Wyoming Baptists Celebrate God’s Blessings at 36th Annual Meeting

New officers for the Wyoming Southern Baptist Mission Network are: (from right) president, John Larramendy, pastor of Alcova (Wyo.) Baptist Church; first vice president, Dean Whitaker, pastor of United Baptist Church in Riverton; second vice president, Ed Tharp, associate pastor of Boyd Avenue Baptist Church in Casper; recording secretary, Cheri Mickelson, (not pictured) member of First Baptist Church of Powell; and assistant recording secretary, Dawn Kenney, member of Mountain View Baptist Church in Mills. Photo submitted

“Completely unexpected and spontaneous,” a Wyoming state Baptist leader said about the 28 people baptized at seven churches in the West region of the state on Aug. 25. “Plus several more in September and October!”

Reports like this punctuated the 36th annual meeting of the Wyoming Southern Baptist Mission Network Nov. 7-8 at Big Horn Baptist Church, where Don Paulson is pastor.

“God is here and He’s getting stuff done all over the state,” state missionary Quin Williams told 108 messengers from 48 of the Network’s 98 churches, plus at least 16 guests.

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The meeting was not all business and included praise and worship, a music concert, meals and snacks provided by the host church and a bookstore.

Business

The business itself consisted of passage of the 2020 budget, election of officers and approval of changes to the constitution of Mountaintop Assembly owned by the Wyoming Network.

A $1,266,450 budget for 2020 passed unanimously and without questions. This is a $45,199 decrease from the 2019 budget. Of the $525,175 anticipated in Cooperative Program giving from Wyoming churches, $136,951 — or 32.75 percent of undesignated funds, unchanged from last year — is earmarked for national/international SBC causes. This is an anticipated $2,506 decrease from 2019.

Other income includes $397,500 from the North American Mission Board, for administrative, church planting and evangelism costs. LifeWay Christian Resources, $67,000, including $7,000 for VBS and TeamWest training for Sunday School.

The Delmar State Missions Offering anticipates $83,075 from Wyoming churches. Another $178,500 is coming from “Regional Missionary Funding.” Registrations and fees are expected to bring in $6,100 and $9,100 is anticipated in interest income.

Each person was elected unopposed and unanimously — president John Larramendy, pastor of Alcova Community Church; first vice president Dean Whitaker, pastor of United Baptist Church in Riverton; second vice president Ed Tharp, associate pastor at Boyd Avenue Baptist Church in Casper and Baptist Collegiate Ministries director at Casper College.

Cheri Mickelson, member of First Southern Baptist Church in Powell, was elected recording secretary, and Dawn Kenney, member of Mountain View Baptist Church in Mills, was elected assistant recording secretary.

Messengers also unanimously voted to change the bylaws of the state convention-owned Mountain Top Assembly to bring wording in alignment with the Wyoming Network’s, such as replacing the term “executive director” with “state missionary.”

Staff reports

Fred Creason, northeast region missionary and coordinator of Wyoming’s CLD (Contextualized Leadership Development) program in cooperation with Gateway Seminary, reported that 12 people are to graduate in May 2020, bringing the total to 98 since the program started in 2006. Using video conferencing, he now teaches students in Illinois, Indiana and elsewhere in addition to Wyoming.

In addition to the 28 baptisms Aug. 25 in the West Region, missionary Dale Bascue listed the six or more international mission trips and the three disaster relief responses — to Houston, Nebraska and Iowa — taken in 2019 by Wyoming Southern Baptists in his area.

“Our house is in order and our finances are good,” reported south region missionary David Schroeder for the entire Network. A team from southern Wyoming has made plans to participate in ministry during the Olympics in Japan next year.

Other reports noted the strength of Baptist Collegiate Ministries in Wyoming and Mountaintop Baptist Assembly on Casper Mountain.

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Source: Baptist Press

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