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M i s s i s s i ppi B a pt i s t C on v e n t i on
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184TH ANNUAL MISSISSIPPI BAPTIST CONVENTION
MS Baptists gather for annual meeting By William H. Perkins Jr. Editor Messengers to the 184th annual meeting of the Mississippi Baptist Convention (MBC) Oct. 29-30 at First Church, Jackson, elected officers for the coming year, approved the 2020 Cooperative Program budget, and bade farewell to Jim Futral, who is retiring from the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB) after 21 years as executive director-treasurer. Elected without opposition to serve as MBC officers for the coming year were: n President — Ken Hester, senior pastor of First Church, Pontotoc (first one-year term). He succeeds Mark Vincent, senior pastor of Clark Venable Church, Decatur. n First Vice President – Scott Thomas II, senior pastor of North Oxford Church, Oxford (second one-year term). n Second Vice President – Whit Lewis, senior pastor of Longview Heights Church, Olive Branch (first one-year term). He succeeds Tommy Snyder, senior pastor of First Church, Batesville. n Recording Secretary – Michael Weeks, pastor of Pleasant Hill Church, Olive Branch (multiple terms). n Assistant Recording Secretary – Jerry Bingham, missions director for Benton-Tippah Association in Ripley (multiple terms). The 2020 Mississippi Cooperative Program (CP) budget of $31,073,945, was unanimously approved by messengers and reflects an increase of $22,419 (.07%) over the previous year’s total amount. Increases to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) ministries in the 2020 CP budget, including the International Mission Board ($5,952,463) in Richmond, Va., and the North American Mission
CHITWOOD AT MBC – Paul Chitwood, president of Southern Baptist’s International Mission Board in Richmond, Va., addresses messengers to the 184th annual session of the Mississippi Baptist Convention (MBC) at First Church, Jackson, on the morning of Oct. 30. (Photo by William H. Perkins Jr.) Board ($2,691,066), are also pegged at an increase of .07%, or $8,521. SBC ministries account for 38% of the total 2020 CP budget. The share of the 2020 CP budget that will support Mississippi Baptist Convention Board ministries is $10,633,373, a decrease of $23,511 (.2%) over the previous year’s amount and 34.2% of the total 2020 CP budget. Rounding out the 2020 CP budget are Mississippi agencies and institutions at $8,032,472, an increase of $62,409 (.8%) over the previous year’s amount
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and 25.85% of the total 2020 budget; and church retirement and protection at $600,000, a decrease of $25,000 (4%) over the previous year’s amount and 1.9% of the total 2020 CP budget. Futral, the son, brother, and father of ministers, is a graduate of Baptistaffiliated Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain and New Orleans Seminary in New Orleans. He was feted for 21 years of service to the convention board and his decades of pastorates in Mississippi and Texas prior to that. see MEETING on p. 9
November 7, 2019 www.mbcb.org
WITH ONE VOICE — In a first for an annual meeting of the Mississippi Baptist Convention (MBC), choirs from Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi College in Clinton, and William Carey University in Hattiesburg — all affiliated with MBC — combined for a concert of praise at the 184th annual meeting on the morning of Oct. 29 at First Church, Jackson. Messengers from MBC churches across the state elected a slate of officers for the coming year, approved the 2020 Cooperative Program budget, and honored Jim Futral, executive director-treasurer of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB), as he prepares to retire. (Video screen grab courtesy of MBCB Office of Communication)
A WILLIAM PERKINS
Always the warriors
n Monday of next week we will observe Veterans Day, an annual nationwide tribute to America’s military veterans. They are our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, and beloved friends, and the country has not always appreciated their sacrifices. However, we are free today because of those sacrifices. As our Armed Forces struggle in our stead even today against the forces of tyranny and enslavement that are so often grounded in religious fanaticism and would take away our freedoms — not the least of which would be our freedom of worship — it is therefore fitting to follow the example of our forebears and pause to remember the people involved in securing those freedoms. Problem is, Veterans Day for many Americans has become just another day to take off work and immerse ourselves in some self-absorbed activity, while giving little thought to the day’s significance. It shouldn’t be that way, so perhaps a brief history of this important observance is in order. The following is condensed and paraphrased from the web site of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting had ceased seven months earlier when an armistice went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of World War I. In November 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and pub-
lic meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m. Public Law 380, passed by the U.S. Congress in June 1954, changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor veterans of all the country’s wars. Veterans Day is observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls, and remains a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. In our spoiled, materialistic culture of today, we have forgotten too much of our history. We take too lightly the sacrifices of our veterans and their families. Too many of us are too far removed from such sacrifices ourselves to really appreciate what they have done, and are doing, for us. Super Bowl Sunday is a bigger event now. Whiny basketball stars are our heroes. A prime tee time is more important than attending a Veterans Day ceremony. Slathering barbeque sauce on the ribs weighing down our fancy grills is a higher priority than stopping for a few minutes to honor our veterans. Christians, of all people, should be ashamed to act that way. If not for the sacrifices of these men and women throughout the history of our country, we would have no freedom to worship God in openness and without fear. We would also be severely limited in our ability to evangelize the world (if we could do so at all). We would be defenseless and persecuted everywhere. War is not God’s best for us, and He surely grieves every loss caused by mankind’s ultimate inhumanity. As long as there is evil in this world, though, there will undoubtedly be armed conflict and warriors will be called upon to defend our freedoms. On Veterans Day and every other day of the year, may we never take them for granted.
Following God’s call
s pastors, we love to lean on the adage that God “doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.” I’m reminded of 1 Pet. 5:10 “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” God’s calling is unique, but the one constant is we never know who and how He will call his servants. I had been praying that the Holy Spirit would call one or possibly two men to serve as deacons in our church. I had made the petition public and had spoken to several men about possibly becoming deacons. One day during a church fellowship meal, a church member approached me with a private issue he wanted to discuss outside. This is not uncommon for pastors, but the person wanting to speak with me in private was unique. Barry Asenap is not your typical 51-year-old. He has Down Syndrome. Despite his outward disability, Barry is an absolute mainstay in our congregation. Barry and his mother Margala have embraced the principles of servanthood. When you see Barry, you see Jesus, and when you hug him you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. To say Barry is beloved in our congregation is an understatement. When we stepped outside for our private conversation, I could see in Barry’s eyes that he had an extremely heavy heart and he was anxious. He grabbed my hand and said, “You have been asking people to be deacons. I prayed. I will be your deacon.” At first, I didn’t completely understand him. I asked for clarification. Barry said, “Like Jay Dee (one of our current deacons), Jesus told me to be a deacon.” I was moved and touched, to say the least. Many thoughts went through my mind like, “Maybe we make him an honorary deacon,” or “What would people think?,” or “Is this making a mockery of deaconship, or are we making a mockery of Barry?”
Guest opinion with Scott Patton Then the Holy Spirit slapped me on the head and said, “Seriously, who are you to question My call? Barry meets the requirements of 1 Timothy better than you!” The Holy Spirit that called Barry to be a deacon is the same Holy Spirit that called me to preach and the same Holy Spirit that called Moses to walk into Pharaoh’s court and say “Let my people go.” He is the same Holy Spirit that said, “Go build an ark, Noah.” The church’s response was overwhelming. We had an ordination council. Barry brought his testimony before the church. After a moving service, he was affirmed unanimously. Barry’s call to servanthood through the deaconship is just getting started. He also serves as our church sergeant at arms, assists with the small group attendance sheets, and helped launch our Who’s Your One campaign with a social media commercial. In September during the annual Barry’s Birthday Bash, he helped the church raise more than $1,500 for scholarships to Falls Creek Conference Center, an encampment of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. God created and shaped Barry for His purpose and strategically placed him at First Baptist Church of Indiahoma, and we are so blessed to have him. Patton is pastor of First Church, Indiahoma, Ok. This article originally appeared in the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger, news journal of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and appears here courtesy of Baptist Press. Edited for style.
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VOLUME 143 • NUMBER 44 • ISSN-0005-5778 Published weekly except weeks of July 4 and Christmas by the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, 515 Mississippi Street, Jackson, MS 39201. Subscription $11.99 per year payable in advance. Economy plans available for cooperating Mississippi churches. Periodicals postage paid at Jackson, MS. Member, Association of State Baptist Papers. Deadlines: News items — one calendar week prior to requested publication date. Advertising — two calendar weeks prior to requested publication date. All submissions are subject to editing.
