"Moving Forward" 63d Annual Meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio

"Moving Forward" 63d Annual Meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio

President Jeremy Westbrook, pastor of Living Hope Church in Marysville, OH, gaveled the 63d Annual Meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio to order November 2, 2016. Vandalia First Baptist Church hosted the 320 registered messengers and 23 registered guests. “Moving Forward” served as the theme for the annual meeting.

Messengers approved the 2016-17 Mission Ohio Budget which moved the percentage ratio distribution for Cooperative Mission Program receipts from 59.25/40.25 to 50/50. The Mission Council challenged the SCBO churches to move to a 50/50 ratio with the adoption of the 2007 budget. A challenging financial downturn in the Ohio economy began in 2007. This economically challenging downturn affected many Mission Ohio churches which negatively impacted Cooperative Mission Program receipts. During this time, Mission Ohio reduced state convention staff and ministry funds in order to maintain the 59.25/40.25 ratio. With a recovering economy, messengers had already approved a 50/50 ratio distribution for all Cooperative Mission Program funds received once the operating budget had been met. Mission Council members meeting November 3, 2015 created the special committee to bring a recommendation to the July 28, 2016 Mission Council on moving toward a 50/50 distribution of Cooperative Mission Program receipts between worldwide SBC missions and Mission Ohio.

Steve Spurgin, pastor of Miamisburg First Baptist Church chaired the committee. Chairman Spurgin led the committee to bathe the process in prayer and fasting. All committee members readily agreed to affirm the action of the 2006 Mission Council in challenging the SCBO churches to increase Cooperative Mission Program giving in order to obtain a 50/50 distribution. After the committee considered several timelines, the majority favored recommending moving from the current 59.75/40.25 ratio to the 50/50 ratio beginning with the December 2016-November 2017 budget which the Mission Council approved in the July 28, 2016 meeting to recommend to the messengers in the November 2, 2016 annual meeting. This move to the 50/50 ratio distribution in one year represents a decrease of $78,059 in personnel costs and an increase of 16.65% (an additional $630,447) in contributions from the SCBO churches. This additional decrease in SCBO staffing, will bring the total to a 52% reduction in positions implemented over the years in order to continue supporting missions from Ohio to the ends of the earth.

Supporting missions from Ohio to the ends of the earth is the heartbeat of Ohio Southern Baptists. The State Convention of Baptists in Ohio exists to assist Southern Baptist churches and associations in Ohio obey the Great Commission.Ohio Southern Baptist churches have already increased their giving to the worldwide Cooperative Mission Program this year. If the rate of giving continues and all SCBO churches contributed to the Cooperative Mission Program, we should reach the December 2016-November 2017 budget requirement of $4,416,153.

Additionally, messengers approved 8 resolutions. These adopted resolutions are posted on www.scbo.org the website of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio. Messengers also elected David Starry, pastor of Vandalia First Baptists Church, as president of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio for the year 2017. They elected by vote of acclamation Tom Pendergrass, pastor of Lebanon Urbancrest Baptist Church, to serve another term as the First Vice President. Messengers elected Ryan Strother, pastor of Marion Central Baptist Church, as the Second Vice President. They elected Faye Rodgers, member of Springfield Northside Baptist Church, as Recording Secretary and Annett Dessecker, member of Mansfield Lincoln Heights Baptist Church, as Assistant Recording Secretary, and Jack Kwok as Historian.

Executive Director Jack Kwok presented a theme interpretation from the “Moving Forward” scripture Philippians 3: 13-14 in his Executive Director Address. President Jeremy Westbrook preached “Jesus Is Coming: Get Busy” from 2 Peter 3:1-10 in his presidential address. Tim Cline, pastor of Chillicothe Baptist Church, preached “Moving Forward” from Acts 1:8. The Long Hollow Baptist Church Worship Team from Tennessee led the worship music for the annual meeting and the preceding Pastor’s Conference.

Steve Stiglich, Associational Missionary for the Greater Dayton Baptist Association, reported on IMPACT Dayton 2016. Beginning in 2001, Mission Ohio conducted Intensive Mission Projects to Affect Community Transformation in every association. Greater Dayton Baptist Association IMPACT concluded the 16-year process. Mission teams from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio converged on the Dayton area. These teams conducted Art Camps, VBS, Back-Yard Bible Clubs, construction, clean ups, sports evangelism, door-to-door evangelism and block parties. They helped Hope Community, North Dayton BC, Victory BC, North Central BC, Maple Heights BC, Medway BC, Eldorado BC, Grace Point Fellowship and FBC Miamisburg.

During the final business session, messengers elected new members for the Mission Council and approved the time, place, and preacher for the 2017 Annual Meeting. The 64th Annual Meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio will be November 7-8, 2017 at the Chillicothe Baptist Church. Connie Hancock, pastor of Springboro Baptist Church, will preach the annual sermon. David Frasure, pastor of South Lebanon First Baptist Church, is the alternate.

Each year, the Georgetown College presents the Darty Stowe award in memory of Darty Stowe who served as a missionary and the Associate Executive Director of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio. Dave Hill, pastor of Springfield Northside Baptist Church, received the award for 2016.

Faye Rodgers presented the Mission Council Actions of 2016: scholarships, loans, and general items. The Mission Council report included the recognition of two great servants of Jesus Christ: Dave Warton and Quinton Moss.

Dave Warton served as the Church Services Resource Group Leader since 2001. He is retiring from the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio June 30, 2016. For 15 years, Dave has helped SCBO pastors and churches with retirement, insurance, and legal matters. Dave served as pastor for 26 years: First Baptist Carroll, Coshocton Baptist, and Delaware Baptist before coming to the SCBO. He shall continue serving as the pastor of the Rohr Road Baptist Church. Dave taught for the Ohio State University and nearby school systems while he served as the pastor of Delaware Baptist Church. He is one of the godliest, humble, faithful, and dedicated servants of Christ that I have known. Thank you Dave and Rae Ann for your immeasurable contribution to Mission Ohio.

Quinton and Diane Moss joined Mission Ohio February 1, 2009 serving in the Church Planting Resource Group. Prior to joining the Mission Ohio Resource Team, he served as a deacon, pastor, and church planter in Arkansas. Diane worked for the Arkansas Baptist Convention for 10 years. In 2014, Quinton became the Church Planting Resource Group Leader. Quinton guided Mission Ohio church planting through challenging times in the NAMB transition with grace and effectiveness. God has used the life and ministry of Quinton to advance Mission Ohio significantly. Thank you Quinton and Diane for your immeasurable contribution to Mission Ohio.

Messengers and guests also recognized the 20th anniversary of Executive Director Jack Kwok. They presented video and live testimonies from friends and colleagues and a beautiful glass art sculpture.

Mission Ohio is the cooperative effort of Southern Baptists to reach 1,000,000 believers in 2,020 congregations by the end of 2020. Supporting missions from Ohio to the ends of the earth is the heartbeat of Ohio Southern Baptists. The State Convention of Baptists in Ohio exists to assist Southern Baptist churches and associations in Ohio obey the Great Commission. “Moving Forward,” let’s press toward that mark.