WILL YOU FIGHT FOR TODAY’S 72?

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

The day’s minutes pass and vaporize, unaffected by any change or resistance we hope to exert. And with the passage of every hour, three spiritually lost Tennesseans slip into eternity.

That’s 72 eternally lost neighbors, friends, and family members every day, 26,000-plus every year. I simply can’t accept that without a fight for those souls, and I intend to do something about it.

Yes, the daily headlines can be overwhelming. This law is being passed here. Christians are being kicked out there. Freedom of religion is being throttled over there. So many Christians feel defeated and settle into a defensive posture. However, we need to lift our eyes! The dark being the darkness has no effect on the light being the light. [Read more…]

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I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

I love a good story and I love good storytellers and that may be one of the reasons I love the Bible. Talk about good stories. Begin at Genesis and read all the way through and you have real people living lives of suspense, drama, espionage, intrigue, romance, comedy, and more. However, the greatest story in the Bible is the overarching story of God’s activity in history culminating in the crucifixion and resurrection of His Son to save His enemies, to save us. What a story.

My friend and state missionary, Paul Clark Jr., and I share a favorite hymn: “I Love to Tell the Story.” I really love telling God’s story and I especially love sharing it with my grandkids. That’s exactly what the Bible tells us to do. Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” [Read more…]

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DO YOU SUFFER FROM SPIRITUAL INERTIA?

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

Winston Churchill could see the dark clouds gathering above Germany and drifting across Europe. It was the early 1930s and the future British Prime Minister repeatedly sounded the alarm at the growing German military might under the direction of Adolph Hitler. Churchill was often shouted down and ridiculed for what many considered much ado about nothing. The “British Bulldog” recognized his countrymen were overcome with a “political inertia” that endangered Great Britain’s future. “Spiritual inertia” endangers Christians, and especially pastors and ministry leaders if they don’t remain vigilant. The word inertia means, “lack of movement or continuous movement in a particular direction unless affected by something that alters that direction.” Another way we might define inertia is, “stuck in a rut.” [Read more…]

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DO YOU NEED A MULLIGAN IN 2016?

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

If you’ve ever played golf you are familiar with a golfer’s best friend: the mulligan. A mulligan is an extra stroke allowed after a poor shot, not counted on the scorecard. Usually all the players have agreed before the round that a mulligan is allowed. No, a mulligan is not professionally acceptable, but it has kept many an amateur from blowing an otherwise decent round with a single wayward shot. How about you? Could you use a life mulligan? I know many people who feel their 2015 ended on a low note and that “failure” is carrying over to start the new year. If that’s you, take a mulligan and start fresh. Here are three key ideas to keep in mind as you “tee it back up” in 2016. [Read more…]

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PASTOR LOSES 165 POUNDS IN 2015

Health issues, Chubby Challenge encourage pastor Ryan Culpepper to lose weight

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Pastor Ryan Culpepper of Mary’s Chapel Baptist Church, Ripley, embraced the Chubby Challenge made by TBC Executive Director Randy C. Davis and lost 165 pounds. — Photo by Corinne Williams

Pastor Ryan Culpepper of Mary’s Chapel Baptist Church, Ripley, embraced the Chubby Challenge made by TBC Executive Director Randy C. Davis and lost 165 pounds. — Photo by Corinne Williams

RIPLEY — As 2015 winds to a close, pastor Ryan Culpepper is not nearly the man he was when the year began. And, for that he is grateful to the God he worships and serves. At the start of 2015, the 6-foot, 7-inch former college football player, weighed 460 pounds. “I was miserable,” he recalled.

As of Dec. 17, Culpepper tipped the scales at 295 pounds. His goal is to lose at least 50 more pounds during 2016. “I’ve still got a ways to go,” acknowledged the pastor of Mary’s Chapel Baptist Church, Ripley. [Read more…]

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WE MUST COMFORT THE BROKENHEARTED

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

The Christmas season is a paradox. There’s the joy that comes from celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, the excitement of family gatherings and the fun of watching the anticipation of children and grandchildren waiting for the big day of opening presents.

