2012 Florida Baptist State
Convention Annual Meeting
ORLANDO (FBW)—Meeting in Orlando Nov. 12-13 for the Florida Baptist State Convention, messengers elected Jacksonville pastor Tim Maynard as president, approved a $31.6 Cooperative Program budget for 2013, and looked at “What Really Matters” in exploring family, faith, relationships and legacy.
The convention drew 1,084 registered messengers and guests compared with 1,556 messengers the last time it was in Orlando—in 1999. Each year since 2006 attendance has declined noticeably.
Maynard, 58, pastor of Fruit Cove Baptist Church in Jacksonville, defeated Orlando pastor, Clayton Cloer, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Central Florida, receiving 374 or 59 percent of the 640 votes cast over Cloer’s 264 votes or 41 percent.
“I really have a heartbeat for seeing genuine unity happen in this convention,” Maynard told Florida Baptist Witness after the election.
Messengers approved a 2013 Cooperative Program budget of $31.6 million, an amount identical to the 2012 budget, and will increase giving to the Southern Baptist Convention to 41.5 percent, an increase of one percent over last year.
The increase in the SBC portion sustains a commitment by Florida Baptists to raise the percentage allocated nationally to an even 50/50 percent division of funds between the SBC and state. The budget is based on gifts from Florida Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program from June 1, 2011, to May 31, 2012.
“We are on track to be 50/50 in the next seven years,” John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, told messengers.
The $31.6 million will be divided between the SBC, 41.5 percent; Florida Baptist Convention operating budget, 46.60 percent; and Florida Baptist entities, 11.81 percent.
Affected by the economic downturn and decreased giving from the churches, since 2005, the convention has pared $10 million from its budget and downsized its staff by 58 employees, or 25 percent of its workforce.
David Uth, pastor of the host church and in his second one-year term as president, presided over the convention and delivered a president’s address [see article on this page].
Jeff Singletary, pastor of Exciting Central Tampa Baptist Church, a multi-cultural congregation in the heart of Tampa, delivered the annual convention sermon. Singletary urged Florida Baptists to contend for the Gospel in the midst of the “seismic shift” of morality in America as demonstrated by the recent Election Day results [see story on page 7].
Other convention speakers included retired Marine 1st Lt. Clebe McClary, a decorated Vietnam veteran who shared his courage and survival on the battlefield, and Cindy Winters of Maryville, Ill., widow of slain pastor Fred Winters. Marriage enrichment counselor Emerson Eggerichs led a time for couples to recommit their respect and love to each other.
Musicians included Leo Day, minister of music at Olive Baptist in Pensacola; Florida Worship Choir and Orchestra, under the direction of Terry Williams; and First Baptist Orlando Choir and Orchestra.
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