Mississippi Baptists Say Goodbye to Longtime Leader Jim Futral at Annual Meeting

Mississippi Baptist Convention officers are Ken Hester (center), senior pastor of First Church Pontotoc, president; as well as (from left) Michael Weeks, pastor of Pleasant Hill Church, Olive Branch, recording secretary; Scott Thomas II, senior pastor of North Oxford Church, Oxford, first vice president; Whit Lewis, senior pastor, Longview Heights Church, Olive Branch, second vice president; and Jerry Bingham, missions director for Benton-Tippah Baptist Association, Ripley, assistant recording secretary.
Photo by William H. Perkins Jr.

Messengers to the 184th annual meeting of the Mississippi Baptist Convention (MBC) Oct. 29-30 at First Baptist Church in Jackson elected officers for the coming year, approved the 2020 Cooperative Program budget and bade farewell to Jim Futral, who is retiring from the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB) after 21 years as executive director-treasurer.

Futral, the son, brother, and father of ministers, is a graduate of Baptist-affiliated Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He was recognized for his 21 years of service to the convention board and his decades of pastoring in Mississippi and Texas prior to that.

Phillip Gunn, speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives and member of Morrison Heights Church in Clinton, Miss., was among those who pointed to Futral’s lifelong dedication to the cause of Christ, presenting him with a resolution of appreciation authorized by members of the Mississippi Legislature.

A reception honoring Futral, his wife Shirley and members of their family was held in the Christian Life Center of the host church prior to the start of the Oct. 29 evening session.

Business

The 2020 Mississippi Cooperative Program (CP) budget of $31,073,945, was unanimously approved by messengers and reflects an increase of $22,419 (.07 percent) over the previous year’s total.

Of CP receipts, 38 percent will be forwarded to national and international causes through the Southern Baptist Convention. This is up from 37.9 percent in 2019.

Rounding out the budget are Mississippi Baptist Convention Board ministries (34.2 percent), Mississippi agencies and institutions (25.85 percent) and church retirement and protection (1.9 percent).

Elected without opposition to serve as MBC officers for the coming year were president Ken Hester, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Pontotoc (first one-year term); first vice president Scott Thomas II, senior pastor of North Oxford Church in Oxford (second one-year term); second vice president Whit Lewis, senior pastor of Longview Heights Church in Olive Branch (first one-year term); recording secretary Michael Weeks, pastor of Pleasant Hill Church in Olive Branch (multiple terms); and assistant recording secretary Jerry Bingham, missions director for Benton-Tippah Association in Ripley (multiple terms).

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Source: Baptist Press