Ariz. Convention allots 5% more of CP budget beyond state borders

TUCSON, Ariz. (BP)--Without a single ballot vote or an item of miscellaneous business from the floor, Arizona Southern Baptist Convention messengers dispensed with business and focused on God's call to reach people for Christ in the state and beyond.

A total of 385 messengers attended the annual meeting at First Southern Baptist Church, Tucson, Nov. 13-14.

Messengers adopted a 2002 Cooperative Program budget of $3,261,130 to support Southern Baptist ministries in the state, the nation and around the world. In 2002, 75 percent will be used in Arizona, and the remainder, $815,283, will be sent to the Southern Baptist Convention for allocation to national and international ministries. The out-of-state percentage was increased from 20 to 25 percent last July.

The 2002 Cooperative Program budget goal is an increase of $80,000, or 2.5 percent, over the 2001 budget.

The Cooperative Program budget is included in the ASBC budget totaling $5,020,808.

As part of the budget, partnerships with the state's 14 associations will be allotted $1,857,207 (37 percent of the total budget).

Statewide programs and operational expenses, including office lease, the ASBC's annual meeting, Convention Council meetings, legal fees and production of communication pieces, will be allotted $849,741 (16.9 percent of the total budget).

The budget allots $975,988 (19.4 percent of the total) for salaries and benefits for the 20 state convention staff members.

Ministries through cooperative agreements will receive the following: Arizona Regional Campus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, $250,000; Arizona Baptist Children's Services, $132,590; Baptist Senior Life Ministries, $80,000; and estate planning through the Arizona office of the California Baptist Foundation, $60,000.

Major revenue and sources in addition to the Cooperative Program include the North American Mission Board, $1,536,672; LifeWay Christian Resources, $48,000; and fees from conferences and camps, $83,750.

C.J. "Jim" Stewart, a layman from First Southern Baptist Church, Avondale, was elected to a second term as convention president. Coy Wilkerson, pastor of Country Baptist Church, Peoria, was elected first vice president, and Leo Garcia, pastor of Ministerios Cristianos Cristo La Roca, Tucson, was elected second vice president. All were elected by acclamation.

In one of six resolutions adopted as a slate, messengers pledged a continued commitment to unity and encouraged "each pastor and member to remain focused in ministry, unwavering in reliance upon the Word of God, and faithful in the pursuit of unity within the bond of love so that the world may see Christ in us."

Two resolutions expressed appreciation for those who served on the Arizona State Mission Board and Arizona Church Growth Board prior to the state convention's reorganization and the dissolution of the two entities July 1. Specifically named were Terry Posey, State Mission Board chairman; Don Cartwright, Nathan Pillow and Jerry Jones, State Mission Board staff members who retired; Lorie Honeycutt, Church Growth Board chairperson; and Ruth Wood, Church Growth Board staff member who retired.

In other resolutions, messengers committed to pray "for our country, its leaders, our service men and women, and the families and individuals impacted by recent terrorist activities within our nation"; expressed sympathy to the Sabino Road Baptist Church, Tucson, and the family of pastor Jimmy Beck who died during the year; and expressed appreciation to the host church, First Southern Baptist Church, Tucson.

Next year's meeting will be Nov. 12-13 at First Southern Baptist Church, Phoenix. Mark Pitts, pastor of Village Meadows Baptist Church, Sierra Vista, will preach the annual message.


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