Arizona Baptists Join Hands with Mexican Baptists to ‘promote the cause of Christ’

The Arizona Southern Baptist Convention (ASBC) joined hands with the Baptist Convention of Sonora (BCS), Mexico, pledged over $3 million to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)’s Cooperative Program, and adopted a resolution encouraging churches to “increase their percentage of support to worldwide missions and evangelism by 1 percent.”

"[There is] only one border that separates us -- the border between lostness and those who know Jesus," said Steve Bass, Arizona Southern Baptist Convention executive director, during the Nov. 9-10 annual meeting, held at the First Southern Baptist Church in Scottsdale.

According to the SBC’s Baptist Press, “Arizona and Sonora churches will partner in activities as Vacation Bible Schools, leadership training, evangelism events, construction projects, medical missions and other ministries to promote the cause of Christ” over the next three years.

The 411 messengers to the meeting signed an agreement establishing a “formal partnership” between the two Baptist bodies.

Additionally, the Arizona Baptists developed a new ministry to help reach out to those in need. The new ministry, entitled, “the Arizona Disaster Relief Team,” is meant as a way to “evangelize people hard to the Gospel when disaster strikes.”

Also in terms of mission support, messengers adopted a resolution that encouraged churches to "consider increasing their percentage of support to worldwide missions and evangelism by 1 percent," with half of the increase going to the Cooperative Program and half to the association.

Meanwhile, in terms of financial budgeting, messengers adopted a $3,296,750 budget for the Cooperative Program – the general financial base of the SBC, and a $3,997,872 state convention operating budget for 2005.

According to BP, the 75 percent of the CP budget will be used in Arizona and 25 percent will be sent to the SBC Executive Committee for allocation to national and international ministries.

In other business, messengers elected Dan Coker, pastor of Love Baptist Church in Phoenix as the convention’s new president by a 2-1 margin. Charles Tyson, pastor of Immanuel Southern Baptist Church in Yuma, was elected first vice president, and Jim Loui, a member of First Chinese Baptist Church in Phoenix, was elected second vice president, both by acclamation.