Hawaii Baptists elect layman president, honor outgoing SBC leaders

HONOLULU, Hawaii (BP)--Hawaii Pacific Baptists convened for their 67th annual meeting with the theme "Yet ... There is Hope," based on Psalm 71:14-16, at Olivet Baptist Church in Honolulu Nov.5-6.

In an uncontested ballot, messengers to the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention elected Walter Agena, a former civil service worker and a member of OlaNui! in Honolulu, as president. Also elected to leadership for the coming year were Steve Irvin, pastor of Pali View Baptist Church in Honolulu, first vice president, and Chris Martin, pastor of the Lahaina Baptist Church in Lahaina, Maui, second vice president. Nancy Whitehead, pastor's wife at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship on Hawaii, was re-elected recording secretary.

Messengers also honored the service of two prominent Southern Baptist Convention leaders. Separate resolutions expressed appreciation to Morris H. Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, and Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board, for their service to Southern Baptists in light of their respective impending retirements.

Two other resolutions expressed gratitude for HPBC's partnerships with the California Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. A resolution of thanks was approved for donations and continuing relief efforts for the victims of the Samoan tsunami.

Messengers also approved affiliation requests from Hamakua Baptist Church on the Big Island and All Nations Fellowship on Oahu.

Veryl Henderson, executive director of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention, recognized the top 10 churches in giving through the Cooperative Program per resident member.

The top 10 churches for CP giving are: In Christ Alone House Church, Big Island; Waianae Baptist Church, Oahu; International Fellowship, Oahu; First Baptist Church of Pearl City, Oahu; Valley Isle Fellowship, Maui; Nuuanu Baptist Church, Oahu; Mililani Baptist Church, Oahu; First Baptist Church of Wahiawa, Oahu; Pawa`a Community Church, Oahu; and Olivet Baptist Church, Oahu.

Sungho Kang, director of missions and church planting, honored churches with missions endeavors to all four quadrants of the Acts 1:8 Challenge. Those are Kohala Baptist Church, Big Island; Lahaina Baptist Church, Maui; Nuuanu Baptist Church, Oahu; Olivet Baptist Church, Oahu; Puuanahulu Baptist Church, Big Island; Waialae Baptist Church, Oahu; and Waikiki Baptist Church, Oahu.

Clyde Kakiuchi, director of church development and church growth, gave certificates to churches with the highest number of professions of faith, enrollment, offerings and age groups in Vacation Bible School. Fellowship Baptist Church, Oahu, had the most salvation decisions and the most Sunday School prospects and tied with Lanai Baptist Church, Lanai, for the largest total enrollment.

Palisades Baptist Church, Oahu, and Halawa Heights Baptist Church, Oahu, gave the highest offerings, and Lanai Baptist Church, Lanai, Palisades Baptist Church, Oahu, and Halawa Heights Baptist Church, Oahu, had the most age groups in VBS.

Messengers approved an overall budget of $3,171,123 for 2010. The budget reflects a less than 1 percent increase from 2009. Anticipated Cooperative Program giving from the convention's churches is $1,222,760 -- up from $1,215,640 in 2009 -- in addition to funding from the North American Mission Board and LifeWay Christian Resources. The convention will continue to allocate 31.5 percent of CP receipts to national and international missions and ministries.

The total number of messengers at the meeting was 261. The Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention has 102 affiliated and cooperating churches with 20 missions, three house churches and seven language departments for a total of 132 congregations on 11 islands of the Pacific.

Each session included worship led by the praise and worship teams from the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Hawaii Baptist Academy's Soldiers of Light and the Olivet Baptist Church choir and praise team. Chris Metcalf, pastor the Lihue Baptist Church in Lihue, Kauai, preached the annual sermon on the final night of the meeting.

Next year's annual meeting will be Nov. 11-12 at Waialae Baptist Church in Honolulu.


Faith McFatridge writes for the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention.