The Missouri Baptist Convention annual meeting will return to Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach when messengers gather Oct. 29-31 under the theme, “Building Kingdom-Focused Churches.”
The meeting will be called to order by president Mike Green at 6:45 p.m. on Monday and will run through noon on Wednesday.
Featured speakers will include Vance Pittman, pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas (Tuesday afternoon); David Gibbs III, attorney and author of “Fighting for Dear Life,” a book which tells the story of Terry Schiavo (Wednesday morning); and Carlisle Driggers, retired executive director of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, who will lead the Bible study/theme interpretation in morning and afternoon sessions.
Green will bring the president’s address, and interim executive director David Tolliver will address messengers during the opening session on Monday evening. Rodney Albert, pastor of Hallsville Baptist Church, will bring the annual sermon on Tuesday morning.
The first contested election for four convention officers in several years is expected, beginning with the election of president on Tuesday morning.
A group that has sponsored “Save Our Convention” (SOC) rallies around Missouri this year recently endorsed one slate:
President, Gerald Davidson, pastor emeritus, First Baptist Church, Arnold; first vice president, Bruce McCoy, pastor, Canaan Baptist Church, St. Louis; second vice president, John Marshall, pastor, Second Baptist Church, Springfield; and recording secretary, Chad Pendergraft, a member of Split Log Baptist Church, Goodman.
Within days, a second slate was made public:
President, Mike Green, director of missions, Twin Rivers Baptist Association, running for reelection; first vice president, Jay Scribner, retired pastor, First Baptist Church, Branson; second vice president, Roger Moran, member, First Baptist Church, Troy; and recording secretary, Jerry Williams, director of missions, Barry County Baptist Association.
The SOC group, whose members supported the Project 1000 emphasis to gain control of the MBC, is critical of what they believe is excessive influence of Project 1000’s Moran and his Missouri Baptist Laymen’s Association in deciding who will be acceptable as convention officers and members of MBC boards and commissions.
The organization has criticized the placement, nominations and elections of MBLA members themselves on many of the most influential boards, commissions and committees.
Messengers also expect to learn if the Executive Board has approved the sale of the Baptist Building in downtown Jefferson City or voted to accept six acres of donated property in California with the stipulation that a new headquarters building will be constructed on the land.
The Board meets at 1 p.m. on Monday — just hours before the annual meeting begins — and is expected to vote on both proposals, which have been made by the convention-approved MBC Sale and Relocation Committee. The committee and the Board’s administrative committee both have unanimously endorsed the proposals, which now require only a vote of the full Board.
A vote of messengers is not required. The Executive Board is scheduled to make its report to messengers at 10:25 a.m. on Tuesday.
The traditional missions emphasis will be featured in the Tuesday evening session.
A pre-convention “solemn assembly” will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28, at Osage Hills Baptist Church in Osage Beach, offering a time for prayer and repentance as in Old Testament times.
Greg Frizzell, director of prayer and spiritual awakening for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, will lead the assembly.
At 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, the Missouri Baptist Pastors Conference will begin at Tan-Tar-A Resort and run through the afternoon.