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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NOT YOUR TYPICAL CHURCH PLANTER

78-year-old Jerry Milam enjoying fruits of new church start in Lyles

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Nancy and Jerry Milam stand outside the Pizza Junction in Lyles. The restaurant serves as the home of New Life Baptist Church which celebrated its first anniversary on March 13. Milam is a 78-year-old church planter.

Nancy and Jerry Milam stand outside the Pizza Junction in Lyles. The restaurant serves as the home of New Life Baptist Church which celebrated its first anniversary on March 13. Milam is a 78-year-old church planter.

LYLES — Statistics indicate that the average church planter is somewhere in his late 20s to his mid-30s, according to Lewis McMullen, church planting specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

If that’s the case, Jerry Milam acknowledges (with a grin), “I’m well above average.”

Milam, 78, is pastor of New Life Baptist Church in the Hickman County town of Lyles. The church celebrated its first anniversary on March 13.

He began the church with about 25 people after serving as pastor of smaller, traditional churches for more than 50 years. Milam had envisioned retiring last May from Wrigley Baptist Church in Lyles, a congregation he had served three different times for a total of 33 years. “I was going to sit on the back pew and rest, but it didn’t work out that way,” he recalled. [Read more…]

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1-5-1 STILL EFFECTIVE, SAY SPECIALISTS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

151-Reaching-TNBRENTWOOD — Since the 1-5-1 Harvest Plants strategy was introduced about three years ago, Tennessee Baptists have seen an increase in both church starts and baptisms.

1-5-1 was the brainchild of Bobby Welch, former associate executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention who retired last summer. 1-5-1 Harvest Plants are off-campus efforts (outside the four walls of the church) geared toward people who don’t know Christ as their Savior for the purpose of sharing the gospel, discipling people, and starting churches. [Read more…]

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TBC STAFF REALIGNS AROUND FIVE OBJECTIVES

Five Objectives 5 ObjectivesBRENTWOOD – The staff of the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention has been realigned in order to assist churches in accomplishing the Five Objectives.

The Five Objectives were adopted by messengers at the Summit in 2014 at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood as long-range goals for the convention. [Read more…]

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