WORSHIP PASTOR ON HARLEY PLANTS CHURCH

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

The leaders of Kairos Communities, Ooltewah, pause at Wired Coffeehouse, Ooltewah, recently. They are, from left, Shane Mitchell, founder and elder/pastor; Kel Trudgian, elder/pastor; and Steve Gervasi, elder/teaching pastor.

CHATTANOOGA — Just two years ago Shane Mitchell was a worship and creative arts pastor of a traditional church who enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle. Then he felt called by God to build relationships at a coffeehouse.

Since then his work-a-day world has shifted — from spending most of his time at Oakwood Baptist Church, Chattanooga, where he led worship, to managing a thrift store while leading a new congregation.

His personal life has been rocked — from living in a nice traditional home in Chattanooga to a small apartment in Ooltewah. [Read more…]

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CHURCH GIVES FACILITY TO CHURCH PLANT

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Phil Young, left, director of missions, Knox County Association of Baptists, based in Knoxville, visits with Jim Florea, church planter, Forward Church, Knoxville, in the church’s new sanctuary, which formerly was Gayland Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville.

Phil Young, left, director of missions, Knox County Association of Baptists, based in Knoxville, visits with Jim Florea, church planter, Forward Church, Knoxville, in the church’s new sanctuary, which formerly was Gayland Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville.

KNOXVILLE — Phil Young hoped the meeting would go well. He was going to meet with Gayland Heights Baptist Church members to discuss options. The congregation had declined to a very small group of older members.

Young, director of missions, Knox County Association of Baptists, proposed several revitalization ideas, including sharing their facility with a church plant or beginning church. Of course, the church could close and give its property to the association.

Thankfully, the meeting went very well, he recalled. The small group was very open minded, said Young.  [Read more…]

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TIEBOUT LEADS CHURCH PLANTING EFFORT

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Steve Tiebout

Steve Tiebout

COOKEVILLE — Steve Tiebout (tah-boo) believes in church planting. He has planted two churches and has led many others to plant churches and his church to support them financially.

Tiebout planted a church in California which he pastored for four years and then planted The River Community Church, Cookeville, 15 years ago. Today The River Community draws about 1,300 people to Sunday morning activities and baptized 63 people last year. He and The River Community also started the Church Planting Network to help develop other church planters and church plants.  [Read more…]

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MCLAURIN REFLECTS ON BLACK CHURCH GROWTH

Editor’s Note: You can hear Willie McLaurin discuss the growth of African-American churches during Episode 5 of Radio B&R, the official news podcast of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

 

Willie McLaurin

Willie McLaurin

BRENTWOOD — Two events stand out in the mind of Willie McLaurin as they relate to the growth of African-American churches across both the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.

The first happened in 2012 when Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La., became the first African-American to be elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“It meant so much to me to see Bro. Fred elected that tears came streaming down my eyes,” recalled McLaurin, special assistant to the president and director of black church development for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. [Read more…]

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ETHNIC CHURCHES DOUBLE IN TENNESSEE

Learn about, consider fervent evangelism of ethnics: William Burton

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Editor’s note: You can hear William Burton discuss ethnic ministries during Episode 4 of Radio B&R, the  official news podcast of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

 

Jana Guy of the Arabic Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, participates in an activity of a children’s Sunday School training conference on Jan. 21 in Murfreesboro. The conference was led by Vicki Hulsey, right, of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board staff. Looking on is Amira Abdul-Sayed of the Arabic Baptist Church of Tusculum Hills Baptist, Nashville.

BRENTWOOD — Ethnic Baptist churches associated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention have nearly doubled in number — to about 200 — in the last 18 months.

One of the most important groups being reached by the new churches are Arabic speakers, said William Burton, ethnic evangelism/church planting specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. Currently there are five Arabic Baptist churches in Tennessee.

