THE IMPACT OF AN ORPHAN

By Randy C. Davis
TBMB President/Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Wilkerson V. Jones would’ve turned 100 this coming July 4th. He was well known all over Mobile, Ala. It seemed as if he knew everybody and everybody knew him.

He is a member of the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame, was active in his church, and was tall, handsome and distinguished. A southern gentleman in every way, married to the same woman for well over half a century, and together with Ms. Juanita, they raised nine children. [Read more…]

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GRATEFUL FOR ALL CHEERFUL GIVERS

By Randy C. Davis
TBMB Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

God loves a cheerful giver.

Chances are you’ve heard that phrase from your pastor, or maybe from your momma or grandmother. We often share that verse with children when we teach them about stewardship. Well, last week I assume God was extremely pleased, and I was pleasantly surprised. No, actually I was pleasantly shocked.

It was my great pleasure to announce at the spring meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board that an unbelievably generous Tennessee Baptist gave nearly $1.6 million dollars to establish the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions Endowment. For years to come, approximately $50,000-plus in annual interest will funnel into the GOTM and be used for a variety of ministry opportunities. [Read more…]

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PASTOR: NINE STEPS TO RECOVERING YOUR JOY

By Randy C. Davis
TBMB Executive Director

It’s right there in the red letters:  “That my joy may be in you …”

This is a statement of fact made by Jesus Himself, and yet I’ve encountered so many pastors who haven’t experienced joy in a long time. The man behind the pulpit carries both pastoral and personal burdens, and it can be overwhelming. What once was a thrill becomes drudgery, and one day, pastor, you realize you’ve lost your joy. I know the feeling. Been there.

While I was a pastor, I signed articles and letters with the salutation, “It is a joy to be your pastor.” Once, however, the slightest typo slipped through — a single letter — and communicated something completely different: “It is a job to be your pastor.” [Read more…]

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A PLEA FOR UNITY AND COOPERATION

By Randy C. Davis
TBMB Executive Director

There is a fog of divisiveness settling across the Southern Baptist Convention and it is spreading like a poisonous gas, and we must address it rather than allow it to linger and destroy our Great Commission calling.

There is a litany of issues causing the increasing tension that seemingly permeates every conversation taking place across our denomination and we no longer have the luxury of pretending there isn’t a problem. There is tension between national entities and state conventions, between Calvinists and non-Calvinists, between entity leaders and Southern Baptists, and the list goes on. It seems there is division almost anywhere two or more are gathered with differing opinions. If you doubt the veracity of my comments, check the news. Southern Baptists are making more headlines these days for our in fighting than for being known as a people of grace and peace sharing the gospel with a dying world. [Read more…]

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KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL

By Randy C. Davis
TBMB Executive Director

baseball-and-batIt’s been said the hardest thing to do in sports is to hit a baseball. It’s a tough point to argue. Take a guy like Nolan Ryan, one of the greatest fastball pitchers to ever play the game. Ryan unbelievably had a 27-year career and was still throwing the ball 95 mph-plus when he finally retired; ever the “Ryan Express” to the end. 

Now, imagine standing in a batter’s box waiting to hit his fastball. Don’t wait too long; you only have four tenths of a second to make contact — that’s less than half a second. It takes a significant amount of focus and “keeping your eye on the ball” if you have the remotest chance of getting a hit. Allow distraction and you’ll strike out.  [Read more…]

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STILL ANSWERING THE CALL IN TIME OF NEED

By Randy C. Davis
TBMB Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

The news media may have moved on, and that’s okay. As we say, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers get there when the disaster hits and stay long after the media has left.

And that’s definitely the case in Sevier County where November’s wildfires devastated countless homes, businesses, and woodlands. Tennessee Baptists have been well represented as hundreds of committed volunteers have served — and continue to serve — thousands in their time of need.  [Read more…]

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IF YOU COULD ASK GOD ONE QUESTION …

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

There are a millions of spiritually lost people in Tennessee.

That is an obvious statement, but that reality grabbed me again in recent weeks. This time, the faceless mass got personal as spiritual lostness introduced itself with a person’s name.

In preparing for our annual Summit, we sent thousands of cards to our Baptist Collegiate Ministry leaders containing a single question: “If you could ask God one question, what would you ask?” We asked BCM leaders to use the cards to survey students on their respective campuses. We had no idea how the question would be received, but the response was astounding. Nearly 2,000 cards came back individually signed, and as I read through the responses, several truths hit me. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE BAPTIST MISSION BOARD

Messengers approve new name for Executive Board, elect Freeman

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

New officers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention are, from left, Todd Stinnett, pastor, Black Oak Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville, second vice president; Steve Freeman, pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Springfield, president; and Michael Crandall, pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Dyersburg, vice president.

New officers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention are, from left, Todd Stinnett, pastor, Black Oak Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville, second vice president; Steve Freeman, pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Springfield, president; and Michael Crandall, pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Dyersburg, vice president. -Photos by Corinne Williams

SEVIERVILLE — Messengers to the annual meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Convention approved a new name for the Executive Board and elected Springfield pastor Steve Freeman as their new president.

The two actions were among many that took place during Summit: The Gathering of Tennessee Baptists held Nov. 13-17 at the Sevierville Convention Center.

The final unofficial registration tallied 1,211 registered messengers from 503 churches throughout the state. The numbers do not reflect the total number of people who attended various sessions. On Nov. 13, there was an estimated 2,000-plus people who attended the worship service led by Steve Gaines (see story here) and a concurrent Hispanic worship service.

Registration exceeded the 953 messengers from 322 churches who attended last year’s Summit in Millington and the 1,172 messengers who attended Summit in 2014 in Brentwood. [Read more…]

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A STRATEGIC MOVE TOWARD A 50/50 DISTRIBUTION

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

split-cut-scissors-money-50-50-distributionYou are familiar with the story. Two mothers came before King Solomon with a baby, each claiming to be the mother. An argument ensued; accusations flew, and Solomon decided to divide the baby, thereby revealing the identity of the true mother.

Somewhere along the way, the Cooperative Program became the baby many in the Southern Baptists Convention want to divide. Impatience fuels a call for drastic action. We’ve become too quick to draw the sword without considering the broader consequences. Let’s take a breath, step back, and look at the bigger picture. [Read more…]

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DO YOU ‘GET’ THE COOPERATIVE PROGRAM?

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

James Suggs gets it.

Suggs, 72, is the pastor of Cave Hill Baptist Church in Newport. He’s lived in Cocke County his entire life — Cocke County, total population of about 35,000. Suggs shares the story of when he was a young pastor in his early 20s and told some friends that his goal in life was to see a million souls saved.

“I knew to see that goal reached I was going to have to go way beyond Cocke County,” he said. “But I figure that by participating in the Cooperative Program I’ve been able to see at least that many saved in these 50 years.” [Read more…]

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