News Release of the 2012 ABA Meeting in Fresno, California
A radiant spirit of love, delight, and fellowship filled the beautiful reception room of the Radisson Conference Center on Monday night, June 18, 2012. Approximately 450 representatives of Missionary Baptist Churches across America and other countries had come to Fresno, by car, air, train, and bus, to associate together with like-minded people who are in a real sense, extended family. Hugs, flashbulbs, laughter and joyful greetings provided the ambiance for enjoyment of the delicious food provided by the generosity of the event’s sponsor, the Missionary Baptist Seminary of Little Rock, Arkansas. Neal & Debby Sutton and Jerry & Karin Grimes provided cakes celebrating Director of Meeting Arrangements Edgar N. (Eddie) Sutton’s 60th Anniversary in the ministry and 26th year as Director of Meeting Arrangements. Also on Monday night, the Missionary Share Time was held where missionaries from around the world were able to report on their location of labor. The other event on Monday evening was the ABA schools meeting. Tuesday, June 19, 2012, the following meetings were held: National Music Leaders’ Workshop, National History and Archives Committee, MBSF Council Workshop, Baptist Sunday School Committee, ABA Camp Workshop, National Women’s Auxiliary, National Youth Meeting, Missionary Committee and World Missions Focus.
The 87th session of the American Baptist Association meeting in Fresno, CA began with scripture reading and prayer by Arthur Richardson, ABA President 1997-98. Special music was presented by the California State Choir & Orchestra lead by Dustin Wright, followed by a special by the Trinity Trio of California. Each session of the meeting was opened and closed with scripture reading and prayer. Bill Crouse (FL) led congregational singing of Amazing Grace. The pledge was lead by Roy Hawthorne (AZ). The congregation then sang the National Anthem followed with prayer by Charles Law (AR).
Edgar Sutton gave words of welcome and read a Proclamation of Welcome to Fresno from Mayor Ashley Swearengin. Pastor David Butimore presented words of welcome on behalf of First Missionary, Fresno, Pastor Douglas Knox, Jr., First Galilee, Fresno, and Pastor Russell Bailey, Clovis Missionary Baptist, Clovis. Pastor Butimore then presented Carlos Alan Autry, former Mayor of Fresno, professional athlete, and actor for an inspiring speech of welcome. Mr. Autry was mayor and extended the welcome when we met in 2001. Ron Canard (AR) gave the response to the welcome on behalf of the messengers and visitors. President James Calhoun (AR) called the 87th annual messenger assembly to order. Edgar Sutton presented the proposed agenda. Motion carried to adopt the agenda as printed and circulated. An amendment to the agenda was made to make a special order of business for the election of the Secretary-Treasurer of Missions on Wednesday at
Robert Williams (CA) introduced and presented James Calhoun for the President’s Address. Following a special composed and performed by John Sanders (CO), Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!, James Calhoun gave the President’s Address sharing the theme for this years meeting: Rejoice in the Lord – Philippians 4:4.
After congregational singing, Robby Ingram (WA) introduced Bryan Sellers (WA) who was elected last year to preach the annual message. Brianna Sellers than sang Do They See Jesus In Me? Bryan Sellers’ dynamic message A Godly Witness In An Ungodly World was taken from John 1:6-8. Verlon Wood was asked to extend the hand of appreciation for the message to Bryan Sellers.
Enrollment & Finance Committee - R.L Clark (OK) Chairman, Mark Harris (AR), Ray Meigs (LA) Resolution Committee - Ray McAllister (FL) Chairman, Tim Lawson (KY), Walt Emry (WA) Memorial Committee - Jeff Haney (MS) Chairman, Les Miller (CA), David Keeling (CA) Head Teller - Phillip Wysocki (MI)
James Calhoun called for necessary business that must be offered on the first day of the annual session. Edgar Sutton presented a printed list of invitations for 2016 to be voted on Wednesday evening. At this time, nominations were received for Secretary-Treasurer of Missions, to be voted on Wednesday at 1:30 PM. Those nominated were John Sanders (CO), Bryan Sellers (WA), and Roger Stewart (AR).
Don Vice – Former Missionary to Washington State, offered Scripture reading and prayer.
The Wednesday morning session opened with scripture reading and prayer by Glenn Knight, Missionary to the Philippines followed by a congregational hymn lead by Shawn Crane (AR). The Chochella Trio presented special music. Jim Crain asked Randy Cloud to give the Secretary Treasurer of Missions report. $2.4 million was given last year to help the missionaries preach the gospel, resulting in 34,539 professions of faith, 11,318 baptisms. In the 16 years that Randy Cloud has served, approximately $32.7 million has been given to missions with approximately 650 churches and individuals sending mission offerings in monthly. Roger Stewart (AR) gave the Missionary Committee report. The report was adopted with approximately 171 missionaries recommended for salary and/or designated funds.
