Wednesday Morning Session Summary
Messengers to the Wednesday session of the 198th Annual Meeting of the South Carolina Baptist Convention held at Mt. Moriah Missionary Church in North Charleston elected 2019 officers, approved nine resolutions, and were presented with a variety of reports from ministry partners across the state.
2019-2020 Officers Elected
President Elect – Pastor Josh Powell, Lake Murray Baptist Church, Lexington
First Vice President – Pastor Alex Sands, Kingdom Life Church, Simpsonville
Second Vice President – Pastor Larry Baldwin, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Williamston
Recording Secretary – Adrian Smith, member First Baptist Church, Taylors
Registration Secretary – Pastor Larry Zaky, First Baptist Church, Hemingway
Messengers approved resolutions, without discussion, to: oppose the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, while clarifying that “non-hallucinogenic CBD component treatments that are FDA approved, prescribed by licensed medical doctors, and dispensed by licensed pharmacies would be acceptable to help certain severely ill patients;” address purity in ministry leadership; commit to active pursuit in racial reconciliation; oppose all forms of gambling including sports betting; support the free exercise of religious liberty; and, finally, appreciation for host church Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, North Charleston.
Convention Staff Ministry Reports
Leading into the SHARE goal report, Brad Vassey, pastor of Hillcrest Church in York, reminded messengers that through some may say talking about Jesus is not appropriate, it is necessary. “It’s is not enlightening to discover that what is never told is never known. So, it is no surprise if salvations and baptisms are decreasing, because we again are making a mystery of what has been revealed through Christ as the gospel,” he said.
Team Leader Lee Clamp and a panel of evangelism team members greeted messengers with updates on ministry celebrations and reports from across the state, including Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Heart 4 Schools mentor program, Camp McCall, and Immersion small group discipleship. “In an effort to change this trend, our evangelism team is dedicated to you. We are helping the church create a culture of disciple makers that share hope with every life, gender, age, and race across our state, and around the world,” Clamp said.
Clamp challenged pastors to identify people close to them, in order to take the next step to intentionally share the hope of the gospel. The list was to include family members, neighbors, coworkers, and friends. After identifying those on the list that were already saved, messengers were asked to pray for the remaining names with a renewed focus in sharing their faith with them.
Newly-elected First Vice President Alex Sands, pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Simpsonville, closed the session by further inspiring messengers to incorporate the meaning of The Lord’s Prayer as they build bridges. “God’s kingdom is beautifully diverse and, as followers of Christ, we have a mandate to intentionally build bridges in our communities and churches so that earth will look more like heaven – to the glory and honor of our king,” he said.
In other news, 2019 President Bryant Sims announced the theme Engage for the 199th Annual Meeting of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, to be held Monday evening, Nov. 11, through Tuesday, Nov. 12, at Anderson Mill Road Baptist Church in Spartanburg.
On Wednesday, messengers voted to adopt a motion presented Tuesday, to create a committee charged with exploring next steps for South Carolina Baptists to build bridges toward racial reconciliation. Blalock announced the following to serve on the committee; Walter Belton, Philip Pinkney, Alex Sands, Ron Henderson, George Wright, Michael Duduit, and Chair Josh Powell.
A reported 747 registered messengers attended the 2018 Annual Meeting.
Annual Meeting sessions, including the Tuesday evening worship at Mother Emanuel AME Church, were recorded live and are available for viewing at https://vimeo.com/album/5557276.