OSAGE BEACH, Mo. — Messengers elected a new slate of officers and mainly handled routine matters during brief business sessions of the Missouri Baptist Convention annual meeting Oct. 27-29 at Tan-Tar-A Resort on the shores of the Lake of the Ozarks.
First Vice President Neil Franks, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Branson, was unopposed in his election as president for the coming year.
Second Vice President Ken Parker, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Kearney, received 225 votes to become first vice president in a race with Gary Shultz, lead pastor of First Baptist Church, Fulton, who received 177 votes.
Doug Richey, senior pastor of Pisgah Baptist Church, Excelsior Springs, received 170 votes to become second vice president in a race against Jeff Anderson, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Hannibal, with 108 votes.
The new recording secretary is Jeremy Muniz, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, DeSoto, with 195 votes over Doug Austin, layperson from Bethany Baptist Church, Cape Girardeau, who received 148.
Messengers also approved a Cooperative Program goal of $14.5 million for 2015, the same as in 2014, with 5 percent designated as “shared” and the balance being split 40.5 percent to the Southern Baptist Convention and 59.5 percent MBC causes.
They also approved goals of $4 million for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, $2 million for the Lottie Moon Easter Offering for North American Missions, $250,000 for world hunger and $710,000 for the Missouri Missions Offering.
After considerable discussion and a delay in the vote, messengers approved the report of the Credentials Committee, approving the addition of 15 churches and missions into affiliation with the MBC and the re-affiliation of two more.
They also approved the removal of 13 congregations from membership. The committee said each had either requested removal or had disbanded.
The part of the report drawing the most discussion was the removal of 28 congregations that did no longer meet the criteria for membership, mainly that they had not contributed to the convention in the previous 12 months.
Chair Sam Owens, associate pastor of First Baptist Church, Macon, assured messengers that each congregation received multiple contacts from the committee to encourage them to give and maintain MBC affiliation. In fact, he said, the original list included more than 300 congregations that were not already in compliance, he explained.
Messengers adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Convention Preacher, naming Robert Shelton, pastor of First Baptist Church, Plattsburg, to preach the annual sermon at the 2015 annual meeting Oct. 26-28 in Springfield. Phil Bray, pastor of First Baptist Church, Macon, will be the alternate.