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Contains JUNE Nurturing Faith Lessons

‘Loving respect, clear

disagreement 4

MAY 2012


Nurturing Faith expands to provide new resources | 9 WHY WE’RE HUNGRY FOR THE HUNGER GAMES 29

Pastoral Perspectives with Jack Glasgow | 30 ™

BIBLE STUDIES for adults and youth

JUNE lessons inside


Redeeming Faith and Sports | 36



John D. Pierce Executive Editor Julie Steele Chief Operations Officer Jackie B. Riley Managing Editor Tony W. Cartledge Contributing Editor Bruce T. Gourley Online Editor David Cassady Church Resources Editor Terri Byrd Contributing Writer Vickie Frayne Art Director Jannie Lister Customer Service Manager Kimberly L. Hovis Marketing Associate Walker Knight, Publisher Emeritus Jack U. Harwell, Editor Emeritus BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter B. Shurden, Macon, Ga. (chairman) Robert Cates, Rome, Ga. (vice chair) Jimmy R. Allen, Big Canoe, Ga. Nannette Avery, Signal Mountain, Tenn. Kelly L. Belcher, Spartanburg, S.C. Thomas E. Boland, Alpharetta, Ga. Donald L. Brewer, Gainesville, Ga. Huey Bridgman, The Villages, Fla. Mary Jane Cardwell, Waycross, Ga. Jack Causey, Statesville, N.C. Anthony D. Clevenger, Pensacola, Fla. Kenny Crump, Ruston, La. James M. Dunn, Winston-Salem, N.C. Gary F. Eubanks, Marietta, Ga. R. Kirby Godsey, Macon, Ga. Ben Gross, Chattanooga, Tenn. Leslie D. Hill, Lexington, Ky. Fisher Humphreys, Birmingham, Ala. Michael M. Massar, Baton Rouge, La. William T. Neal, Stone Mountain, Ga. Roger Paynter, Austin, Texas Michael G. Queen, Wilmington, N.C. Kathy B. Richardson, Rome, Ga. Lee Royal, Greensboro, N.C. Mary Etta Sanders, Dalton, Ga. Charles Schaible, Macon, Ga. Macon Sheppard, Folly Beach, S.C. Charlotte Cook Smith, Winston-Salem, N.C. David M. Smith, Houston, Texas Leo Thorne, Valley Forge, Pa. Cathy Turner, Clemson, S.C. David Turner, Richmond, Va. Tom Waller, Alpharetta, Ga. Winnie V. Williams, Seneca, S.C. Cynthia Wise, Birmingham, Ala.

PERSPECTIVE Collaboration is key to success 9 John Pierce ‘… In fact, we have to serve’ 14 Colin McCartney The significance of Adoniram Judson 33 Richard V. Pierard

‘A little help from our friends’ Seminary education takes on new forms 35 Heather Entrekin


IN THE NEWS Dalai Lama wins Templeton Prize 10 Report: Church giving on the rebound 11 Denominational power, growth of Christianity in different regions of the world 12 Mississippi, Vermont at opposite ends of religious spectrum 13 Vatican wants to revive church’s role in fighting Mafia 37 FEATURES Vincent Harding: ‘Keeper of a story’ 5 John Pierce Pastoral Perspectives from Jack Glasgow 30 Talking with Alabama’s Colleen Burroughs 42



‘Mother Superior’ Cover photo: By John Pierce. Baptists Today is expanding its publishing efforts during this growing season.

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‘Loving respect, clear disagreement’ Vincent Harding brought Martin Luther King Jr. and Clarence Jordan together to discuss their different approaches to a common goal


TLANTA — Martin Luther King Jr. and Clarence Jordan used different means toward the same end: racial equality. King orchestrated mass boycotts to cripple economic systems and raise awareness of the injustices against African Americans. Jordan suffered the brunt of boycotts launched against his interracial farming community in Southwest Georgia — along with direct acts of violence. At Jordan’s request, mutual friend Vincent Harding brought the two together in Albany, Ga., in 1961 to discuss their different perspectives. Suprisingly, this quiet but spirited meeting of two Georgia-born Baptists — with strong devotion to breaking down human barriers of discrimination — has remained little known. But Harding recalled that meeting and other events from the Southern freedom movement in a March interview with Baptists Today at the Atlanta University Center.

HEADED SOUTH A careful historian, Harding recalls the events going back more than a half-century with caution but surprising clarity. At age 81, he confesses that some of things he witnessed and some events he has written about over the years may blend together. But a memorable trip from Chicago to the South in 1958 — in which he first met King and Jordan, separately — is quite clear. While studying at the University of Chicago, Harding was part of a pastoral team in the “experimental, interracial” Woodlawn Mennonite Church — where bright, young and idealistic members liked to talk about the struggle for racial equality. They were mostly students or recent graduates of the University of Chicago or the Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Eventually, the conversation shifted to: 4 | Feature

Historian, biographer and activist Vincent Harding, in an interview with Baptists Today, tells of a little-known meeting he arranged for Clarence Jordan to share with Martin Luther King Jr. his opposition to boycotts.

“Why do we keep talking about this? Maybe some of us should just see what happens if we did this in the South.” Harding described himself and his peers as “kind of crazy anyway.” So five young men — three white, two black — piled into an old station wagon and headed for Little Rock where desegregation battles had made the news. Some might call them an early version of “freedom riders,” said Harding. But “Christian riders” would be more fitting, he said, as their faith in Christ clearly drove their mission. After moving through Arkansas and Mississippi, the young men headed for Southern Alabama to a Mennonite camp. Finding interracial housing in the South at that time was very difficult.

