BCI Annual Meeting – November 2-3, 2012
Evidence that God is working in Iowa showed throughout the Baptist Convention of Iowa Annual meeting earlier this month in Des Moines. Church planters and others from across Iowa shared stories of their successes and the power of God moving in their ministries. Executive Director Tom Law noted that in 2011 we were related to 10 new church plants and that this year we are looking at a possibility of more than 25 new church plants, saying, “We are developing a culture in Iowa that understands that reproduction is natural and something every individual believer, church, association and cluster should be involved in doing.”
The Annual Meeting was held at the Holiday Inn and Suites, and was attended by 157 messengers and 49 guests from 54 churches across Iowa. The meeting was led by BCI president Dan Wiersema with Pastor Paul Porter of Van Meter Baptist church serving as parliamentarian. Tommy Rucker, Rex Rains, and Lloyd Eaken were asked to serve as the Teller Committee for this meeting.
Friday evening BCI president Dan Wiersema delivered a message exhorting attendees to embrace the Philippians model for cooperative giving. Dr. Jeff Iorg of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary delivered the Annual sermon with a message about “The Case for Antioch,” challenging listeners to a greater awareness of and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit as we engage in courageous leadership and transformational strategic planning. Inspirational music was provided throughout the weekend by the Tennessee Ladies Chorus.
Dan Wiersema, Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, was re-elected as President of the Baptist Convention of Iowa. Dan Doolin, Pastor of Solid Rock Baptist Church in Wapello, was elected as Vice President, and Lloyd Eaken, Pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Anamosa was re-elected to the position of 2nd Vice President. Jerome Risting, a member of Temple Baptist Church in Mason City was elected as Secretary. Please pray for these men as they seek to serve God and seek His vision for reaching Iowa over the next year.
Accepted changes to the constitution included changes to the way the number of messengers to the Annual Meeting is determined. These changes were put forth in an effort to provide greater representation to smaller churches, and to churches who give to the Cooperative Program and State Missions Offerings. Other constitutional changes involved the procedure of fill empty positions on the Executive Board between Annual Meetings, and some stylistic changes throughout the document. These changes will be presented again at the next annual meeting for final approval as required by the constitution.
After extensive discussion, the messengers to the Annual Meeting voted to accept the proposed BCI Strategy Plan. Executive Director Tom Law states that Iowa Baptists have chosen to embrace a bold strategy to “reap the harvest of the Great Commission” by voting to accept the Proposed Strategy Plan. Iowa is uniquely poised to lead the way in restructuring the way churches work together and cooperate to reach the lost. Church “clusters” will both naturally and intentionally form to support each other, work on common problems, pool resources, plant churches, and further God’s work in Iowa and beyond.
Expressing amazement at how God is putting all of the pieces together, and the marvelous work He is doing in our state, Tom challenged each church and member in Iowa to ask themselves, “What does God want me to do in His Kingdom?” Tom reminds us all that, “God is blessing us and giving us a tremendous opportunity to expand His Kingdom. It is our responsibility to join Him in His work and do what He has asked us to do.”