The messengers approved Action Item #1, which was to allow Randy Cloud, in an advisory role, to receive full salary and benefits for two months and salary only for four additional months. Also, free will offerings may be sent for the next three months designated to the Secretary-Treasurer of Missions as a special offering for Randy Cloud for his many years of service.
A special recognition plaque was given to Charles Kennedy, Curtis Brown, and Jewell Vance for their years of service on the Standing Missionary Committee. Randy Cloud presented a plaque to Susan Vance in recognition of her husband, Chairman Paul Vance, and his many years of service to the Standing Missionary Committee. Paul Vance was called home to be with the Lord in March, 2012.
Jeff Luellen (LA) and Mike Maxwell (GA) were elected to serve on the Standing Missionary Committee, replacing George Moore and Paul Vance respectively. All other members were re- elected to the committee. It was reported that a 9% increase in mission offerings would be needed to meet the salary request of the 171 missionaries serving next year. No salary increase was granted for the full salaried missionaries.
Les Miller (CA) was asked to come and lead the messengers in special prayer for our missionaries. Lori Richardson presented special music. Alvin Dickerson, Missionary to Scotland closed the session with scripture reading and prayer.
James Taylor, Missionary to Kenya, Africa opened the afternoon session with scripture reading and prayer. Shawn Crane led a congregational hymn. The special order of business was called. The vote was taken on the 3 nominees for Secretary-Treasurer of Missions, John Sanders (CO), Bryan Sellers (WA), and Roger Stewart (AR). The initial vote was taken with John Sanders receiving 122 votes, Bryan Sellers receiving 138 votes, and Roger Stewart receiving 71. A second vote was taken with John Sanders receiving 153 votes and Bryan Sellers receiving 201 votes. Bryan Sellers was elected
as Secretary-Treasurer of Missions. A motion and second was made that this messenger assembly, by a rising vote, express our unanimous support for Bryan Sellers as Secretary-Treasurer of Missions. The motion carried by standing vote.
Brittany Wright (CA) presented special music. Bryan Sellers then announced his acceptance of the position of Secretary-Treasurer of Missions. To fill the vacancy on the Standing Missionary Committee, Walt Emry (WA) and Bobby Ball, Jr. (WA), were nominated to replace Brother Sellers. Bobby Ball, Jr., was elected to this committee. James Calhoun asked all the recommended missionaries to stand, along with Bryan Sellers. Les Miller (CA) led a special prayer for our missionaries, their mission works and our Secretary-Treasurer of Missions. A multimedia tribute was presented in honor of Randy Cloud and his 16 years of service to the American Baptist Association as Secretary-Treasurer of Missions. Randy and Sandra Cloud were called to the stage. In recognition of dedicated service from June 1996 to June 2012, a presentation of a plaque and bouquet of sixteen roses was given to Sandra Cloud and a plaque was given to Randy Cloud.
Darrell Owens (TX) then presided. The report of the Camp Trustees was adopted as presented. The committee is composed of John Bryant (TX), Marion Reed (TX), Mark Harris (AR), Philip Pevehouse (AR), and Rick Whicker (TX).
The Chaplaincy Committee reports the need for more chaplains. Their report was adopted as presented. Serving on the committee are Herbert Kitchens (GA), Clyde Duncan (VA), Charles Law (AR), John Saunders (AR), and George Garner (FL).
The History and Archives committee report was read and adopted. Serving on the committee are Donald Britton (TX), Michael D. Thompson (TX), Robert Ashcraft (AR), Philip Pevehouse (AR), Larry Crouch (CA), Terry B. Parrish (AR), and Larry Butte (KY).
Winona Andreas (CA) presented special music. The following reports were read and adopted: Law Enforcement & Chaplain’s report, Enrollment & Finance report, Memorial’s Committee report, MBSF Committee report, and Music Director’s Fellowship report. Attendance was estimated at 1,000. $10 million dollars was given to missions through the churches for the year.
Jerry Baker, Missionary to Gallup, New Mexico, closed the session with scripture reading and prayer.
The Wednesday evening service began with Kenny Roberson, Missionary to Seymour, Indiana, leading in scripture reading and prayer. Under the direction of Dustin Wright, Shawn Crane and Bill Crouse, the Choir and Orchestra, featuring Paula Knight, presented special music while a video was shown. Songs included Bringing In The Sheaves and Jesus Saves. Leea Graves Browning sang On This Rock, followed by the congregation singing Bringing In The Sheaves. All missionaries present and their families were called to line the front of the theater. Their line extended around the sides of the theater. They received a standing ovation of appreciation, as a thankful congregation of messengers and guests came to them with words of love and appreciation. The new Secretary- Treasurer of Missions, Bryan Sellers, closed the prayer service.
Edgar Sutton came for the selection of the 2016 meeting place. Motion carried we vote on Wichita, Kansas and Tulsa, Oklahoma with standing vote. The final vote was 268 for Tulsa, OK and 121 for Wichita, KS. The 2016 annual meeting will be June 21-23, 2016, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The choir and orchestra presented special music while a video was shown and missionaries were presented to the messengers. All missionaries were asked to come to the front of the theater with their families for a special time of prayer.
