SOLOMONS, Md.- In the wake of the New Year, David Lee, the executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, refocuses upon the goals set at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Reminding messengers of the fearful world of "smallpox, anthrax, nerve gas, dirty bombs, nukes, Al Qaeda and Saddam," God has called them to serve in, he renewed the SBC theme of "Walking Together for the Sake of the Gospel."
"It is a messy world. We are an imperfect church. But we serve a mighty God," Lee said. "And God uses imperfect people who are faithful to him to reach a messy world with the gospel. Therefore, no matter how messy the world gets, no matter how frustrated we get with our brothers, because we serve a mighty God and for the sake of the gospel, we cannot quit."
Jerry Rankin, president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, in a keynote address during the annual SBC meeting, said if Christians walk together for the sake of the gospel, they must be consistent with God's purpose, confident in God's providence, compelled by God's passion and characterized by God's power. He noted that the new kind of missionaries being called today were firemen, football coaches, attorneys, businessmen and plumbers along with the conventional seminary graduates.
"They came and laid their lives on the altar. It wasn't about them," Rankin said. "Because of their diverse backgrounds, they are able to gain access in areas where traditional missionaries could not go."
During the Convention, Tim Simpson, pastor of Greenridge Baptist Church in Clarksburg was elected president. Robert Anderson, pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown was elected first vice president and Robert Lilly, pastor of First Baptist Church in Essex was elected second vice president.
A $6,233,365 budget was approved for the new year, and recommendations encouraging churches to promote the "Legacy of Faith" campaign were passed. The campaign calls for special seasons of prayers and offerings, development of church members as responsible stewards, and funding for new churches. A motion was also made to adopt the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.
David Lee's message served to recap the conclusions of the SBC 2002 meeting that was held in Solomons Md. The 2003 annual meeting will be Nov. 10-11 at the Clarion Hotel in Ocean City, Md.
By Pauline C.