PADUCAH (10/17/13) — When Kentucky Baptists from around the commonwealth gather Nov. 12 for the annual meeting of their convention, they will be asked to consider windshields and rearview mirrors.
“Last year marked 175 years since the convention was organized,” said Paul Chitwood, executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. “It is important, and often necessary, to look back, but there’s a reason that windshields are bigger than rearview mirrors. What is in front of us must have our primary attention.”
The annual meeting theme is “Forward to What Lies Ahead” Based on Philippians 3:13-14, it is appropriate for where Kentucky Baptists, as a convention, are as 2014 approaches, Chitwood said.
“As Christians, we must move forward and become even more involved in our cities, counties and neighborhoods,” he said. “There are so many Kentuckians out there who are hurting, and they have never heard the gospel in a way that has really made sense to them. We have the privilege of changing that.”
Chitwood and Dan Summerlin, KBC’s current president and pastor of Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah, point to the activity of believers in West Kentucky prior to the annual meeting as a positive example of forward movement.
“RISK: Paducah” is an evangelistic push Nov. 1-11 coordinated by KBC, West Union Baptist Association and churches and ministries in the Paducah area.
“The idea of cooperating with one another to do evangelism at this scale is exciting and exhilarating,” Summerlin said. “There are so many different events taking place, churches can plug into the area that is closest to them, or to a group they really want to reach.”
Twelve Oaks Baptist Church is hoping to draw hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts to their campus Nov. 7 for a wild game dinner. Pastor Brandt Lyon said there are people in the congregation inviting their fellow deer and duck hunters who perhaps have never heard the gospel or just don’t feel comfortable in a traditional church setting.
After dinner, participants will hear Chuck McAlister, founder and host of the cable TV show, Adventure Bound Outdoors, talk about his experiences as a hunter, and the difference God has made in his life.
“It’s about speaking a language that they understand, and at the same time sharing the gospel,” Lyon said.
For a detailed list of outreach events, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.kybaptist.org/annualmeeting and click on the “RISK: Paducah” tab.
Reports from the outreach will be shared at the annual meeting, which convenes Nov. 12 at 8:30 a.m., CST, at Lone Oak First Baptist Church.
Chitwood said he hopes news from “RISK: Paducah” will inspire all Kentucky Baptists to share the love of Christ and the gospel message in their communities.
“I think when the events surrounding RISK: Paducah are over, the churches in the area will continue to work diligently to follow up with all of the individuals and families that they have met, inviting them to learn more about Christ and to become part of a local congregation,” he said. “That kind of activity is contagious to Christians who are serious about the Great Commission, and that describes Kentucky Baptists.”
Also during the annual meeting, a Baptist layman from the West Kentucky area will be nominated to serve as the next KBC president.
Chip Hutcheson, an editor and publisher in Princeton and member of Southside Baptist Church, will be nominated by Ronnie Sivells, pastor of Nortonville Baptist Church.
If elected Nov. 12, Hutcheson will be the first layman to serve as president since Eugene Siler, a judge and member of First Baptist Church of Williamsburg, accepted the gavel in November 2003.
Only five laymen have held the position in the past 75 years.
Hutcheson is publisher of the Princeton Times Leader and The Eagle Post in Oak Grove. A former deacon and Sunday school teacher at Southside Baptist, Hutcheson currently serves through the church’s after-school children’s ministry and a local ministry to the incarcerated.
Currently in his second term as a trustee for Western Recorder, Kentucky Baptists’ newspaper of record, Hutcheson has also served two terms on the KBC Public Affairs Committee.
In addition to Summerlin’s address to the convention Nov. 12, scheduled for 11:40 a.m., Kentucky Baptists will hear from Bill Langley, pastor of Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown at 3:25 p.m.
Summerlin noted that the KBC Annual Meeting has not been held in Paducah since 1990. The last time the meeting convened in West Kentucky was 2001 at the Regional Special Events Center on the campus of Murray State University.
“Our church is excited and honored to host the annual meeting,” said Summerlin, who has led the Lone Oak congregation since 2002. “Many of our members have never attended a KBC annual meeting before and they are looking forward to seeing not only how our state convention operates but also to witness the many wonderful things God is doing around the state through the efforts of Kentucky Baptists and the Cooperative Program.”
A combined choir from Lone Oak First Baptist, Friendship Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of Paducah will provide music for the gathering.
Nathan Joyce, senior pastor of Heartland Worship Center, also in Paducah, will preach the opening sermon of the 2013 Kentucky Baptist Pastors’ Conference Nov. 11. The conference is also held at Lone Oak First Baptist’s campus at 3601 Lone Oak Rd. It begins at 2 p.m., CST.
For complete information on the pastors’ conference, visit www.kybaptist.org/pastorsconference.
A new event for 2013 is a Ministers’ Wives Luncheon scheduled for Nov. 12 between the morning and afternoon sessions of the annual meeting. The complimentary luncheon will be hosted by Chitwood’s wife, Michelle, and is made possible by KBC and the North American Mission Board.
The guest speaker is Kathy Ferguson Litton, director of NAMB’s ministry to pastors’ wives. Registration is still open but space is limited. Visit www.kybaptist.org/ministerswives for details and to register.
For details on the annual meeting, including child care, accommodations and more, visit www.kybaptist.org/annualmeeting.
In addition to the election of a president, first- and second vice presidents and a secretary, messengers to the annual meeting will consider a proposed budget goal of $22 million for 2014-15.
The proposed budget would equally divide Kentucky Baptists’ support of missions and ministries through the Cooperative Program between Kentucky Baptist and Southern Baptist Convention causes.
Seven percent of the budget, 3.5 percent from the KBC allocation and 3.5 percent from the SBC allocation, would be set aside as Cooperative Program Resourcing, to educate Kentucky Baptists on the unified giving system that has been in place in the commonwealth since 1925.
In other business, the convention’s Committee on Constitution and Bylaws will ask messengers to consider two changes to the constitution.
The first follows last year’s passage of an updated definition of a “cooperating” church in Article IV as one that contributes through the Cooperative Program and submits the Annual Church Profile.
The question posed to messengers this year is to revise Article IX, Paragraph 1 to specify that trustees to the KBC Mission Board or KBC-affiliated agencies and institutions will be members of cooperating churches as defined by the new Article IV.
The second proposed change would be to Article VII, Paragraph 5 and would remove mention of the “president of the Kentucky Baptist Men on Missions” because the Men on Missions steering committee no longer exists.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention is a cooperative missions and ministry organization made up of nearly 2,400 autonomous Baptist churches in Kentucky. A variety of state and worldwide ministries are coordinated through its administrative offices in Louisville, including: missions work, ministry training and support, church development, evangelism and more.
Information provided by Dannah Prather, KBC Media Relations
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