2 November 7, 2019 The Baptist Record
Church leaders condemn ‘cancer within fellowship’
PASTORATE DENIED — Marcus Hayes, pictured with wife Mandy and their three daughters, did not gain the required vote total Oct. 27 that was needed to be called as senior pastor at First Church, Naples, Fl. (Photo courtesy of Hayes family)
NAPLES, Fla. (BP and local reports) — A majority white Baptist church has apologized for ‘racial prejudices’ among certain segments of the congregation that leaders deemed partly responsible for a favored African-American candidate losing the congregation’s Oct. 27 vote for senior pastor, and promised to discipline church members guilty of the sin. The pastoral and lay leadership of First Baptist Church of Naples (FBCN) apologized to all Southern Baptists Oct. 31 for “a sickness in what we characterize as a cancer within our fellowship” that led in part to 19% of the congregation voting against Marcus Hayes. According to the church’s constitution and bylaws, candidates for senior pastor must receive 85% of the vote to win. Hayes received 81% after preaching in view of a call, the church said in a letter emailed to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee in Nashville. “A portion of the 19% that voted against Marcus Hayes did so based on racial prejudices,” reads the letter signed by Executive Pastor John D. Edie on behalf of church leaders. “We know this because of the campaign that started just days before by a few disgruntled people in our church.” Not all members of the church believe racial prejudice swayed the vote. “With the utmost respect, having attended FBCN for 17 years I stand on my opinion that the color of Pastor Marcus’ skin had NOTHING to do with how the vote turned out,” an FBCN member identified on Twitter as Gretchen Church tweeted @ gretchen church. She did not indicate whether she voted for Marcus Hayes but added, “FBCN has been spiritually fed and nourished for over 27 years by [former] Pastor Hayes Wicker, a man of God filled with the Holy Spirit... How could a congregation under a man like Hayes Wicker be racist?! I think not!!!” FBCN has been without a senior pastor since the spring when Wicker’s pastoral service ended. “The issues facing FBCN are deep and systemic,” @gretchen church tweeted. “Sadly, Pastor Marcus was not given time to hear everyone out, in a comfortable place for all. Pray for FBCN that God will help them to trust each other again, [c]ast out any ungodly spirts & reunify FBCN & allow a Pastor to lead them!” In an email to the church membership days after the vote, leaders said a campaign against Hayes included social media, texting, phone calls, and e-mails from “a small group of people who call themselves ‘Voices of FBCN,’ and/or ‘Group of Concerned FBCN Members,’ as well as others who have espoused these sinful positions.” Further details have not been disclosed, but church leaders assured Southern Baptists that the
First Church, Naples. Fl. (Photo courtesy of Myrick Gurosky & Associates, Birmingham, Al.)
guilty would be disciplined in line with biblical principles. “Let me assure you that our statement of contriteness is currently being and will continue to be followed by actions within our church to make sure that this sinful cancer is dealt with,” reads the letter signed by Edie. “Biblical church discipline has started within this local house of the Lord, and we are resolute to make sure that First Baptist Church Naples will be an example to the church at large of how Jesus Christ has asked us to go forward in this world as a light that would draw all men to Christ.” Hayes leads the Hendersonville, N.C., campus of multisite Biltmore Church based in Arden, N.C., and is a member of the SBC Executive Committee. He has made no comments to Baptist Press regarding the vote. The 85% threshold for victory is exceedingly high, the church acknowledged, but said the congregational vote after the “in view of a call” sermon is usually a procedural affirmation. “Our Pastoral Search Committee, lay leadership, and the Pastoral Staff all anticipated that our vote would be nothing less than an affirmative statement from our people that God had sovereignly chosen for Marcus Hayes to be our next Pastor,” the letter reads. “Sadly that did not come to fruition. If all things had been fair and equal, our story would not have reached as far and wide, and stoked the emotions that it has. But what was concluded was all things were not fair and right.”
FBCN lists 10,596 members on the 2018 SBC Annual Church Profile, with an average attendance of 3,233. The church noted a “record” turnout of 3,818 on the day of the Hayes vote. Of 1,917 votes cast, 365 were negative. An 85% victory allowed no more than 288 negative votes. In the above referenced e-mail to the congregation, leaders of FBCN vowed to move forward in choosing a new senior pastor. “Please know this, that our Senior Pastor Search Team will meet to identify options moving forward with our Senior Pastor search,” the leaders said. “For now, we humbly ask you to stay strong in the Lord... Pray with us and lock arms with us as we move forward and seek the face of God.” Messengers to the 1995 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta approved a resolution apologizing to “all African-Americans for condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism in our lifetime and we genuinely repent of racism of which we have been guilty…;” asking “forgiveness from our African-American brothers and sisters…;” and committing to “eradicate racism in all its forms from Southern Baptist life and ministry.” At the 2019 SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Al., messengers strengthened their stand on racism by overwhelmingly passing an amendment to the denomination’s constitution and bylaws stating discrimination based on ethnicity is grounds for a church
to be deemed as “not in friendly cooperation” with the convention. The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee on Nov. 1 announced a search to fill three full-time staff positions focusing on increasing diverse engagement and mobilization for African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans within the convention. The full text of FBCN’s letter follows: October 31, 2019 Dear brothers and sisters in the Southern Baptist Convention, Recently, many of you have heard about the sad, unfortunate occurrences at First Baptist Church Naples. On the weekend of October 26 & 27, Marcus Hayes was brought before our church by our Senior Pastor Search Committee in view of a call as our next Senior Pastor. It should be noted that Marcus Hayes is an AfricanAmerican. It should also be noted that Marcus Hayes is absolutely one of the most qualified men in Southern Baptist life to be a Senior Pastor of any church in this country. As most of you know, in Southern Baptist life, when a Senior Pastor comes in view of a call by the recommendation of a Search Committee, the actual vote is most always viewed as a ceremonial and celebratory affirmation of the Spirit’s leading within the hearts and minds of the Search Committee that has extended the call. Most church experiences, when it comes to a new Senior Pastor, are just that, a celebration and a time of looking forward with hope and optimism to what God has for
the future. Our Pastoral Search Committee, lay leadership, and the Pastoral Staff all anticipated that our vote would be nothing less than an affirmative statement from our people that God had sovereignly chosen for Marcus Hayes to be our next Pastor. Sadly, that did not come to fruition. Our constitution and bylaws stated that a Senior Pastor must be affirmed by at least an 85% or higher vote. It is widely known that an 85% affirmative vote is unusually high. Our church voted by a percentage of 81% to bring Marcus Hayes as our next Pastor. Unfortunately, this did not meet the threshold. If all things had been equal and fair, our story would not have reached as far and wide, and stoked the emotions that it has. But what was concluded was that all things were not fair nor were they right. A portion of the 19% that voted against Marcus Hayes did so based on racial prejudices. We know this because of the campaign that started just days before by a few disgruntled people in our church. For us, as leadership in our church, it exposed a sickness in what we characterize as a cancer within our fellowship. Our Pastoral Staff and leadership are deeply grieved and embarrassed. There are no terms to describe what has happened here other than sin. It certainly is tempting to try to look the other way, make excuses, or to simply say “people will be people”. We are not willing to do that. As the Pastoral Staff and church leadership representing First Baptist Church Naples, we humbly ask for forgiveness from Marcus and Mandy Hayes. We also ask for forgiveness from our fellow brothers and sisters in the Southern Baptist Convention who hold to the scriptural principle that all men and women are created in the image of God, are dearly valued, and matter equally to Jesus Christ. We would also apologize and ask for forgiveness for any other person who has been offended, hurt, or damaged by the outcome of our church vote. As scripture says, faith without works is dead. Let me assure you that our statement of contriteness is currently being and will continue to be followed by actions within our church to make sure that this sinful cancer is dealt with. Biblical church discipline has started within this local house of the Lord, and we are resolute to make sure that First Baptist Church Naples will be an example to the church at large of how Jesus Christ has asked us to go forward in this world as a light that would draw all men to Christ. In the midst of all this turmoil, the Lord has been at work in our midst, and He still is. We have hope that our ultimate Senior Pastor, Jesus Christ, will redeem this situation for His glory and His church’s good. Please be in prayer with us as we seek to become the church that Christ would be pleased with.