“For me, that’s one of the most exciting things that we’re doing because that’s a group that’s obviously in the news. There’s a lot of fear, concern.” [Read more…]

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CHURCH DISPLAYS KINGDOM VISION

Forerunner Baptist to open Covington campus at Rialto Baptist

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Participating in a joint worship service of Rialto Baptist Church, Covington, and Forerunner Baptist Church, Ripley, were, from left, Thomas Bester, pastor, Forerunner Baptist; Carl Funderburk, pastor, Rialto Baptist; and Clay Gilbreath, director of missions, Big Hatchie Baptist Association.

Participating in a joint worship service of Rialto Baptist Church, Covington, and Forerunner Baptist Church, Ripley, were, from left, Thomas Bester, pastor, Forerunner Baptist; Carl Funderburk, pastor, Rialto Baptist; and Clay Gilbreath, director of missions, Big Hatchie Baptist Association.

COVINGTON — The handwriting has been on the wall for years at Rialto Baptist Church in Covington.

The almost 100-year-old church once was a vibrant congregation with more than 200 members. But as the community transitioned, many members moved away. Many of those who stayed have since died.

As of Jan. 15, Rialto Baptist had about five members plus pastor Carl Funderburk and his wife Jane. Funderburk, 79, has been pastor of Rialto for 14 years. In 2005 Funderburk led his then congregation of 13 members to make plans should the church eventually have to close its doors. [Read more…]

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NEW CHURCH BAPTIZES 99 IN 9 MONTHS

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Nathan Thomason, founder and pastor, Outreach Baptist Church, Smithville, baptizes a boy outside the church facility in a strip mall near downtown Smithville.

Nathan Thomason, founder and pastor, Outreach Baptist Church, Smithville, baptizes a boy outside the church facility in a strip mall near downtown Smithville.

SMITHVILLE — Nathan Thomason wanted to be pastor of an evangelistic church here. So he started one.

Just nine months later, Outreach Baptist Church, which Thomason planted, has baptized 99 people.

All 99 people were baptized outside in the courtyard of the horseshoe-shaped strip mall which serves as the church’s facility. Thomason uses a portable baptistry.

One evening the courtyard “was full” as 21 adults, teens, and children were baptized, recalled Thomason. [Read more…]

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NUMBER OF SBC, TBC CHURCHES INCREASE

By Carol Pipes, Editor, Facts & Trends at LifeWay Christian Resources
and By Lonnie Wilkey, Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160614churchesNASHVILLE — Southern Baptists as a whole and Tennessee Baptists in general may find cause for hope in the latest Annual Church Profile report.

Both the Southern Baptist Convention and Tennessee Baptist Convention added more churches in 2015, due mostly to church planting efforts. Churches also experienced an increase in total giving.

However, according to the Annual Church Profile (ACP) compiled by LifeWay Christian Resources in cooperation with state conventions, other key measures declined. Those included membership, average worship attendance, baptisms, and missions giving. [Read more…]

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CHAMPION A CHURCH PLANT

By Diana Davis
Reprinted from Baptist Press

Diana Davis

Diana Davis

Each Sunday, we’d haul baby beds, sound equipment, and chairs to our temporary meeting place. We were church planters, and though it was hard work, the results were awesome.

Flash forward to present day. Our son-in-law and daughter serve as church planting pastor and worship leader for a new church. Every Sunday, they load a trailer to haul all kinds of equipment to their downtown Indianapolis meeting site. America is still a great missions field.

You are already involved in church planting — a portion of your tithe to your Southern Baptist church helps plant churches through the Cooperative Program, as does your annual gift for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. In Tennessee, Tennessee Baptists are involved in church planting when they give through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions. [Read more…]

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BAPTIST ASSOCIATIONS STRENGTHEN THE CHURCH

By Roger P. Freeman
Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Nashville

Roger P. Freeman

Roger P. Freeman

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).

The missions strategy for the Southern Baptist Convention ministry through our churches is found in Acts 1:8.

“Jerusalem” represents missions through the local association.

“Judea” represents missions through our Tennessee Baptist Convention.

“Samaria” represents missions through our North America Mission Board to unchurched areas of the United States and Canada. [Read more…]

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