DEL CITY—More than 800 registered messengers attended the Oklahoma Baptists Annual Meeting, Nov. 13-14, at Del City, First Southern.
The actual count of 826 messengers, representing 369 Oklahoma Baptist churches, exceeded the attendance of the 2022 Annual Meeting, which had 700 messengers, representing 308 churches.
The two-day event started with the Pastors’ Conference on Monday morning, Nov. 13. Speakers included John Avant, president of Life Action Ministries; Adam Mask, pastor of Coweta, Community; Philip Nation, vice president of Thomas Nelson Bible Publishers; Jordan Easley, pastor of Cleveland, Tenn., First; and Alton Fannin, pastor of Ardmore, First.
Testimonies were offered by Drew Wright, executive pastor at Jenks, First, and Rusty Fuller, pastor of Ada, Trinity. Ethan Wolfe, youth pastor at Purcell, Emmanuel and full-time student at Oklahoma Baptist University, observed a recent tradition at the Pastors’ Conference by delivering a message as an OBU pastoral student.
The Annual Meeting’s first session started Monday evening, Nov. 13, and featured a presentation of Oklahoma Baptists who participate or serve in 27 different ministries that are supported through the Cooperative Program (CP). On the platform, these Oklahoma Baptists walked across and displayed signs of the different ministries.
Todd Fisher, executive director-treasurer of Oklahoma Baptists, delivered his address in the opening session. Speaking from 2 Cor. 4:7-12, Fisher’s address was titled “Strength in Weakness,” and he encouraged pastors and church leaders to not lose focus and to keep their perspectives selfless and on the eternal.
The Tuesday morning session, Nov. 14, included reports from Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children and WatersEdge Advisors and Ministry Services.
Chris Wall, Oklahoma Baptists president, oversaw the election of officers, including president and first vice-president. By acclamation, Michael Butler, pastor of Chickasha, First, will be the next president of Oklahoma Baptists in 2024, as he was the sole nomination for the office. Manny Parker, pastor of Mannford, New Hope, was elected first vice-president, receiving 297 votes over 235 votes that David Hooks, pastor of Oklahoma City, Bryant Avenue, received as a nominee.
Luke Holmes, pastor of Duncan, Immanuel, served as chairman of the Constitution and Bylaws Task Force, and reported on their work, which reviewed the Constitution and Bylaws of Oklahoma Baptists for relevant and current language.
During the business session, Fisher presented the Board of Directors report. The CP 2024 Budget Objective is set at $24.5 million, with 43 percent allocated to the Southern Baptist Convention, 42 percent to Oklahoma Baptists and 15 percent to Oklahoma Baptist affiliates.
Wall concluded the Tuesday morning session with the president’s address. Speaking from Acts 15:39-41, Wall encouraged Oklahoma Baptists to stop dividing and start multiplying, emphasizing the importance of being ministers of the Gospel.
The Tuesday afternoon session had reports delivered from Baptist Village Communities and Oklahoma Baptist University.
A Cooperative Program report was presented, emphasizing the importance of global missions. Led by Mike Wall, global missions ministry partner for Oklahoma Baptists, and Amy Cordova, missions and women’s ministry partner for Oklahoma Baptists, the missions emphasis focused on Oklahoma Baptist churches becoming more involved in mission work with the theme “Send one. Take one. Be one.”
The final officer election happened in the afternoon session, as Duncan Blackwell, pastor of Elk City, First, was the sole nominee for second vice-president and was elected by acclimation.
Michael Staton, pastor of Mustang, First, delivered the annual sermon. Speaking from Phil. 4:8, he encouraged Oklahoma Baptists to stand firm, be focused on sound doctrine and to practice godly biblical thinking.
The next Annual Meeting for Oklahoma Baptists will meet Nov. 11-12, 2024, at Moore, First.