Messengers approved a 2012 budget of $21,496,500, which includes $9,194,053 (42.77 percent) for Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) causes and $12,302,447 (57.23 percent) for missions and ministries in Arkansas.
The SBC portion includes an increase of $42,993 (0.2 percent) above the 2011 allocation, which is the fifth such increase by the ABSC in a five-year plan to increase the SBC portion by 1 percentage point. The 2012 budget represents no increase over the 2011 budget.
Additionally, an ABSC Executive Board recommendation to revise its budget formula for 2013-17 was approved, calling for the convention to continue to increase the percentage of receipts forwarded to the SBC, to divide state budget surpluses with the SBC and to conduct a statewide emphasis every five years encouraging churches to increase their Cooperative Program (CP) percentages. The new budget formula continues the 0.2 percentage increase each year to SBC causes.
A total of 687 messengers gathered at First Baptist Church in Little Rock for the convention’s Nov. 1-2 sessions, down from last year’s attendance of 761.
Greg Addison, pastor of First Baptist Church in Cabot and president of this year’s ABSC Pastors’ Conference, was elected convention president; Ken Jerome, interim pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, first vice president; and Matt Pryor, pastor of First Baptist Church in Wooster, second vice president. All were unopposed.
Messengers approved resolutions on Christian citizenship, services to children at risk, marriage, alcohol and the sanctity of human life. Another resolution expressed appreciation to convention leaders, the host church and those involved in the planning and arrangements for the meeting.
The only miscellaneous business was a motion to dedicate the 2011 ABSC annual to Pete Petty, a longtime convention staff member, pastor and associational missionary who died of cancer earlier this year.
Jason Noel, pastor of East Side Baptist Church in Paragould, was reelected ABSC Executive Board president, and Stan Ballard, pastor of Nettleton Baptist Church in Jonesboro, was elected vice president.
Next year’s annual meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention will be Oct. 30-31 at First Baptist Church in Cabot.