A Celebration Marked with Sweet Fellowship and a Missions Focus
Messengers to the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention received evangelism training from International Mission Board personnel serving in East Asia and welcomed into their fellowship congregations in Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines. Gathering around the theme “We Are Hawaii Pacific Missions,” 191 messengers and 87 guests met Nov. 8-9 at Olivet Baptist Church in Honolulu. In addition to churches in Hawaii, the convention’s 155 cooperating congregations include churches in Guam, Saipan, American and Western Samoa, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, and now the Philippines.
Messengers approved a budget of $2,375,000 for 2019, which reflects a marked increase of giving through the Cooperative Program and an increase of gifts to the Sue Nishikawa Offering for Hawaii Pacific Missions. With the reclassification this year of the Pu’u Kahea Conference Center, this resulted in a decrease in the overall numbers compared the 2018 budget. Anticipated receipts include $1,300,000 in Cooperative Program receipts from churches; $740,000 from the North American Mission Board (the majority which is earmarked for church planting/evangelism) and $65,000 from LifeWay Christian Resources.
The convention will continue to forward 20 percent of CP receipts to Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries and retain 80 percent for funding Hawaii Pacific missions and ministries. The budget does not include any shared ministry expenses. The day before the annual meeting,
Hawaii Pacific Baptists received missions and evangelism training from eight IMB missionaries to East Asia at a Missions College One Day event also hosted by Olivet Baptist. Topics covered included strategies for striking up Gospel conversations and how to engage unreached people groups.
Among addresses at the HPBC annual meeting, Pastor John Reimer of Koza Baptist Church in Okinawa, Japan, spoke on “clarity from God’s viewpoint.” Citing Psalm 90:12, he said, “God wants us to know the passing of time because time is important to God. He wants us to make the most of our time. What are you going to do with your remaining days?” An IMB regional director for East Asia spoke from Luke 2:10-11 on believers’ call to “bring good news of great joy.” “What is worse than being lost?” he asked. “Being lost and no one is looking for you … It is our responsibility to look and find the lost.” HPBC executive director Chris Martin underscored the annual meeting theme and told messengers, “Now is the time for us to be on God’s mission.”
Messengers voted to receive two new international churches into their fellowship: Central Baptist Church in Okinawa and International Baptist Church in Manila, Philippines. Elected as HPBC president was Steve Irvin, pastor of Pali View Baptist Church in Kaneohe, Hawaii. Officers reelected included: first vice president, Sterling Lee, pastor of First Baptist Church in Pearl City, Hawaii; second vice president, Alan Krober, pastor of Mililani (Hawaii) Baptist Church; and recording secretary, Lizzy McElrath, a member of Olivet Baptist.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 7-8 at the Kauai Beach Resort in Lihue, Hawaii, on the Island of Kauai.