Throughout the two-day meeting, IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams interviewed seven pastors about their commitments to the Cooperative Program. During the Wednesday evening worship celebration, churches were challenged by Adams and Frank Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, to consider taking the "1% Challenge" to give an additional one percent of their budgets through the Cooperative Program in the coming year.
Representatives from 117 IBSA churches handed in their commitment cards at the close of the worship service, agreeing to take the 1% Challenge back to their congregations.
More than 500 Illinois Baptists, including 457 registered messengers, gathered in O'Fallon for the meeting.
Messengers elected Jonathan Peters, pastor of First Baptist Church in Columbia and current IBSA vice president, as elected president; Odis Weaver, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Plainfield, vice president; and Nina Wilson, member of First Baptist Church in Machesney Park, recording secretary.
Messengers approved budgets from the IBSA, Baptist Foundation of Illinois, and Baptist Children's Home and Family Services boards, including a Cooperative Program budget of $6.7 million, down from $6.85 million for the current year. Any Cooperative Program funds received above the budget will be distributed at a 50/50 ratio with the national Southern Baptist Convention. Illinois sends 43.25 percent of CP gifts to the Southern Baptist Convention for national and international missions, among the highest percentages of all state conventions.
Messengers also heard reports from each of IBSA's seven committees. Business items included:
-- Messengers welcomed 12 churches recommended by IBSA's Credentials Committee for affiliation with the state association.
-- Marvin Parker, senior pastor of Broadview Missionary Baptist Church in Broadview, was recommended by the Order of Business Committee to preach the annual sermon at the close of 2012's annual meeting, and Dwight McDaniel, pastor of Highland Avenue Baptist Church in Robinson, to serve as alternate. The committee also recommended the 2014 IBSA annual meeting be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield Nov. 11-12. Both motions were approved.
-- After a second reading of amendments proposed last year, messengers approved two relatively minor changes to the IBSA constitution and adopted five resolutions. The resolutions expressed appreciation for the church; support and appreciation for U.S. military and their families; affirmation of the effectiveness of the Cooperative Program and Illinois Mission Offering, and Illinois Baptists' commitment to those giving channels; support for homeschooling parents; and reaffirmation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Wes Feltner, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Decatur, brought the annual message from Acts 4-5, urging Illinois Baptists to cooperate as the early church did. Doug Munton, pastor of First Baptist Church in O'Fallon, preached the president's message from Nehemiah on God's faithfulness in the midst of brokenness.
The IBSA Pastors' Conference preceded the annual meeting and featured three messages each from Thomas Hammond, leader of the North American Mission Board's personal evangelism team; Jim Putman, founder and senior pastor of Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho; and Larry Wynn, NAMB's vice president for evangelization and leadership development.
Officers elected for next year's Pastors' Conference were Adam Cruse, pastor of First Baptist Church in Mt. Carmel, president; Chad Ozee, pastor of Journey Church in Bourbonnais, vice president; and Wes Feltner, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Decatur, treasurer.
The 2012 IBSA annual meeting will be Nov. 14-15 at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Decatur.
Meredith Flynn is associate editor of the Illinois Baptist (ibsa.org/illinoisbaptist), newsjournal of the Illinois Baptist State Association.
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