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Kan.-Neb. Baptists eye Hispanic growth

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
SALINA, Kan. (BP) -- The Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists focused on church planting during its 67th annual meeting Oct. 15-16 at the Webster Conference Center in Salina, Kan., noting opportunities in the area's growing Hispanic population.

Messengers re-elected current convention officers and approved a 2013 budget of $5,444,064, an increase of slightly less than 1 percent above the 2012 budget. Cooperative Program receipts are estimated to be $2.1 million, the same as this year, with giving to the national CP remaining at 32 percent.

"Starting New Works" was the convention theme, beginning with opening remarks from church planter Craig Liscom focusing on the new Changed Life Church in Omaha, Neb., planted in April.

"Help be a part of the story of starting something new," Liscom urged the 291 messengers and 37 visitors in attendance.

Hispanic church planter catalyst Abraham Arevalo told of vast opportunities among the growing Hispanic population in Nebraska and Kansas. According to statistics from the 2010 census, he said, Nebraska's Hispanic population had grown 77 percent since the 2000 census while Kansas' Hispanic population grew 59 percent. Growth in the two states outpaced that of the Hispanic population in the U.S., which increased 39 percent during the same period.

"Reaching the Hispanic community in Kansas-Nebraska is a job we are doing together," Arevalo said. He and his wife Ester, graduates of the Rio Grande Bible Institute in Edinburg, Texas, have served Kansas for nearly 20 years.


Arevalo said 19 Hispanic summer missionaries served in the KNCBS this summer, recruited through connections with Rio Grande Bible Institute and the Baptist Convention of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Re-elected by acclamation as KNCSB officers were president John Shields, pastor of Parkview Baptist Church, Lexington, Neb.; vice president Andy Addis, pastor of CrossPoint Church, Hutchinson, Kan.; recording secretary Bryan Jones, pastor of Tyler Road Southern Baptist Church, Wichita, Kan.; assistant recording secretary Susan Pederson, a member of Prairie Hills Southern Baptist Church, Augusta, Kan.; and historian Tony Mattia, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Wamego, Kan.

Messengers scheduled future KNCSB annual meetings Oct. 14-15, 2013, at New Covenant Community Church in Lincoln, Neb., and Oct. 13-14, 2014, at CrossPoint Church in Hutchinson, Kan.

In other activity, messengers held a reception honoring veteran campus ministry couples Bob and Sandie Anderson and Brett and Mary Yohn, who plan to retire at the end of the school year after 40 years of campus ministry.

The Andersons serve Kansas State University in Manhattan, while the Yohns serve the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.


Friends of Kansas-Nebraska Collegiate Ministries Association also will recognize the honorees during the Kansas-Nebraska campus ministry reunion Aug. 2-4, 2013, at the Sheraton Hotel in Overland Park, Kan.

Friends of CMA organized this year to support campus ministries in Nebraska and Kansas. Find more information here

Eva Wilson is associate editor of the Baptist Digest newsjournal of churches in the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists.

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press

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