DISCIPLE-MAKING TASK FORCE CONTINUES

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

Robby Gallaty

Robby Gallaty

NASHVILLE — A group tasked with encouraging and teaching disciple-making among Southern Baptist churches will extend its work an additional year, task force chairman Robby Gallaty told Baptist Press.

Gallaty, hosting a task force meeting here March 9, said the group will not issue a report at the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Phoenix. The task force will instead seek an additional year to evaluate discipleship and strategize. They plan to give their report at the 2018 SBC annual meeting in Dallas. [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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DR LEADERS MARK 50 YEARS OF MINISTRY, EYE FUTURE

Baptist Press

170202dr-anniv

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leaders celebrated the ministry’s 50th anniversary during their annual conference, Jan. 23-27. -Photo by Jane Rodgers/Southern Baptist TEXAN

DENTON, Texas (BP) — Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leaders throughout North America met for their annual “Round Table” meeting and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of SBDR.

Representatives from nearly all the state Baptist conventions participated in the Jan. 23-27 event at Camp Copass in Denton, Texas. Portions of the week focused on celebrating five decades of ministry efforts, looking at the present state of the ministry and preparing for the future.

“Fifty years represents a significant event for us,” said Mickey Caison, the executive director of SBDR at the North American Mission Board. [Read more…]

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MISSIONARY REFLECTS ON WHAT CASTRO COULDN’T DO

Baptist Press

After returning to the U.S. following HMB missionary David Fite's Cuban imprisonment, his family visited the 1969 Woman's Missionary Union annual meeting. -SBHLA photo

After returning to the U.S. following HMB missionary David Fite’s Cuban imprisonment, his family visited the 1969 Woman’s Missionary Union annual meeting.
-SBHLA photo

HAVANA — As the world reflects on the legacy of late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, a former Southern Baptist missionary imprisoned by the Castro regime in the 1960s is remembering what Castro could not do: kill the church.

Castro died Nov. 25 at the age of 90.

David Fite, 82, was arrested in Havana in 1965 on what he calls fabricated charges of “trafficking in foreign currency” and “ideological diversionism.” Then Home Mission Board (now the North American Mission Board) missionary and the father of three young boys, including a one-month-old, Fite was incarcerated for three and a half years before being released in November of 1968. [Read more…]

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‘DISCIPLESHIP CULTURE’ NEEDED IN SBC

By Josie Rabbitt
Baptist Press

161104task-forceALPHARETTA, Ga. — LifeWay Christian Resources’ and the North American Mission Board’s recently-appointed task force on disciple-making met Oct. 17 at NAMB’s building here. The group of 11 Southern Baptist pastors gathered to discuss their task of communicating that “any church of any background can be disciple-making,” according to chairman Robby Gallaty, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville.

Gallaty began the meeting by asking what the “win” for the discipleship task force would be. Members unanimously agreed that success would be helping churches create a process to celebrate making disciples. [Read more…]

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TBC CHURCHES BOOST AAEO

Baptist Press, B&R Reports

annie-armstrong-aaeoALPHARETTA, Ga. — The nearly $59 million given to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering in 2016 ranks second highest in the offering’s history, the North American Mission Board announced Oct. 12.

Southern Baptists gave $58,860,553 in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 to the offering named for noted missionary Annie Armstrong, second only to the $59,463,281 given in 2007, NAMB said. [Read more…]

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DENVER’S BEAUTY, SPIRITUAL NEED SEEN BY NAMB TRUSTEES

Mike Ebert
Executive Dir. of Public Relations, NAMB

"What could God do with the North American Mission Board? What could God do with the Southern Baptist Convention if we would realize that the primary thing we are to do before we do anything else is pray?" SBC President Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., challenged North American Mission Board trustees as they met in Denver Oct. 4-5. Photo by Hayley Catt/NAMB

“What could God do with the North American Mission Board? What could God do with the Southern Baptist Convention if we would realize that the primary thing we are to do before we do anything else is pray?” SBC President Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., challenged North American Mission Board trustees as they met in Denver Oct. 4-5. Photo by Hayley Catt/NAMB

DENVER (BP) — Set against a backdrop of freshly snow-capped mountains on the front range of Colorado’s Rockies, North American Mission Board trustees saw firsthand how Southern Baptist church planters are countering spiritual darkness in the midst of a recreational paradise.

On the Monday before their Oct. 4-5 meeting, trustees loaded onto buses to visit church planters at their places of ministry. One, Kevin Hasenack, is planting Calvary Church Denver in one of the most diverse communities in the area. [Read more…]

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REACHING THE 94 PERCENT IN NYC

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Members of Belmont Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville, and Swerve Church in NYC pause this summer during their missions work painting over graffiti on a building. Tennesseans include, from left, first row, Karen Foy and Breanna Foy; and Abigail Lethgo, second from right; and Barry Lethgo, right; back row, Mike Foy, second from left; and Andy Minton, third from left.

Members of Belmont Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville, and Swerve Church in NYC pause this summer during their missions work painting over graffiti on a building. Tennesseans include, from left, first row, Karen Foy and Breanna Foy; and Abigail Lethgo, second from right; and Barry Lethgo, right; back row, Mike Foy, second from left; and Andy Minton, third from left.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -— “If you reach somebody in New York City you have the potential of reaching the world,” said Kevin Cabe, former Knoxvillian who is now a Baptist missionary in New York City.

“People move here for fame, fortune, film, finance, food, and everything in between. Many Tennesseans are moving here too as we speak. … Then people often move on,” he explained, adding that though 22 million people live within 75 miles of Times Square, the population is transient. Eight and a half million people live in the city. Many are originally from other countries. [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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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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