The Baptist Record November 7, 2019 3
n the Gospel of John 19:30, the memorable, iconic, and chilling words of Jesus were spoken from the cross: “It is finished.” A lifetime of living on this earth among people who in every case were sinners and enemies of God. These people in one way or another participated in Jesus being led to the cross, lifted up before the crowds, and for six hours suffered our sin penalties and pains and all of sins repercussions were laid on him. Now the time has come that the finished payment for our sin was complete and Jesus would die. He cried, “It is finished.” To spend time at the foot of the cross and think about what Jesus did and what He said is an unceasing, amazing, overwhelming, and moving experience. It is finished. While in no way at all a comparable experience and for reasons I don’t know, as I sat at the final session of the 2019 Mississippi Baptist Convention annual meeting last week, the words of Jesus from the cross flowed through my heart and my mind: “It is finished.” The 2019 annual meeting has been completed, and though I will continue to serve in my present role for a brief time, it will be the final convention at which I participate as the executive director-treasurer of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. It is finished came to my mind, and I thought about the exalted, high calling of Jesus, the servant Savior, giving His all for us, and then it was finished. For me, an infinitesimally smaller participant in Kingdom work, I realized the time of finishing had also come for me. In what ways? Well, let me suggest to you four ways that for me, it is finished. First, the convention meeting itself was finished. For over 21 years, I have had the privilege of working with men and women across Mississippi Baptist life as the Order of Business Committee each year worked and struggled and gave their best that was poured into a couple of days of worship and reports and challenges and celebrations. It was no easy task for them and I had the joy of working alongside them. Year after year, I watched and rejoiced in their efforts and achievements. The convention of 2019 was a major effort and, session after session, an incredible experience.
on committees and will do so into the future — but for me, it is finished. Third, the calls are finished. I’m talking about the calls that have come close to convention time. Some calls are so positive and encouraging and uplifting and others, not so much but maybe needy and possibly even complaining. Those calls that always come in one frame or another are finished. Honestly, that’s what I thought as I sat in that last session of the convention, but I discovered a few hours later that some of the calls continued and for that, I am grateful. At times there’s no need expressed at all, and it’s just a friendly call from a dear soul. Other times it is a desperate call and occasionally a call for help and support. Calls can be blessings, and I think they are not finished. Oh, I will attend other conventions if I and experiences that come to the table. Fourth, challenges are finished. am here on this planet, and I will rejoice Those are not bad things and in the This thought was quickly booted not and enjoy what new leadership and what midst of all of that, we pause to ask by someone but by the avalanche of new ideas will come to the floor and flow God to guide us and He does. I’ve often through the body of Christ in a conventhought about what some people refer to thoughts that came to my heart reminding me of what we had just experienced tion session — but for me, it is finished. as another verse in the Bible (but really in the convention and the challenge Secondly, and on a different isn’t) that says, “Blessed are the flexible that came from Bible studies that note, the committees and comfor they shall not be bent out of shape.” mittee meetings are finished. As It’s a good verse to carry to a committee pierced to the center of our hearts. The challenge that came from our outgoing a pastor and then serving with the meeting for every one of us. convention president, Mark Vincent, Convention Board, I have spent a good I was thinking as those words from deal of my time meeting with commitJesus were bouncing around in my brain in his address to God’s people. The challenge that was given to every one tees whether in church or on statewide that I am not appointed to, elected by, of us in the convention sermon by Greg committee levels, and I can only report or serving on any committee, anywhere Warnock that exalted Christ and what to you that Baptists love committees. As in Baptist life as of today. It is finished. He has done for us. The great worship most of you are well aware, we have a I remember years ago, a dear friend moments that involved singing, great Committee on Committees. I remember of mine who had served in Southern choirs and praise teams, solos, and as a pastor, on occasion I tried to form Baptist life and leadership told he was a committee at a church to study getasked by someone, “What are you going orchestras, all of which pounded on our hearts and reminded me of James’ ting rid of some of the committees. The to do?” He responded, “I’m going to word to us, “Be ye doers of the word efforts failed. Committees do a great walk.” “Walk?” “Yes, walk.” “What do work and I have seen it up close and you mean?” “Well, I’m just going to start and not hearers only” (James 1:22). Before the session was over and we personal from every elevation, and I’m walking and after I’ve walked a day or walked out, I was reminded that for me ever amazed at how God can bring about so, I’m going to stop and ask the people — I was reminded that for us — the time such great and noble things out of the that I run into wherever I am, ‘Do you and the work is not finished and that for chaotic thinking that sometimes occurs know what a committee is?’ If they all of us it is not finished. There is still in committee actions and reactions. answer me, ‘Oh, yes,’ and they begin to As you think about it, if you have five explain what committees are and do, I’m work to be done. There is still service to be rendered, souls to be reached, and or six or ten or twelve people gathered going to keep on walking. Day after day together for a committee process, you’ve I’ll pause and ask the same question and a faithfulness that must be lived out by us today and tomorrow and tomorrow got a room filled with people who have when I come to a place where, when I different backgrounds; different levels ask, ‘Do you know what a committee is?’ and for us His calling on our lives of understanding and knowledge about and they say, ‘I don’t know what you are and the opportunity to serve Him is not finished until He says, “It is what they are going to be dealing with; talking about,’ that’s where I’m going finished.” different filters that have affected their to stop.” That’s a light thought about a feelings about all the stuff that they are significant thing in our Baptist life, and going to be dealing with; and a totally I thank God for the hundreds of men The author can be contacted at direcdifferent circle of influences and people and women who have served faithfully firstname.lastname@example.org.
It Is Finished
College News In other College News:
➤ William Carey University has inducted five people into the Wall of Honor to recognize their substantial financial contributions to the school. They are Ted and Janie Bower of Hattiesburg; John Clearman of Sumrall; Gary and Linda Gordon of Bay Springs; and Don and Mona Stewart of Hattiesburg.
WEBB CHURCH, WEBB, has called Dan Sandlin as pastor. Shown are deacon Bill Waldrup Sr., Pastor and Mrs. Sandlin, and deacon Troy Smith.
In other Staff Changes News:
➤ Brandon Church, Brandon, has called Steve Hamrick as associate pastor for music. He comes with his wife, Linda.
➤ Mississippi College in Clinton is initiating an opportunity for continued higher education at a reduced cost to members of all branches of the U.S. military. The Baptistaffiliated university is the first school in the state to also offer offer reduced tuition for a graduate degree along with undergraduate studies.
WILLIAM CAREY UNIVERSITY student Alex Moore (left) speaks with an unidentified Midwestern Seminary representative during Seminary and Missions Preview Day Oct . 1 on the Baptist-affiliated school’s Hattiesburg campus. Fourteen seminaries and outreach organizations were represented, along with the university’s Baptist Student Union and Intercultural Studies program.
November 7, 2019 The Baptist Record
Evangelicals debate evangelicalism at D.C. conference
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THREE BAPTISTS — Russell Moore (second from right), president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in Nashville, discusses evangelicalism during a conversation Oct. 29 in Washington, D.C., with (from left) moderator Jeffrey Kloha of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.; Thomas Kidd, history professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas; and Thabiti Anyabwile, history professor and Washington, D.C., pastor. (BP photo) ple in a unified way, and then figure out how to label that.” During the panel discussion, Kidd said he is “not optimistic about a politicized evangelicalism. I’m optimistic about evangelicalism, because I’m optimistic about the Lord.” Moore said he remains hopeful “because some of the shaking and shifting taking place in evangelicalism gives the movement the opportunity to embrace marginalization without victimization. Evangelicalism has always been at its best when evangelicalism sees itself as a renewal movement, as a minority movement within the broader world, a minority movement on mission.” The current crisis in evangelicalism, Kidd observed, con-
sists of multiple overlapping aspects, including “One, confusion about the term; two, an impression that ‘evangelical’ may just mean white Republicans who consider themselves religious; three, a sense that political power may be the essential evangelical agenda; and four, the inability of evangelicals of different ethnicities, especially whites and blacks, to agree on basic political questions.” Moore said many people who do not attend or belong to a church “will nonetheless define themselves as rigorously evangelical because of the memes they are sharing [on social media].” Evangelicals will have to deal with “the decongregationalizing of the movement itself,” he said.
