2023 Annual Meeting by the Numbers

Written By Sarah M. Graham

2023 Annual Meeting by the Numbers

Clovis, CA – California Southern Baptist messengers gathered at Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis, California, for their 82nd annual meeting. Here is a snapshot of the meeting by the numbers.

The Annual Meeting

The Committee on Convention Operations chose “Better Together…For What’s Next” as the theme for the annual gathering, which derived from Psalm 145:4“One generation commends Your works to another; they tell of Your mighty acts.”

The 411 messengers seated were 82 people higher than 2022’s messenger count of 329, giving attendance a 25% boost in 2023.

The registered guest and messenger count together totaled 587 in attendance. In 2021, guests and messengers came to 432, indicating a significant growth rate of 36% over two years.

Executive Director Pete Ramirez opened the meeting with the Executive Director report, where he shared how Californians have been living out “Better Together” across the CSBC family, including:

  • How CSBC’s partnership with Church HR Network has resourced churches to become AB506 compliant while properly safeguarding our churches’ children,
  • That 20 trained coaches walked alongside and helped resource over 80 churches through consulting ministries,
  • How our community of women continue to be encouraged by our convention leadership,
  • The commitment to church planting in partnership with the North American Mission Board,
  • The increase of global mission trips in partnerships with the International Mission Board, California Baptist University, Gateway Seminary, and SoCal Ministries through The Baptist Foundation of California.
  • The work of Disaster Relief currently serving in Hawaii and those who served in Guam, as well as the mission work happening in migrant centers and packing houses across the state,
  • Celebrating the 103,000 people who have heard the gospel and the 2,000 professions of faith through evangelism workshops and grants,
  • Praying for over 1,000 students at Ignition this year,
  • The sacrificial generosity of churches who give to Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong mission offerings and the resourcing that happens through WMU, as well as donations given to the California Mission Offering and
  • A gratefulness for the 60 volunteers who serve as champions throughout the state to encourage kingdom efforts.

Ramirez also challenged messengers and cast a long-term vision. He encouraged church leaders to prayerfully consider giving 1% more to the Cooperative Program, and he encouraged church leaders to look into serving as champions across California.

Finally, he cast a 10-year-vision stating that by 2033, approximately 2000 years from the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the launch of the first church, California Southern Baptist’s should strive to see 2% of the state’s population (a total of 900,000 people) attending Southern Baptist Churches. Ramirez believes “that will be something that will honor the Lord.” He shared an acknowledgment that with somewhere between 130,000 and 300,000 of the population currently attending CSBC churches, this will require churches to commit to completing their Annual Church Profile (ACP) and will require every church to multiply.

He then listed action items to achieve this goal in ten years.

  1. Listening Sessions (across all network and ethnic groups)
  2. Intentional changes
  3. Counting it all
  4. Engaging all churches and
  5. Implementing a strategy

Ramirez closed his report with the words from the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth and a charge to California Southern Baptists, “Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immoveable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58, HCSB).

“For the generation that’s coming, don’t quit. Work harder than ever. Be more committed to the mission that God has called us to do. Don’t get distracted. Be faithful to God’s Word and to our Lord. And let us do the work that God has called us to do… because we are children of the God Most High.”

Outgoing President Victor Chayasirisobhon led the convention through several items of business, including the election of officers:

  • Rolland Slade, Lead Pastor of Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon, was elected CSBC President,
  • Victor Solorzano, Pastor of Iglesia Vida en Victoria in Bell Gardens, was elected CSBC Vice President and
  • Dr. Joseph Bolin, Worship minister at Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland, was elected the Convention Worship Leader for 2024.

In addition, Chayasirisobhon also led the convention of messengers through a thoughtful discussion on a resolution entitled “On the Legacy and Responsibility of Women Fulfilling the Great Commission.” Messengers voted to table the resolution for now.

Shawn Beaty, Executive Board Chairman, reported several important items on behalf of the executive board, including:

  • The Celebration of Champions at the Executive Board meeting in May,
  • An update on the “Tribal Outreach and Missions” motion carried over from the 2022 annual meeting and how Southern Baptists are working with Native American tribes on the North Coast,
  • That CP giving has been down, so the proposed and accepted 2024 budget is now 6.1 million, down from 6.3 in 2023 and
  • A 5.7-million-dollar Cooperative Program goal for 2024, also down from 6 million in 2023.

Crossover California

Jason Blankenship, CSBC Evangelism Team Leader, and Greg Kilgore, DOM for the Mid-Valley Association, reported that 19 churches across the association shared the Gospel with 1998 people through Crossover California events, leading to 111 decisions for Christ.

All sessions of the Annual Meeting can be found on the Acts 2 App.

The Pastors’ Conference

The Pastors’ Conference theme was “Not Alone,” based on the life and ministry of the Prophet Elijah.

The Conference, led by President Jason Robertson and Worship Leader Scott Hill, had 14 different diverse speakers and preachers who preached 10-minute segments of one long sermon covering the life of Elijah.

Business handled at the Pastors’ Conference included the election of Scott Hill as the 2025 President. (Stacey Johnson was elected last year to be the 2024 President).

Pastors’ Conference sessions can be found on the Acts 2 App.

Auxiliary Meetings

Other notable attendance numbers are as follows:

  • Filipino Gathering – 12 in attendance
  • NextGen – over 90 attendees
  • California African American Fellowship – 66 leaders gathered
  • Women’s events (WMN Fellowship and the Ministers’ Wives Luncheon) saw approximately 150 attendees combined
  • Mission’s Celebration Dinner – around 135 in attendance
  • Friends of The Foundation Breakfast – about 130 served
  • Gateway’s Alumni and Friends Dinner – 152 dinners served
  • And 27 future messengers were tended to in childcare.

The Exhibit Hall and the Send Stage

The Exhibit Hall and Gallery hosted 23 different exhibitors.

The Send Stage, hosted by Will Browning, Send Network California Director, saw 4 interviews on the Tuesday of the convention, and those interviews can all be rewatched on the Acts 2 App.

The 2024 annual meeting is set for October 22-23 and will be held in Riverside, California.

About the Author

Sarah M. Graham
Communications Director, CSBC

Sarah Graham earned her bachelor's degree from Azusa Pacific University and a Master's in Leadership and Business Management from California Baptist University. She currently serves CSBC as the Director of Communications. Sarah is a mother of two grown children, Kirsten (25) and Daniel (21) and she serves as a member of the worship team at Clovis Hills Community Church.

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