SOUTHWESTERN TO HOUSE BILL WALLACE PAPERS

By Julie Owens
Baptist Press

FORT WORTH, Texas — Southern Baptist medical missionary and martyr Bill Wallace suffered profoundly in his last weeks on earth, but he had long been prepared. “There is no sacrifice in all the world too great for a man to make for the Lord Jesus Christ,” he wrote in an emotional letter shared with his home congregation just before he left for his fateful mission to China in 1935. [Read more…]

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SIMPLE STEPS FOR HIGH IMPACT MISSIONS TRIPS

By Brian Frye
National Collegiate Strategist, North American Mission Board

If you’ve grown up in the church, you’ve likely been on and heard about all kinds of missions trips. If you’re new to following Christ, missions trips are a great way to grow in your faith, to develop confidence in sharing Christ, and to grow deeper in community with other believers. Here are a few pointers on planning and leading a high-impact missions trip. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE BAPTISTS: CALLED TO BE MISSIONAL

By Michael Sams
Chair, TN Baptist Mission Board

Mike Sams

Following last week’s meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, I drove to Bardwell, Ky., to be with my 85-year-old father who was at the point of death.  Thankfully, I made it in time to spend the last few hours of his time on earth with him.

Early on Wednesday morning (April 26), I watched as my dad opened his eyes wide and looked with amazement toward the ceiling. It was if he saw something or someone standing there before him. As his eyes fixed on whatever was before him, a peaceful look covered his face. He then took his last few breaths and that was it. [Read more…]

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WMU GIVES SECOND GRANT TO FIRE RELIEF

Baptist Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — As the Smoky Mountain resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge continue to recover from last year’s devastating wildfires, a second $5,000 HEART (Humanitarian Emergency Aid for Rebuilding Tomorrow) Fund grant from the national Womans Missionary Union and the WMU Foundation will assist workers struggling due to the decline in tourism. [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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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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