OFFERING IS ALL ABOUT THE MISSIONARIES

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie Wilkey

Lonnie Wilkey

Tennessee Baptist Convention churches are observing the Week for Prayer for International Missions this week and are in the process of collecting the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

If past years are any indicator, Tennessee Baptists will be generous when it comes to supporting our international missionaries who serve all over the world. I hope this response continues this year as well.

In September I had the opportunity to participate in a vision trip for Baptist state paper editors hosted by the International Mission Board in London. [Read more…]

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GOTM UP 5.3 PERCENT

Baptist and Reflector

160913gotmBRENTWOOD — When the books closed on Aug. 31 for the 2015-16 Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions, the final tally for the year totaled $1,713,258.

The total was a 5.3 percent increase over the amount given for the 2014-15 GOTM. In addition, 1,220 churches gave to the offering in 2015-16, a net increase of 44 over the previous year.

This year’s increase is an important step as Tennessee Baptists move forward in their GOTM goal of realizing an increase in annual giving for the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions that reaches at least $3 million by 2024 (Objective 5). [Read more…]

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NATIONAL WMU ELECTS SANDRA WISDOM-MARTIN

By Julie Walters
WMU Communications

Sandra Wisdom-Martin

Sandra Wisdom-Martin

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Sandra “Sandy” Wisdom-Martin, executive director of WMU of Texas, was unanimously elected executive director/treasurer of Southern Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union, by the WMU executive board during a special called meeting July 29-30.

Wisdom-Martin succeeds Wanda Lee, who has served as executive director of the 128-year-old missions organization for the past 16 years, effective Oct. 15. Wisdom-Martin was presented to the board by a search committee appointed in February following Lee’s announcement of her intentions to retire.

Prior to leading WMU of Texas since 2010, Wisdom-Martin served as women’s missions and ministries director for the Illinois Baptist State Association, 2001-2010; and as Cooperative Program missionary with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, 1991-2001. [Read more…]

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CARSON-NEWMAN GRAD HONORED BY NATIONAL WMU

By Julie Waters
Baptist Press

Mindy Jamison, center, co-director of the Friendship Baptist Center in Des Moines, Iowa, stands with David George, left, president of the Woman’s Missionary Union Foundation, and Wanda Lee, right, retiring WMU executive director, during the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting Monday, June 13, in St. Louis. Jamison was the recipient of the 2016 Dellanna West O’Brien Award for Women’s Leadership Development for her work.

Mindy Jamison, center, co-director of the Friendship Baptist Center in Des Moines, Iowa, stands with David George, left, president of the Woman’s Missionary Union Foundation, and Wanda Lee, right, retiring WMU executive director, during the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting Monday, June 13, in St. Louis. Jamison was the recipient of the 2016 Dellanna West O’Brien Award for Women’s Leadership Development for her work.

ST. LOUIS — Mindy Jamison, co-director of Friendship Baptist Center in Des Moines, Iowa, for the past 17 years along with her husband Jon, is this year’s recipient of the Dellanna West O’Brien Award for Women’s Leadership Development.

“Mindy pours her life into people living in the inner city of Des Moines, and at the same time invites and encourages others to minister alongside her,” said Joni Wilkinson, executive director of Iowa Woman’s Missionary Union and volunteer at the Friendship Center, who recommended Jamison for the award. “She is a mentor to women of all ages and backgrounds and continues to teach about her passion — living out her faith in her community and seeing people living in poverty come to know Christ.”

The Jamisons are well known to many Tennessee Baptists who traveled to Des Moines and worked at the Friendship Center during the decade or so that the Tennessee Baptist Convention partnered with the Baptist Convention of Iowa. [Read more…]

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BELLEVUE’S STEVE GAINES ELECTED TO LEAD SBC

Tennessee Baptists second in number of Southern Baptist Convention messengers with 824

By David Roach
Baptist Press

Editor’s Note: Due to the publication schedule of the Baptist and Reflector, this issue contains a condensed wrap-up of the SBC annual meeting held June 14-15 in St. Louis. Extensive stories were posted on the B&R web site last week.

 

Outgoing Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, left, together with presidential nominee J.D. Greear, center, congratulate Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova after he is elected president of the SBC. Greear withdrew from the race and moved that the convention elect Gaines by acclamation during the SBC’s annual meeting at America’s Center in St. Louis on June 15. — Photo by Bill Bangham

Outgoing Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, left, together with presidential nominee J.D. Greear, center, congratulate Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova after he is elected president of the SBC. Greear withdrew from the race and moved that the convention elect Gaines by acclamation during the SBC’s annual meeting at America’s Center in St. Louis on June 15. — Photo by Bill Bangham

ST. LOUIS — The election of Tennessee pastor Steve Gaines as president on the third ballot and a historic repudiation of the Confederate battle flag were among the highlights of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 14-15 in St. Louis.

The convention’s resolution on the Confederate battle flag capped an emphasis on racial reconciliation throughout the meeting that included the election of a 2017 Committee on Nominations with 25 percent of its members drawn from ethnic minority groups and a panel discussion on “racial unity in America” featuring Jerry Young, president of the historically African American National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

The unofficial total of 7,321 registered messengers — up from 5,407 last year — also devoted an entire session to praying for awakening in America, listened to a panel discussion on “pastors and the church in American politics today,” and addressed on multiple occasions whether Baptists should support Muslims’ right to build mosques in the United States.