Revivals & Homecomings Bethel Church, Poplarville: Revival, Nov. 10 – 13; Sun., prayer at 9:15 a.m., Sunday School, 9:45 a.m., worship, 11 a.m., followed by dinner on the groun, and 6 p.m.; Mon. – Wed., 7 p.m.; Wed., children and youth night with pizza, 5:30 p.m.; Gary Bowlin, speaker; Benjy Rigney, music. Jericho Church, Guntown: Homecoming and cemetery decoration, Nov. 10; worship, 10 a.m., followed by meal and fellowship; Eric Jones, speaker; Brandon Alldread, music. Bogue Chitto Church, Bogue Chitto: Homecoming, Nov. 10; Sunday School, 10 a.m.; worship, 11 a.m., followed by covered dish lunch; James Jackson, speaker.
movement — to be born again,” he said. Moore also posited in a panel discussion that closed the evening, “I am a realist when it comes to the Gospel but a nominalist when it comes to evangelicalism, and so I don’t have as much invested in evangelical as a word or evangelicalism as a movement except there is no available alternative to it except for adding modifiers.” Anyabwile said he does not share the optimism of Kidd and Moore regarding evangelicalism. He said he doesn’t think the partisan and ethnic definition of evangelicals is peculiar and “I actually think that is the DNA” of evangelicalism. “Evangelicalism as a movement has generally and consistently taken what I would refer to as anti-black positions on social and political questions,” Anyabwile told the audience. “Historically, the movement has been generally pro-slavery, pro-segregation — much of the movement, anti-affirmative action and anti-immigrant. [The] common denominator has often been the disadvantaging of black and brown people. “For that reason, evangelicalism should not become more diverse until this dynamic is radically and demonstrably changed. To that extent, I would argue that we have not become evangelical enough, that we have not yet become the one people of God.... We have not yet been discipled enough in our Christian identity as our primary identity. “Until we get there, I’m not certain evangelical is a term worth fighting for and a label worth wearing. I think we actually have to become God’s peo-
tual matters than political power,” Kidd told the audience. “It’s true that millions of practicing evangelicals are part of the 81%, but we should not define evangelicalism by the 81%. “[At] root, being an evangelical entails certain beliefs, practices, and spiritual experiences, so partisan commitments have come and gone and sometimes it’s true evangelicals have made terrible political mistakes but conversion, devotion to an infallible Bible, and God’s discernible presence — those are the characteristics that make an evangelical an evangelical.” Non-evangelical Americans may have a variety of impressions about what “evangelical” means, Kidd said, “but one certain association that people make with the word is ‘Republican,’ and the term ‘evangelical’ has become fundamentally political in popular parlance today.” Another likely association non-evangelicals make with the word is “white,” Kidd said, adding pollsters assume evangelicals are white. In his response to Kidd, Moore said he is not ready to surrender the word “evangelical.” “I think when it comes to evangelical, it’s possible for a word — and it’s possible for a
WASHINGTON (BP) — A historian, an ethicist and a pastor — all Baptists — displayed a difference of opinion on the usefulness of the word “evangelical” and the state of evangelicalism in an Oct. 29 conversation at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. Thomas Kidd, history professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and prolific author, discussed the crisis in evangelical Christianity with Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in Nashville, and Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of Anacostia River Church in Washington, D.C. Kidd interacted with Moore and Anyabwile regarding his new book, Who Is an Evangelical?: The History of a Movement in Crisis. In his keynote address Kidd said he remains optimistic about evangelicalism despite its politicization, especially in recent years. He cited as an example the 2016 poll results that showed 81% of self-identified evangelicals voted that year to elect current U.S. President Donald Trump. “Some would say that I am naïve to hope that there remains a core of practicing, orthodox evangelicals who really do care more about salvation and spiri-
X ND FYV AJZ JQ NWHNYND, NIZ FYV AJZ JQ XENNO, NIZ FYV AJZ JQ GNOJW? AJZ XE IJF FYV AJZ JQ FYV ZVNZ, WMF JQ FYV CXKXIA. DNFFYVL FLVIFR-FLJ: FYXHFR-FLJ Clue: A = G Have fun with cryptography and exercise your Bible knowledge. A King James Version Bible verse has been encoded by letter substitution. The same letter is substituted throughout the puzzle. Solve by trial and error. Answer to last week’s puzzle: Malachi 2:9 By Charles Marx, 1932–2004, © 2005
The Baptist Record November 7, 2019 5
Just for the Record
The youth of TRINITY CHURCH, FULTON, volunteered to pack 840 food and hygiene boxes for needy families across the southeastern U.S.
PARKWAY CHURCH, HOUSTON, ordained Zane Thomas as deacon. Shown are pastor Randy Rinehart, wife Pam, and Sarah and Zane Thomas.
In other Church News:
➤ Washington Church, Natchez, is hosting a Car and Craft Fair Nov. 9, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free voting on car winners with all makes, models, and years welcome. Live music, craft booths, activities for kids, and food vendors. For information, call Carl Smith at (601) 597-8033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The WMU of PEACE CHURCH, GULFPORT, collected food for a local food pantry in October. Levi Helmouth, pastor.
➤ Eastside Church, Pearl, is hosting a southern gospel concert Nov. 9, 6 p.m., featuring The Faithful Four Quartet, The Pearl Quartet, and Jonathan Rigdon. Love offering.
CONCORD CHURCH, PELAHATCHIE, conducted a baby dedication service for Leighton Rae Beard on September 22nd. Leighton is the daughter of Justin and Crystal Beard. Earlier in the service, Crystal followed Jesus in Baptism. Pictured are Justin, Crystal and Leighton, along with Christian Pruett, pastor.
The ladies of VICTORY CHURCH, BROOKHAVEN, learned to make chunky knit blankets.
GRACE CHURCH, PHILADELPHIA, recognizes its newly elected WMU officers. Shown are Delice Becton, Desaray Bradley, Jean Pilgrim, Becky Guthans, Joan Hamilton, and Benja Sciple.
Area 4 WMU sponsored their annual Missions Madness for Girls at FIRST CHURCH, HOUSTON, SUNRISE CHURCH, LEAKE COUNTY, recognizes its Bible September 28. 137 girls came and learned about missions and missionaries. An offering of $303.91 drillers. Front row: Laura McMillon and Lakin Musgrove; back row: for the Free Clinic and food items for the Backpack Ministry was collected. John David Gill, Cale Wilcher, and Peyton Thornton.
