February 2017 - Press Toward the Mark

February 2017 - Press Toward the Mark

Our Heavenly Father blessed Mission Ohio tremendously during 2016. Listed below are some of the highlights: 

Messengers and guests convened for the November 2, 2016 annual meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio. They did so with celebration for the blessings of the Father on Mission Ohio and commitment to the remaining task of evangelism and discipleship from Ohio to the ends of the earth. President Jeremy Westbrook, pastor of Living Hope Church in Marysville, OH, gaveled the 63rd Annual Meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio to order November 2, 2016. Vandalia First Baptist Church hosted the 320 registered messengers and 23 registered guests. 

The 2016 Annual Meeting Messengers elected David Starry, pastor of Vandalia First Baptist Church, as president; Tom Pendergrass, pastor of Urbancrest Baptist Church, as first vice president, and Ryan Strother, pastor of Marion Central Baptist Church, as second vice president. They reelected Faye Rodgers as Recording Secretary and Annette Dessecker as assistant recording secretary. 

Mission Ohio celebrated 25 new church starts and 5 affiliations since the last annual meeting. Not all SCBO churches have submitted their Annual Church Profile. Thus, baptism numbers for 2016 aren’t available. Those who did submit their Annual Church Profile for 2015 reported 4,082 baptisms. 

Messengers adopted the 2016-17 mission budget which employs a 50/50 ratio in the distribution of Cooperative Mission Program receipts from the churches. Of the undesignated receipts from SCBO churches, 50% will support worldwide Southern Baptist missions and 50% will support Mission Ohio. 

The Mission Council of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio meeting July 28, 2016 adopted without opposition the recommendation of the 50/50 Committee to move to a 50/50 distribution of Cooperative Mission Program receipts from affiliated churches beginning with the December 2016-November 2017 budget. Members of the Mission Council subsequently approved a budget including the 50/50 distribution to be presented to the messengers of November 2, 2016 annual meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio. 

This move to the 50/50 ratio distribution in one year represents a decrease of $78,059 in personnel costs and an increase of 16.65% (an additional $630,447) in contributions from the SCBO churches. This additional decrease in SCBO staffing, will bring the total to a 52% reduction in positions implemented over the years in order to continue supporting missions from Ohio to the ends of the earth. 

Mission receipts for the 2015-2016 fiscal year exceeded the budget requirements. All receipts in excess of the budget requirements were divided 50-50 between SBC worldwide missions and Mission Ohio. 

The fiscal year for Mission Ohio is December 1 through November 30. Receipts for December, the first month of the new fiscal year were 76.7% of the budget to date. This equates to starting the year $206,742.23 behind budget. The need of the day is to promote and support the Cooperative Mission Program. Thank you for stepping up to the challenge of engaging SCBO churches to support Southern Baptist missions worldwide through the Cooperative Mission Program. 

Mission Ohio is the cooperative effort of Southern Baptists to reach 1,000,000 believers in 2,020 congregations by the end of 2020. Supporting missions from Ohio to the ends of the earth is the heartbeat of Ohio Southern Baptists. The State Convention of Baptists in Ohio exists to assist Southern Baptist churches and associations in Ohio in obeying the Great Commision. Let’s press toward that mark.

Jack Kwok, Ph.D.
SCBO Executive Director-Treasurer