KNOXVILLE CHURCH BAPTIZES 105 BELIEVERS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Samantha Wilson was one of 105 new believers baptized on April 23 at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville.

KNOXVILLE – Faith Promise Church here baptized 105 new believers on Sunday, April 23.

The baptisms came following 331 professions of faith between April 12 and Easter Sunday, April 16. During that time frame the church held 42 services in eight locations, said Pastor Chris Stephens. He noted 16,432 people attended the services. [Read more…]

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TBMB HOLDS ‘FIRST’ OFFICIAL MEETING

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

BRENTWOOD — Directors of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board met April 25 for their first official meeting since a name change last November.

Messengers to the Summit in Sevierville last November overwhelmingly voted to change the name of the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention to the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. [Read more…]

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COLLINS SEEKS ‘REAL TIME’ BAPTISMS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

BRENTWOOD — Roc Collins joined the staff of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board as director of evangelism in January with one purpose in mind — to see more Tennesseans come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Collins, director of evangelism for the TBMB, also had a strong desire to see the convention meet the evangelism/discipleship goal of seeing at least 50,000 Tennesseans annually saved, baptized, and set on the road to discipleship by 2024 (the first of 5 Objectives, a strategic 10-year plan, adopted by convention messengers in 2014). [Read more…]

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BELIEVER’S BAPTISM – MUCH MORE THAN NUMBERS

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

Nathan Finn

Nathan Finn

As Baptist followers of Jesus Christ, we Southern Baptists have always emphasized the importance of believer’s baptism.

As we see it in Scripture, believer’s baptism is:

  • A public testimony of a new believer’s faith in Christ and the church’s recognition of that faith (Acts 2:38-41; I Peter 3:21).
  • A pictorial representation of the gospel the believer has responded to in faith (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:11-12).
  • The new covenant sign that a believer is part of the body of Christ (Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:5).
  • A key component in faithfully fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

[Read more…]

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COLLINS NAMED DIRECTOR OF EVANGELISM FOR TENNESSEE BAPTIST MISSION BOARD

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Roc Collins

Roc Collins

BRENTWOOD – Kingsport pastor Roc Collins, immediate past president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, has been named director of evangelism for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board (TBMB).

Collins has been senior pastor of Indian Springs Baptist Church in Kingsport for the past 11 years. He informed his congregation Nov. 27 of his decision to join the TBMB staff in January.

In his new role, Collins will direct all efforts in achieving Objective 1 of the Five Objectives that Tennessee Baptist Convention messengers adopted as their long-range goal in 2014. Objective 1 is to see at least 50,000 Tennesseans saved, baptized, and set on the road to discipleship annually by 2024. [Read more…]

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NEW CHURCH BAPTIZES 99 IN 9 MONTHS

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Nathan Thomason, founder and pastor, Outreach Baptist Church, Smithville, baptizes a boy outside the church facility in a strip mall near downtown Smithville.

Nathan Thomason, founder and pastor, Outreach Baptist Church, Smithville, baptizes a boy outside the church facility in a strip mall near downtown Smithville.

SMITHVILLE — Nathan Thomason wanted to be pastor of an evangelistic church here. So he started one.

Just nine months later, Outreach Baptist Church, which Thomason planted, has baptized 99 people.

All 99 people were baptized outside in the courtyard of the horseshoe-shaped strip mall which serves as the church’s facility. Thomason uses a portable baptistry.

One evening the courtyard “was full” as 21 adults, teens, and children were baptized, recalled Thomason. [Read more…]

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IT’S TIME TO INVITE PEOPLE TO COME TO JESUS

By Ernest L. Easley
Professor of Evangelism, Union University

Ernest Easley

Ernest Easley

There was a lot of talk on the topic of evangelism during the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in St. Louis.

The sermons that were preached, the panel discussions that were presented, and our mission boards’ reports all made reference to the 15-year decrease in baptisms in our Southern Baptist churches.

Plenty of people are attempting to explain the decline. Some say it’s because so many of our churches are not filing their annual report, thus skewing the numbers. Others say the decline is theologically based while still others say it’s methodological. [Read more…]

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SUNDAY SCHOOL NEEDED TOOL FOR MINISTRY

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Mark Miller

Mark Miller

BRENTWOOD — While enrollment and attendance numbers for Sunday School have declined across the Southern Baptist Convention in recent years according to Annual Church Profile (ACP) reports, Sunday School remains a much needed ministry tool in churches, says Mark Miller.

Miller, Sunday School specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, cited research on “transformational groups” provided by LifeWay Christian Resources.

“Worship attenders who also participate in a group or class read their Bible more, pray more, confess their sins more, share the gospel more, give more, and serve more than those who just attend worship,” he observed. [Read more…]

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CHURCH SEES 34 BAPTIZED IN FIVE MONTHS

Small East Tennessee congregation, Pastor Dwight Torbett featured on Reaching app

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

David Evans, left, TBC evangelism specialist, interviews Dwight Torbett, pastor, Westside Baptist Church, Madisonville, recently for the Reaching app.

David Evans, left, TBC evangelism specialist, interviews Dwight Torbett, pastor, Westside Baptist Church, Madisonville, recently for the Reaching app.

MADISONVILLE — Westside Baptist Church, Madisonville, is making waves in its community, which is why its pastor, Dwight Torbett, is featured on the new “Reaching” app of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, explained David Evans, TBC evangelism specialist.

Evans said he is thrilled at the response to the app. About 1,000 people have downloaded it in just two months. The free app features daily devotions, interviews, an evangelism blog, and evangelism tools.

Torbett is interviewed in the video section of the app. He is included partly because his small church, which draws about 110 people on Sunday mornings, has baptized 34 people in the first five months of 2016, explained Evans. This occurrence is not an anomaly. Since 2011 Westside Baptist has baptized an average of 26 people each year with a high of 42 in 2015.

Torbett told the Baptist and Reflector that he has been pastor of Westside Baptist for seven years and initially the church drew about 25 people on Sunday morning. [Read more…]

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CHURCH BAPTIZES 100 IN SERVICE

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Jeff Lovingood, senior associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Cleveland, baptizes Savanna Wheaton on March 13 at the church.

Jeff Lovingood, senior associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Cleveland, baptizes Savanna Wheaton on March 13 at the church.

CLEVELAND — The March 13 evening service of First Baptist Church here was unique. No one at the church had been in a service where 100 people were baptized.

Amazingly, in many ways, the event wasn’t planned. For instance, 97 new Christians were signed up to be baptized but three more people came to bring the total to 100 people baptized.

No special occasion or event was held at the church which resulted in the many people making the commitments. The people baptized had made professions of faith mostly during the past six months or so.

In fact, baptisms are the norm at First Baptist. The church baptized 253 new Christians last year. First Baptist draws about 3,300 people to its five Sunday morning services. All of the services are held on site at the main campus. [Read more…]

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