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Over 150 Attend Salem Baptist Association Annual Session

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More than 150 people attended the Salem Baptist Association’s 187th annual session held Tuesday, Oct. 20 at Upper Helton Baptist Church in Alexandria and Wednesday, Oct. 21 at First Baptist Church in Woodbury.

According to Randall Reid, member of First Baptist Church Woodbury and former moderator for the Salem Baptist Association, the meeting was very informative.

“All the reports were very positive and upbeat,” he said.

The Salem Baptist Association has 32 member churches located throughout Cannon and DeKalb counties, and one church in Coffee County.

Reid said the associational session was one of the best he has ever attended.

The Tuesday night meeting included reports from six different churches regarding various mission trips in which they participated during 2008-09. Missions were conducted in Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Australia, New York and Ducktown, Tenn.

“They really did a good job of sharing what occurred on those mission trips,” Reid said. “As a result of these trips, a number of decisions were made for Christ.”

Contributions from the Salem Baptist Association helped fund the mission trips.

During the Wednesday morning session, the association elected a new moderator for 2009-2010, Dan Mallette. Mallette will lead the association’s monthly executive board meetings throughout the year.

Other officers elected to serve during 2009-2010 were Don Rigsby, vice moderator; Steve Puckett, clerk; Mike Carpenter, assistant clerk; Michael Pinegar, treasurer; and David Carden, assistant treasurer.

Representatives from the Tennessee Baptist Convention (TBC) and Carson-Newman College, a Baptist liberal arts college located in Jefferson City, Tenn., also delivered reports Wednesday; and a proposed associational operating budget of $103,000 was presented and approved for fiscal year 2009-2010. The budget funds the salary for the association’s director of missions, office expenses/operations and missions.

“The revenues consist of contributions from the association’s 32 churches and a small supplement from the Tennessee Baptist Convention,” explained Reid.

The association reported 191 baptisms and 105 other additions (by promise of letter) to its churches during 2008-09, Reid said. Additionally, approximately $325,000 was contributed by member churches to mission work and an estimated $3 million in total offerings was collected this past year, he said.

Another highlight Wednesday, was the association’s new disaster relief trailer and supplies, which was on display for members.

“It consists of chainsaws, generators, tools and equipment to be used in the event there is a disaster that would require assistance,” Reid said.

The association received a $10,000 grant from the TBC in 2008-09 to purchase the trailer and equipment., with an additional $12,000 funded by the association, he said.

The trailer will be used at the direction of TBC.

“We have 37 people trained and ready to do disaster relief work,” Reid said. “They’ll go wherever they are needed, wherever they are directed to go.”

Upcoming associational projects for 2010 include a Sunday School University (workshop), an evangelism conference, a Vacation Bible School clinic, and Vacation Bible School at the majority of the association’s churches.

According to Reid, the meetings were made complete with sermons from Mark Wade of West Main Baptist in Alexandria and Jason Groe of Upper Helton Baptist Church in Alexandria.
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