CABOT – The 159th annual meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) is set for Oct. 30-31 at First Baptist Church, 204 N. 3rd Street, Cabot.
“Now” is the theme of the annual meeting. ABSC ministry teams will present interpretations of the 2012 theme during the meeting.
Business of the convention will be conducted, including votes on resolutions, receiving entity reports, election of convention officers and votes on the 2013 ABSC Cooperative Program (CP) budget of $22 million, which is slightly higher than the $21.4 million 2012 operating budget. Resolutions will be introduced, and the ABSC Nominating Committee will bring recommendations of people to serve on ABSC boards, committees and agencies.
Miscellaneous business sessions are scheduled for 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30, and 9:05 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The 2013 CP budget includes $9,395,389 (42.71 percent) for Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) causes and $12,469,611 (56.68 percent) for missions and ministries in Arkansas. The SBC portion includes an increase of $201,332 (0.2 percent) above this year’s allocation, the first such increase in a five-year plan to increase the SBC portion by 1 percent. The convention is currently completing a similar five-year plan for 2008-2012.
Additionally, the 2013 CP budget will reflect the first year of the convention’s revised budget formula approved by messengers at the 2011 annual meeting.
The approved recommendations set forth in the formula – which will be in effect for the 2013-17 budget years – increase the percentage of funds (total receipts) forwarded to the SBC and divide state budget surpluses with the SBC.
Greg Addison, pastor of First Baptist Church, Cabot, is completing his first term as ABSC president and is expected to be re-elected to a second term. As of press time, no other candidates had been announced for president.
Speakers during the meeting will be Michael Spradlin, president of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Cordova, Tenn.; Addison; Charles Fowler, senior pastor of Germantown Baptist Church, Germantown, Tenn.; John McCallum, pastor of First Baptist Church, Hot Springs; Gary Hollingsworth, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, Little Rock, and Emil Turner, ABSC executive director. Turner announced his intention to retire effective February 2013 at the Aug. 2 meeting of the ABSC Executive Board.
Prior to the annual meeting, a number of meetings will take place Monday Oct. 29, including the 2012 Pastors’ Conference, the Ministers’ Wives Network Conference, Hispanic Strategy Planning Meeting, Credentials Committee meeting, Missionary Parents Fellowship, Associational Missionaries Fellowship, Innovative Church Planters meeting and a Hispanic worship service.
A chaplains’ breakfast will take place at 7 a.m., Tuesday Oct. 30 prior to the first session of the annual meeting.
Fan the Flame is the theme of the 2012 Arkansas Pastors’ Conference set for 10 a.m., Monday, Oct. 29, at First Baptist Church, Cabot.
Don Chandler, pastor of Central Baptist Church, Conway, encouraged Arkansas Baptists to make every effort to attend so the inspiring messages and uplifting music shared can encourage them.
“I have observed, through the years, as men of God gather for meetings, services and conventions, that many of us come with broken hearts, crushed dreams and uncertain futures. Ministry, though exciting and rewarding, has a way of draining all of us,” said Chandler in a brochure about the event.
“Our speakers are great men of God who have been used to impact the times we live in,” he said, adding, “Our music will be Spirit-anointed, and our time together will be Spirit-filled.”
2012 Pastors’ Conference speakers include Bill Elliff, directional pastor of The Summit Church, North Little Rock; Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas; Bryan Loritts, lead pastor of Fellowship Memphis Church, Memphis, Tenn., and David Hankins, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
Darrell Spigner, worship leader at Central Baptist Church, Conway, will lead worship during the conference, which will feature the Central Baptist choir and orchestra.
For extensive coverage of the annual meeting and related events and to access past stories, visit www.arkansasbaptist.org/absc2012.