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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AFTER W.VA. FLOODING, BAPTIST DR AIDING RECOVERY

Editor’s Note: Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief has been asked by the North American Mission Board to oversee operations in the Rainelle, West Va., area. Efforts will include on site command, feeding volunteer teams, chaplains, assessors, and mud out teams. The Tennessee volunteers will be hosted by Calvary Baptist Church in Meadow Bridge, West. Va. Mud out teams are urgently needed. If interested in serving, contact Elizabeth Holmes in Tennessee Baptist DR at eholmes@tnbaptist.org or call 615-371-7926. Donations for disaster relief (designated for West Virginia) may be sent to TBC Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 728, Brentwood, TN 37024 or give online at www.tndisasterrelief.org.

 

By Josie Rabbitt & Jacob Brooks, NAMB

Pat McCoy (right) of Berkley Springs, W.Va., member of South Berkley Baptist Church and Raymond Bouchoc of Charlestown, W.Va., member of Baker Heights Baptist Church mark and remove wet drywall in Rupert County as part of mud-out recovery. Much of what various disaster relief recovery teams looked for after damage assessments were rotten walls and dangerous mold. -NAMB photo by Van Payne

Pat McCoy (right) of Berkley Springs, W.Va., member of South Berkley Baptist Church and Raymond Bouchoc of Charlestown, W.Va., member of Baker Heights Baptist Church mark and remove wet drywall in Rupert County as part of mud-out recovery. Much of what various disaster relief recovery teams looked for after damage assessments were rotten walls and dangerous mold.
-NAMB photo by Van Payne

GREENBRIER COUNTY, W.Va. (BP) — Blue and “yellow” hard hats can be seen along eight West Virginia counties’ roads and streets — hats worn by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers. Engaged in recovery assessment, the SBDR response teams are making their way through communities that were under water just days ago, answering calls for help from numerous West Virginians left without power, vehicles and even homes.

On June 23, torrential rains hit West Virginia, causing flooding that claimed at least 24 lives and more than 100 homes. More than 30,000 homes and businesses lost power.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) described the flooding as a “historic” tragedy and applauded the continued efforts of relief response teams such as the American Red Cross and various SBDR units, as reported by the Associated Press.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin tweeted his appreciation for state partners who provided critical resources to West Virginia as quickly as possible and announced that FEMA will expand federal funding to eight counties: Fayette, Clay, Roane, Summers, Monroe, Greenbrier, Kanawha and Nicholas. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEANS SERVE FERGUSON RESIDENTS

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Dr. Mike Carrigan, a physician in Clarksville who is a member of First Baptist Church, Clarksville, reviews a chart of a patient as nurses help her at the Send Relief medical/dental mobile clinic of the North American Mission Board on June 11 in Ferguson, Mo. — Photo by Bill Graham

Dr. Mike Carrigan, a physician in Clarksville who is a member of First Baptist Church, Clarksville, reviews a chart of a patient as nurses help her at the Send Relief medical/dental mobile clinic of the North American Mission Board on June 11 in Ferguson, Mo. — Photo by Bill Graham

CLARKSVILLE — Racial animus in Ferguson, Mo., was long forgotten as African Americans and Anglos enjoyed a block party prior to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in nearby St. Louis, and some Tennessee Baptists were a key part.

Medical professionals mainly from First Baptist Church, Clarksville, manned the Send Relief medical/dental mobile clinics of the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board. The clinics were premiered at the pre-convention Crossover St. Louis activities June 11 in Ferguson, the site of protests and riots after the fatal shooting of an African American by a white police officer two years ago.

The mobile clinics operated from the parking lot of First Baptist Church, Ferguson, which is located just about two blocks from the site of the infamous riots. [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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CONFERENCE AIMED AT ‘REACHING THE NATIONS’

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

160621Reaching-The-NationsBRENTWOOD — Spreading the gospel among the more than 42 million foreign-born refugees, immigrants, and international students in the U.S. is the focus of the Reaching the Nations in North America conference, an upcoming national event spearheaded by North Carolina Baptists in conjunction with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, the International Mission Board, and the North American Mission Board.

Termed “diaspora missions,” ministry to those in the U.S. living outside their birth countries, can help evangelize unreached, unengaged people groups, conference organizer Chuck Register told Baptist Press.

