Javier Sotolongo, first vice president of the 2018 Florida Baptist State Convention and pastor of Iglesia Bautista Estrella de Belen in Hialeah, opened the third session of the Annual Meeting by greeting the messengers and welcoming them back.
He then introduced Sing Oldham, vice president of convention communications and relations for the SBC Executive Committee, who brought greetings from SBC Executive Committee Interim President D. Augie Boto. He praised Florida Baptist churches for their generous giving and their strong spirit of cooperation to accomplish much for the glory of God.
Cooperating Ministry Reports – Baptist College of Florida
Activity Highlights 2017-2018
- Conducted fourth Elevate music and worship arts camp.
- College continued renovation and expansion of the ninety acre Blue Springs Baptist Conference Center property as an addition to the campus.
- College completed construction of new athletic fields on the Blue Springs campus.
- College conducted its first summer camping schedule on its Blue Springs campus with over 1,500 participants.
- Over 200 decisions for Christ were made by camp participants at the Blue Springs campus.
- College completed construction of a Teacher Education Center on the Graceville campus.
Recognitions Received by the College
- Recognized in seven categories for offering outstanding online learning options – Affordable Colleges Online (2018-2019)
- 2018 Top Online Christian Colleges (13th) and 2018 Most Affordable Online Christian Colleges (23rd) – SR Ed Group
- National Rankings, BA in Psychology (3rd), BA English (3rd), BA History (5th) for the Most Affordable Online Choice – SR Ed Group
- Ranked 14th as one of the College Atlas 2018 Best Christian Colleges
- Recognized as one of the most accessible online bachelor’s programs by Best Counseling Degree
- Sixth year making the Best Value College Rankings
- Ranked one of the best online Associate Degree programs by TheBestSchools.org
- Featured as one of the best BA in Elementary Ed degree programs on TheBestSChools.org choice for 2018
- One of the lowest average student debt figures in the entire country, in addition to one of the lowest private school averages
- One of the Top Private Colleges & Universities in Florida Trend – June 2018
- 2018 Top Online College Rankings (3rd)
Mike Kahn, Associational Mission Strategist for the Tampa Bay Baptist Association, nominated Ralph Alderman, Jr. for a second term as second vice president. “Ralph has served on the State Board of Missions and been a faithful lay leader for over 17 years at what is now Exciting Central Tampa Baptist Church as a deacon and a bible fellowship director.” There were no other nominations and Alderman was elected.
Bobby Patton, pastor of Life Springs Baptist Church in Tampa, nominated Randy Huckabee for his 13th term as recording secretary. “Randy has been a faithful lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Dade City, a past moderator of the Pasco Baptist Association. His church is one of the highest givers to Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and gives faithfully to the Cooperative Program.” There were no other nominations and Huckabee was elected.
Cooperating Ministry – Florida Baptist Financial Services
- As of August 31, 2018 Florida Baptist Financial Services companies totaled over $202.1 million dollars entrusted under management. The Florida Baptist Foundation managed investments totaling $78.1 million and the Church Growth Investment Fund managed deposits/loans totaling $124.0 million.
- Over the past 15 years; Florida Baptist Foundation has distributed over $24.9 million in distributions of earnings from charitable trust funds to Florida Baptist and Southern Baptist causes during the years 2003-2017. This is another reason that sets us apart.
- As of August 31, 2018, Church Growth Investment Fund had net assets in the fund totaling approximately $124.0 million dollars.
- Church Growth Investment Fund and Florida Baptist Foundation have advanced approximately $195 million in loans to our Florida Baptist Churches.
- Each year we undergo extensive outside audits from Independent Accounting firms. For 2017, each of our companies received excellent “unmodified” opinion audits from the accounting firm of Smoak Davis & Nixon LLP, Certified Public Accountants.
- The Florida Baptist Retirement Center offers services for Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living and Independent Living in Villas, Cottages and apartment style homes. Our skilled nursing center is now certified for both Medicaid and Medicare.
Rummage led a moment of recognition and prayer for the Florida Baptist pastors who passed away in 2018.
“Let us bow our hearts before the Lord as we give thanks for these pastors.”
