INDIANAPOLIS--Two hundred forty-five messengers, representing 103 churches, and 118 guests attended the 44th annual meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.
For Charles Sullivan, the executive director-treasurer who will retire next May, this convention was the last among his 12 year tenure.
"The 44th annual convention of the SCBI indicated once again the unity of the state throughout these past 12 years," he said. "The leaders of our convention have sought more and more to be inclusive of new pastors and new voices as they come to serve in Indiana.?
"The primary emphasis during these past 12 years has been evangelism and church planting coupled with missions involvement. This year's convention gave clear evidence that this convention has not veered from its mooring in these areas," Sullivan said. "This convention is latched to the Word of God and is ready to face the challenges of this 21st century."
The results of this convention included the approval of the Baptist partnership with eastern Ukraine to run from Jan. 1 until Dec. 31, 2005 with room for possible extensions. Sullivan, Steve Blanchard, SCBI partnership coordinator, Glen Flowers, outgoing SCBI president, and Mick Stockwell, IMB missionary to Ukraine, signed a covenant agreement putting into effect the newly established partnership.
Also, a 2003 budget of $4,560,234 was adopted in an increase of 4.2 percent over the current budget. In Cooperative Program giving from Indiana churches, 67.5 percent of an anticipated $2,742,147 will continue to be devoted to state missions and ministries and 32.5 percent to SBC international and national causes.
"We anticipate 2002 will be the 13th consecutive year in growth in Cooperative Program giving in Indiana," Sullivan said.
The convention voiced opposition to an Indiana law that made it possible to tax churches for property they owned beyond 15 acres.
Both the president and Vice President were unanimously elected as lone runners. Jim Hamilton, pastor of First Baptist Church in Sellersburg, and Damon Jones, pastor of Old Town Hill Baptist Church in Muncie. For second vice president, Scott Wilkins, pastor of Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis, was elected over Jim Bullock, pastor of Colgate (Ind.) Baptist Church.Sara Burke, a member of Grace Baptist Church in Evansville, was elected recording secretary unanimously as the lone nominee as well.
Similar to the SBC convention in Iowa, this convention affirmed the Empowering Kingdom Growth?initiative.r resolutions were adopted, including an affirmation of the new SBC "Empowering Kingdom Growth" initiative. The resolution calls for EKG to be a priority in "our own personal lives" and in the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.
The next convention is scheduled to be from Oct. 28-29 at Graceland Baptist Church in New Albany.