Arkansas Baptists Address Gender, Sex Abuse, and Politics at Annual Meeting

Arkansas Baptists prayed with Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President and CEO Ronnie Floyd, front center, at their 2019 annual meeting in Little Rock, Ark. Arkansas Baptist News photo

The Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) celebrated ministry successes, sent missionaries, conducted business and worshiped at its 166th annual meeting Oct. 22-23 at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church in Little Rock.

Messengers approved resolutions affirming God’s design on gender, marriage, sexuality and personal identity; opposing pornography, sexual abuse, legalized casinos and recreational marijuana, and reaffirming a commitment to scriptural integrity in political engagement.

Themed Fulfill Your Call, the meeting recorded fewer than 500 registered messengers for the first time in 40 years. Officials with the ABSC reported 465 registered messengers, representing 199 churches across the state. In 2016, when the annual meeting was last held in Little Rock at Immanuel Baptist Church, 543 messengers attended. In 2005, the last year the meeting was held at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, 939 messengers attended.


Greg Sykes, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Russellville, presided over the meeting ending a second term as president.

Manley Beasley, Jr., senior pastor of Hot Springs Baptist Church in Hot Springs, is the newly elected president. Other officers are first vice president Ken Shaddox, senior pastor of Park Hill Baptist Church in North Little Rock, and second vice president Jamar Andrews, lead pastor of Word Baptist Church in Jonesboro.

Messengers approved a 2020 budget of $21 million, with 45.42 percent going to national Southern Baptist missions and causes.

ABSC Executive Board (EB) teams and ministries shared reports including testimonies about God’s work throughout Arkansas, the nation and world, along with ABSC agencies and institutions.


Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee and former senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, was guest preacher.

Based on Colossians 4, Floyd said that a “spirit of willingness should always captivate and dominate the heart of the Christ-follower.”

“To the oldest of you in this room, you still need to say to God, ‘Here am I, send me.’ To the most discouraged of you in this room, you still need to say to God, ‘Here am I, send me,'” Floyd said. “What I am saying to you today is this, ‘Always be willing to go anywhere, at any time, to go any place that God wants you to go to. Always be willing.'”

Floyd told messengers to never forget that the greatest need that we have is for God to bring about the “next great spiritual awakening.” He encouraged Arkansas Baptists to seek the Lord, reach the lost and impact the future.

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Source: Baptist Press