LOVING THE STRANGER

By Carlos Ferrer
Executive Vice President, NAMB

Carlos Ferrer

Carlos Ferrer

I escaped communist Cuba in 1962 as an 11-year-old boy hiding at the bottom of a cargo ship with my family. We had nothing but each other when we arrived in the United States. Through the love and hospitality of Southern Baptist strangers, my family received assistance that not only helped us in our journey toward citizenship, but helped us in our faith journey as well.

That experience has forever colored how I view today’s immigrants. Years later, when my wife Cindy and I were attending First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Ga., we met Ron and Cathy Frost. They asked us help launch a Spanish-language Sunday School class. Together we visited trailer parks and houses making friends with the Hispanic people throughout the county. After several months a few regulars began attending. As we shared Christ we also helped them find jobs, learn English, and establish citizenship. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittermail

VBS: A MOST EFFECTIVE EVANGELISM

25 percent of baptisms in Tennessee and nationally result from Vacation Bible School

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160310VBS-BKCBRENTWOOD — Vacation Bible School has been around for decades, but it is still one of the most effective evangelism tools in the Southern Baptist Convention, according to two Tennessee Baptist Convention specialists.

“In Tennessee Baptist life we know that approximately 25 percent of our professions of faith come either through VBS or Backyard Kids Clubs,” said Steve Pearson, TBC evangelism specialist. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittermail

WILL YOUR CHURCH BAPTIZE 16 IN 2016?

By Roc Collins
President, TBC

Roc Collins

Roc Collins

It seems hardly conceivable that February is almost over. Where did January go? Time is ever passing and the longer I live, the faster it seems to go by. And with the passing of time, there always seems to be the recollection of things I had planned to do, things I had hoped to accomplish. At the center of all this are the things I planned to accomplish for Christ and for His Kingdom. What’s that? Saving the lost! And if we are not careful, all our good plans to accomplish great things — along with time — will quickly pass by.

In Matthew 28:19-20, before leaving this earth, Jesus tasked His followers with a three-pronged mission: to make disciples, to baptize them, and to teach them about the ways of Christ. With that in mind, let me ask some hard questions. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittermail

1-5-1 STILL EFFECTIVE, SAY SPECIALISTS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

151-Reaching-TNBRENTWOOD — Since the 1-5-1 Harvest Plants strategy was introduced about three years ago, Tennessee Baptists have seen an increase in both church starts and baptisms.

1-5-1 was the brainchild of Bobby Welch, former associate executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention who retired last summer. 1-5-1 Harvest Plants are off-campus efforts (outside the four walls of the church) geared toward people who don’t know Christ as their Savior for the purpose of sharing the gospel, discipling people, and starting churches. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittermail

KORAN LEADS MAN TO CHRIST (WELL, NOT EXACTLY)

Editor’s note: Due to safety concerns about the Muslim who accepted Christ and his family, the name of the author has been withheld.

Koran, mosque, lectern, shadowsAn Arabic-speaking Christian friend brought a new believer to meet me. The man, who I’ll call Alvey, was a former Muslim who wanted to be baptized. My friend thought it would be a good idea to make sure Alvey understood what it meant to become a follower of Jesus.

I listened to Alvey’s story and my interest was piqued when he talked about the shortcomings of the Koran. “I was raised a Muslim and came to the U.S. a long time ago. Because I drove a truck for a living, I listened to tapes of Islamic teaching. The more I listened, the more I questioned. There were so many holes in the teaching.” [Read more…]

Facebooktwittermail

FIVE REFLECTIONS IN 2015 ABOUT OUR CONVENTION

By Ronnie Floyd
President, Southern Baptist Convention

Ronnie Floyd

Ronnie Floyd

In my final article in 2015 to our Southern Baptist family, I want to share five reflections.

