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Wyoming Baptists adopt new convention name
Wyoming Baptists also approved selling the property on Casper ... he has already done market research and thinks the prime location among other commercial real estate will sell for something under $700,000, Nikkel continued. The sale of the property ...
BudgetMessengers approved without discussion a $1,323,536 budget for 2018, down $110,442 from 2017This includes $555,916 from Wyoming Southern Baptist churches; $445,500 from the North American Mission Board plus an additional $178,500 for regional missionary funding; $67,000 from LifeWay Christian Resources; $68,700 from the state missions offering; $7,300 in registration/fees; and $600 in interest income.The portion of Cooperative Program income being passed on to national and international Southern Baptist Convention causes remains at 32.75 percent for the seventh year, or $147,674 for 2018.The budget allocates no money for its building's operating expenses; reserves are sufficient for contingencies until the property is sold, Nikkel explainedThe budget reinstates the executive director/treasurer's -- now state missionary -- full time salary, which last year was cut to half-time.Passage of the 2018 budget also resulted in the approval of a name change in the state missions offering -- from "Delmar" to "Wyoming Network Mission Offering" -- to bring it in line with the state convention's name changeBenny Delmar was a missionary who in the early 1950s started what grew to be 149 churches in Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas."This is not to diminish the important history or reputation of Benny Delmar," Nikkel told messengers"It is just an effort to better communicate with our churches."With the new budget, the state convention's three regional missionaries are now responsible for evangelism, church planting, church health/revitalization, leadership and missions in their areas of the state -- south, west and northeastLast year each had a half-time state-wide specialization.The 2018 budget also deletes one of Wyoming's three ministry assistant positions.ElectionsJohn Constantine, pastor of Story (Wyo.) Community Church, was elected presidentJohn Larramendy, pastor of Alcova (Wyo.) Community Church, was elected first vice presidentDean Whitaker, pastor of United Baptist Church in Riverton, was elected second vice presidentAll were unopposed and elected by acclamation.Cheri Mickelson, member at First Southern Baptist in Powell, was re-elected recording secretary, and Renee Hanson was re-elected assistant recording secretary, both unopposed and by acclamation."I think we're moving in a positive direction under the leadership of Lynn Nikkel and the state staff," Constantine told Baptist Press"Strengthening our regions will help strengthen our Mission Network, which will help strengthen our Cooperative Program giving and help us reach the lost in our communities."Wyoming South Baptist churches and pastors, we have a really strong connection with one another," Constantine continued"There's a great distance between many of our churches so we always look forward to coming togetherThere's a commonality of ministry reaching the diverse cultures we have here."Constantine said at next year's annual meeting of Wyoming's Mission Network that he wants "to celebrate our baptisms and our victories, and to hear more from our churches." ReportsWyoming has 16 church plants, five "seed" congregations, and 19 potential church planters, including five native to Wyoming, reported Church Planting Strategist Don Whalen Jr"Nationally, 4 percent of our SBC churches are involved in church plantingHowever, 24.24 percent of our Wyoming [Southern Baptist] churches are involved in church planting as a sending, partnering or supporting church," Whalen told messengers"As we see churches close their doors, nearly one in four Wyoming Southern Baptist churches are now church plants."The National High School Rodeo Championships, Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC) and Great American Solar Eclipse were the largest evangelism events in Wyoming in 2017, and 16 congregations received funding for local events, reported evangelism strategist Dale Bascue.He reported 3,467 people engaged in gospel conversations, 199 professions of faith, 70 other spiritual decisions, more than 200 youth at YEC, and 900 DVDs of "The Privileged Planet" and "The Case for a Creator" videos were distributed by churches that had solar eclipse events.As of the Spring 2017 semester, 70 people have graduated from Wyoming Southern Baptist Center for Leadership Development (CLD) in partnership with Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention, reported Leadership Strategist Fred CreasonAnother five anticipate graduating this fallThe CLD is entering its 12th year.In other seminary news, Mark Tolbert, director of the Caskey Center for Church Excellence at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, announced that an anonymous donor "who loves Wyoming Southern Baptists" will fund three students a year for graduate or undergraduate online study at NOBTS."For the first time in our history, state mission offering receipts exceeded $70,000," reported mission strategist David SchroederHe also reported on Baptist Collegiate Ministries and disaster relief, but like the other strategists, he spoke of being spread too thin with state-level responsibilities to adequately care for the pastors and churches in the south region of the state.Included in reports from each of the SBC's entities, Roger SOldham reported from the Executive Committee"Since 1984, when Wyoming became a state convention, you have contributed $12.7 million-plus through the Cooperative Program, Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering," Oldham, the EC's vice president for communications and relations, told messengers"Thank you for this and for partnership with you in the Gospel."The 2018 annual meeting of the Wyoming Southern Baptist Mission Network is set for Nov1-2 at Mountain View Baptist Church in Mills, a Casper suburb.
Karen LWilloughby is a national correspondent with Baptist Press.
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