|Annual FBSC meeting to explore Kingdom partnerships
By Barbara Denman
October 11, 2013
Messengers attending the Florida Baptist State Convention can pre-register by clicking here or order messenger cards by calling 800-226-8584, ext. 3151.
JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—As president of the Florida Baptist State Convention, Tim Maynard has “incredibly high hopes” for the 152nd Annual Meeting Nov. 11-12 at North Jacksonville Baptist Church in Jacksonville as Florida Baptists gather for worship, inspiration and opportunities to hear how they are “Partnering for God’s Kingdom.”
“I am hopeful that we will see one of the largest attendance numbers that we have seen in years,” said Maynard. “I am also hoping to move this year toward more of a 360 degree picture of who we are as Florida Baptists and truly see the diversity and uniqueness in everything from the platform to the exhibits.”
While some may think a Convention meeting is optional, Maynard said just like church attendance, “We need to come together as a people of God because we have a compelling story to tell. The presence of Florida Baptists is essential to that story. It’s powerful.”
Maynard said he chose this year’s theme because “partnership is first and foremost a very Biblical concept. We plan to connect the dots between our homes, our state, our nation and the nations."
Keynote speakers will include Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board; international missionary Nik Ripkin, author of “The Insanity of God;” and humorist Charles Lowery.
During the Monday night convening session, those in attendance will “hear about the kingdom of God in this state,” said Maynard, pastor of Fruit Cove Baptist Church in Jacksonville since 1993. He will present the President’s Message during the session, which will also feature testimonies and videos of God at work in the state.
Under his leadership Fruit Cove Church has grown from 200 to more than 2,500 members and is a pacesetter in Cooperative Program support, missions outreach and annual baptisms.
During that session, Maynard will lead a celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of Nancy and John Sullivan’s leadership in Florida. John Sullivan has served as executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention since 1989. A reception in their honor will be held at the conclusion of the session.
Delivering the annual Convention Sermon Tuesday morning will be Michael Orr, pastor of First Baptist Church in Chipley. In his 13 years of leadership, the congregation has grown from 500 to 1,200 members and annually is a Cooperative Program leader in the state.
Lowery will speak to the theme of “Reigning In our Homes,” on Tuesday afternoon. The former pastor at Hoffmantown Baptist Church in Albuquerque, Lowery is president of Lowery Institute and a frequent contributor to SBC Life and other Christian publications.
Also during the Tuesday afternoon session, Sullivan, who is in great demand as an expository preacher and speaks in more than 150 churches each year, will present a doctrinal sermon.
NAMB President Ezell will address the convention on Tuesday evening “to help us think about the Kingdom of God in North America,” said Maynard. Prior to assuming NAMB leadership in 2010, Ezell served as pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Ken. NAMB seeks to mobilize Southern Baptists to impact North America with the gospel of Jesus Christ through evangelism and church planting.
The meeting will end Tuesday night with Ripken who will present a challenge to take the Kingdom to the nations. The missionary to North Africa, who writes and speaks under a pseudonym for security concerns, has done extensive research among persecuted people groups in approximately 72 countries.
Throughout the two-day meeting Florida Baptists will conduct business of the Convention including considering a $30.5 million Cooperative Program budget, electing the FBSC president and officers; and nominating trustees for the Convention’s boards and agencies.
Maynard is eligible for reelection to a second term as president and has said he will be nominated for that role again.
The proposed 2013 Cooperative Program budget of $30.5 million will increase the percentage amount allocated to the Southern Baptist Convention by 1.5 percent to 43 percent, as Florida Baptists work towards sending 50 percent to national mission causes, creating a 50/50 division of funds between state and national mission causes.
The $30.5 million will be divided between the SBC, 43 percent and Florida Baptist mission and ministries, 57 percent. To decrease the portion allocated for Florida, funding for the Convention’s program budgets, the Baptist College of Florida, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, Florida Baptist Witness and Florida Baptist Retirement Center will all receive a 4.14 percent decrease.
Messengers will also consider a partnership with Eastern Cuba Baptist Convention, similar to the partnership with the Western Cuba Baptist Convention.
On Saturday prior to the Convention, Florida Baptists will disperse across Jacksonville working with local churches and the Jacksonville Baptist Association to host block parties, sports clinics and food giveaways as part of “Crossover Jacksonville.” Volunteers are needed to minister and witness in this evangelistic outreach. If interested in participating, contact Jeff Hessinger, 800-226-8584, ext. 3096.