ACM 2019: Two Churches Become Full Members
The International Baptist Convention at its 56th Annual Convention Meeting, held 21-23 October in Naples, Italy, welcomed two churches as full members, heard reports from the General Secretary and Core Strategy Directors, and approved a €406,285 budget for next year.
Koinonia International Baptist Church, Aalborg, Denmark, and LifeBridge International Baptist Church, Panama City, Panama, have been associate members of the convention since their days as church plants. They have both been active in the life of the convention and were joyfully welcomed as full members.
The €406,285 approved budget for 2020 was a slight decrease from the current year. Finance Team Leader Erik Nielsen reported that giving for 2019 is running at approximately 90% of budget.
The convention also approved the awarding of the IBC Endowment Fund grant to Bratislava Faith Community for the purchase of an apartment for their pastor. At the 2018 ACM, the convention expanded the scope of the endowment fund to include major repairs to existing church buildings, matching grants for smaller repair projects, and strategic initiatives of the convention. During the course of the year, the convention has awarded grants to North Sea Baptist Church, Stavanger, Norway, and International Bible Church, Jurbise, Belgium for repairs to their existing buildings; to Grace Fellowship, Stukeley, England for a matching grant for repairs to their building; and to the IBC Residency Program to help train and develop new pastors and church planters.
The convention also heard presentations from General Secretary Jimmy Martin (see article here) and each of the strategy directors concerning their strategy and plans for the coming year. Darryl Evetts (multiplying churches), Barry Cole (strengthening churches), David Fresch (empowering leaders), Scott Corwin (building connections), and Judith Lynn Maxwell (developing resources) shared their goals for 2020.
During the final business session, Tim Faulkner, Il Faro International Baptist Church, was re-elected president. Nick Howard, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, Wiesbaden, Germany, was re-elected 1st vice-president. Nathanael Fawcett, pastor of Calvary International Church, Sao Paulo, Brazil, was re-elected 2nd vice-president. Each will serve a one-year term.
The evening sessions focused on the theme “All to Maturity, Many to Leadership.” On Monday evening, Tim Faulkner spoke on the succession strategy they had used at Il Faro International Baptist Church, Naples, over the past few years. In January 2019, Faulkner successfully handed over the pastorship to Danilo Bozza. On Tuesday evening, a panel of pastors and leaders discussed their own experiences in “passing the baton of leadership” to others in their churches. Gerhard Venter, Bratislava Faith Community, Slovakia; Gilbert van Bueren, International Baptist Church, Eindhoven, Netherlands; and Rebecca van den Brink, North Sea Baptist Church, Stavanger, Norway; served on the panel.
Bob Marsh shared Bible studies at the beginning of each session from Luke 15, 2 Timothy 1, and the book of Hebrews.
Fifty-nine messengers representing 29 churches and 18 guests were part of the business sessions.