NATHAN BOLES – AUGUST 20, 2018, HOWARD HARPER BUMPERS – NOVEMBER 4, 2017, MANITE CHARLES – APRIL 6, 2018, VICTOR COOPER – AUGUST 27, 2018, THOMAS DAVIS – AUGUST 4, 2018, JAMES LARRY DEMAKOWSKI – JULY 4, 2018, HOWARD BRYANT DICKEY – MARCH 3, 2018, EARL FOSTER – FEBRUARY 10, 2018, EDDIE HUMES – MARCH 22, 2018, LAWSON JOLLY – FEBRUARY 18, 2018, DAVID S MOORE, JR – AUGUST 11, 2018, GREG PENNA – SEPTEMBER 1, 2018, CHARLES PETERSON – MARCH 27, 2018, EZECHIEL PIERRE – FEBRUARY 11, 2018, RONALD POPE – JANUARY 25, 2018, DAVID RODDY – OCTOBER 10, 2018, OWEN SMITH – DECEMBER 22, 2017, ROGER SMYTHERS – JANUARY 27, 2018, HARRY WATKINS – NOVEMBER 28, 2017, JERRY WEAVER – SEPTEMBER 7, 2018
Following the memorial recognition, Jerry Haag, president of the Florida Baptist Children’s Home, shared the ministry report with messengers and visitors.
- During this reporting period, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and One More Child had the privilege of impacting a total of 218,752 children and individuals in the loving and life-changing name of Christ!
- We are welcoming hope into the lives of children and individuals at 55 ministry sites locally and globally in 13 countries.
- We provided more than 7 million meals to children and individuals in By meeting the tangible need of food for hungry children and their family members, hundreds of thousands heard about Jesus.
- Our volunteers gave a total of 87,568 hours of their time, the equivalent of 3,648 days of providing hope for one more child!
- Last fall, we conducted our sixth annual diaper drive and were able to collect more than 667,000 diapers to help defray childcare costs for our foster parents in Florida as well as the Malnutrition Center in Guatemala.
- We served 1,323 children in foster care through our licensed homes. Also, 179 children were served in residential care along with 90 children in our emergency shelters.
- We impacted 80,803 individuals through advocacy, training and awareness. More than 3,600 of those individuals were impacted through our Sanctity of Human Life program.
- Our Anti-Trafficking program continues to provide outstanding services as more than 10,000 individuals were impacted through advocacy, training and Through this program we provided 1,253 days of care to victims of child sex trafficking in our safe home. In April, we hosted “Traffick Stop 2018” which included a legislative prayer breakfast, trainings, survivor educational panel and press conference on the steps of the Historic Capitol.
- We continue to meet the needs of single mothers and their children through our Single Moms We provided 105 single mothers and their children places to live, spiritual nourishment, mentors and resources to get on paths to self-sufficiency.
- Internationally, we served 123,069 children and individuals through our global ministries. With the help of 812 participants through 71 mission trips, we served more than 7 million meals and provided medical care for 1,729 patients. Also, thanks to individual and group sponsorships, a total of 252 new children were sponsored, where this past August we celebrated 8,336 child sponsorships.
During the report, two videos also played showcasing how the FBCH came alongside a couple who chose life for their baby and a young man who found a home and love at the Children’s Home.
Right Beside You – Church Multiplication
Willy Rice, pastor of Calvary Church in Clearwater, and Jeremy Westbrook, senior associate pastor at Calvary, hosted a question and answer session on church multiplication, facilitated by North Florida Catalyst Gary Townsend.
Out of a desire to leave a Gospel legacy that would be sure to last, Calvary has begun investing in multiple campuses, church revitalization and church planting.
“If you pour your life into just one church there’s no guarantee it will be going after you’re gone, but if you can plant churches you’re putting seeds in the ground,” Rice said.
Westbrook said for Calvary, church multiplication for Calvary means investing in dying churches in the area, planting churches across the nation and creating international partnerships.
“Multiplication has energized our church,” Westbrook said. “People want to do more than just write checks – they want to go.”
Cooperating Ministry – Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center
- More than 19,000 were in attendance, representing more than 200 various groups
- This summer we hosted more than 20 youth and children’s camps with over 4,000 in attendance. Many decisions were reported including:
- 434 first time decisions
- 290 rededications
- 287 surrendered to full time Christian ministry
- More than 60 volunteers provided more than 11,000 hours of work