Executive leaders of California Southern Baptist Convention and North American Mission Board pledged their commitment to work in partnership to reach California for Christ during the CSBC Executive Board meeting, Jan. 26.
Pete Ramirez, CSBC executive director, said he is excited about the partnership and development of the Send California Network which already has made great strides in working in the areas of church planting and evangelism to resource CSBC congregations. Ramirez reported CSBC and NAMB are co-funding 20 new church plants. He added 199 evangelism grants, in part to NAMB funding, to CSBC churches resulting in 1,107 salvations in 2022.
Worth the wait
Addressing the 28-member Board, Ezell said, “I’ve been waiting 12 years to speak to you.” He thanked Ramirez for his “kindness and graciousness” toward him. He emphasized to the Board, “You won’t have a better partner than North American Mission Board.”
He also “thanked” California Southern Baptists for the following:
- Gifts to the Cooperative Program and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, which allow NAMB to do its ministry across North America;
- California Baptist University, which he believes is “one of the greatest assets you have” and one of the best “launching pads” for ministry in the nation;
- Jonathan Jarboe, president of The Baptist Foundation in California, who also serves as second vice-chairman of NAMB trustees; and
- Accepting Shane Crister and Will Browning, NAMB church planting leaders in California.
Mission:Dignity thank you
Ramirez read a thank you note from a California Southern Baptist retiree who received a “13th check” from GuideStone’s Mission:Dignity because of funding from CSBC and BFC. In 2022 each organization contributed $10,000 to make the additional stipend happen.
Mission:Dignity helps more than 2,700 Southern Baptist retirees every year with extra money needed for housing, food and vital medications. It also ensures a well-deserved dignity, independence, and often, the ability to continue serving the Lord.
Jarboe, BFC president, reported to the board that an endowment had been established to fund this project every year. He said the Foundation seeded the endowment with $50,000 and that it grew to nearly $88,000 by year’s end. The goal is to have the endowment reach at least $400,000.
The Board approved 12 churches for membership, including Bridgeway Baptist Church, Cupertino; Doxa Church, Imperial Beach; Grace Redeemer Church, Anaheim; Holy Ground Christian Ministry, Vacaville; Hope Church, San Diego, El Cajon; and Iglesia Biblica Nuevo Pacto, San Diego.
Also, Iglesia Cristiana Casa De Luz, Hesperia; Iglesia Cristiana Roca Fuerte, Rowland Heights; Pillar Church, San Diego; Redline Church, Encinitas; St. Martin’s Chapel, Bakersfield; and Trinity Church of Benicia, Benicia.
Provisional approval was given to two churches, pending further documentation. They are Set Free Southland, Chula Vista, and The Vine – Espanol, Rancho Cucamonga.
The Board also approved a recommendation asking its Executive Committee to “develop a process to evaluate and act on membership challenges of existing member churches. Dale Garland, pastor of Hope in the Valley Baptist Church in Hemet and chairperson of the Convention Membership Committee, said the duties of the committee are limited in its scope of “recommending churches for affiliation.”
He added that the task of removing a church or investigating a congregation is not addressed in any of the CSBC governing documents.
When asked if other Baptist Conventions have a process, Spring, also a member of the SBC’s Executive Committee, said there is a process for the SBC to act on challenges through its Credential Committee. He noted the process had been updated in recent years.
Members also approved an off-site Board meeting in May 2023 in San Luis Obispo. They also approved a Zoom meeting for September.
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EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Terry Barone and originally published by California Southern Baptist Convention.