by Jamie Lynn
PLYMOUTH, MI – The 2021 Baptist State Convention of Michigan’s annual meeting is in the books.
The 64th annual meeting was hosted at Mile City Church in Plymouth on Nov 5th. The theme for this year’s meeting was “500 churches by 2025- Every Church Thriving”. 157 messengers and guests were present representing 58 churches from the state’s 297 churches.
BSCM staff worked with Will Mancini’s team in what they’re calling Denominee. This year’s meeting looked differently than before with an emphasis on giving value to the representatives who came from churches all over the state. There was a buzz of excitement from the moment people lined up to register. (It may have been from the Send Network Michigan backpack giveaways and all the coffee and Looney Bakery donuts being served!)
There were two main thrusts to this year’s meeting: Be The Church (Church Strengthening) and Send Network Michigan (Church Starting and Sending). BSCM Executive Director, Tim Patterson, even had a Harley motorcycle brought in with twin cylinders to illustrate our two-prong approach. (We talked him out of riding it up on the stage!) Pastor Tim shared a message of vision and unity over the pastors, church leaders and representatives.
The Be The Church morning session was filled with strengthening stories (Ed Emmerling and Jason Loewen), testimonies (Chip Faulkner and Billy Walker) and video reports from State Ministry Directors (Mike Durbin, Evangelism; Pastor Coye Bouyer, Diversity Ambassador and Mick Schatz, Bambi Lake Director).
Pastor Joel Wayne of Chapel Pointe Church in Hudsonville brought a powerful word that challenged churches to Be The Church that God had called them to be. It includes a partnership strategy which draws pastors and leaders into cohorts to strengthen them. There are five “Be The Church” cohorts already meeting across Michigan. Pastors and church leader’s hearts were filled with emotion and courage as the words poured over them.
The Convergent Church band from Owosso, led the gathering through soul-touching hymns and songs of worship.
BSCM President, Roy Henry, led the business of the convention. It included State Director video reports by Sue Hodnett, Women’s Ministry/WMU; Mike Wigle, MI Southern Baptist Foundation; and Bob Kiger, MI Disaster Relief. Our current Officers were all re-elected for a second term: President Roy Henry, 1st VP Ed Emmerling, 2nd VP Roland Caldwell Sr, Recording Secretary Jerome Taylor and Assistant Recording Secretary Michele White. Pastor Roy Henry gave a potent sermon on being bold as a church to spread the Gospel of Christ.
In addition to re-electing officers to second terms, the BSCM passed a 5 percent increase to it’s Cooperative Program giving, and approved a $2,279,793 budget. Patterson said this annual meeting reduced business time to only what was necessary to allow more time for inspiration and encouragement.
The SEND Network afternoon session kicked off with Matt Thompson, MI Church Planting Catalyst, passionately sharing about Church Planting Residencies, and how any church can be a part of the process. Tony Lynn, Director of Missions, and Wayne Parker, Send Detroit Missionary, enthusiastically testified about the amazing things that God is doing in Detroit and across Michigan in the area of church starting! They shared how God continued to spread His Kingdom in Michigan even during the post pandemic time. Pastors Ken Nether and Josh Tovey gave their stories of challenges and victories as God led them to start multiplying churches.
Dean Fulks, Send Network Ohio Valley Regional Director and Pastor of Lifepoint Church, Lewis Center Ohio, brought the message stirring the everyone to do more in following, serving and sharing Christ. Letting it permeate all of life, community and the world.
As they left, the faces of the people were encouraged and ready to go back to their church field with renewed strength and passion. They looked ready to strive to share the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ with everyone around us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jamie loves working for the Michigan churches at the State Convention Office. She is married to Dr. Tony Lynn, State Director of Missions and enthusiastic follower of Jesus Christ. They have 3 married children and 9 amazing grandchildren.