By Jon Olsen, BCI Communications Coordinator
Messengers and guests from across Iowa met on November 5th, 2016 for the 21st annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Iowa(BCI). 142 messengers from 57 churches were seated for the meeting following a recommendation and report from Roger Vester of the Credentials Committee. Pastor Darin Ulmer and his wife Sarah, from Community Baptist Church of Marion provided worship music throughout the meeting.
Trevin Wax, Bible and Reference Publisher for LifeWay Christian Resources, was the guest speaker for the Annual Meeting, speaking from 1st Peter 2:11-17 about what it means to live as God’s Kingdom People in our secular world.
Executive Director Tim Lubinus shared an update on Church Planting stating that the BCI partnered with six new church starts in 2016, and that they have a goal of planting ten additional churches in 2017. The BCI and NAMB have entered a partnership with four Iowa church planting churches to develop, place, and support one new church start a year. These churches are Redeemer Church in Cedar Rapids, First Family Church in Ankeny, New Heights Church in Indianola, and Cornerstone Church in Ames. Soon after starting the program, Cornerstone Church began partnering directly with NAMB to focus beyond Iowa to start churches and collegiate ministries in university cities in the Midwest.
The six new church starts in 2016 were:
- Christ Point Baptist Church, Shenandoah, Noel Gandy
- Frontier Church, Des Moines, Cole Deike and Andrew Self
- Anthem Church, Stan Hayek and Luke Hettinger, Columbia, MO
- Paragon Church, Grinnell, Cody Hinton and Daniel Clements
- Cottage Grove Church, Des Moines, Andy Norris and Josh Moklestad
- Capitol City Church, Carlisle, CJ Nissen
Church planters Andy Norris, Noel Gandy, Coel Deike, and Cody Hinton participated in a Church Planting Panel, where they discussed the joys and challenges of planting churches in the cities, college campuses and rural towns of Iowa.
Iowa Ministry Fund
In order to better reach our state for Christ, to help the hurting, and to provide more opportunities for service, the Baptist Convention of Iowa established the Iowa Ministry Fund. This fund seeks to support organizations and ministries that offer God’s mercy, love, and truth to those who are most venerable across our state. Some of these ministries help population groups among us that require more attention and skills than our church members or even churches can normally provide.
Messengers approved a budget which allocates $100,000 to the Iowa Missions Fund consisting of 10% of BCI Cooperative Program receipts and 50% of the Iowa Missions Offering with the balance to be made up from reserves and foundation investments.
The Iowa Missions Fund will distribute $10,000 to the best ministry in ten ministry categories in 2017. For more information about the Iowa Ministry Fund go to bciowa.org/iowa-ministry-fund.
Budget, 50/50 CP Split
Messengers voted to continue to send 50% of Cooperative Program receipts to the Southern Baptist Convention for support of world missions through the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board, support of Southern Baptist Seminaries, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and other SBC ministries.
Messengers approved a 2017 budget during the meeting of $1.64 million dollars, anticipating a 1% increase in Cooperative Program giving by Iowa churches to $625,000.
Lubinus noted the transition of the BCI to a mobile office. He stated that the new mobile structure has allowed the Convention to redirect administrative costs towards ministry uses and allows BCI staff to be more available to support churches and church planters around the state.
John Shaull, BCI Pastor/Church Support was honored for his sixteen years of service. John has been one of the longest serving BCI staff and is well known and appreciated by pastors in central Iowa and beyond. John has announced that he will retire from the BCI at the end of the year. Tim Lubinus thanked John for his many years of service saying, “We are grateful to God that John has such a legacy of service with BCI churches.”
BCI President Ken Livingston gave the annual sermon speaking from Ephesians 5:18-19, exhorting the messengers and guests to live “Under the Influence” of the Holy Spirt, rather than under worldly influences.
Officers elected at the annual meeting were President Robert Knight, pastor of New Birth Baptist Church, Ames; Vice President Brandon Barker, pastor of Westwind Church, Waukee; 2nd Vice President Jack Owens, Stonebridge Church, Boone; and Secretary Jerome Risting, Temple Baptist Church, Mason City.
Pastor Robert Knight’s Acceptance Speech and Closing Prayer
The Baptist Convention of Iowa has partnered with Hispanic Church Planters Gilmer Mauricio and Arnaldo Achucarro, adding them as BCI Staff this year to support Hispanic pastors and churches in the state and to develop additional leaders. The first Hispanic Conference for Pastors and Leaders was held prior to the BCI Annual Meeting with pastor Luis Manuel Mendoza and nearly 30 individuals in attendance. Achucarro stated that he is honored to serve as part of the BCI staff to help develop more Hispanic leaders and church planters for our state. He also added his thanks to pastor Luis Manuel Mendoza for the challenging sermons.
Over 130 Iowa pastors, pastoral staff and their spouses gathered for a banquet Friday night prior to the Annual Meeting for a time of fellowship and worship. Trevin Wax spoke during the banquet addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the evangelical church today.
The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Baptist Convention of Iowa will be held on November 4
Check out these reports from the 2016 BCI Annual Meeting
- Executive Director Annual Report
- Church Starting Report
- Collegiate Ministry Report
- Foundation Committee Report
- Iowa Woman’s Missionary Union Report
- Discipleship Team Leader Report
- Church/Pastor Support Report
- Disaster Relief Report
- History Report