Messengers handled several matters of business in final session of the IBSA Annual Meeting on Thursday morning (Nov. 4) approving resolutions on the Equality Act, racial reconciliation, and the 2022 budgets for both the Baptist Foundation of Illinois (BFI) and Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services (BCHFS). Jeremy Byrd, pastor of Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, closed the meeting by delivering the Annual Meeting Sermon.
The resolutions were brought by IBSA’s Resolutions and Christian Life Committee and covered a range of topics pertinent to today’s culture including the Equality Act, sufficiency of Scripture for racial reconciliation, church’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and 50th Anniversary of the IBSA’s move to Springfield. A full summary of the resolutions is available here.
Denny Hydrick, executive director of BCHFS for the last five years, addressed messengers for the final time. He announced his resignation last month and will be moving to Mississippi this month. Hydrick told messengers, “God has amazed me at how He provides funding for the ministry outside the Cooperative Program. The way Illinois Baptists fund the Cooperative Program and then fund the ministry at BCHFS, who does not receive Cooperative Program funding, is worth celebrating and acknowledging.”
Messengers approved the 2022 BCHFS budget of $3,905,00, up from $3,877,015 in 2021.
Doug Morrow, executive director of BFI, spoke of the Apostle Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians comparing believers to “holders of a treasure in jars of clay.” He said, “Stewardship and generosity are an accurate barometer of where our heart is before God.” Morrow also shared about the Foundation’s new cash management account that offers 1% APR and no fees.
Messengers approved BFI’s projected 2022 budget of $2,464,353, which is up from the 2021 budget of $1,659,390.
In the Old Testament book of Joel, said Jeremy Byrd, the people were going through the motions of worship, but had forgotten to actually worship God. The pastor of Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville preached the Annual Sermon to close out the meeting, drawing comparisons between the Israelites and the temptations faced by the church today.
Using Joel 1:1-14 as his sermon text, Byrd described how God responded to people who were neglecting authentic worship. Even though they were ignoring him, Byrd said, God responded in two ways: with grace and with truth.
“What grace of God that he doesn’t turn his back on us as quickly as we turn our backs on him.”
He urged churches to heed the warning in the book of Joel. “We can become so fixed on the important that we become blind to the essential,” he said. There are plenty of important things going on, he said, “but they pale in comparison to the essential nature of worshiping God.”
The 2022 IBSA Annual Meeting will be held November 2-3 at Metro Community Church in Edwardsville.