimonies and John Montgomery, dean of spiritual life at California Baptist University, delivered the message.
California Baptist University's praise team led music for annual meeting and other convention-related meetings.
The 2014 Pastor's Conference was held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Sept. 30, at First Baptist Church in Soldotna. Doug Burrows, pastor of First Baptist Church in Soldotna, presided over the meeting as vice president due to the resignation of Kerry Chadwick as president stemming from his move from the state.
Guest speakers were Rick Curtis, NAMB regional mobilize; John Montgomery, California Baptist University; and Frank S. Page of the SBC Executive Committee.
Following the Pastor's Conference, D. August Boto, executive vice president and general counsel for the SBC Executive Committee, led a discussion on legal issues for congregations.
Steve Shrimplin, pastor of First Baptist Church in Wasilla, was elected president for the 2015 Pastor's Conference and Harold Conrad, pastor of Montana Creek Baptist Church in Talkeetna, was elected vice president.
Woman's Missionary Union
The 65th annual meeting of the Alaska Baptist Convention's Woman's Missionary Union was called to order by the president, Ruby Stogsdill, also from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at College Heights.
The 2014-16 WMU theme is "All For You: Surrender, Sacrifice, Serve" -- surrender completely by denying self; Sacrifice willingly by taking up your cross; serve intentionally by following Christ into your community, state and world. The theme's Scripture passage is Mark 8:31-38, focusing on verse 34 (NIV): "Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: 'Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.'"
Guest speakers for the WMU meeting were Alan and Babs Dial, NAMB missionaries to Alaska natives; Heather Dominguez, Central Peninsula Community Health Services counselor who works with Project HELP: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); and IMB missionaries A & L.S.
Elected as WMU officers for 2014-15 were: president, Judy Zach, University Baptist Church, Fairbanks; vice president, Barbara Young, First Baptist, Anchorage; recording secretary, Glenda Shaw, Sunset Hills Baptist Church, Anchorage; adult missions consultant, Judy Rice, First Baptist, Anchorage); youth missions consultant, Melissa Batts, Fairview Loop Baptist Church; preschool missions consultant, Tiffney McNeely, University Baptist Church, Fairbanks; and African American missions consultant, Karen Ellison, St. John Baptist Church, Fairbanks). Two vacant positions are children's missions consultant and language missions consultant.
Associational WMU directors, who are not elected but serve as officers, are: Barbara Young, Chugach Baptist Association; Linda Hearn, Hatcher Pass Baptist Association; Judy Ann Cabe, Tanana Valley Baptist Association; and Cindy Boney, Tongass Baptist Association. The non-associational affiliated churches' officer position is vacant.
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