MISSIONS EDUCATION IS IMPERATIVE: PITTS

Editor’s note: You can listen to Martha Pitts discuss missions during Episode 7 of Radio B&R, the official news podcast of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

 

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Martha Pitts speaks during the annual WMU Missions Get-Together in Gatlinburg. She was elected to a second term as state WMU president.
— Photo by Chris Turner

GATLINBURG — Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union President Martha Pitts is a product of missions education. And she is a huge proponent of it today.

“I started early. I grew up in Girls in Action (GAs). People invested in me and took me on missions trips and taught me early on to look around for people who were in need,” Pitts said during an interview for a Radio B&R podcast with Chris Turner.

As an adult Pitts taught GAs and later became the associational WMU director (Shelby County Baptist Association, now Mid-South Baptist Association). Though she held different positions, one thing remained the same — her love for missions. “I love getting out to people and telling them about Jesus,” said Pitts, who was elected to a second one-year term as president during the Missions Get-Together held March 31-April 2 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. [Read more…]

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1,619 ATTEND WMU GET-TOGETHER & CONNECTION

By Janice Backer
Contributing Writer, B&R

Elected as promotion directors for Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union during its annual meeting were, from left, Glenda Roach, Blue Springs Baptist Church, Rutledge, northeast; Bobby Turner, First Baptist Church, Lenoir City, east; Linda Robbins, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Westpoint, south central; Jonnie (Neal) Jones, First Baptist Church, Macon, southwest; and Sharon Tyler, Bellevue Baptist Church, Nashville, central. Not pictured are Lisa Condee-Sullivan, Delano Baptist Church, Delano, southeast, and Rhonda Poore, First Baptist Church, Kenton, northwest. — Photo by Chris Turner

GATLINBURG — For more than 10 years, Sharon Y. Smith has made the eight-hour trip from Memphis to Gatlinburg to attend the Missions Get-Together and Connection.  This year the conference was held on March 31-April 2 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

“The worship and the sessions are good,” Smith said. “I come and learn and take the information back to share with my church.”  A member of Kingdom Center Ministries in Memphis, she brought 10 women including her sister, Bettye Tyson, and Jeanette West, the first black Woman’s Missionary Union director of  Mid-South Baptist Association, based in Memphis.

“I must say it is awesome and a blessing to meet so many women in Christ,” said Tyson, who attended the meeting for the first time.   [Read more…]

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TEAM SEES 9,000-PLUS DECISIONS

Baptist and Reflector

Latonya Chilcutt of Woodland Baptist Church, Brownsville, shares a testimony during a crusade in the Philippines.

Latonya Chilcutt of Woodland Baptist Church, Brownsville, shares a testimony during a crusade in the Philippines.

SOMERVILLE — A team of nine missions volunteers serving on the Cross Partners Ministry team recently returned from two weeks in the Republic of the Philippines where they served with about 40 churches in three different Baptist associations.  

The team participated in more than 100 evangelistic crusades with Filipino Baptists on Luzon Island and saw 8,663 professions of faith and more than 400 other decisions for Jesus Christ.    [Read more…]

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GOD DOESN’T SETTLE FOR THE STATUS QUO

By Kevin Ezell
President, North American Mission Board, Alpharetta, Ga.

Kevin Ezell

Kevin Ezell

Have you noticed that God does not settle for the status quo? There is no place in the Bible where He says, “There, that’s good enough. You can take a break now.” Even nature, which He created, is constantly shifting, changing, and moving in order to keep the balance He intended. 

God is always pushing us forward. He calls us closer in our walk with Him. He sends us out to tell people about Him. This is His nature.

I love to hear about our missionaries who are always pushing forward as well. They are starting new churches, connecting with new people, and finding ways to meet needs so that in the process a conversation can turn toward the gospel. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE BCMS REACH INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

By Thom Thorton
Campus Ministry Specialist, Vanderbilt University, Nashville

Thom Thornton

Thom Thornton

The final words from Jesus to us before the ascension, as recorded in Acts 1:8 commands us, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (HCSB) For centuries, our primary missions initiative has been to go and to take the message of Christ to the ends of the earth. While this is a beautiful calling, what if we could also take the gospel to the ends of the earth without ever leaving our own community?

