The Edmond Sun

November 20, 2012

Oklahoma Baptists launch major initiative at 106th Annual Meeting

Participants conduct business, elect officers, gather as a community and share the 2013 vision

Special to The Sun

Moore — The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma announced their “ReConnect Sunday School” initiative at its 106th Annual Meeting that took place Nov. 12-13. The meeting, which focused on a “Connect” theme, provided an opportunity for Oklahoma Southern Baptists to conduct business, elect officers, gather as a community and share their vision for the church for 2013. The meeting was at First Baptist Church in Moore.

The “ReConnect Sunday School” initiative calls on Oklahoma Baptist churches to revitalize adult and children’s educational Sunday schools as a means of evangelism. Also, a preview of a 2013 service evangelism initiative called “Serve Oklahoma” was given that will act as a catalyst for a statewide initiative to mobilize Oklahoma Baptists to get outside the walls of the church building to transform their community for Christ.

“The Annual Meeting is designed to bring together Baptists for worship and projects centered on the common mission to serve others and reach people for Christ,” said  Anthony Jordan, BGCO executive director-treasurer. “The 2013 initiatives will be the avenue through which we’ll accomplish these goals.”

The 106th meeting consisted of messengers, who are representatives with voting privileges elected by the Baptist churches cooperating with and contributing to the work of the BGCO. As part of their participation, the messengers voted on nine resolutions that are expressions of concern or opinion by the convention, elected officers and reviewed budgets.

At this year’s meeting, all nine resolutions passed. Highlights include:

• Resolution No. 5: On Prayer and Encouragement for Elected Officials

• Resolution No. 6: On Sanctity of Life and Personhood

• Resolution No. 7: On the Covenant of Marriage

• Resolution No. 8: On Religious Liberty

• Resolution No. 9: On Armed Forces

In particular, messengers approved Resolution No. 8, “We advocate religious liberty for all people and call for action in two areas. We call on the president to instruct the Department of Health and Human Services to withdraw the mandate for health care plans to provide contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs and devices as a violation of religious liberty. We also call on the president to ensure the religious liberty of military chaplains to minister according to their religious consciences without fear or coercion. We wholeheartedly support the ministry of chaplains in the United States military.”

Messengers elected Nick Garland, pastor of Broken Arrow Baptist Church as BGCO president, Johnny Montgomery, pastor of First Baptist Church of Red Oak, as first vice president of the BGCO, and Danny Ringer, pastor at First Baptist Church of Elk City, as second vice president of the BGCO.

Messengers also approved the 2013 financial plan that funds Falls Creek summer camp and other key ministries.

In addition to the business activities, music, scripture and prayer filled the two days.

Jordan addressed the meeting on Tuesday and presided in the recognition and presentation of elected officers. Additional presenters included, Bobby Kelly, Rowena Strickland professor of religion at Oklahoma Baptist University; Douglas Melton, senior pastor at Southern Hills Baptist Church; and Jim Shaddix, professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) consists of 1,800-plus Southern Baptist churches throughout the state. The mission of the BGCO is to assist the local church to fulfill its Biblical mission and be a channel for cooperative ministry in Oklahoma, the nation and the world.