Generous Giving

By Cameron Crabtree

January 26, 2017

Preliminary financial records for 2016 show contributions from Northwest Baptist Convention-affiliated churches through the Cooperative Program, the denomination’s primary channel for supporting missions and evangelism efforts at home and abroad, surpassed the previous year’s giving and exceeded the convention’s budget for the first time since 1998.

 

Of the convention’s 480-plus churches, 393 provided $2,811,960 for NWBC mission causes by the end of 2016 – almost $35,000 over the budget goal and up from the previous year’s actual giving by $101,455, according to Pamela Brock, NWBC business manager.

 

The convention’s 2016 annual budget anticipated $2,777,000 in CP gifts. More than 27 percent of CP gifts received by the convention are forwarded to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee for SBC-wide mission causes. Another $100,000 in CP gifts is forwarded directly to Gateway Seminary of the SBC to support the work of the seminary’s Pacific Northwest Campus in Vancouver, WA.

 

Besides supporting mission endeavors through the Cooperative Program, Northwest Baptists provide financial support through several other channels, most of them showing increases in 2016.

 

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'Joyful celebration' at Northwest annual meeting

By Cameron Crabtree

January 26, 2017

Messengers prayed around ethnic church leaders during the NWBC annual meeting.

Randy Adams, executive director of the Northwest Baptist Convention (NWBC), described the group's 2016 annual meeting as "a time of joyful celebration, meaningful fellowship, and heartfelt worship."

 

Multiple stories of church revitalization, church planting and missions at home and abroad were heard with testimonies and reports about the Lords' work through Northwest Baptist churches in the NWBC coverage area of Oregon, Washington and northern Idaho. Messengers also adopted a 2017 budget, elected officers and adopted resolutions voicing messengers' concerns.

 

"I think we experienced something of the biblical reality that Jesus is our peace," Adams said after the meeting, echoing the meeting theme of "Jesus, Our Peace."

 

More than 300 messengers and 65 guests attended the 69th annual meeting Nov. 15–16 in Spokane, Wash., drawn from 156 of the NWBC's more than 450 churches.

 

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Renovation Odyssey Complete

By Sheila Allen

January 26, 2017

As he led Trinity Baptist Church in Clarkston, WA, through a complete overhaul of its facility, there were times Pastor Doran Williams felt like Moses trying to lead God’s people out of the desert. Part of the renovation effort’s difficulty didn’t occur because of lack of water, but because there was too much of it.

 

“We had decided to begin a building project that would allow us to build a new building on the church’s property,” said Williams of the structure constructed in 1898 by a Methodist congregation. “In November 2006, following our annual Thanksgiving dinner, I began to fill the baptistery for a baptismal service the next morning. Unfortunately, I forgot to do a final check to make sure there was plenty of water. Therefore it overflowed, causing extensive damage.”

 

The wooden floors of the century-old structure allowed water to run throughout the building and into the lower level, with insurance company estimates of $160,000 in damages.

 

“We came to a decision to remodel the old building rather than build a new one to reduce our cost,” Williams said.

 

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Student Team Headed to Cuba

By Sheila Allen

January 26, 2017

Bayamo, Cuba, is the mission trip destination for Northwest Baptist Convention teenagers this summer, according to NWBC student ministries specialist Danny Kuykendall.

 

“We will be working in the eastern part of the country with the Cuba Baptist Convention, where there has been less evangelistic work done,” said Kuykendall. The convention typically sponsors an international trip every other year for teenagers from NWBC-affiliated churches.

 

For the Cuba effort, Northwest teens and leaders will partner with International World Changers and Charis Relief Ministries for the project, with projected dates of July 28-August 6.

 

“We have requests to lead Vacation Bible School and teen evangelism, with some minor construction projects as a possibility,” Kuykendall ssaid. “We need 25 to 30 youth and adult leaders, but there will be a cap of 30 people on the team.”

 

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Salvation Flows From Friendship

By Sheila Allen

January 26, 2018

Jason Spurlin and Lesley Cedillo

It all began with building relationships, according to Jason Spurlin, Northwest Collegiate Ministries (NCM) director at Mt. Hood Community College, a commuter campus on the edge of the Portland metropolitan area in Gresham, OR.

 

Spurlin arrived in Gresham after receiving his degree in kinesiology from Stephen F. Austin, although he always believed he would go into youth ministry in his home state of Texas. Through some life struggles following graduation, Spurlin returned to the basics of his beliefs by claiming his identity in Christ.

 

“I told the Lord I would serve him somewhere and I really wanted to go to Manchester, England,” Spurlin said. “I signed up to serve through Go Now, which partners with NCM and the night before I was to find out where I was going,  I saw a book with information about Portland. It ends up the Go Now leaders didn’t see England as a good fit for me, but they asked me about considering the possibility of Portland.”

 

Both overwhelmed and excited, Spurlin agreed to travel to the Northwest where he didn’t know a single person. Upon arrival on the two-year campus, Spurlin set about meeting and building bonds with everyone he came into contact on campus.

 

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Pastors Preview Japan Ministry

By Cameron Crabtree

January 26, 2017

Northwest Baptist Convention churches have opportunities to pray this year as the NWBC’s partnership with International Mission Board workers in East Asia continues to grow and church leaders participate in “vision trips” to two nations.

 

The first excursion is this spring to Japan, the island nation considered by many Christian mission observers as one of the hardest-to-reach places on earth.

 

“Japan is included in our East Asia partnership and we have quite a few IMB missionaries working there,” said Randy Adams, NWBC executive director. “Unlike most of East Asia, Japan welcomes missionaries and we can work openly there.”

 

Despite that openness to historic mission work, Adams observed, Japan remains the largest unreached people group in the world with 127 million people and only about 1 percent identifying as Christians.

 

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Florist Awaiting Court Decision

By Diana, Chandler, Baptist Press

January 26, 2017

A 71-year-old Washington woman is among several Christian small business owners awaiting court decisions on their right to refuse business services that violate their religious beliefs.

 

Southern Baptist florist Barronelle Stutzman is awaiting a ruling from the Washington State Supreme Court on her appeal of a judgment against her for refusing to design a floral arrangement for a gay wedding.

 

Washington's highest court heard her appeal Nov. 15 at Bellevue College in Bellevue, the latest deliberation in Stutzman's three-year battle to live out her Christian beliefs that marriage is a commitment between one man and one woman.

 

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