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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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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EXECUTIVE BOARD ADOPTS $35 MILLION BUDGET

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Leaders of the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention include, from left, Randy C. Davis, executive director-treasurer; Michael Sams, new chair; Steve Freeman, current chair; and Cal Hampton, chair-elect. — Photo by Connie Bushey

Leaders of the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention include, from left, Randy C. Davis, executive director-treasurer; Michael Sams, new chair; Steve Freeman, current chair; and Cal Hampton, chair-elect.
— Photo by Connie Bushey

BRENTWOOD — The Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention adopted two recommendations during its Sept. 14 meeting at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood.

Board members approved a budget of $35 million for 2016-17. The proposed budget, which must be approved by messengers to the annual meeting during the Summit in November, represents an increase of $750,000 over the current budget.

The new budget calls for a distribution of 54.48 percent to Tennessee Baptist causes with 45.52 percent being forwarded to the Southern Baptist Convention for SBC missions and ministries, an increase of  1.62 percent. During the current budget year (which ends Oct. 31), 43.9 percent has been sent to the SBC with 56.1 percent utilized for missions and ministries in Tennessee. [Read more…]

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I NOW KNOW HOW YOU FEEL

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

Sometimes people make well-meaning statements when they are trying to comfort others about things which they have no personal experience. Fortunately, and somehow, as a young pastor I knew not to say, “I know how you feel” unless I had been through what the other person was going through. It’s Pastoring 101.

I now know how you feel if you’re someone who has lost their momma.

My mom, Melba Ruth Graham, went home to be with the Lord on Aug. 21 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and related illnesses. Even though our family knew her home going was inevitable, it knocked my world off its axis when it actually happened. I’m still adjusting. I’m sure I’ll be adjusting for some time to come. [Read more…]

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE THROUGH GOTM

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

I love Tennessee.

It is my adopted home and home to all of my immediate family. I believe our state is the most beautiful and unique of the 50 states. From the Smoky Mountains to the majestic and mighty Mississippi River, I stand in awe that the providential hand of God led me here decades ago to invest the best — and rest — of my life to serve Him in saturating Tennessee with the gospel.

And it is that last statement that fuels my drive. As much as I love the geographic diversity of Tennessee, I especially love the demographic diversity. Tennessee is home to more than 145 global people groups. Those red, yellow, black, and white who are precious in Jesus’ sight, we have them by the thousands. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE’S MINISTRY TRAINING GROUND

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

Here’s a quiz. Ready? What does a country girl from McMinnville, an agnostic from Mt. Juliet, a Division I basketball player from Memphis, and a Jewish young man from Georgia have in common?

Hint: The same thing as several Muslims from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Yemen, and quite a few Buddhists from Korea, Japan, and China. They were all brought to Jesus as Lord and Savior through the Great Commission work of your Tennessee Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM). [Read more…]

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