When registered guests, exhibitors, and others are included, the count of those at the annual meeting was tallied, as of June 15, at 11,581. Tennessee ranked second in number of messengers to the annual meeting with 824, trailing only host state Missouri’s 877 messengers. [Read more…]

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LEE HONORED FOR 20 YEARS LEADING NATIONAL WMU

Baptist Press

(Right to left) Carol Causey, director for the Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) missions resource center, and Andrea Mullins, retired publisher for New Hope Publishers, unveil a photo of retiring WMU executive director Wanda Lee at her retirement celebration prior to the WMU missions celebration and annual meeting Saturday, June 11, in St. Louis. -Photo by Jenna Wachsmuth

(Right to left) Carol Causey, director for the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) missions resource center, and Andrea Mullins, retired publisher for New Hope Publishers, unveil a photo of retiring WMU executive director Wanda Lee at her retirement celebration prior to the WMU missions celebration and annual meeting Saturday, June 11, in St. Louis. -Photo by Jenna Wachsmuth

ST. LOUIS (BP) — Approximately 150 Southern Baptist leaders, family members and friends from across the country gathered in St. Louis on June 11 to honor Wanda Lee and her leadership of national WMU over the past 20 years — 16 as executive director and four as president.

Frank S. Page said he got to know Lee in 2010 when he assumed his current role as president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee. Page recited Micah 6:8, “What does the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

“I believe Wanda Lee has exhibited that great trio of imperatives from our Lord,” Page said. “I believe she has done what is right, what is just. She is merciful, and many of you are the recipients of her mercy and ministry in your own life. She is a strategist, an organizational genius, yet is always humble and gives credit to those around her. I am honored to call her my friend, and I thank God for her.” [Read more…]

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LOTTIE MOON OFFERING REACHES $165.8 MILLION

By Julie McGowan
Baptist Press

Christian worker Gary Warrior (name changed) leads praise songs and teaches a Bible study in a national's home at night. Providing clean water to communities gives Warrior and his team a welcome reception in people’s homes, and they are often open to the message of the gospel. -IMB Photo

Christian worker Gary Warrior (name changed) leads praise songs and teaches a Bible study in a national’s home at night. Providing clean water to communities gives Warrior and his team a welcome reception in people’s homes, and they are often open to the message of the gospel. -IMB Photo

RICHMOND — Southern Baptists provided resounding support through the 2015 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.

Finalized in early June, the 2015 Lottie Moon offering totaled $165.8 million — the highest total in the 127-year history of the offering. The offering surpassed the previous all-time record of $154 million in 2013 by $11.8 million. The 2014 Lottie Moon offering totaled just over $153 million.

Through June 7, Tennessee Baptists have contributed $10,726,904 to the Lottie Moon offering. The amount is approximately 10 percent ahead of last year. The Tennessee Baptist Convention will continue receiving LMCO gifts through November of this year. [Read more…]

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MARTHA PITTS ELECTED WMU PRESIDENT

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Martha Pitts of Germantown is congratulated by Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union members after her election as president.

Martha Pitts of Germantown is congratulated by Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union members after her election as president.

GATLINBURG — Martha Pitts, a member of Germantown Baptist Church, Germantown, was elected the 30th president of Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union on April 9.

Her election took place during the Tennessee WMU annual meeting held in conjunction with the annual Missions Get-Together and Connection held each year at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. The Get-Together is traditionally the largest gathering of adults in the state.

Pitts follows Bobby Turner of Knoxville who completed her fourth and final year as president.

Approximately 1,710 women and teenagers gathered for the April 8-10 event built on the theme of “Ready. Set. Go!” [Read more…]

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BAPTISTS AND A STRANGE IGNORANCE ABOUT MISSIONS

By Johnnie Godwin
Contributing Columnist, B&R

Johnnie Godwin

Johnnie Godwin

I was born in 1937, which was just 12 years after the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention was born. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offerings for missions were already institutions. For 79 years I’ve known these three factors as the sources for financing SBC missions. I also got educated about Baptist history, the SBC’s birth in 1845, the various SBC agencies and entities, and the beloved Woman’s Missionary Union of 1888. Mother taught me tithing when I was 9. Royal Ambassadors, Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, church, seminaries, etc., did the rest.

A strange ignorance among Baptists today. Most Southern Baptists today are ignorant of what you just read, or, at best, they have minimal knowledge. I’m not here to impress you with how much Baptist history I know or solutions to missionary downsizing in 2016. I am here to testify what I have experienced. [Read more…]

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LMCO ENGENDERS SACRIFICE, CREATIVITY

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Quilters of West Hills Baptist  Church, Lebanon, pause in front of the quilt they made to be auctioned for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. From left are, first row, Kaitlyn Rodriguez, April Everett, Olivia Kelly, and Kyra Guess; middle row, Linda Nixon, Carol Pharris, Donna Lowery, and Cindy Gibbs; and back row, Deanna Rogers and Jenifer Goode.

Quilters of West Hills Baptist Church, Lebanon, pause in front of the quilt they made to be auctioned for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. From left are, first row, Kaitlyn Rodriguez, April Everett, Olivia Kelly, and Kyra Guess; middle row, Linda Nixon, Carol Pharris, Donna Lowery, and Cindy Gibbs; and back row, Deanna Rogers and Jenifer Goode.

BRENTWOOD — Giving by Tennessee Baptists to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions is up from last year about 5 percent — from $6 million to about $6.3 million as of Jan. 31.

Early reports are that giving has been both sacrificial and creative.

Some Tennessee Baptists intentionally sought to increase LMCO gifts this year due to the financial situation of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention that receives the offering.

In August 2015, the IMB announced the need to reduce personnel and offered a voluntary retirement incentive to missionary and stateside workers. [Read more…]

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