BEDSIDE MEETING None of the five had ever met King, though Harding recalled having heard the rising civil rights leader speak to a large gathering in

Chicago. But on this September day in 1958, they decided to give it a try. “It didn’t make sense to be on our kind of journey, to be in Alabama and not try to make contact with him,” Harding recalled his band of brothers saying to one another. To his surprise, a bank of phone books in Mobile had the phone number listed for the pastor’s home in Montgomery. Coretta Scott King answered. “Martin had been stabbed by a deranged woman in Harlem on a book-signing tour,” said Harding, an event that hadn’t registered with him at the time of his call. “He had gone home to recover.” Coretta said she was uncertain if Martin would be able to meet with them, but for them to come on by. So they drove to Montgomery. Upon their arrival, Coretta went back to the bedroom to tell her husband about the young Mennonites. She reported back that “he’d be very glad to see you.” With King in his pajamas and robe, the five young men from Chicago

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story and photo by terri byrd


Alabama perspective Talking with CBF Moderator Colleen Burroughs BIRMINGHAM — In the late 1980s Colleen Burroughs and I met while working in the seminary relations office of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. David and Colleen Burroughs’ first CD played in our car.


he youth group I worked with at the time attended the first years of Passport Camps — and for many years that followed. In 2006 Colleen preached at my ordination service at Vestavia Hills Baptist Church in Birmingham. She is a ministry colleague and a friend. Colleen Burroughs serves as executive vice president of Passport, Inc., a non-profit company that provides integrated, ecumenical summer camp experiences for youth and children. She is also the founder of Watering Malawi, a ministry of Passport, Inc. that advocates for long-term solutions to extreme 42 | Feature

poverty and hunger through access to clean water, irrigation and sanitation systems in the country of Malawi, Africa, where Colleen spent her childhood years as the daughter of missionaries. In 2008 Colleen Burroughs was elected to the Alabama CBF Coordinating Council and then as a representative to the national council in 2008. She became moderator-elect in 2010 and now serves as national moderator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. She is a vibrant voice for missions both in Alabama and around the world. This conversation gives insight into the work she is now doing. Terri: Alabama CBF is blessed to have had wonderful people to represent us on the national CBF Coordinating Council. What has it meant to you to represent the voice of Alabama CBF? Colleen: I was very surprised to be asked because I work for a partner organization. The moderator at the time, Paul Byrd, said

that Alabama CBF wanted me to represent our state as a voice in support of the Millennium Development Goals. That is when I knew I would say yes. It meant the world to me to be invited to participate at the national level as a voice from Alabama, whose job was to express Alabama’s missional priority surrounding the relief of those living in extreme poverty. Terri: You’ve served in various roles and on different committees through the years. Now you are the moderator for CBF. As you look back over the years, what have been some of the highlights? Colleen: Serving for two years with national CBF comptroller Larry Hurst was the absolute highlight. My mother’s eyebrows were raised when I told her I had been invited to serve as the chair of the finance committee. My husband David keeps Passport in the black, financially speaking,

so I felt completely unprepared. But it turned out that it is a job about asking a lot of questions about how and why we spend the money where we do. And, I happen to be great at asking questions. I gained confidence reading the budget and feel like I did my job in paying attention to the finances. As it relates to the Coordinating Council’s oversight of the budget process, the Atlanta office has a clear system of accountability in place. It is as it should be. Terri: Your job as moderator is coming to an end in June, and I know that it’s kept you very busy traveling. What are you looking forward to getting back to? Colleen: I’m looking forward to being back in the Passport office more. The staff of Passport has been so great about taking up the slack when I’ve been out of town. We work a five-day week, eight hours a day — unless we’re loading up and setting up camps around the U.S. at the beginning of the summer, then it’s more. So the incredible people on our staff really have made it possible for me to do the moderator’s job. Right now, I’m creating a Malawi store for our night market for PassportKids … and I just love doing that!

Terri: Passport has been a vital place for involvement in mission and ministry for our youth and young adults. What do you think is important for CBF to do to keep our young adults engaged in the future? Colleen: Passport has one main rule when vetting the sites where our campers will do mission work during the summer. It has to be clear that what we ask them to do, in the name of Jesus Christ, matters. They need to know that their energy and sweat make a difference to someone, somewhere even if they never get to meet them. We have ripped up outdoor carpet, cleaned up houses that looked more like junk yards, and hugged kids that are invisible most days but feel loved when our teenagers are around. Those teenagers have grown up over the last 20 years, and the grown-up generation of campers wants to know the same thing about CBF: Does the work of the CBF matter? If they believe the answer to be yes, then CBF will engage them. If CBF doesn’t convince them, they will move on. Terri: We’re on the brink of a big transition in CBF life nationally. What do

you think are our strengths moving forward? Colleen: Our strength is the thoughtful living out of the gracious theology that birthed us 20 years ago when we claimed our individual faithful and free interpretation of God’s calling on both men and women. We knew who we were and risked starting over both to live into the truth of those convictions and to build a Baptist home where our children would have opportunity to live faithfully and freely as well. Terri: What do we need to work on? Colleen: I think we need to remember where we started. In many ways it feels like we have an opportunity to restart, only with a little more experience this time and a really great staff in place. I’m very hope-filled for our future. Terri: What is your biggest hope for the future of CBF? Colleen: That we will not be bound by fear but characterized by grace. I want to live into the biggest dream we can come up with and walk toward making it reality — like water in a dry and thirsty land. BT

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Profile for Baptists Today

May 2012 AL Edition  

Alabama edition of Baptists Today News Journal

May 2012 AL Edition  

Alabama edition of Baptists Today News Journal