Church Staff Renewed at Oasis Retreat

By Sheila Allen

July 22, 2021

Continuing to grow through all of life as a leader is crucial for every minister, said Richard Blackaby, featured speaker at the Northwest Baptist Convention’s recent Oasis retreat for vocational ministers.

 

“Every leader will get to the end of themselves,” noted Blackaby. “You may have been very successful a decade ago, but begin wondering if you are just too old. When you get to the end of self, you need to grow or end up a bitter person.”

 

Blackaby encouraged staff and spouses from Northwest Baptist churches at the retreat. “Unlimiting God in Your Life and Ministry” was the theme for his messages and stories of encouragement.

 

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Board Adopts Spending Shifts

By Cameron Crabtree

July 22, 2021

The Northwest Baptist Convention Executive Board approved for recommendation to the NWBC annual meeting in November a $3,980,000 budget for 2022 and a $150,000 goal for that year’s Northwest Impact mission offering.

 

The spending plan for missions in the Northwest anticipates $2.9 million – almost 73 percent of the budget -- in Cooperative Program gifts from the NWBC’s 500-plus churches. That’s up slightly from the $2,845,000 projected by the end of this year’s budget.

 

The 2022 budget recommendation, however, is reduced by $700,000 from the $4,680,000 budget for 2021.

 

The decrease is due mostly to the North American Mission Board – starting October of this year -- routing funds for individual church plants through what it calls “sending churches” rather than through the NWBC business office. NAMB leaders early last year signaled their intent to provide 100 percent of the funds for church plants starting in this coming October without channeling them through the state convention and to begin engaging in church planting effort more independently in the Northwest.

 

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Church Offers Safe Space

By Sheila Allen

July 22, 2021

Parking lot guests attend recent Sunday services at South Hill Baptist Church in Puyallup, WA.

Desperate economic times created dire conditions that forced staggering numbers of citizens to turn vehicles into temporary homes, but left many of them without safe places to sleep overnight. Members of South Hill Baptist Church in Puyallup, WA, found a way to help those in need.

 

When Paul Anderson first arrived at South Hill as a member, he faced a crossroads in his own life. After 30 years as a contractor and business owner, the financial and economic collapse of 2008 hit him and his family hard. Anderson, with the support of his wife, Julie, made the decision to answer a call to ministry by first finishing his college degree and then seminary.

 

Now in his seventh year as pastor at South Hill, he leads the church to see where God is working and join it wholeheartedly. The first opportunity came with a visit to the neighboring elementary school, where members soon plugged in as reading tutors in the overpopulated classrooms and offered the church parking lot for staff and visitor usage.

 

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Gateway Honors Alumni

By Tyler Sanders

July 22, 2021

Gary Floyd

Gary Floyd, the longtime leader of Northwest Baptist Disaster Relief and an advocate for church partnerships with local community ministries, was recognize this past June by Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention as one of its “distinguished alumni.”

 

Seminary president Jeff Iorg recognized Floyd, Charles Grant and Mitch Martin – another ministry leader with ties to the Northwest -- for their “distinguished careers of Christian service” at the annual alumni and friends lunch June 16 during the SBC’s annual meeting in Nashville, TN.

 

The presentation of the distinguished alumni awards to these leaders was “an opportunity to not only congratulate them, but to inspire others to follow their example to come up to their level of leadership,” Iorg said.

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New Asia Group Expands Service

By Sheila Allen

July 22, 2021

Creation of a new International Mission Board (IMB) affinity group will expand opportunities for Northwest Baptists to impact countless people in Asia for the cause of Christ.

 

After its launch on October 1, the newly formed Asian Pacific Rim Peoples (APAC) Affinity will encompass the six East Asian countries where Northwest Baptists have served in the past, as well as 11 Southeast Asian countries including the countries of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and more.

 

The 17 APAC countries together will encompass approximately 2.2 billion lost people, and approximately one third of all IMB personnel. The expanded reach of the new affinity will increase opportunities for Northwest Baptist Convention (NWBC) churches to continue partnering in ministry with the IMB.

 

“There will be many more opportunities to send long and short-term missionaries and volunteers,” said Rose Waligora, who alongside her husband, Wally Waligora, serves as an IMB liaison to NWBC churches.

 

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SBC Elects President

July 22, 2021

In a months-long bid to serve a one-year term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Randy Adams – the Northwest Baptist Convention’s executive director since 2013 – wrote and spoke often about the need for “increased transparency, accountability and participation” in SBC life.

 

When almost 16,000 registered messengers to the SBC annual meeting finally convened in Nashville, TN, in June to elect a new president, however, only 673 messengers voted for him. That left him in fourth place behind three other men better known among Southern Baptist churches.

 

Mary Habila, president of Northwest Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union and members of Living Springs Fellowship near Seattle, where her husband Haggai serves as founding pastor, nominated Adams to the post.

Ultimately, in a run-off election between the two top vote-getters – Ed Litton of Alabama and Mike Stone of Georgia – messengers elected Litton to the post.

 

Still, from the moment they convened, it was clear messengers to the 2021 annual gathering seemed ready to make some changes and challenge traditions.

 

The convention’s 15,726 messengers – the most since 1995 – took action to protect victims of abuse in SBC churches and to hold leaders accountable, even when it meant overturning the decisions of convention committees – especially the Executive Committee.

 

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Court Denies Florist's Appeal

By Tom Strode

July 22, 2021

Barronelle Stutzman’s lengthy legal effort to operate a florist shop in Washington state according to her Christian convictions came to an end Friday (July 2) at the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

The justices announced they would not review an appeal by Stutzman, a member of Richland (WA) Baptist Church, of a Washington Supreme Court ruling in 2019 that she was guilty of illegal discrimination by declining to design flowers for a same-sex wedding. The court’s order said three associate justices – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch – would have granted review in the case.

 

In another church-state case, however, the high court said in Friday’s orders it will review a federal appeals court decision that upheld a Maine tuition-assistance program that excludes schools that provide faith-based instruction.

 

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Gateway Marks Diversity, Milestone

By Tyler Sanders

July 22, 2021

Gateway Seminary’s mission is exemplified in biblical diversity and by a significant graduation milestone, President Jeff Iorg told messengers attending the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Nashville, TN, back in June.

 

“Gateway is your daily demonstration of the power of the gospel to unify people from a wide variety of cultural and racial perspectives,” he said.

 

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