The 2015 Kentucky Baptist Convention annual meeting was a wonderful time of inspiration and celebration with more than 1,000 registered messengers participating in the day’s two business sessions. Here is a highlight of my report:
“Today marks my fifth opportunity to report on behalf of the Mission Board as your executive director. To say the past four and a half years have been challenging at times would be an understatement, but God has proven time and again that no barrier has been placed before us that He is unable to breakdown or overcome.
“As I came into my role, we faced an enormous financial barrier with Cooperative Program giving sliding downward. I am pleased to report that God overcame that barrier this year when we saw our churches give more to fund the work of reaching Kentucky and the world for Christ than they had given in the year prior. Not only did we witness an increase in CP giving, but all three of our missions offerings also increased over the prior year.
“Another barrier we have faced, for the past several years, is the barrier of a culture growing ever hostile toward the gospel. We were seeing fewer people reached and baptized year after year. But God was able to break down that barrier, and we saw more people come to faith and be baptized in KBC churches this past year than the year before.
“Yet another barrier was the struggle with three KBC institutions wavering in their commitment to our churches and their commitment to biblical teaching. Thankfully, the convention stood strongly, and today we see the good results. Kentucky Baptists, through Sunrise, are providing Christ-centered care for nearly twice as many kids as we were caring for in 2013 when the former president was leading the board to change hiring policies. God has broken down the barrier, and now we are touching the lives of over 750 children and doing it in a way that does not require us to compromise our biblical convictions.
“Georgetown College was another institution that turned from her historic relationship with KBC churches, announcing in 2005 that it would end its covenant agreement with our churches. Georgetown honored the covenant’s terms of dissolution and began the four-year process of withdrawal, replacing the covenant agreement with a partnership agreement. When the college failed to keep the terms of that partnership agreement, terms the college itself had proposed, the agreement was ended in 2013.
“Then, one year ago, we heard the bewildering news that Campbellsville University had broken its covenant agreement with the churches and elected its own trustees. Campbellsville failed to honor its long-standing promise to observe the four-year process required to leave the covenant agreement. In the past few weeks, we have learned that Campbellsville has now joined a denomination with churches that do gay weddings. The liberal direction of every institution that breaks ties with its churches is predictable. But what has happened so quickly at this once-proud Kentucky Baptist school is stunning.
“The downfall of these once faithful institutions has been heartbreaking, but Kentucky Baptists’ only remaining university, the University of the Cumberlands, now has an enrollment surpassing the combined enrollments at Campbellsville and Georgetown by more than 1,000 students. God is blessing!”