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Chitwoods encourage missions at meeting of IMB advocates
NEW CHRISTIAN — Kanye West performs onstage during his Jesus Is King album and film experience at The Forum Oct. 23 in Inglewood, Ca. (BP photo courtesy of Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ABA)
First Person: Be praying for Kanye’s journey into faith By Dan DeWitt Correspondent Adam Tyson, pastor of Placerita Bible Church in Santa DEWITT Clarita, Ca., on a recent episode of The Pure Flix Podcast describes how he spent about three hours going through the Gospel with rap music artist Kanye West after West first visited his church. In late September, Kanye announced he would no longer produce secular music. West’s new album, Jesus is King, is composed of 11 songs, covering a variety of themes but clearly focusing on Kanye’s Christian faith. The New York Times quotes West telling a Manhattan audience days before the Jesus Is King release, “This album has been made to be an expression of the Gospel and to share the Gospel and the truth of what Jesus has done to me.” West discusses addiction, mental health, and family relationships in lyrics that communicate dependence upon God and gratitude for God’s salvation. The most evocative song is, God Is, in which Kanye gives a breathless description of what God means to the artist. The album ends with the song, Jesus Is Lord, a melodic paraphrase of Philippians 2:10-11 that has gone viral on social media. The new album isn’t without its provocative ideas. In the song, On God, West touches on U.S. incarceration rates and
restates his long-held claim to be the greatest music artist ever, dead or alive. A review in Variety entertainment magazine calls the new album “not very good,” and a reviewer for USA Today calls it “frustrating.” The title of the Daily Beast article says it all: “MAGA-era Kanye West Turns to God but Serves Himself in Jesus Is King.” Some well-known Christian hip-hop artists have been more supportive. Shai Linne writes, “Overall, I’m really encouraged by ‘Jesus Is King.’ It’s not perfect, but that’s ok. Justification comes before sanctification. Let us not despise the loud, passionate cries of a newborn.” Ambassador, considered by many to be the godfather of Christian rap music, posted a series of Scripture passages on Twitter encouraging Kanye to grow in wisdom and service to the Lord. In response to West’s change of heart, Christians should consider Paul’s instruction not to place a new believer in authority in the church (1 Timothy 3:6). That’s primarily a matter between Kanye and the leadership of his local church, and we should not assume that producing an album is on par with becoming a pastor. Furthermore, we shouldn’t discount his pastor’s involvement in Kanye’s ministry. We should remember Paul’s description that Christian love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
Kanye West is an artist, and we shouldn’t expect him to quit making art because of his conversion. Rather, we should hope and pray that his faith will find expression in his music. This certainly seems to be what is going on in Jesus Is King. We should commit to pray for Kanye as he matures in faith, is discipled by his pastor, and grows in relationship with other believers. We should pray for his family, that his entire household might come to saving faith, and we should pray that the Lord uses his testimony to change lives. C.S. Lewis once said, “Don’t judge a man by where he is, because you don’t know how far he has come.” Lewis, who came to Christian faith as a reluctant atheist, published a description of his conversion two years after the fact in a book titled, The Pilgrim’s Regress. Those who love the Narnia stories might be surprised to read Lewis’ unveiled references to sexual experimentation in his allegorical description of his journey to faith. Lewis was a new believer, some might retort. Fair enough. Let’s afford that same space to Kanye. DeWitt is associate professor of apologetics and applied theology at Baptist-affiliated Cedarville University in Cedarville, Oh. His commentary appears courtesy of Baptist Press. Edited for style, clarity, and inclusion of additional information.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — More than 155,000 people die daily without Christ. This is a harsh and unacceptable reality facing Southern Baptists, said Paul Chitwood, president of Southern Baptists’ International Mission Board (IMB) in Richmond, Va., at a recent meeting of advocates near Richmond. The gathering, which included Baptist state convention executives, associational and Woman’s Missionary Union leaders, former missionaries, student leaders, and representatives from other Baptist entities and churches across the United States, encouraged partnerships and networking for the sake of advocating for the lost around the world. IMB leaders shared the vision from Revelation 7:9 of “a great multitude that no one could number from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” The vision is “not one we crafted, but one placed in front of us through the revelation to John,” Chitwood told the more than 250 advocates. “If we are to ever see the Great Commission [Matthew 28:1820] completed toward the vision of a multitude from every tribe before the throne, then we must amplify our voices together,” Chitwood said. “Using our voices, God can move professionals, students, and retirees from the comfortably padded pews of U.S. churches into the presence of unreached people. Advocacy is how we unleash the body of Christ.” Chitwood’s wife Michelle shared the platform with her husband Paul during the opening session, and compared advocacy for the lost to her role as a foster parent. “When we were going through training to be a foster parent, our trainer told us a lot of people won’t foster because it is hard,”
Michelle Chitwood said. “The kids are traumatized, and they come with a whole lot of baggage but being an advocate is when you stand in the gap, when you carry their hurt, when you carry the load they can’t carry. “You fight for them in court, and you fight for them in school.” Advocacy in missions is very similar, Michelle noted. “Being an advocate for a missionary is one of the highest callings. It is living well.” Her husband agreed. “When we stand in the gap for our missionaries, we stand in the gap for a lost world. [Understanding my role as an advocate] changed my approach to everything. It changed my approach as an IMB trustee. It changed my approach to pastoring. It changed my approach to teaching seminary classes... and it changed how I approached leading 2,400 churches” as executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention prior to his recent installment at the head of IMB. During the conference, IMB leaders presented different ways God has led IMB missionaries to engage the lost around the world and how believers in countries like the Philippines and South Korea are now sending their own missionaries to other parts of the world. Paul Chitwood and other IMB leaders also emphasized the need for partnering churches to come alongside IMB personnel to engage the unreached. IMB leaders encouraged church leaders and advocates to “lean on” the 175 years of field experience IMB offers as they seek to develop healthy partnerships around the world. Paul Chitwood was the keynote speaker at the Oct. 30 closing session of the Mississippi Baptist Convention 2019 annual meeting at First Church, Jackson. To learn more about becoming an IMB advocate, email info@ imb.org.
PRESSING FOR MISSIONS — Paul Chitwood (left), president of Southern Baptists’ International Mission Board (IMB), and his wife Michelle share the importance of advocating on behalf of a lost world during a recent gathering of IMB advocates near Richmond, Va. (BP photo courtesy of IMB)
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Missionary’s tormentor dead, but questions linger PRESCOTT, Ariz. (BP and local reports) – Missionary Kayla Mueller, after whom was named the Oct. 26 military operation that reportedly killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is being remembered as a Christian who was faithful despite her abduction, torture, rape, and murder. Mueller was a member of the Northern Arizona University (NAU) chapter of United Christian Ministry, marketed as supported by the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, and Disciples of Christ. In 2014 in Islamic State (IS) captivity, Mueller defended her faith in front of an IS executioner who paraded her before other prisoners, ABC News reported at that time based on comments from former hostages who shared cells with Mueller. “One of the (IS militants) started to say, ‘Oh, this is Kayla, and she has been held all by herself and she is much stronger than you guys and she’s much smarter. She converted to Islam,’” former hostage Donald Rye Ottosen told
ABC in 2016, “and then she was like, ‘No, I didn’t.’ “I would not have had the guts to say that. I don’t think so. It was very clear that all of us were impressed by the strength that she showed in front of us. That was very clear.” Mueller’s death was confirmed in February 2015 when she was 26 years of age. IS said Mueller was killed in a Jordanian airstrike against the terrorists, but the U.S. could not confirm that report and her remains were never recovered. Al-Baghdadi is accused of repeatedly raping Mueller and keeping her as an IS slave after terrorists kidnapped her in 2013 during her humanitarian aid work at a hospital in Syria. Al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide belt and died in a tunnel with two of his children as they attempted to flee a U.S. Special Forces raid in Syria Oct. 26, President Donald Trump announced Oct. 27. The tunnel collapsed in the bombing, but Trump said U.S. security officials positively confirmed the terrorist’s death. “[Al-Baghdadi] reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs
Mueller chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children,” Trump said in a press conference before the number of children killed was officially reduced to two and the explosive device he was wearing was identified as a bomb belt. “His body was mutilated by
the blast, but test results gave certain and positive identification. The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, panic, and dread — terrified of the American forces bearing down.” The operation that killed alBaghdadi and resulted in the
capture of important intelligence information was named in honor of Mueller, a White House fact sheet said. Mueller’s parents, Carl and Marsha Mueller, praised Trump after the raid and expressing mixed emotions. “I still want to know, ‘Where is Kayla?’ and what truly happened to her and what aren’t we being told,” The Arizona Republic quoted Marsha Mueller as saying in an Oct. 28 article in the newspaper. “Someone knows, and I’m praying with all my heart that someone in this world will bring us those answers.” Carl Mueller said he still finds it difficult to discuss his daughter’s ordeal at al-Baghdadi’s hands. “What this man did to Kayla — he kidnapped her,” the Republic quoted Carl Mueller as saying in the same article. “She was held in many prisons. She was held in solitary confinement. She was tortured. She was intimidated. She was ultimately raped by al-Baghdadi himself.” After Baghdadi’s death, IS quickly announced a new leader and vowed revenge on the U.S.
