The regional bodies of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the American Baptist Churches of Vermont and New Hampshire and the Baptist Fellowship of the Northeast held a joint annual convention under the theme, “Still Be Our Vision – Today, Tomorrow, Together,” in Manchester, N.H., May 7-8, 2004. The unprecedented joint gathering drew some 400 Baptists from New York to Maine, and pushed forward an ecumenical force within the Baptist body.
"This represents a huge step forward in ABC-CBF relations and the Baptist movement worldwide," said Rev. Dr. Z. Allen Abbott, executive minister for the ABC of Vermont and New Hampshire. "It's time that freedom-loving Baptists from all over the country find strength in our fellowship together. Our common roots and current mission propel us to a new Baptist vision together."
In following the Baptist vision, the attendees received a special offering exceeding $10,000 for the Baptist World Alliance, which has been hit by a financial crisis since the Southern Baptist Convention decreased their allocated funds; beginning this year, the SBC might sever all funds and membership to the BWA.
“Giving to the special offering was a unique opportunity for Cooperative Baptists in the Northeast and American Baptists in Vermont and New Hampshire to underscore our common commitment to the ministries and purposes of the BWA," said (Cooperative) Baptist Fellowship of the Northeast coordinators Ken and Sandy Hale.
"We delight in this growing relationship and in the sharing not only of our common commitment to our Lord but also to our historic Baptist distinctives," said American Baptist General Secretary the Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley. "We congratulate the Baptist Fellowship of the Northeast and the American Baptist Churches of Vermont and New Hampshire for modeling this special fellowship."
In addition to the joint conference, the American Baptists and Cooperative Baptists have been going on joint mission endeavors both nationally and internationally, and have been providing for staff, missionaries and pastors receiving retirement and health benefits through a joint resource.