A mission offering was received in the amount of $4,575.00 for Interstate and Foreign Missions during a 2013 VBS DVD Presentation. A highlights video of the meeting was also shown at this time.
Joe Morell introduced Randy Cloud in a video presentation. Sandra Cloud presented a special entitled There Is A Way prior to Randy Cloud delivering an outstanding Mission Sermon The Challenge of Missions – Acts 1:8. Morris Cloud, his father, gave the right hand of appreciation. Philip Wysocki, Missionary to Traverse City, Michigan, closed the session with scripture reading and prayer.
The Thursday morning session was opened with Adolfo Gonzalez, Missionary to Leon, Mexico, presenting scripture reading and prayer, followed by congregation singing led by Bill Crouse and special music presented by Marque Black.
With Jim Crain presiding, Larry Clements was recognized to make presentations to the following writers: Charles Law – 25 years of service, Terry Parrish – 16 years of service, and Lester McAlister for Mary McAlister – over 50 years of service. Wayne Sewell presented the following awards from the Baptist Sunday School Committee: Chad Graves – 1 year of service, Mike Yoho – 23 years on the committee and 17 years as clerk of the committee, and Carroll Koon, who was not present.
M.D. Keeling (CA) called for the clerk of the Baptist Sunday School Committee, Dennis Richey (SC) to give their report, which was read and adopted.
Business Manager Wayne Sewell and Editor in Chief, Larry Clements presented their annual reports. Motion carried to adopt the reports with separate votes on the line items in the reports. Line item #1 – Motion carried to increase the cost of literature by 5%. Line item #2 – Motion carried to give a 10% increase in salary for the writers beginning July, 2012. Line item #3 – Motion carried to increase the housing allowances of the Business Manager and Editor in Chief by $250 per month.
Wayne Sewell was re-elected as Business Manager. Larry Clements were re-elected as Editor in Chief. Mike Yoho offered special prayer for these brethren as they serve. The Mattingly Family presented special music. All writers were elected as recommended.
John Tarter (KY) for Eugene Tarter, Mike Yoho (VA) for Steven Keith; were elected to serve on the Sunday School Committee.
Raymond McAlister (FL) presented a Resolution of Thanks, which was adopted. Motion carried that an amendment to the Mission Policy be referred to the churches for further study.
John Sanders, Former Missionary to Loveland, Colorado, led the congregation in the singing of Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! prior to reading scripture and leading in prayer.
Thursday afternoon’s session began with Sonny Hyde, Former Missionary to Reedsburg, Wisconsin, giving scripture and prayer. James Calhoun presided. A congregation hymn was led by Dustin Wright, followed by the singing of Midnight Cry by Shawn Crane. The new Sunday School Committee report was read and adopted. The next meeting will be held September 17-19, 2012 at the Baptist Book Store in Texarkana, TX.
The new Standing Missionary Committee report was read and adopted. Jim Crain (LA) is the newly elected Chairman of the Standing Missionary Committee. The committee will meet May 20-21, 2013 at County Avenue Baptist Church in Texarkana, AR. The Thanksgiving mission goal for next year is $325,000.00. A motion carried that moving expenses for the new Secretary-Treasurer of Missions be taken from undesignated mission funds. Motion carried to designate pages in the yearbook for Randy Cloud, Paul Vance and Mary McAlister.
Rhonda Blackerby (AR) read the National Ladies Auxiliary report, which was adopted. The National Youth Meeting report was read and adopted.
The speakers for 2013 are as follows:
Annual Sermon – Bill Kuykendall (TX); Alternate – Dennis Richey (SC)
Missionary Sermon – Glen Knight (Philippines); Alternate – George I (HI)
Officers for 2013 are:
President – James A. Crain (LA)
Vice-Presidents – Joe Morrell (AR), Randy Cloud (AR), and Charles Murphy (TX)
Recording Secretaries – Lonnie L. Wiggins (CA) and Terry Parrish (AR)
Parliamentarian – David Robinson (AR)
Assistant Parliamentarian – David Butimore (CA)
Director of Meeting Arrangements – Edgar N. Sutton (AR)
Music Directors – Brad Rountree (TX), Dustin Wright (CA), Marque Black (AR)
Salaries are to remain the same as last year for Recording Secretaries, Director of Meeting Arrangements, and assistants. Motion carried unanimously for $750 per month of the Director of Meeting Arrangements’ salary to be designated as housing.
James Calhoun presented the gavel to Jim Crain, newly elected President. Scripture reading and prayer was lead by Daniel Estrada, Missionary to Leon, Mexico. The congregation joined in singing Blest Be The Tie.
Next year the messengers meeting will be in Dallas, TX. Please make plans to attend.
Edgar N. Sutton
Director of Meeting Arrangements
American Baptist Association