(1) We are a cross-generational convention. One of our unique strengths is that we are a cross-generational convention of churches. I was so encouraged to see more younger pastors and leaders at our annual meeting last June in Columbus, Ohio. I am convinced the more we focus on reaching our nation and world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we will continue to be a cross-generational convention. The more cross-generational our churches are, the stronger our churches will be internally and externally. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittermail

NEWCOMB STILL LEADING SOULS TO CHRIST

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Chris Turner, director of communications for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, visited with his former pastor Ray Newcomb at the Summit. Newcomb baptized Turner more than 30 years ago while serving as pastor of First Baptist Church, Millington. — Photo by Corinne Williams

Chris Turner, director of communications for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, visited with his former pastor Ray Newcomb at the Summit. Newcomb baptized Turner more than 30 years ago while serving as pastor of First Baptist Church, Millington. — Photo by Corinne Williams

MILLINGTON — The recently concluded Summit at First Baptist Church, Millington, was a homecoming for Ray Newcomb who served as pastor of the Memphis area congregation from 1976 until his retirement in 2009.

He preached the annual convention sermon and a humorous episode during his message has gone viral. During a key point in the sermon, Newcomb grabbed the pulpit and it came apart. His response: “Lordy, I didn’t know I was going to tear up the pulpit.”

Since the video was posted on the Tennessee Baptist Convention Facebook page on Nov. 24 it has been shared more than 200 times and reached more than 32,000 people. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittermail

TBC STAFF REALIGNS AROUND FIVE OBJECTIVES

Five Objectives 5 ObjectivesBRENTWOOD – The staff of the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention has been realigned in order to assist churches in accomplishing the Five Objectives.

The Five Objectives were adopted by messengers at the Summit in 2014 at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood as long-range goals for the convention. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittermail

LEADING TENNESSEANS TO JESUS

New TBC president has passion to see churches reach the lost

Roc Collins stands with his wife, Jeralyn, following his election last month as president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. He is pastor of Indian Springs Baptist Church, Kingsport.

Roc Collins stands with his wife, Jeralyn, following his election last month as president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. He is pastor of Indian Springs Baptist Church, Kingsport.

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

JEFFERSON CITY In Roc Collins’ new role as president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention his learning curve will be minimal. Since becoming pastor of Indian Springs Baptist Church, Kingsport, 10 years ago, Collins has been fully involved in Tennessee Baptist life. He has served as president of the Tennessee Baptist Pastors Conference and this past year was chair of the TBC’s Executive Board.

Though born in North Carolina (the son of a Baptist pastor), Collins has strong ties to the Volunteer State. Both his parents were reared in Tennessee and Collins graduated from Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City. While in college he accepted his first pastorate — Briar Thicket Baptist Church, Bybee. “I have a heart for the state of Tennessee and I love Tennessee Baptists,” Collins said.

[Read more…]

Facebooktwittermail

REVIVAL, COMMUNITY EVENTS YIELD RESULTS

Baptist and Reflector

Pastor Jamie Work (with hand raised) of Candies Creek Baptist Church, Charleston, prepares to baptize the Ensley family in the Hiwassee River. The church has seen more than 100 professions of faith in Jesus Christ and recommitments this summer as a result of community outreach and a harvest revival.

Pastor Jamie Work (with hand raised) of Candies Creek Baptist Church, Charleston, prepares to baptize the Ensley family in the Hiwassee River. The church has seen more than 100 professions of faith in Jesus Christ and recommitments this summer as a result of community outreach and a harvest revival.

CHARLESTON — In the fall of 2014 the Lord began to compel Candies Creek Baptist Church here to give themselves to a renewed emphasis on disciple-making for 2015, said Pastor Jamie Work.

He noted that ministry leaders and pastoral staff prayerfully planned the coming year around the theme of “Disciples Making Disciples: Reach, Teach, Equip, and Release.”

A team of the church’s pastors from both of Candies Creek’s campuses put together a “Disciple-Making Blueprint” designed to guide mature believers through a year-long process of discipling new, or soon-to-be, followers of Christ, Work said.

In the early part of this year, church members were asked to write the names of family members, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, neighbors, and relatives for whom the church could pray that they would experience spiritual transformation.

The names were written on a large, double-sided white board in the Worship Center during worship gatherings, Work said. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittermail