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GBC messengers share Christ, conduct business

Attendance up from last year


ALBANY — With a Dr Pepper in his back pocket and a Bible in his hand, Tom Summers led 18 people to Christ during the Love Albany event at the 189th annual convention meeting held at Sherwood Baptist Church.

Armed with a warm smile and sincere handshake, Summers, pastor of Carver Road Church in Griffin, often found himself sharing the Gospel with several people at a time.

“I’ve just never forgotten what Jesus did for me,” Summers said.

The two-hour event was a break during the annual meeting for messengers to participate in Love Albany, a food distribution ministry. The well-organized and well-attended event provided 500 boxes of food, 350 Bibles and 140 “salvation dolls” for Albany residents who had completed a screening process before the distribution. In all, 37 people prayed to receive Christ during Love Albany.

The event also demonstrated part of the 10-year plan to reach Georgia that was rolled out at the annual meeting.

The Mission Georgia 2020 report was presented to the 1,354 registered messengers, an increase over the 1,289 messengers from last year. The report included information on population projections, societal shifts, cultural influences, community challenges and religious realities, as well as responses to those issues.

“How Georgia Baptists respond to these challenges is extremely important and will shape our ministry in the years ahead,” said J. Robert White, executive director of the Georgia Baptist Convention.

Messengers also voted to establish a new association, Southwest Atlanta Baptist Association, and to accept 50 new churches and missions in Georgia.

In other business, messengers voted to:

• Redistribute remaining funds designated for Mercer University among the three remaining Baptist colleges and universities. The Mercer University committee was dissolved.

• To exclude Druid Hills Baptist Church of Atlanta because a woman is serving as co-pastor. The vote carried with a significant majority, but not a unanimous vote.

• Approve a 2011 budget of $45,000,000, which is a $500,000 decrease from 2010.

• Messengers also elected a new slate of officers including GBC president Dan Spencer, pastor of First Baptist Thomasville, who was re-elected to a second term. Others elected are: John Waters, pastor of First Baptist Statesboro, first vice president; Joe Allen, pastor of First Baptist Cairo, second vice president; Ernest Easley, pastor of Roswell Street Baptist in Marietta, third vice president; Jeff LaBorg, pastor of Second Baptist Warner Robins, fourth vice president.

Danny Henson, of New Liberty Baptist in Ringgold, was re-elected recording secretary while Freddie Rhodes of Westview Baptist in Hawkinsville and Tom Vann, pastor of Rentz Baptist Church, were chosen as assistant recording secretaries.


Click here to view extensive photo coverage of the meeting.