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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A DETERMINED RESPONSE

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

Last week’s national nightmare seemed unending.

The unrelated shooting deaths of two African-American men and the heinous sniper attack killing five Dallas police officers left me crying out to God in desperation over the hate, division, and spiritual darkness consuming our country. Habakkuk’s words ring loudly with contemporary clarity.

“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted (Habakkuk 1:2-4).

Of course God saw and heard. He responded to Habakkuk in a powerful way, leaving Habakkuk to humble himself in genuine worship, saying, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (2:14). [Read more…]

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TRYING TO EMPTY MOSQUES, NOT BUILD THEM

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

Tennessee Baptists are about emptying mosques, not building them.

There are a few pseudo-news websites authored by bloggers who produce satirical “news” stories, and some of their recent stories state that the Southern Baptist Convention is building mosques. Those stories have gained traction through social media and people are assuming their truth. At least one of those stories states the Tennessee Baptist Convention is also building a mosque. As my pastor back home would say, “That’s a lie born in the pits of hell!”

And I want to set the record straight about this slanderous gossip. See story by Lonnie Wilkey.

Neither the Southern Baptist Convention nor the Tennessee Baptist Convention has ever built a mosque, and will never build a mosque. However, let me emphatically state that my prayer is that the gospel of Jesus Christ would sweep through the Muslim community in Tennessee and around the world and empty every mosque because those dear people have had an encounter with the Living God. Would it be that every mosque would become a house of worship lifting up the name of Isa — Jesus in Arabic. [Read more…]

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WORK THE FIELDS — REMEMBER THE HARVEST

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

I still own my grandfather’s large push plow. And it may sound strange, but I loved pushing it through rows of Pinkeye Purple Hull peas, okra, Silver King corn, Big Boy tomatoes (I’ve got to stop, I’m making myself hungry).

Why would I love pushing that plow through the rich soil of South Alabama under the hot sun of the Gulf Coast? Two reasons: First, I dearly loved my granddaddy and I loved spending as much time with him as possible. He was amazingly wise and masterfully encouraging. Second, I knew from experience our harvest would come if we were good at planting the seeds and faithful at tending the field.

Those sweet memories cultivate a great hope for the future when I read I Corinthians 9:10.  “For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: he that plows should plow in hope … .” [Read more…]

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FIRST SHOW UP, THEN PARTICIPATE

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director/Treasurer

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

There is an old expression that states that about 80 percent of life is just showing up. That may be true, but it begs the question: So what do you do once you get there? That’s easy. Participate.

That would be my advice to any minister or messenger wondering whether to attend the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting, and especially this meeting coming up in a few weeks in St. Louis. Show up and participate.

Personally, I believe every Southern Baptist Convention meeting is important. Look back through our history and the annual meetings are key markers on our journey as a denomination. Yes, we’ve tackled some tough issues along the way, but as the largest evangelical network of churches in the United States gathered via elected messengers, we have collectively committed through the years to embrace the centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ communicated through an inerrant Scripture. [Read more…]

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REACHING GENERATION Z IMPERATIVE: DAVIS

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160517genzBRENTWOOD — The projected photo in the meeting room was of 10 children though only one was spotlighted. The caption read — “If the trend continues, nine of 10 children born after 9/11 will reach adulthood without knowing Christ.”

“It takes something monumental to reverse a trend. You don’t reverse a trend just by changing your mind,” observed Randy C. Davis.

Even more alarming is that these children born after 9/11 (2001), who are known as Generation Z, make up what is predicted to be the largest generation ever, added Davis. The executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention spoke at the “Reaching Gen Z” luncheon held at Grace Community Church here and at six other locations across the state recently. The meetings drew a total of about 525 people. [Read more…]

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THE IMB: HOW DID WE GET HERE?

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

It was a dark day two weeks ago when International Mission Board President David Platt stepped to the microphone to inform Southern Baptists that 983 missionaries and 149 IMB staffers were stepping away from their involvement in taking the gospel to the nations. Dr. Platt described it best when he spoke of the “heaviness” of the day. I agreed, and wondered, “How’d we get here?”

That’s a question worth exploring. It is important to learn from our past so that we can make necessary changes that positively impact our future. There are lessons here for all of us, and as Christians, we need to pause and take stock in how this applies to us individually and collectively. [Read more…]

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