By Bruce Chesser
President, Tennessee Baptist Convention
It is always an honor to be named as president of any organization of which you are a part. I am honored to have been elected to serve you for the next year as the president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
I have had the opportunity to live in Alabama, Texas and Arkansas prior to living in Tennessee. I was born and lived my young years in Andalusia, Ala. After college in Mobile, my wife and I went to Texas to attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
After seminary we lived in the panhandle of Texas before returning back to Alabama to pastor in Opp, Fayette and Tuscaloosa.We then moved to Little Rock, Ark., where we served a wonderful church there.
We became Tennessee Baptists in 2009 when we moved to Hendersonville. For more than 10 years I have had the honor of being the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hendersonville.
Since becoming a part of the Tennessee Baptist Convention I learned about the three grand divisions and about the different regions of Tennessee. One of our hobbies is to get out and explore this beautiful state. We haven’t covered all of it yet, but we are working on it.
I can tell you this: whether it is Middle Tennessee, West Tennesse, or East Tennessee, we love the entire state and we love Tennessee Baptists.
We not only have a great state, we have great churches within our state. Many people are thinking in terms of size when they think of a church being great.
But I’ll tell you the truth, some of the greatest churches that I have ever seen are smaller churches.
They love the Lord, they serve their community, the carry the gospel to the nations and they faithfully seek to be followers of Jesus. Regardless of size, those people are my heroes! My prayer is that they would see their church and their opportunity not as what “is” but what “might be.”
A new year is before us. It is 2020. My prayer is that God would give us 2020 vision for what it would mean to reach more people with the gospel and see more lives changed through the power of Christ than ever before.
My prayer is that every church would catch a vision of how we can do more for the Lord than ever before. Almost every church in Tennessee already has the organization and mechanism in place to be able to share the gospel in a way that will see someone saved.
I will dig into this a little more in future months but my encouragement to you is to look in your own church and ask this simple question, “How can we reach another person, another couple, another family for Jesus this year?” It all starts with the vision. I pray that we will have 20/20 vision in 2020!
It will be a joy to serve you until our next Summit in November 2020. If I can be of assistance to you, your association, your pastor’s conference, please feel free to contact me. Tennessee is a big state and the calendar is already filling up but if there is any way that I can help you, I will. You can contact me at email@example.com. B&R