On Saturday November 8, 2014, the Baptist Convention of Iowa (BCI) held their annual meeting in Des Moines. Worship music was provided by Nick Powel, Dirk Wiese, and Jordan Prescott from Redeemer Church in Cedar Falls. Over 200 messengers and guests representing 51 churches attended the annual meeting.
Messengers at the annual meeting voted to approve a 2015 budget of $1.75 million dollars, anticipating an increase in Cooperative Program giving by Iowa churches of 21% to $600,000.
Messengers also voted to increase the percentage of Cooperative Program funds forwarded to the national convention from 20% in 2014 to 50% of all CP receipts in 2015. This represents an increase from $99,000 given to the SBC Cooperative Program in 2015 to $300,000 in 2015.
During his address to the convention Executive Director/Treasurer Dr. Tim Lubinus stated, “Next year our convention will be twenty years old. We want to continue to do our part in reaching the world for Christ. A sign of this maturing of our convention isn’t measured by our independence of our national mission agencies, but by the strength of our support for them. Because of this we would like our twentieth year to become the year that we become a 50/50 convention and increase our support for national mission agencies from 20% to 50% of our receipts. These funds go to the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, our six seminaries, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and other vital ministries.”
Iowans recognize that our dollar amount sent to the Cooperative Program is small in relation to the amount given by many State Conventions, but we want to demonstrate by our 50/50 split that we are committed to supporting national and international missions.
The Baptist Convention of Iowa is moving away from funding BCI staff for church planting and towards funding church planters. BCI has reduced funding for BCI church planting staff from 36% of the church planting budget to 13%. This frees church planting funds for where the need is greatest: new churches. These changes will allow the BCI to increase the church planting budget by 25% in 2015, increasing church planting funds from $400,000 to $500,000.
In 2014, nine church planters were approved for church planting funding across the state, with church planting initiatives on the move in another nine locations. “We are grateful for the progress in church planting in Iowa and pray for continued growth in 2015” enthused Lubinus.
During the annual meeting, Lubinus explained that creating a system to support and encourage pastors was his first priority when he started in March 2014. He outlined this new system saying, “We now have around eighteen groups of pastors meeting across the state to encourage, support, pray, and learn from one another. John Shaull announced his retirement effective September 30th but I asked him to continue on staff to support pastors on the western half of the state. Ed Gregory returned to Iowa, and is on BCI staff to support pastors on the eastern half of the state.” The BCI intends to add a new staff position to specifically support churches’ discipleship and small group ministries. This position will be the third staff person who directly relates to supporting, developing, and encouraging our churches.
Reviewing other BCI ministries, Lubinus shared with the messengers and guests that Frank McCrary was hired as State Disaster Relief Director with the task of strengthening and expanding the Iowa Disaster Relief program. Lubinus also showed photos of a 21 foot shower trailer that has been purchased to give Iowa Baptists another way to respond to crisis and need.
Lubinus also encouraged churches to get involved with the ministries of the Friendship Baptist Center saying, “The Friendship Baptist Center is located in an area in Des Moines that is heavily impacted by poverty. In a neighborhood overrun by drugs, gangs, unemployment and a lack of adequate English skills the Center meets the physical needs of area residents while displaying the love of Christ. Mentioning that Jon and Mindy Jamison are now BCI employees, Lubinus noted that they are ready and willing to help Iowa churches develop or expand their own community ministries.
BCI Executive Director Emeritus Jimmy Barrentine delivered the annual sermon preaching from John 14:1-6 and asking those present, “Where are we going? With whom will we be traveling? How shall we behave along the way?”
Officers elected at the Annual meeting were:
- Lloyd Eaken, President, Pastor, Fairview Baptist Church, Anamosa
- Ken Livingston, First Vice President, Pastor, First Grace Baptist Church, Sheffield
- Ken Kraft, Second Vice President, Pastor, New Life Baptist Church, Kingsley
- Jerome Risting Secretary, Member, Temple Baptist Church, Mason City
New pastors recognized at the annual meeting included:
- Cory & Carla Gonyo, First Baptist Church, Bettendorf
- Scott Hill & Anita Hill, Heartland Baptist Church, Stuart
- Cody & Kim Hinton, Redemption Church, Council Bluffs
- John & Terri Janke, Northbrook Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids
- Tom & Kara Ogston, Redeemer Church, Cedar Falls
- Ricky & Melanie Rohrig, Crossroads Community Church, Red Oak
- Donovan & Aubrey Santamaria, Redeemer Church, Cedar Rapids
- Garrett & Hannah Warfield, Redeemer Church, Cedar Falls
- David & Gayle Williamson, First Baptist Church, Dunkerton
The 20th Annual Meeting of the Baptist Convention of Iowa is set for November 7, 2015 at the Holiday Inn and Suites Northeast in Des Moines.