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MEETING cont. from p.1
Phillip Gunn, speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives and member of Morrison Heights Church, Clinton, was among those who pointed to Futral’s lifelong dedication to the cause of Christ, presenting him with a resolution of appreciation authorized by members of the Mississippi Legislature. A reception honoring Futral, his wife Shirley, and members of their family was held in the Christian Life Center of First Church, Jackson, prior to the start of the Oct. 29 evening session. Richard Blackaby, president of Blackaby Ministries International in Atlanta and son of Henry Blackaby, noted Southern Baptist preacher and author of the Experiencing God series of Christian study helps, presented the Bible Treasures series of devotionals during the convention. Convention messages were preached by Mark Vincent, outgoing MBC president and senior pastor of Clark Venable Church, Decatur; Greg Warnock, senior pastor of First Church, Brookhaven; Futral;
and Paul Chitwood, president of Southern Baptists’ International Mission Board in Richmond, Va. Worship and praise through music were highlighted during the annual meeting, with performances by: n Combined Baptist colleges choir, composed of students from the three Mississippi Baptist institutions of higher learning: Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi College in Clinton, and William Carey University in Hattiesburg. n Mississippi Singing Churchmen. n Worship Ministry of First Church, Brookhaven. n Combined choirs of First Church, Grenada; Emmanuel Church, Grenada; Friendship Church, Grenada; First Church, Winona; North Greenwood Church, Greenwood; and North Oxford Church, Oxford. n Ensemble led by Mike Haight, worship pastor at Broadmoor Church, Madison. Four resolutions submitted by messengers were reported out of the annual meeting’s resolutions committee: n Expressing appreciation for First Church, Jackson’s use of their facilities; the speakers,
Submission Guidelines The Baptist Record is pleased to publish news and photographs of special events that take place in cooperating churches of the Mississippi Baptist Convention. News items and/or photographs depicting benefits and activities for secular or outside organizations will not be published. Preferred method: news may be submitted electronically to the e-mail address below, and must be included in the message segment of an e-mail form. Secondary method: news may be typewritten or neatly printed on 8 1/2 by 11-inch paper and mailed. All articles must be received in writing; no articles will be accepted over the telephone. Due to ever-present virus threats, no text attachments will be accepted. Photograph attachments in JPEG format are permissible. Please make articles concise. Include the who, what, when, where details of the story, along with a contact person’s address and telephone number. Photographs must be submitted electronically via e-mail, as attachments in JPEG format. Hard copy photographs mailed through the postal service will not be accepted. Photographs must be clear, sharp, and well-lighted. Photographs must depict people. No landscape-, building-, or object-only photographs will be printed. Photographs containing inappropriate gestures and objectionable clothing will not be published. Cell phone photographs and other low resolution items that do not reproduce well on newsprint are generally not publishable. There is no guarantee that news items and/or photographs will be published, and unsolicited material will not be acknowledged or returned. All news items are subject to editing, and all photographs are subject to cropping. News items and/or photographs can be published one time only. Deadline for submitting news is one week prior to requested publication date. Articles that are not date-sensitive will be published on a space-available basis. These guidelines are not meant to be exhaustive. Submit news to The Baptist Record, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530. FAX: (601) 292-3330. E-mail: baptistrecord@ mbcb.org.
NEW OFFICERS – Ken Hester (center), senior pastor of First Church, Pontotoc, was elected president of the Mississippi Baptist Convention by messengers to the convention’s 2019 annual meeting Oct. 29-30 at First Church, Jackson. Serving with Hester for the coming year will be (from left) Michael Weeks, pastor of Pleasant Hill Church, Olive Branch – Recording Secretary; Scott Thomas II, senior pastor of North Oxford Church, Oxford – First Vice President; Whit Lewis, senior pastor, Longview Heights Church, Olive Branch - Second Vice President; and Jerry Bingham, missions director for Benton-Tippah Baptist Association, Ripley - Assistant Recording Secretary. (Photo by William H. Perkins Jr.) singers, and instrumentalists; Mark Vincent, outgoing MBC president; and officers, members, and volunteers who served the annual meeting. n Recognizing the ministry of Chris McNairy and his Urban Fusion Network in strengthening relationships among Mississippi Baptists “regardless of ethnicity or cultural histories…” n Declaring the prosperity gospel to be “a false doctrine and distortion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ…” n Honoring the life and ministry of James Robert “Jim” Futral as he prepares to retire and offering “profound appreciation” for the sacrifices made by his family in “supporting and standing alongside your husband and father…” For more information on the ministries of the Mississippi Baptist Convention, visit mbcb.org.
SEARCH CONTINUES – Messengers to the 184th annual meeting of the Mississippi Baptist Convention (MBC) at First Church, Jackson, pause during the Oct. 29 morning session as Clarence Cooper, pastor of Brandon Church, Brandon, lifts up in prayer the search committee members seeking the successor to Jim Futral, executive director-treasurer of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, who previously announced his intention to retire Oct. 31 but agreed to the committee’s request to continue in his position while the search remains open. (Photo by Tony Martin)
Truth is not relative. Find it in the One who is the way, truth, and life. Simply share the following prayer with God in your own words: 1. Lord, I admit that I need you. (I have sinned.) 2. I want forgiveness for my sins and freedom from eternal death. (I repent.) 3. I believe Jesus died and rose from the grave to forgive my sins and to restore my relationship with you. (I believe in Jesus.) 4. By faith, I invite Jesus Christ into my life. From this time on, I want to live in a loving relationship with Him. (I receive Christ as my Savior and Lord.)
“But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name.” (John 1:12) If you make a decision for Christ today, contact a local Southern Baptist church for spiritual guidance.
The Baptist Record November 7, 2019 9
SEPTEMBER 16-30 MEMORIALS Ms. Wendy Carol Goodman Mr. and Mrs. James (Carol) Sanders Rev. Byrd Hillman Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy (Jo) Jenkins Mr. Pat Ingram Mr. James Carpenter Mr. Michael H. Gilreath Mr. and Mrs. Terry (Kathy) Jensen Mr. and Mrs. Mark (Joanne) Roussy Mr. and Mrs. Don L. Vineyard Ms. Jan Wall Isagi Mr. and Mrs. Greg (Linda) Wall Mrs. Natalie H. James Cadaretta Water Association Mrs. Mary Alice Mashburn Mr. and Mrs. Arthur E. Bishop Mrs. Archie McAdams Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy (Jo) Jenkins Ms. Andria McCaffrey Ms. Alana C. Greer Mrs. Betsy Neill Mr. and Mrs. Glen (Donna) King Mrs. Linda Gayle Pee Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy (Jo) Jenkins Mr. and Mrs. Bill Power Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy (Jo) Jenkins Mrs. Kay Ramage Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy (Jo) Jenkins Mrs. Annette Seawright Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy (Jo) Jenkins Mrs. Patsy Houston Thaggard Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie (Janet) McNair
Mr. Terrell Therell Mr. and Mrs. Larry (Pam) Gnemi Mr. Steve Tillman Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie (Janet) McNair Ms. Charlotte Walsh Mr. and Mrs. Greg (Linda) Wall Mrs. Nancy Wansley Mr. and Mrs. Clifton (Hope) Porter Mr. Jerry Lamar Webb Mr. and Mrs. James (Donna) Bell Mrs. Joyce West Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy (Jo) Jenkins Mrs. Thelma Delaughter Wilkinson The Rogers Family Mr. David Lee Williams Mr. Gregory T. Jackson OCTOBER 1-15 MEMORIALS Mrs. Katie Ruth Alford Mr. and Mrs. Barney (Paula) Albritton Mrs. Joyce Bates Mr. and Mrs. Barney (Paula) Albritton Mr. Kayron Berry Mr. and Mrs. Eddie (Delia) Speights Mrs. Katie Jackson Burleson Mr. and Mrs. Louis (Kathy) Dugas Mrs. Claudia Cage Mr. Charles W. Holmes Mrs. Colleen Callender Mr. and Mrs. Barney (Paula) Albritton Mr. Ralph L. Carroll Dr. Nell C. Adams
Ms. Bonnie B. Williams Mrs. Bessie T. Coker Mr. and Mrs. Paul (Evelyn) Beattie Mrs. Allie Poillion Cospelich Ms. Marion H. Mills Mrs. Mary Lynn Covington Dr. William E. Umphlett The staff of Capital Dental Mr. Scottie Cumberland Clark and Sara McNair Mrs. Trish Duncan Mr. and Mrs. Harold (Lisa) Riley Mrs. Kristi Dunn Mr. and Mrs. Barney (Paula) Albritton Mr. Dale Floyd, Sr. Mount Pleasant BC Mrs. Theresa Fulton Jimmy and Jayna Peterson Mr. A.J. Gay Mr. and Mrs. Daniel (Dianne) Smith Mr. Chad Goodin Mrs. Ruby Rogers Mrs. Mary Katheryn (Moore) Hanvey Rebecca, Chris, Dawn, and Chloe Rogers Mrs. Geri Glynn Hastings Mr. and Mrs. Billy (Shirley) Hastings Ms. Wendy Champion Hood Mr. and Mrs. Terry E. Champion Mr. Richard N. Humphreys Mr. and Mrs. Al (Billie) Green Mr. Jim Hunt Mr. and Mrs. Guy Thornton Mr. Pat Ingram Mr. and Mrs. John S. Heath Bobbie McGinnis Jones Mr. and Mrs. Lee (Judy) McGinnis Mr. Talmadge Kelly Mr. and Mrs. Larry (Jean) Bennett Mr. Scott King Mrs. Rex Cowart Mr. John Langworthy Mr. and Mrs. Gerald (Dottie) Buchanan Mrs. E. J. Grisham Ms. Judy Royals McGinnis FBC Lumberton Mr. Glen M. Milton Mr. and Mrs. Barney (Paula) Albritton Mr. George “Mike” Monroe Mrs. Eva M. Moree Ms. Betty Norris Mr. and Mrs. Larry P. Franklin Mr. and Mrs. J.V. (Mary K) Parker Mr. and Mrs. Michael W. Parker Mr. Michael Parker Mr. and Mrs. Charles Boyette Mr. Anthony Peters Mr. and Mrs. Daniel (Dianne) Smith Ms. Brandi Reed Douglas, Lesa, and Tiffany Oswalt Mrs. Glenda Schallock Mr. and Mrs. William R. Patterson Mr. Jerry “Bud” Shepard Mrs. Sarah C. Scott Dr. Shelby Andrew Smith, Sr. Mr. and Mrs. Jerry L. Powell Ms. Margaret Smith Mr. and Mrs. Patrick (Sherrill) Reynolds Mr. Harry Taylor Mr. and Mrs. Harold (Lisa) Riley Mrs. Jimmie E. Watson Anola Club of Pascagoula Mr. Tommy Williams Dr. and Mrs. Theodore C. Miller Mrs. Rita Wroten Terry’s Creek BC
We are pleased to welcome Wayne and Mandy Daniel as new houseparents to our REEDY ACRES CAMPUS, WATER VALLEY. Wayne has worked in other capacities in The BCV ministry and we are pleased he and Mandy are transitioning to this new position. Wayne & Mandy have a passion for working with kids. They both are looking forward to this new chapter in their life and hope to impact every child they come in contact with in a Godly way. Wayne and Mandy are from Bolton, MS where they are members of Lula Baptist Church. In his spare time, Wayne enjoys watching Ole Miss football, hunting, and fishing. Mandy enjoys spending time with their daughter, Katherine, who is 5. She also enjoys decorating and doing crafts.
