Prayer Permeates Utah-Idaho Baptist Convention as They Aim to Strengthen Churches

Prayer permeated the Oct. 19 annual meeting of the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention, as it did the two-day pastors’ conference preceding it.

The one-day annual meeting, attended by 115 messengers, took place at The Point Church in Kearns, Utah, where Corey Hodges has been pastor since 1998. Sixty-six messengers were from Utah and 49 from Idaho — from St. George, Utah, nearly 1,100 miles north to Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho.

“The challenge is not focusing on numbers but focusing on starting healthy churches and strengthening all our existing churches,” Rob Lee, UISBC executive director, said in his report to the convention. “We are working on different church revitalization projects to help churches become stronger by assisting with evangelism funds to help them with evangelistic projects and other strategies.

“It is projected at the end of 2018 we will have 35 church plants in the SEND Salt Lake region, and a total of 104 churches in Utah,” Lee continued. “This year we will see the potential for 12 to 15 church plants started, and we currently have 27 plants receiving North American Mission Board support.”

In the meeting’s first order of business, four churches were accepted into fellowship with the UISBC: from Utah, Harvest Church in Ogden and Lifepoint Church in Farmington; from Idaho, Table Rock Church in Boise and Mountain View Baptist Church in Pierce.

The theme for the two-state convention’s 54th annual meeting was “Do Not Be Silent.” Each of the four men who brought messages preached from a different portion of Acts 18, which states in verse 9: “And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent.'”

2019 officers for the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention are (from left) president, Matt McGukin, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Idaho Falls, Idaho; first vice president, Bryan Catherman, pastor of Redeeming Life Fellowship in Salt Lake City; second vice president, Corey Hodges, pastor of The Point Church in Kearns, Utah; and recording secretary, Jared Jenkins, minister of discipleship and missions at Risen Life Church in Salt Lake City.

A “Prayer of Praise” during the first session followed corporate worship led by Sean Patrick, worship leader at Risen Life Church in Salt Lake City. Prayers of Confession/Repentance, Intercession and Thanksgiving followed in each of the three remaining sessions.

The emphasis on prayer started with the pastors’ conference, led by Russ Robinson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Provo, Utah. He invited leaders from Immanuel Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., the church that sent him to Utah nearly nine years ago, to speak: pastor Ryan Fullerton and Immanuel’s global missions pastor (name removed for security reasons). Carlos Pacheco, church planting catalyst with Spanish-language churches in the Metro New York Baptist Association, also was featured.

“Our prayers should be fueled in God’s Word,” Fullerton said, noting that they should be with great intensity, great repentance and a great God-centered faith. The correct attitude for prayer, he said, is in the Bible: “I’m desperate.”

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Source: Baptist Press