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  • Tony Lynn

BSCM Annual Meeting: Patterson announces retirement date, Bambi sale postponed

PLYMOUTH – Executive Director-Treasurer, Tim Patterson, of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM) publicly announced his upcoming retirement. At the close of the recent annual gathering of churches at Mile City Church Plymouth, Patterson set his final day of service as December 31, 2024. Patterson, noting that at the end of 2024 he will have served Michigan Baptists just under ten years said, “I have no doubt that we are poised for a remarkable future as we take our next steps to accelerate Gospel movement.”

President Ed Emmerling, immediately after Patterson’s retirement announcement addressed the gathering, speaking on behalf of the officers said, “Our intention, if God allows, is to bring to next year’s annual meeting a recommendation for the next executive director of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan.”

Two others, during the same meeting, announced their imminent departures from BSCM ministry roles during 2023. Mike Durbin, the state’s Church Strengthener and Director of Evangelism will retire on December 31, 2023. Durbin described his feelings in his written report: “I will be retiring from the BSCM at the end of this year. I do so with many wonderful memories and great hope for the future of Michigan Baptists.” Mick Schatz, the state’s Director of Spiritual Enrichment and Retreats announced his resignation in his written report: “I am thankful for the privilege of serving almost seven years . . . I will be stepping down at the end of this year, December 2023.”


Retreat Center Sale Postponed

Officers and trustees of the state convention started the annual gathering with a motion to sell the state’s camp and retreat center to another Christian camp association. But an amendment to the original motion asked for the postponement of the sale and for up to three additional years for volunteers to manage the retreat center with a limit of no more than $100,000 from Cooperative Program dollars contributed from Michigan churches. The amended motion was adopted by a margin of approximately twenty votes. The officers, the trustees, the state executive, and the supporters of the amendment will work together to create a working expression of the amended motion and annually report back to the churches on progress.


Delayed Increased Dollars to Missions and Education

An annual state convention budget of $2,454,701.00 was adopted for 2024. Due to the increasing demands of the camp and retreat center’s costs, plans to raise the amount of the Cooperative Program by an annual amount of 5% this year (from 35% to 40%) until we reach 50% of all church contributions to be sent on past the state convention to the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, the six seminaries, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and SBC Executive Committee were postponed by the officers and trustees.


Reelection of Five Officers

Last year’s five state convention officers were reelected: President Ed Emmerling of Westside Baptist Church of Flushing. First Vice President Ray Ruffin of New Found Hope Community Church of Redford. Second Vice President Josh Tovey of Redemption Church, Grandville. Jerome Taylor, Recording Secretary of Eastgate Baptist Church of Burton. Dr. Michele White, Assistant Recording Secretary of Middlebelt Baptist Church of Inkster.


Bylaws Revision and Attendance

Officers and trustees of the state convention presented a revision of previous bylaws uniting the officers and trustees in a more collaborative effort when handling the business of the state convention. Former committees were removed from the new proposed edition so that every trustee would be more aware of the complete business of the convention. After some discussion, the proposed bylaws were adopted by the convention.

This year’s annual meeting registered 222 total in attendance with 186 registered messengers and 36 guests. There were 70 churches represented. The five newly reelected officers will convene next year’s annual state convention on November 1, 2024 at Cedar Street Church in Holt.


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