We are pleased to welcome Robert and Amy Sparks who are joining The BCV ministry team as houseparents to FIKES-GATEWOOD CAMPUS, LOUISVILLE. Robert and Amy are from Terre Haute, IN where they are members of Cane Bay Church. Robert and Amy were called of the Lord to ministry in the middle of winter in a small town of Indiana. They felt the doors closing in different areas of their lives and knew the Lord was trying to get them to move. As they prayed for His will, God opened the door to be houseparents and care for children in need. They want to be examples of Christ. In there free time, they enjoy Pickleball. Amy also enjoys photography and Robert enjoys disc golf.
A Houseparent Commissioning was recently included in a Sunday evening worship service at First Baptist Church, Florence. FBC is the home church for Deb Wray who is serving on the INDIA NUNNERY CAMPUS and Ricky and Stephanie Sandridge who are serving on the DICKERSON PLACE CAMPUS. Prior to Pastor Jamie Walley’s challenge, Tom Prather, Director of Houseparent Ministries for the BCV expressed gratitude to the church for their willingness to host such a meaningful service, and explained the role of the Houseparent missionary. Executive Director Sean Milner shared how important houseparents were to him as a BCV resident for 18 years, explaining that it was a Houseparent who shared the gospel with him. Walley read Mark 10:17-31 and reminded the houseparents to remember that God will accomplish his work and that nothing is impossible with God. He also explained that in their obedience to the call, God will always give more than all we sacrifice for him. Walley challenged the congregation to be faithful in their encouragement and support of these missionaries that they are sending out and to remember they are going out in the name of Jesus to share the gospel with BCV children. The houseparents were presented with a certificate and pin from the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. The service ended with prayer for the mission and the missionaries.
Sunday School Lessons for November 10, 2019 Walking Wisely • Ephesians 5:15-21 I believe we all would agree we live in evil times, but this is not a new phenomenon. The Apostle Paul mentions the same sentiment in our lesson today: “Making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5 15-16 CSB). Wouldn’t it be great if we had a clear way to navigate this evil of our day? We do! I remember a great Super Bowl commercial in 2010. The movie Castaway, starring Tom Hanks in the role of a Fed Ex employee, had been a hit at the box office that year. As a follow-up, FedEx produced a tongue-incheek look at what happened after the rescue scene in the movie. The commercial opens with the long-haired, rescued castaway holding a Fed Ex package in hand and ringing the doorbell to deliver it. When the door opens, he informs the customer he had been marooned for five years on an island with her package and swore he would deliver it because he worked for Fed Ex. She was appreciative. He had but one request. He wanted to know what was in the box he had held for so long. She happily revealed the contents: a satellite phone, a GPS retrieval device, a fishing pole, water purifying tablets, and some seeds. She commented, “Just silly stuff.” His face said it all.
He had in his possession everything Spirit] will not come to you. If I go, I he needed to get off the island but he will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, never opened the box. Aren’t we often like that? We strug- righteousness, and judgment:” (CSB). gle in our survival of life, when all the The writings of Isaiah alluded to the time the Holy Spirit is there to lead Holy Spirit when he wrote: “…Your and guide us but we must open the eyes will see your Teacher, and whenbox. We often treat this gift of God ever you turn to the right or to the much like the woman’s response — just left, your ears will hear this command silly stuff — but we have in our pos- behind you: ‘This is the way. Walk in it’” (Isaiah session the 30:20-21 very power CSB). to not only This is survive but not a silly to thrive. add-on to Paul underour lives. stood our with Cyndi Grace God sent bent to try the Holy all kind of Spirit to solutions, benefit us but the way in our walk. to true wisdom is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He is the very presence of Jesus living The disciples grieved when they re- in us, and to ignore the Holy Spirit is alized that Jesus was going to leave to ignore Jesus and act as if He didn’t them but Jesus, in the flesh, knew exist. We would never consciously do He could not dwell with each person that, yet our actions speak louder than who followed Him. He had a better our words. Jesus, Isaiah, and Paul plan which he revealed in John 16:7- were all showing us the way to live in 8, “Nevertheless, I am telling you the this evil world. Paul then indicates how we will live truth. It is for your benefit [emphasis mine] that I go away, because if when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. I don’t go away the Counselor [Holy It is clearly not complaining about sit-
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uations or trying to work things out on our own. This filling becomes evident in how we respond to Him in our worship and how we treat other believers. He specifically states that when filled, we should speak to other believers in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Let’s be clear about what these are: Psalms are songs sung corporately, directly to God. These songs are personal, revealing our relationship with Him. Hymns, on the other hand, are songs of testimony we sing which tell each other what He has done. Spiritual songs are songs about who God is; songs that speak to His mighty attributes which encourage us in our faith. All of these songs must be sung, and from our hearts. In this way we thank God and make Him first in our lives. When we live in the Spirit, selfishness fades away. We begin to live as Christ did, in the manner of a servant. Are we living filled by the Spirit of God, or are we afraid of Him because of a few who have misinterpreted His purpose? These are evil days and we need guidance. God is willingly giving it to us. Will we accept His gift? Grace is a conference speaker, author, and member of First Church, Clinton.
