By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) – Messengers to the 2019 Louisiana Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, Nov. 11-12, will have the opportunity to learn about the status of the various goals and action steps outlined in the President’s 2020 Commission which is nearing its final year.
Approved by messengers at the 2013 Louisiana Baptist Convention annual meeting, the 2020 initiative, led by then LBC President Waylon Bailey, pastor of First Baptist Church in Covington, seeks to reach every generation and every people group in Louisiana with the Gospel by the year 2020 through the avenues of congregational revitalization, church planting, communications and collaboration.
The 2020 recommendations were crafted collaboratively by a commission of 400 Louisiana Baptist leaders, staff members and laypeople, working in 20 subcommittees of 20 members each.
“I believe Louisiana Baptists will be encouraged by some of the progress made over the last six years,” said recently elected Louisiana Baptists Executive Director Steve Horn. “On the flip side, they’ll also discover many areas that need our continued prayers, attention and resources as we continue to work towards fulfilling the goals outlined in the report.”
Horn will share more about the update during the Monday evening session of the annual meeting, which will take place at the Randolph Riverfront Center in Alexandria. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Renew,” based on Isaiah 40:31.
“I need to be renewed,” continued Horn, “every person and every church would benefit from God’s renewing touch so I’m praying Louisiana Baptists will turn out for this year’s meeting and let’s ask God to do what He wants to do if we’ll yield to His word and His will.”
Messengers also will vote on a Cooperative Program budget that is leaner than the previous year, yet not as large of a reduction as messengers approved in three previous years.
Approved during the Executive Board’s Sept.24 meeting at Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center in Woodworth, the 2020 financial plan is based on expected Cooperative Program contributions of $18,653,700, a decrease of $160,118. Cooperative Program projections are based on actual receipts from August 2018 through July 2019.
The allocation formula for distributing Cooperative Program gifts between the Southern Baptist Convention and Louisiana Baptist Convention causes remains unchanged, with 63.26 percent supporting ministries in the state and 36.74 percent forwarded to fund national entities.
This equates to $12,206,651 in Cooperative Program funds for Louisiana Baptist missions and ministries.
The update on the 2020 Commission and a vote on the budget are just two of a number of important items which will be addressed this year.
Highlights for Monday include a message by newly installed International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood and Horn’s first convention report as Louisiana Baptists executive director. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Professor Jake Roudvoski will share the first of two Bible study lessons and motions will be introduced.
Tuesday will feature messages from Jeffery Friend, pastor of Suburban Baptist Church in New Orleans; and Clint Pressley, pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. Other items on Tuesday’s agenda include reports by the convention’s entities; updates on state missions; approval of motions and election of officers.
At press time, David Cranford, pastor of First Baptist Church in Ponchatoula, and Jeff Ginn, pastor of Istrouma Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, are the two known candidates whose names will be placed in nomination for the office of LBC president. Eddie Wren, pastor of First Baptist Church in Rayville, is completing his second term as LBC president and is ineligible to run again for re-election.
Leroy Fountain, church health strategist for New Orleans Baptist Association, is expected to have his name placed in nomination for the office of first vice president, and Marc Taylor, a layman from Cook Baptist Church in Ruston, is expected to have his name placed in nomination for the office of second vice president. They are the only known candidates for their respective offices.
Gatherings for Nov. 11 include:
–Louisiana Baptist Christian Education Association Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., First Baptist, Pineville
–African-American Fellowship, 4 p.m., Randolph Riverfront Center, Room H
–New Church Reception, 4:45 p.m., Randolph Riverfront Center, Area J
Gatherings for Nov. 12 include:
–Louisiana Right to Life “Pro-Life” Breakfast, 7:00 a.m., Randolph Riverfront Center, Area J
–Partnership Missions Breakfast, 7 a.m., Randolph Riverfront Center, Room H
–Start Something Missions and Ministry Luncheon, 12 noon, Randolph Riverfront Center, Area J
–New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Alumni Luncheon, 12 noon, Baptist Building, Mezzanine
–Retiree/Bi-vocational Luncheon, 12 noon, Randolph Riverfront Center, Room H