College campuses across our state have seen a rapid increase in the number of international students enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate programs. At Vanderbilt, the international student population has grown by almost 25 percent in the last 10 years. Currently, we have 1,810 international students at Vanderbilt University from 117 countries. This represents almost 15 percent of the total student enrollment at Vanderbilt University. [Read more…]

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THE KEY TO REACHING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

By Stefani Varner
Church Initiatives Team, International Mission Board

students-international-ethnicDuring my senior year of college, I was invited to join more than 500 Chinese students and their families to celebrate Chinese New Year. I spent several hours eating authentic food, watching talent shows and videos from celebrations around the world, and learning about various customs and traditions.

The time came for the door prize drawing, and suddenly, I heard my name called. I realized that most of the students in the room were cheering for me and encouraging me to go on stage to claim my prize. I had won a gift certificate for a Peking duck at the local Chinese restaurant.  [Read more…]

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APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED FOR BHET GRANTS

Baptist and Reflector

submit, button, online, form, computer, keyboardBRENTWOOD — Applications are now being received for grants from the Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee Medical Missions Fund.

The Baptist Healthcare System of East Tennessee was begun by Tennessee Baptists soon after the end of World War II. More than $2 million was contributed by 800 churches in 32 counties of East Tennessee. The hospital began service on Nov. 30, 1949. [Read more…]

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THANKS FOR HELP IN DENVER: MANDRELL

Editor’s Note: The Week of Prayer for North American Missions is underway this week as churches will soon begin receiving gifts to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering which supports missionaries across North America, including former Tennessee Baptist pastor Ben Mandrell.

 

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Ben Mandrell, church planter and lead pastor, Storyline Fellowship, Arvada, Colo., stands in his adopted home of Denver with his wife Lynley and their four children, from left, Max, Ava, Jack, and Miles. Lynley is director of children’s ministry at Storyline Fellowship. Mandrell is former senior pastor, Englewood Baptist Church, Jackson.

Ben Mandrell, church planter and lead pastor, Storyline Fellowship, Arvada, Colo., stands in his adopted home of Denver with his wife Lynley and their four children, from left, Max, Ava, Jack, and Miles. Lynley is director of children’s ministry at Storyline Fellowship. Mandrell is former senior pastor, Englewood Baptist Church, Jackson.

DENVER, Colo. — Ben Mandrell has been a church planter in Denver for three years and has learned a lot, he said.

“Living in Denver, in the West, requires a whole different paradigm,” said Mandrell, former senior pastor, Englewood Baptist Church, Jackson.

Ranked 14th in top post-Christian cities in America according to one study, Denver is “a missions field like no other,” he noted.

Christians and especially pastors are considered anti-intellectual, old school, and out of touch with society, he explained.

A good portion of his audience on Sunday mornings are “unconvinced that this book (the Bible) is even reliable.” Many reject absolute truth, Mandrell stated. [Read more…]

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C-N STUDENTS CHOOSE NEPAL OVER BEACH

C-N News Office

carson-newman-logo2JEFFERSON CITY — Carson-Newman University students and members of the campus community waived traditional Spring Break activities to take part in the university’s annual spring SPOTS missions trips.

Beginning March 1, teams left campus to serve in locations including Chattanooga, St. Louis, Mo., and Washington D.C.

Carson-Newman also sent its first 11-member team to Nepal. Chad Morris, associate director of campus ministries and coordinator of the trips, said the trip will be memorable. [Read more…]

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FAMILY CHOOSES CP FOR MEMORIAL

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Levi Parish

Levi Parish

NEWPORT – Levi Parish spent the better part of his ministry supporting and encouraging others to support the Cooperative Program.

So when he passed away on Feb. 26, it was only natural that the family wanted to do something special in his memory.

“He loved missions,” Sherry Parish said of her husband of 53 years. “In every church we served, he encouraged the church to increase its giving through the Cooperative Program,” she recalled. “He was a strong believer and supporter of the Cooperative Program his entire ministry. [Read more…]

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