DIRECTORS OF MISSIONS: VITAL SERVANTS

By Nathan A. Finn
Dean, School Of Theology & Missions, Union University

Nathan Finn

Nathan Finn

As Baptists, we believe that “ground zero” for the Great Commission’s advance is the local church. Ministries, kingdom-minded institutions, and even denominations come and go over time, but the local church will endure until Jesus returns. As such, we argue that being the pastor of a local church is the most strategic ministry role in the kingdom. But it’s not the only strategic role. Aside from local church pastors, I’m increasingly convinced that directors of missions (DOMs) are the most strategic kingdom servants in Baptist life.  [Read more…]

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CHURCH DISPLAYS KINGDOM VISION

Forerunner Baptist to open Covington campus at Rialto Baptist

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Participating in a joint worship service of Rialto Baptist Church, Covington, and Forerunner Baptist Church, Ripley, were, from left, Thomas Bester, pastor, Forerunner Baptist; Carl Funderburk, pastor, Rialto Baptist; and Clay Gilbreath, director of missions, Big Hatchie Baptist Association.

Participating in a joint worship service of Rialto Baptist Church, Covington, and Forerunner Baptist Church, Ripley, were, from left, Thomas Bester, pastor, Forerunner Baptist; Carl Funderburk, pastor, Rialto Baptist; and Clay Gilbreath, director of missions, Big Hatchie Baptist Association.

COVINGTON — The handwriting has been on the wall for years at Rialto Baptist Church in Covington.

The almost 100-year-old church once was a vibrant congregation with more than 200 members. But as the community transitioned, many members moved away. Many of those who stayed have since died.

As of Jan. 15, Rialto Baptist had about five members plus pastor Carl Funderburk and his wife Jane. Funderburk, 79, has been pastor of Rialto for 14 years. In 2005 Funderburk led his then congregation of 13 members to make plans should the church eventually have to close its doors. [Read more…]

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ASSOCIATION PROVIDES TAX FILING SERVICE

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

tax-form-1040-calculatorCLEVELAND — For the seventh year about 10 volunteers of the CrossNet Baptist Network (formerly Bradley Baptist Association) will help about 200 citizens here file their annual income tax with the Internal Revenue Service.

The service — the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance — is free which saves the people coming to use the service the filing fee charged by a company to file taxes. It is offered out of the CrossNet Network office in Cleveland.

While there, the Baptist volunteers also help the tax filers spiritually. [Read more…]

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ASSOCIATION HELPS FAMILIES IN NEED AT CHRISTMAS

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

John Shook, left, director of Hale Community Ministries for Watauga Baptist Association, stands recently with Jack Jones, a client of the Hale Community Ministries.

John Shook, left, director of Hale Community Ministries for Watauga Baptist Association, stands recently with Jack Jones, a client of the Hale Community Ministries.

ELIZABETHTON — Just a few days ago a mother and her three-year-old daughter perished after an apartment fire here. The grandmother of the little girl called the Hale Community Ministries center and offered the Christmas gifts already purchased for the girl who would not be opening them on Christmas day. 

The woman explained she wanted them to go to another little girl who needed them, said John Shook, director of Hale Community Ministries, a ministry of Watauga Baptist Association, based in Elizabethton. [Read more…]

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DOM USES MECHANICAL SKILLS TO REACH ESKIMOS

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Tennessee Baptists from New Duck River Baptist Association, based in Shelbyville, relate to Eskimo children in Ambler, Alaska, this summer outside the Baptist cabin.

Tennessee Baptists from New Duck River Baptist Association, based in Shelbyville, relate to Eskimo children in Ambler, Alaska, this summer outside the Baptist cabin.

SHELBYVILLE — This summer Tim Key found a new way to minister to the Eskimo or Inupiat people in Alaska he has grown to love.

He repairs their four-wheelers or ATVs.

Key, director of missions, New Duck River Baptist Association, used to be a motorcycle mechanic.

There are many needs in the four villages he and other Tennessee Baptists minister in, explained Key. He and others would see many four-wheelers sitting around unused and in non-running condition, but he never found the time to try to repair one. The association has ministered in Alaska for four years. [Read more…]

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‘THERE WAS MUD ON HER CHANDELIER’

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers pause Sept. 1 during their work with homeowner Mary Hillen in Denham Springs, La. They are members of a team led by Woodland Baptist Church, Brownsville. From left are Lee Eyster; David White; Hillen; and Bill Cox, pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Brighton.

Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers pause Sept. 1 during their work with homeowner Mary Hillen in Denham Springs, La. They are members of a team led by Woodland Baptist Church, Brownsville. From left are Lee Eyster; David White; Hillen; and Bill Cox, pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Brighton.

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. — Bert Porch of Woodland Baptist Church, Brownsville, felt for Mary Hillen of Denham Springs. As she stood in her gutted living room, Hillen, a widow, explained that her family and friends had helped her but couldn’t do it all.

She still needed help and didn’t have flood insurance to pay for it. The disaster relief team of 11 led by Woodland Baptist began removing commodes, shower tile, and insulation and then sprayed for mold.

“There was mud on her chandelier,” said Porch. The water in her house was about 7 feet deep as 31 inches of rain fell in a few days, he added.

“When you see the amount of damage our help was definitely needed. There’s no way in this size of disaster for people to completely help themselves,” said Porch. [Read more…]

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BRADLEY BAPTIST ASSOCIATION CHANGES NAME

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160421CrossNetCLEVELAND — On April 7 messengers to the Spring Celebration of Bradley Baptist Association voted to change its name to CrossNet Baptist Network. The meeting was the biannual meeting of the association. About 150 messengers and visitors were in attendance.

“We are excited that the messengers approved the recommendation of the new name,” reported Phil Taylor, director of missions, in an e-mail. [Read more…]

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BAPTIST ASSOCIATIONS STRENGTHEN THE CHURCH

By Roger P. Freeman
Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Nashville

Roger P. Freeman

Roger P. Freeman

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).

The missions strategy for the Southern Baptist Convention ministry through our churches is found in Acts 1:8.

“Jerusalem” represents missions through the local association.

“Judea” represents missions through our Tennessee Baptist Convention.

“Samaria” represents missions through our North America Mission Board to unchurched areas of the United States and Canada. [Read more…]

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Association Names Roberts as DOM

By Baptist and Reflector

Mark Roberts, pastor, McPheeters Bend Baptist Church, Church Hill, has been called as director of missions, Holton Valley Baptist Association, based in Rogersville, effective Sept. 15.

Roberts has been pastor of McPheeters Bend Baptist for 16 years. He has led his church to do missions work and has been active in the association and Tennessee Baptist Convention. [Read more…]

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