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The Open Door


Dr. Wayne Hamrick has been re-elected president of the Georgia Baptist Convention. I could not be more pleased. Wayne did an outstanding job as president over the past year. He is highly organized, enthusiastic about the Georgia Baptist Convention, supportive of our convention staff, energetic in his ministry of church growth and evangelism in churches across Georgia and perceptive in working with the Order of Business Committee in the planning of the Convention program for the annual meeting.

The “Back to the Basics” theme was challenging, inspiring and timely. It is, indeed, time for us to get back to the basics. I believe we will be more focused than ever before this year as we seek to bless the ministry of our Georgia Baptist churches. Wayne has pledged a continuing emphasis upon the basics of effective church life and ministry. I am very grateful for his visionary leadership.

Not only was this year’s annual meeting historic as we dedicated the new Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center, it was historic in the incredible amount of work that was accomplished to preserve and strengthen the resources and ministries of the Convention. The Convention’s approval of the $52,000,000 budget sets a new level of Georgia Baptist involvement in ministry in Georgia and across the world. The ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention will be remarkably strengthened as we reach this new high in support through the Cooperative Program.

It was announced at the Convention during the Executive Committee report that we are currently completing the fourteenth straight year of record growth in the Cooperative Program. This is outstanding news and a tribute to the churches of our Convention and their great commitment to and love for missions.

The new CIEP program will provide much needed support for our institutions. The document accompanying the new CIEP program provides greater clarity regarding ownership of CIEP funds and protects those funds for Georgia Baptist ministries as never before. The report of the Institution Study Task Force, that was received and approved by the Convention, protects the relationship of the Convention with its institutions and assures Georgia Baptists that they can give to our institutions without fear of those institutions being stolen from the Convention.

New mission partnerships were approved for the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and Canada. These international partnerships will receive the ministry of many Georgia Baptists because they are easy to reach and the needs are tremendous. Our focus will be upon the planting of churches, evangelism, and training of church leadership. I hope that many of you will plan to be engaged in these partnerships.

I believe that the music and preaching at this year’s Convention was the best I have ever heard. We were all so blessed and inspired as we worshiped together. When I left the Convention on Tuesday evening, I felt uplifted and inspired for a new and exciting year of ministry in Georgia and across the world.