God’s Will and My Circumstances • Romans 8:26-32 Romans chapter eight is so profound that some people I know have memorized it. The big lesson this great chapter teaches is that God is for His children. These verses show us at least three ways. The Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27). If you can’t see any way out of your situation, take it to the Lord. You may not even know how to pray as you should, but we have the Spirit to make intercession for us before God the Father. God may not remove it, but He can see you through it. He can give you enough grace to carry you through your situation. His strength is made complete in our weakness. Often folks will tell me, “I don’t know how I would have made it without the Lord.” They are right. God’s strength was demonstrated in their weakness. We may not know how to pray as we ought about it, but we have assurance that the Spirit makes intercession for us and strengthens us. God works all things for us (Romans 8:28-30). Things may come in our lives to try to make us fear, make us dread, make us worry, make us discouraged, or make us doubt — but God works all things work together for good to them that love God. Not all
things are good, but God works even know we are saved, that we are His, and He is for us! the bad for our good. John G. Paton records in his autoAnyone who has gone through cancer treatments or has been there with biography an encounter with a tribe a loved one who has gone through that of pagan cannibals in the New Hebritrial can tell you it is no fun experi- des. One night, the Tannese set fire to ence. Yet being with my wife Paulette the church and intended to burn the through her cancer experience has house and kill the missionaries. Riskmade us closer. Having gone through ing his life, he went outside to prethat experience I can empathize with vent the fire from reaching the house. Suddenly a a family tornado apthat faces peared. He the proswrites: pect of can“I said, cer treat‘Dare to ments. God strike me, brought me with Don Schuman and my Jemiles down hovah God the journey will punto spiriish you! He tual matuprotects us, rity through that experience. I can tell you all and will punish you for burning His things work together for good to them Church, for hatred to His Worship and people, and for all your bad conthat love God. God is personally for us (Ro- duct. We love you all; and for doing mans 8:31-32). God did not give us you good only you want to kill us. But His peace so that we can live in un- our God is here now to protect us and certainty. He did not give us His joy to punish you.’ “They yelled in rage, and urged so that we can wallow in the mire of doubt. He did not give us His hope so each other to strike the first blow, but that we would question our salvation. the Invisible One restrained them. … No! These are given that we might The mighty roaring of the wind, the
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black cloud pouring down unceasing torrents, and the whole surroundings, awed those savages into silence. Some began to withdraw from the scene, all lowered their weapons of war, and several, terror-struck, exclaimed, ‘That is Jehovah’s rain! Truly their Jehovah God is fighting for them and helping them. Let us away!’ “A panic seized upon them; they threw away their remaining torches; in a few moments they had all disappeared in the bush; and I was left alone, praising God for His marvelous works… “Returning to the door of the Mission House, I cried, ‘Open and let me in. I am now all alone.’ “Mr. Mathieson let me in, and exclaimed, ‘If ever, in time of need, God sent help and protection to His servants in answer to prayer, He has done so tonight! Blessed be His holy name!’” Since God is for us, circumstances in our lives are within His control. All the combined forces of Satan, the attitude of antichrist, and the world are no match for God or for the child of God because God in us is greater (1 John 4:4). If God be for us, who can be against us? Schuman is pastor Church, Myrtle.
The Baptist Record November 7, 2019 11
LifeWay Research: Retirement attitudes revealed NASHVILLE (BP) — Most retirement age pastors and missionaries say their current life is close to ideal, but some who have entered retirement say they could have been better prepared. In a survey sponsored by Shepherd’s Fold Ministries, Nashville-based LifeWay Research asked 2,451 pastors, ministers, and missionaries who were retired or at least 67 years of age about their life, health, relationships, reflections on ministry, and how they’ve adjusted to their current life stage. “Our No. 1 goal is to provide relevant resources to help retired ministers,” said Brent Van Hook, director of Shepherd’s Fold Ministries and senior pastor of Wichita First Church of the Nazarene in Kansas. “The results of this study show specific ways retired ministers can experience genuine higher well-being related to social, spiritual, physical, and financial health.” Of those ministers or missionaries surveyed, 81% are currently retired or mostly retired. Fifty-two percent have been in ministry 40 years or longer, with 35% serving 40-49 years and 17% serving 50 years or more. The vast majority of those surveyed think fondly about their previous ministry. Ninety-two percent say they are satisfied when looking back on their ministry efforts before retirement, with 59% saying they are very satisfied. When asked about their feelings toward the churches or mission fields where they served, 79% say they feel thankful. Fiftynine percent say they love those churches and misson fields, are proud of them (53%), or say they feel rewarded (52%). Slightly fewer say they feel encouraged (48%) or connected (43%). Few retirement-age pastors or missionaries say they feel disappointed (16%), disconnected (16%), betrayed (eight percent), or bitter (two percent). When asked to think about their overall life today including relationships, spiritual health, finances, and physical health, 74% agree their life is close to ideal in most ways. Similar numbers describe their current life conditions as excellent (76%), while more than 86% say they are satisfied with their life today. “These three questions were used to create a life satisfaction score,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “Analysis revealed the characteristics that predict higher life satisfaction include being in better health, satisfaction with ministry efforts, positive feelings about where they served, financial stability for retirement, and current relationships.” In describing their overall health, 72% say they are active and healthy, while 14% say they have physical disabilities that limit them and 12% say their spouse has such limitations. Fewer retirement age ministers say their spouse has been diagnosed with a mental illness like depression, dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease (five percent), they spend a significant amount of their time caring for the health of someone with disabilities (five percent), or have been diagnosed with a mental illness themselves (three percent). Forty-one percent agree that having more help with their own health or the health of someone for whom they care would help at least a little. Retirement age ministers are most likely to say information, tips, and best practices for maintaining good health would help the most (25%), along with financial assistance (21%) and Medicare supplementary insurance (19%). “While many retire from ministry in good health, aging brings with it health-
care needs for pastors and missionaries,” said McConnell. “Some are sidelined by health needs, and others could use financial help for medical care.” Most older pastors, ministers, and missionaries say they have close relationships that allow them to share problems, but some may be facing loneliness. Among those who are currently married, 93% say their spouse is very satisfied with their marriage. When asked about meeting with someone at least once a month to openly share struggles, 61% of those surveyed say they talk with their spouse. A third meet with a close friend, 19% talk to a Bible study group in their church, and three percent meet with a counselor. However, 26% say they don’t regularly meet and share with any of these. Sixty-nine percent say they have at
least three close friends with whom they share at least once a month, with 17% saying they have 10 or more friends in that category. Ten percent say they don’t have any friends outside of family with whom they meet with at least once a month. The vast majority say they have continued to make new friends in recent years (86%) and have many close relationships at their current church (68%). Twentynine percent say they often feel lonely or isolated. Most (58%) say they currently live near their children, 42% live near most of their friends, and 22% don’t live near either. Forty-eight percent agree if they had more help connecting with new friends, that would help improve their overall wellbeing at least a little. A quarter say it would not help at all.
More retirement age ministers say they would benefit from making friends who have had a similar experience in ministry (25%), making friends who live near them (23%), and relating to a church in which they are not in leadership (20%). “Retirement sometimes means separation from past friends,” said McConnell. “It’s important to continue to invest in new relationships.” Three-quarters of retirement age ministers are confident they will have enough money to live comfortably through retirement, with 31% saying they are very confident. Forty-seven percent say they are often concerned about the financial security of their family and 27% say their physical needs or those of their spouse have caused significant financial strain. Fifty-five percent say their household’s current annual income is less than $60,000, while 36% have less than $100,000 in retirement savings. Ninetyfour percent receive Social Security benefits, and 59% have a pension plan with their current or former employer. Eighty-one percent say they currently live in a residence they own while 10% rent, three percent live in a residence provided by a church or ministry, three percent live with family and one percent live in an assisted living facility. Fifty-nine percent say they currently have some form of debt, the most common being a mortgage (37%), a car loan (27%) or credit card debt (20%). Of those with a mortgage, 42% have 20 years or more left on the loan. Twentynine percent say they have 10-19 years of mortgage remaining. Twenty-nine percent say they have nine years or less remaining. Those who have debt were asked how much debt their household has outside of their mortgage. A quarter say they have no non-mortgage debt and an additional 53% say they have less than $30,000, including 28% with less than $10,000. Some retired pastors say they have substantial non-mortgage debt. Fifteen percent say they have at least $30,000 in debt, including four percent saying theirs is at least $100,000. Fifty-eight percent say if they had help with their finances it would improve their overall well-being at least a little. Retirement age pastors and missionaries are most likely to say they need help managing retirement funds (22%), finding work suitable for retired ministers (17%), or learning how to stretch their current resources (16%). “The fact that most pastors and missionaries feel financially ready for retirement doesn’t negate the fact that a quarter are not in a good position,” said McConnell. “Health issues have complicated the financial picture for many of those with financial strains.” Among those who are currently retired, 76% say they were prepared for the adjustment to retirement. Seventy percent say the transition was easy. The most common approaches to preparing for the transition were speaking with others who had retired (46), reading articles on the topic (42%), or attending a retreat or conference for those nearing retirement from ministry (26%). One in five say they did not prepare for the transition at all. Thirty-three percent say they have struggled with the adjustment, and 28% feel they lack purpose since they retired from the ministry. Thirty-nine percent say they have had to rethink their sense of value and worth since retiring and 27% say that retirement forced them to think about their value to God.