This year’s Annual Meeting was marked by a celebration of and reflection on
a 75-year legacy of kingdom work, a remarkable 75-year-old archival video
of the first Baptist missionaries in Hawaii, inspiring music, gracious hospitality, ono grinds, a new budget, a resolution, the inclusion of a new Asia Network Church, and the election of new officers.
Gathering around the theme “People of the Word — Celebrating 75 Years of the HPBC,” 264 messengers from 70 of the convention’s 151 churches met November 9-10, 2017 at Hawaii Baptist Academy in Honolulu. Messengers came from churches across the Islands of Hawaii as well as Guam, American Samoa, Okinawa, South Korea, Japan, and the newly received church
from Bangkok, Thailand.
At the 2017 Annual Meeting, messengers and guests were surprised by the Historical Committee’s presentation of a 75-year-old IMB promotional video showing the work of the first Baptist missionaries in Hawaii. The archival video was provided by the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives. The video featured footage of missionaries arriving on the field and establishing Sunday Schools in various communities in Central Oahu. In 2018, it’s difficult to imagine life as a pastor or missionary in Hawaii in the 1940s. If a picture is worth a thousand words, these “silent” films were priceless in helping messengers and guests visualize that kind of life and ministry.
Worship teams and worship leaders provided leadership for inspiring times of worship through singing including an inter-church Praise Team leading the closing session. Messengers and guests were also treated to Hawaii Baptist
Academy’s choral group, Soldiers of Light, HBA’s Halau Hula ‘o Ka Lama ‘Ula, HBA’s band, a Women’s Ensemble, and a Pastor’s Quintet.
The HBA campus proved to be a fantastic location with gracious hospitality provided by HBA President, Ron Shiira, and his team. Messengers and guests were also treated to wonderful refreshments before, during, and after many of the sessions. These refreshments were provided by HBA as well as churches around the convention.
Along with a new budget, a resolution adopted by messengers called for increased cooperation by churches, including participation in cooperative
ministries, giving through Cooperative Program and filing an annual statistical report with the convention. Among the meeting’s guest speakers were National Day of Prayer President Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, and former International Mission Board President Tom Elliff.
At the Annual Meeting, messengers voted to receive Calvary International Baptist Church of Bangkok, Thailand to be a formal part of the Hawaii Pacific
Baptist Convention. The senior pastor of the church, Martin Chappell, traveled from Thailand to be part of the Annual meeting along with his wife, Carrie. Dong Tam Baptist Church and Chinese Baptist Church, both in Honolulu, were also received into the convention.
In the closing sessions, messengers and guests were introduced to a newly elected slate of officers. These include president, Wes Higuchi, a member of
Kahului Baptist Church on Maui; first vice president, Sterling Lee, pastor of First Baptist Church Pearl City on Oahu; second vice president, Alan Krober,
pastor of Mililani Baptist Church on Oahu; and recording secretary, Liz McElrath, a member of Olivet Baptist Church on Oahu.
A new element during the week of our HPBC Annual meeting was Missions College. The Tuesday and Wednesday before the Annual Meeting provided
two days of intentional missions training by International Mission Board (IMB) personnel for missions leaders and missions teams. Missions College allowed Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention pastors, staff, leaders, and church members the opportunity to engage in all areas of missions. Plans are already being made for the 2018 Missions College to again precede the Annual Meeting. Make plans now to attend. It is a “cannot miss” missions training opportunity for leaders in taking the gospel to all nations.
The 2018 annual meeting will be Nov. 8-9 at Olivet Baptist Church in Honolulu.