“The summit is designed to heighten the awareness of denominational leaders and local church practitioners to the millions of foreign-born residents God has guided to the U.S. and to focus our attention and efforts on engaging immigrants, refugees, and international students with the gospel for church planting,” said Register, executive leader for church planting and missions partnerships with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. “Many of these groups are classified as unreached people groups or unreached and unengaged people groups.” [Read more…]

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EZELL, RAINER APPOINT DISCIPLE-MAKING TASK FORCE

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) — Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, and Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, have appointed a task force on disciple-making.

Consisting of Southern Baptist pastors, the task force will recommend steps that churches can take to improve their disciple-making process and spark a disciple-making movement throughout the Southern Baptist Convention.

Robby Gallaty

Robby Gallaty

“This group will suggest a transferrable process that any church can use in any context,” Ezell said. “The priority will be leading people to the Gospel and then putting them on a pathway toward spiritual growth and maturity.”

Rainer is hopeful that the task force’s recommendations will help churches make the transition to more effective discipleship. [Read more…]

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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…]

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RAISING MISSIONS-MINDED KIDS

By Carolyn Tomlin
Contributing Columnist, B&R

American, teen, African, children, kidsAs a family unit, the Jones’ clan adopts one large missions project each year. “As our children are involved in missions organizations, I believe, parents must set an example of service,” ”says Mr. Jones. “That’s why the children find extra chores and small jobs in the neighborhood and save these funds for helping the homeless in our community. We work together.” [Read more…]

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EC WRAP-UP: SMALL-STATE REPRESENTATION CONSIDERED

By Baptist Press

The SBC Executive Committee gathered Feb. 22-23 for their meeting in Nashville. -Photo by Morris Abernathy

The SBC Executive Committee gathered Feb. 22-23 for their meeting in Nashville. -Photo by Morris Abernathy

NASHVILLE (BP) — After nearly an hour of discussion, the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee’s officers withdrew a recommendation to propose granting representation on three key SBC committees to Baptists in pioneer regions. EC leadership promised, however, to make an alternate proposal with the same goal but addressing logistical concerns raised by EC members.

In other business during the EC’s Feb. 22-23 meeting Nashville, the committee recommended a change in the method for asking questions of entity leaders during SBC annual meetings; approved a one-time transfer of funds from the North American Mission Board to the International Mission Board to assist IMB personnel leaving the board during its “organizational reset”; and withdrew the convention’s fellowship from a South Carolina church whose pastor performed a same-sex wedding ceremony with the deacons’ approval. [Read more…]

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FORMER TENNESSEANS LEAD PORTLAND CHURCH

Josh and Amy Carter among North American missionaries featured  Week of Prayer

By Jim Burton
NAMB News Office

Portland is a neighborhood-centric city with self-contained communities making up the metro area. Church planter Josh Carter, right, visits with elementary school parent-teacher organization president Stacey Borowick, left, and fourth grade teacher Allyson Dubuque during a project at the school at which Remedy Church members volunteered. To learn more about the Week of Prayer and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, visit anniearmstrong.com.

Portland is a neighborhood-centric city with self-contained communities making up the metro area. Church planter Josh Carter, right, visits with elementary school parent-teacher organization president Stacey Borowick, left, and fourth grade teacher Allyson Dubuque during a project at the school at which Remedy Church members volunteered. To learn more about the Week of Prayer and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, visit anniearmstrong.com. — NAMB photos by Susan Whitley

PORTLAND, Ore. — When Josh Carter and his family migrated 2,700 miles from East Tennessee to the Pacific Northwest, he found his people — mountain people — in Oregon. The move was out of obedience to God’s call on the family.

Carter’s preparation didn’t happen without hardship and a spiritual battle. The product of a broken home, grandparents helped in the raising of Carter and his two siblings in East Tennessee. Under the tutelage of his grandfather, who pastored an 80-member country church, Carter made a profession of faith in Christ.

In college, he became active in ministries and even started a church in East Tennessee with his wife, Amy, whom he had known since kindergarten in Kingsport. Carter was 21, a newlywed, and over his head.

“I had no idea how to lead,” he said. [Read more…]

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