RENO, Nev. (BP) -- Nine new churches were added to the Nevada Baptist Convention during its 34th annual meeting at South Reno Baptist Church in Reno.
The meeting's theme was "Our Hope in a New Day," based on Romans 5:2-5, and 107 messengers were registered.
David Fee, pastor of Summerlin Community Baptist Church in Las Vegas, delivered the annual sermon. Eddie Miller, director of missions for the Sierra Baptist Association, presented the theme in prayer.
Also preaching were Joe Taylor, pastor of South Reno Baptist, and Michael Rochelle, pastor of Shadow Hills Baptist Church in Las Vegas.
Kevin White, the new executive director of the Nevada convention, presented his vision for the future and was prayed over by messengers as he received the mantle of leadership from the previous executive director, Terry Arnold.
A slideshow honored Arnold, who is retiring after serving Nevada Baptists for 24 years, most recently as executive director of the state convention. Arnold and his wife Doris were presented with the gift of a cruise, and several people told how their lives had been impacted by his ministry. A reception in their honor followed.
Also during the Oct. 22-23 meeting, messengers adopted a new constitution and bylaws, and after some discussion, one amendment was presented to change the wording of one sentence. The change to the constitution was in regard to how churches become members of the Nevada convention, now stipulating that they must contribute through the Cooperative Program and must be in harmony with the Baptist Faith and Message.
Previously, there were no guidelines to maintain or remove a church from membership. Also, guidelines for sending messengers to the convention's annual meeting were added in more detail.
Messengers approved a 2013 budget of $1,995,774, an 8 percent decrease from the current year. The percentage of Cooperative Program receipts forwarded for national and international causes, though, was increased by .5 percent, from 30.5 to 31 percent. The convention anticipates $702,000 in Cooperative Program giving from Nevada churches during the coming year.
Sam Crouch, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Elko, was elected president of the convention. Greg Fields, pastor of Nellis Baptist Church in Las Vegas, was elected vice president.
Four resolutions were adopted.
Among them: Terry Arnold was honored for his service to the convention "in a variety of church-strengthening ministries," including evangelism director, transitional interim executive director and executive director.
Another resolution noted that Nevada Baptists have experienced "an extended period of challenging economic environment" and many churches are "struggling to meet financial obligations while continuing to impact" communities with the Gospel. The resolution stated that Nevada Baptists would intensify their prayers for fellow churches, "that their needs will be met and Kingdom work will flourish."
In another resolution, Nevada Baptists said they "join Christians everywhere in accepting the charge to be salt and light," noting that the political climate in the United States has grown more intolerant of Christian views and standards. Nevada Baptists resolved to hold fast to biblical standards and to vote in a manner that reflects those standards, including on issues of the sanctity of life and marriage.
Next year's annual meeting of the Nevada Baptist Convention will be Oct. 22-23 at Summerlin Community Baptist Church in Las Vegas.
Based on a report by Donna Campbell, editor of The Nevada Baptist.
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