LOTTIE MOON — THE REBEL I WANT TO BE

By Lori McDaniel
Church Initiative Leader, International Mission Board, Richmond, Va.

Lori McDaniel

Lori McDaniel

Lottie Moon. I want to be like her, but I didn’t realize how much until I dove into her life story.

You could draw a line in the sand, mention the name Lottie Moon, and people who revere her will move to one side of the line while people whispering, “Who’s that?” will migrate to the other. I had one foot in each camp.

My current church is in the “who’s that?” category. Most people at my church, planted 15 years ago, did not grow up thoroughbred Southern Baptists. While they participate in and give to global missions, they’re not familiar with Lottie. But I grew up in a church that revered her, and I raised money for missions in my rice-bowl-shaped piggy bank to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. [Read more…]

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EVANGELISM NOT A GIFT: IT’S OBEDIENCE

 Editor’s Note: In September, the International Mission Board hosted Baptist state paper editors in London to introduce its new media network and to explore its Global Cities Initiative, a part of IMB President David Platt’s desire to introduce a “limitless” missionary force of Southern Baptists. In December, Southern Baptists are observing a Week of Prayer for International Missions and are collecting the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering which supports missionaries around the world.

According to missionary Ben Armacost, right, there are only two types of people in London — those who are saved and those who are lost. He shares the gospel with James, a man he met recently in the West Norwood section of London.

According to missionary Ben Armacost, right, there are only two types of people in London — those who are saved and those who are lost. He shares the gospel with James, a man he met recently in the West Norwood section of London.

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector  

LONDON — The statistics on London, the self-proclaimed “Capital of the World,” are staggering.

London is home to about 270 nationalities with 300 spoken languages. The city is home to 66 unreached people groups (second highest in the world). In a city with an estimated population of 6.83 million (12 million in the greater London area), only 1 percent of the city is considered to be “reached” with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What’s more, statistics reveal that there is a 97 percent likelihood that a young person in their 20s in the United Kingdom has never met a follower of Jesus Christ. [Read more…]

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OFFERING IS ALL ABOUT THE MISSIONARIES

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie Wilkey

Lonnie Wilkey

Tennessee Baptist Convention churches are observing the Week for Prayer for International Missions this week and are in the process of collecting the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

If past years are any indicator, Tennessee Baptists will be generous when it comes to supporting our international missionaries who serve all over the world. I hope this response continues this year as well.

In September I had the opportunity to participate in a vision trip for Baptist state paper editors hosted by the International Mission Board in London. [Read more…]

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MEMPHIS TEAM AIDS STUDENT WORK IN LONDON

Editor’s Note: In September, the International Mission Board hosted Baptist state paper editors in London to introduce  its new media network and to explore its Global Cities Initiative, a part of IMB President David Platt’s desire to introduce a “limitless” missionary force of Southern Baptists.

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Charlotte Sheehy, right, and Katasha Ross of Kirby Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, take a break to visit some of the sites in London while serving recently on a missions trip to the city. — Photo by Todd Deaton, Western Recorder (Kentucky)

Charlotte Sheehy, right, and Katasha Ross of Kirby Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, take a break to visit some of the sites in London while serving recently on a missions trip to the city. — Photo by Todd Deaton, Western Recorder (Kentucky)

LONDON — The Southern Baptist International Mission Board’s plan to have an impact in London will require more than the missionaries who currently serve in the self-proclaimed “Capital of the World.”

London is home to about 270 nationalities with 300 spoken languages. The city is home to 66 unreached people groups (second highest in the world). In a city with an estimated population of 6.83 million (12 million in the greater London area), only 1 percent of the city is considered to be “reached” with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It will take retirees, students, and career professionals who can plant themselves in the city. But, it also will take volunteers — a large number of them. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE BAPTIST STEPS OUT IN FAITH

Editor’s Note: In September, the International Mission Board hosted Baptist state paper editors in London to introduce its new media network and to explore its Global Cities Initiative, a part of IMB President David Platt’s desire to introduce a “limitless” missionary force of Southern Baptists.

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

161115londonLONDON — As soon as Amanda McCoy speaks, her new coworkers in London know that “she’s not from around here.”

“The people here love my Southern accent,” said McCoy, who hails from Knoxville. “I have an instant segue into having conversations with people,” she noted.

In August McCoy began a job in London and became the first business professional to participate in the Southern Baptist International Mission Board’s Global Cities Initiative as a “mobilized Christian.” [Read more…]

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GAINES ADJUSTS TO ROLE AS SBC PRESIDENT

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

(Left to right) Outgoing Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd together with presidential nominee J.D. Greear congratulate president-elect Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., after he is elected president of the SBC by acclamation after Greear withdrew from the race and moved that the convention elect Gaines by acclamation during the SBC's annual meeting at America's Center in St. Louis Wednesday, June 15. -Photo by Bill Bangham

Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, is congratulated by outgoing SBC President Ronnie Floyd, left, and J.D. Greear, center, after Gaines was elected president of the SBC in June. After two ballots failed to produce a winning candidate, Greear withdrew in favor of Gaines.
— Photo by Bill Bangham

CORDOVA — After what may have been one of the most unusual presidential elections in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention, reality has sunk in for Steve Gaines.

Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention in June during the annual meeting in St. Louis. After two elections failed to produce a winning candidate, both Gaines and J.D. Greear made the decision to withdraw from the race.

