Indiana Baptists amend church cooperation bylaw



PLAINFIELD, IN (BP) – Indiana Baptists amended their bylaw regarding cooperating churches at the group's annual meeting Oct. 10–11 at the Palms Conference Center in Plainfield, Ind. The new State Convention of Baptists in Indiana (SCBI) rule provides "a personal and proactive approach to dealing with churches that have not met the basic requirements of being a 'cooperating church with the SCBI,'" the group reported.

Under the amended church cooperation bylaw, approved overwhelmingly, the SCBI will make efforts to communicate with churches who have not met cooperation guidelines. Churches are considered in cooperation with the SCBI when they agree with the Baptist Faith & Message 2000, give to the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program or the state mission offering, and submit basic statistical information to the SBC annual church profile. To that end, a team of SCBI representatives will meet with the church in question to discuss any problems and determine whether the church desires to reaffirm cooperation.

The $4,290,680 budget approved for 2017 represents a 5.7 percent increase over the 2016 amount, and is based on anticipated receipts of 56 percent in Cooperative Program funds, 21 percent from NAMB, 17 percent from fees, 1 percent from LifeWay and 5 percent from other sources. The 198 messengers in attendance voted to forward 40 percent of CP receipts to the SBC for national and international causes.


Bruce Reynolds, pastor of Old Town Hill Baptist Church in Muncie, was elected the new SCBI president over fellow nominee Bob Parnell, pastor of Black Oak Baptist Church in Gary. Completing the new slate of officers are first vice president Roger Kinion, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Greenfield; second vice president Randy Forsythe, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Portage; and recording secretary Sandy Irick, a member of Vann Avenue Baptist Church, Evansville.

"Shining Through the Darkness" was Indiana Baptists' annual meeting theme, based on Ephesians 5:8, "For you were once darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light…" Attendees heard team reports and celebrated Seagle's denominational contributions, churches strengthened and planted, and salvation decisions voiced at camps.


Messengers to the annual meeting received the resignation of SCBI executive director Cecil Seagle, elected new officers and approved a 2017 budget. Seagle will serve through Dec. 31. Seagle preached his final annual meeting message from Revelation 19:11-17 on the theme of "Take Me to the King." He spoke about current popular culture and the need for churches to "keep the focus on Jesus" and "bring a lost world to the King."

Among those presenting special accolades to Seagle were Frank Page on behalf of the SBC Executive Committee, Guy Key on behalf of the International Mission Board, and David Cullison, SCBI Executive Board chairman and pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Evansville. Seagle had announced his resignation at the August 15 SCBI Executive Board meeting.

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Reported by Steve McNeil, communications team leader of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.

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