Unfortunately there is the other side of Christmas; the alone side. Hidden behind the smiles and laughter, there are a lot of people struggling with being overwhelmed with life. They are discouraged, desperate and can’t shake the isolation.

They feel alone, and are in good company. [Read more…]

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LINDEN VALLEY CITED FOR EXCELLENCE

Baptist and Reflector

151211linden-awardLINDEN — Linden Valley Baptist Conference Center has been awarded the 2015 Star of Excellence for Outstanding Non-Profit Organization.

The award was presented to Tim Bearden, conference centers senior manager for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, on Dec.  3 during an awards banquet sponsored by the Perry County Chamber of Commerce. The conference center was recognized for the “outstanding service and contributions your organization and its volunteers provide to benefit Perry County.” [Read more…]

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DOES YOUR MISSIONS RHETORIC HAVE SUBSTANCE?

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

The world is in chaos. Wars rage. Terror perpetrated by evil people has nations on edge. Millions are displaced, and the debate over refugee resettlement is burning white hot. The world’s spiritual soil is as fertile as it ever has been and cries out for a broad spreading of gospel seeds. This world desperately needs Jesus.

Southern Baptists have historically rallied to the moment and responded to the call of Christ to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. However, I believe we as Southern Baptists stand at a crossroads. Either our action will be the substance that validates our calling, or it will be hollow “Great Commission” rhetoric with no action and it will expose the superficiality of our Christianity.

In other words, it is time to put our money where our mouth is. [Read more…]

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ROC COLLINS ELECTED TBC PRESIDENT

Messengers celebrate heritage of partnership missions, approve new partnership

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Elected as new officers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention were, from left, Michael Crandall, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church, Dyersburg, second vice president; James Noble, pastor of Grace Fellowship Church, Memphis, vice president; and Roc Collins, pastor of Indian Springs Baptist Church, Kingsport, president. — Photo by Corinne Williams

Elected as new officers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention were, from left, Michael Crandall, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church, Dyersburg, second vice president; James Noble, pastor of Grace Fellowship Church, Memphis, vice president; and Roc Collins, pastor of Indian Springs Baptist Church, Kingsport, president. — Photo by Corinne Williams

MILLINGTON — Messengers to the 141st annual meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Convention elected a new slate of officers and celebrated 35 years of partnership missions during the Summit held Nov. 9-11 at First Baptist Church, Millington.

The Summit drew 953 messengers from about 322 churches (unofficial total). Last year’s Summit at Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, drew 1,172 messengers. Messengers were welcomed by Mark Luttrell, mayor of Shelby County; Terry Jones, mayor of Millington; and David Leavell, host pastor.

The attendance in Millington exceeded the 926 messengers registered at Faith Baptist Church, Bartlett, three years ago, the last time the annual meeting was held in West Tennessee. “The attendance is a tremendous indicator of the health of where we (the convention) are,” observed Randy C. Davis, executive director/treasurer of the TBC. [Read more…]

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A PAUSE TO CELEBRATE; THEN ON TO SEVIERVILLE

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

I love family reunions. It’s a chance to gather with folks who share a bond and for whom (hopefully) you care a great deal about. That, to me, is what the annual gathering of Tennessee Baptists feels like.

This year’s Summit was held at First Baptist Church, Millington, and in his words of welcome, FBC Pastor David Leavell referred to the gathering as a family reunion. I couldn’t agree more. Tennessee Baptists share a bond in the Lord Jesus Christ, and are a people about whom I care a great deal.

Our theme this year was, “Reach NOW … Whatever It Takes.” It is based on the first of the Five Objectives adopted and affirmed at last year’s Summit. As I hope you are becoming more aware, that objective is to see at least 50,000 Tennesseans annually saved, baptized, and set on the road to discipleship by 2024. [Read more…]

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