Gaines noted he decided soon after the second vote he was going to withdraw his candidacy. “I did not want to be divisive.” Greear had decided the same thing — he would yield to Gaines.

After a meeting between the two men and mutual friends, Gaines noted that Greear insisted he would be the one to pull out. “That’s what we went with. When we walked out on the platform, it was a sweet time,” he recalled. [Read more…]

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CONFERENCE CALLED ‘CATALYTIC MOMENT’

By Seth Brown
Biblical Recorder

Conference speaker J.D. Payne. -Photo by Seth Brown, Biblical Recorder

Conference speaker J.D. Payne.
-Photo by Seth Brown, Biblical Recorder

BRENTWOOD — A unique Southern Baptist missions conference encouraged attendees to leverage the historically unprecedented migration of peoples around the world for the sake of sharing the gospel with every tribe, tongue, and nationality.

The United States is one of the most common destinations for migrants, and the circumstances present the American church with a remarkable opportunity for evangelism, according to speakers at the  “Reaching the Nations in North America” conference at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood.

“God is the Divine Maestro, orchestrating the movements of the nations,” said J.D. Payne, pastor for church multiplication with The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala.

He emphasized the importance of churches engaging in diaspora missions, which is the task of evangelizing migrants. [Read more…]

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FUTURE BRIGHT FOR IMB, PREDICTS SCOTT HARRIS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Scott Harris, missions minister at Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, will serve as chairman of the trustees of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board for the coming year.

Scott Harris, missions minister at Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, will serve as chairman of the trustees of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board for the coming year.

BRENTWOOD — As Scott Harris enters his eighth and final year as a trustee of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, he has witnessed a lot of change.

He became a trustee in 2009 just after the economy had bottomed out. He has served with three different presidents (Jerry Rankin, Tom Elliff, and David Platt) in addition to Clyde Meador who served in an interim role.

What’s more, the IMB has had to deal with drastic changes in denominational life and throughout the world. Any one of those would be hard enough to deal with, but “all of them at the same time is significant,” said Harris, who will lead the IMB trustees as chair in his final year of service.

He considers it an honor to serve as chair. He is an “MK” (missionary kid) and he also served as an IMB missionary in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. He has been the missions minister at Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, since 2002. [Read more…]

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ALL LIVES MATTER, REGARDLESS OF COLOR

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie-Wilkey

Lonnie Wilkey

One thing I have learned after working on newspapers for 30-plus years is that you have to be flexible. Quite frankly, this column was not planned, but the events of Thursday, July 7, caused me to completely change the plans that had been made for this issue. We had to delay the printed publication of some stories (some have appeared or will appear on the website at baptistandreflector.org).

Five Dallas police officers and seven others were wounded last week after they were ambushed while trying to protect people who were protesting police brutality under the umbrella of “Black Lives Matter.” Those marching were protesting the deaths of two black males (one in Minnesota and one in Louisiana) who were killed recently by police officers.  Details are just beginning to surface about the attack that was apparently the plan of a single sniper.

Let me be perfectly clear. Black lives do matter. But so do white (Anglo) lives, Hispanic lives, etc., name the nationality. Unfortunately, when some leaders seemingly tout one race over another, it gives the impression (whether intended or not) that some lives do not matter. They all matter.

What’s more, the lives of police officers and public servants matter. Some national leaders and media have cast police officers in a negative light. They have become villains. And, now police officers are paying the price with their lives. [Read more…]

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BELLEVUE’S STEVE GAINES ELECTED TO LEAD SBC

Tennessee Baptists second in number of Southern Baptist Convention messengers with 824

By David Roach
Baptist Press

Editor’s Note: Due to the publication schedule of the Baptist and Reflector, this issue contains a condensed wrap-up of the SBC annual meeting held June 14-15 in St. Louis. Extensive stories were posted on the B&R web site last week.

 

Outgoing Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, left, together with presidential nominee J.D. Greear, center, congratulate Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova after he is elected president of the SBC. Greear withdrew from the race and moved that the convention elect Gaines by acclamation during the SBC’s annual meeting at America’s Center in St. Louis on June 15. — Photo by Bill Bangham

Outgoing Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, left, together with presidential nominee J.D. Greear, center, congratulate Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova after he is elected president of the SBC. Greear withdrew from the race and moved that the convention elect Gaines by acclamation during the SBC’s annual meeting at America’s Center in St. Louis on June 15. — Photo by Bill Bangham

ST. LOUIS — The election of Tennessee pastor Steve Gaines as president on the third ballot and a historic repudiation of the Confederate battle flag were among the highlights of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 14-15 in St. Louis.

The convention’s resolution on the Confederate battle flag capped an emphasis on racial reconciliation throughout the meeting that included the election of a 2017 Committee on Nominations with 25 percent of its members drawn from ethnic minority groups and a panel discussion on “racial unity in America” featuring Jerry Young, president of the historically African American National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

The unofficial total of 7,321 registered messengers — up from 5,407 last year — also devoted an entire session to praying for awakening in America, listened to a panel discussion on “pastors and the church in American politics today,” and addressed on multiple occasions whether Baptists should support Muslims’ right to build mosques in the United States.

When registered guests, exhibitors, and others are included, the count of those at the annual meeting was tallied, as of June 15, at 11,581. Tennessee ranked second in number of messengers to the annual meeting with 824, trailing only host state Missouri’s 877 messengers. [Read more…]

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