Four hundred and seven delegates and attendees participated in the joint Converge and Bethel University Biennial Meetings June 27-29 at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden Ministry Center, Landover, Maryland. The highlights of the biennial meeting were:
- 48 churches, already received into their districts as members, were added to Converge membership. 25 churches were removed from membership and two church mergers were recognized. See details
- President Jerry Sheveland was elected to a third term (four years).
- Michael Henderson was elected executive director of National Ministries.
- Ivan Veldhuizen was elected executive director of International Ministries.
- 12 missionary appointees were commissioned. See details
- Church Planting director Tom Nebel reported 154 church plants started toward the faith goal to start at least 351 new congregations between January 1, 2010 and June 30, 2015.
- Retired Navy Captain George Paul was presented as the new Converge chaplain endorser.
- Delegates reaffirmed previously adopted statements on Marriage and Family and Beliefs about Homosexual Behavior and Ministering to Homosexual Persons. Read the adopted statements here.
- Delegates approved bylaws revisions updating nomenclature, elected personnel (president) and overseer board and committee procedures.
- 5 new overseers and 8 reelected overseers were approved.
- 6 retiring missionaries were recognized: Mark and Helen Downing (Brazil, 26 years), Gary and Doris Reynolds (Mexico, 14 years; missions staff, 21 years) and Gary and Ruth Stephens (Cameroon, 17 years).
- Former National Ministries executive director John Jenkins Sr. received the Doulos (bond servant) Award for his ministry leadership.
- The proposed 2012-2013 Converge budget of $15,466,839 was approved.
- Participants were challenged by powerful messages each evening. Visit Converge Resources to watch or download video recordings of John Jenkins Sr., Priscilla Shirer, and more! You can also download audio files of the conference main sessions, or call Harvest at 800.323.3885 to order audio CDs or video DVDs at nominal cost.
- Visit Converge Resources to view or download the 2012 Bienniel Guidebook or the Summer edition of the Converge Point Magazine, which also includes the annual report and ministries catalog.
- Charles Whitaker (pastor, River of Life Church, Marlow Heights, Md.) was elected vice moderator, to serve as Biennial Meeting moderator in 2016. Melanie Rischer Bernard will serve as moderator.
The 2014 Biennial Meeting will be held in Minnesota (specific location and dates to be announced later).