Monday, August 18, 2008

140 New Churches Planted in Florida in 2007 by SBC

ATLANTA, Ga. (NAMB) - The Florida Baptist Convention was recently honored by the North American Mission Board’s church planting group for being No. 1 in the commitment to expand the Kingdom of God by planting 140 new churches in 2007, an achievement that led the Southern Baptist Convention in new church starts.

Accepting the church planting award for the Florida convention were Emanuel Roque, director of the Language Church Planting Department; Rick Lawrence, director of the Church Planting Department; and Maxie Miller, director of the African American Ministries Division.

“The Florida Baptist Convention is fortunate to have some of the nation’s leading church planting practitioners and an executive director-treasurer, Dr. John Sullivan, who values church planting,” said Cecil Seagle, director of the Convention’s Mission Division, which oversees the state’s church planting strategy. Recognition by the North American Mission Board is recognition of the outstanding work of Frank Moreno, Emanuel Roque, Maxie Miller, Rick Lawrence and their church planting teams.…

…(Geoff) Hammond (president of the North American Mission Board) stated he wants each of the 48,000 SBC churches in North America engaged in starting new churches to reach all people groups by 2020. In addition, he hopes to see every Southern Baptist crossing cultural and spiritual barriers to serve in some sort of short- or long-term mission endeavor by 2020.

During the four-day conference, NAMB also presented annual awards for outstanding achievements in evangelism and church planting to state conventions and individuals.

Steve Fowler, state director of missions for the Montana Southern Baptist Convention in Billings, Mont., was presented the “Dennis Hampton Rural Church Planting Award,” while Stanley K. Smith, state director of missions for the Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania-South Jersey, was given NAMB’s “People’s Choice Award” for “excellence in mentoring and coaching peers across North America in church planting.”

The Wyoming Southern Baptist Convention was recognized for its 200 percent increase in the number of churches planted in 2007 over 2006.

In addition to Florida, NAMB’s evangelization group recognized three other state conventions for their increase in the actual number of baptisms between 2006 and 2007. These included the Georgia Baptist Convention, the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

Four other state conventions were honored for “expanding the kingdom of God by the increase in percentage of baptisms between 2006 and 2007.” These were the Illinois Baptist State Association, Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention, Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, and the Convention of Southern Baptists of Puerto Rico.