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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 Christian unity celebrated at CBFNC gathering 41 FEATURES Vincent Harding: ‘Keeper of a story’ 5 John Pierce Pastoral Perspectives from Jack Glasgow 30 Students benefit from summer service 42 By Linda Brinson



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

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story and photo by john pierce

‘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

by tony cartledge, Contributing Editor

Christian unity celebrated at CBFNC gathering RALEIGH, N.C. — Trinity Baptist Church hosted about 1,150 enthusiastic Baptists March 23-24 at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina General Assembly. The theme, “The Heart of Jesus: That they all may be one,” was carried out in worship services designed to emphasize Christian unity, with a special emphasis on racial reconciliation.


eville Callam, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, challenged worshipers to seek closer communion with other Christians around the world: “God bless you if you do; God help you if you don’t.” Participants learned that 365 congregations currently provide financial support to and through CBFNC and adopted an operating budget of $1.5 million for 2012-2013, nearly three percent below last year’s figure. The full budget anticipates an additional $2.3 million in contributions through CBFNC’s Mission Resource Plan, by which participating churches support higher education, social ministries, new churches and several ministry partners, in addition to the basic work of CBFNC and the

national CBF organization. Total estimated expenditures are nearly $3.9 million. Participants also approved a report on a process for organizational review first commissioned in 2007. A task force was appointed to review CBFNC’s identity statements dating back to the 1990s. Over a two-year period, the task force drafted a proposed revision of the statement and presented it to the Coordinating Council. A series of listening sessions were held in the fall of 2010. Some aspects of the document were well received, but it also drew criticism for adding the Apostle’s Creed and recommending other creeds for study while downplaying popular Baptist distinctives such as the priesthood of

the believer and church autonomy — found in the original statements — in favor of the authority of the broader church community. The task force made some revisions and hosted a discussion at last year’s General Assembly in Asheville, then brought a new version to the Coordinating Council in May 2011. After considering the report, the Coordinating Council recommended that (1) the body should express thanks to the task force for its work, (2) CBFNC should make no changes in its current identity statement at this time, (3) interested persons would be encouraged to post resources relative to Christian and Baptist identity in a special section to be created on the CBFNC website, and (4) a process would be developed for continued conversation. Executive Coordinator Larry Hovis announced the formation of two teams to prepare for a 2014 celebration of CBFNC’s 20th anniversary. He also introduced a “20/20” giving campaign to strengthen contributions from individual members. BT

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by linda brinson


Chip Rotolo with his swimmers in Helena, Ark.


Students clarify calling, gain valuable experience in a variety of ministries Two summers ago, Kelly Brown worked as a congregational intern at Hayes-Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. He learned a lot about how to succeed as part of the staff of a church. He learned even more about himself and what God is calling him to do.


his summer, Amy Brown (no relation to Kelly) will work at a Passport camp. She’s an old hand: This will be her third summer on staff, and before that, she attended as a camper. Every year at Passport, she finds “a community where people daily encounter God.” Amy Brown. Passport photo.

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Chip Rotolo worked with Student.Go in Helena, Ark., last summer. He found that the hands-on work helping to combat rural poverty gave him “the perfect balance of guidance and freedom” to develop leadership skills and open his eyes to possibilities for service. This summer, he’ll be going farther away — working with Student.Go in Uganda. Kelly Brown, Amy Brown and Chip Rotolo are all students at universities in North Carolina. And, like scores of other students, they all have flourished in summer opportunities that fostered spiritual as well as professional growth. Kelly Brown laughs a lot when he talks about his experience at Hayes-Barton, a large church in the state capital, in 2010. The laughs are mostly on himself. Kelly, who’s from Fayetteville, N.C., is a senior religion major at Chowan University in Murfreesboro, in the northeastern part of the state. He’s also an only child, and, as he puts it, before his internship, he was “not a lover of children.” “I had no intentions of doing anything in youth ministry or children’s ministry. None of that,” he says. “The joke I made was that I was just sure God was not going to punish me that way. My campus minister, Mari Wiles, always said, ‘Kelly, I bet you’re going to end up in youth ministry.’ And I’d say, ‘I don’t know what God you’re talking to, but it’s the wrong one.’” Then he landed an internship at HayesBarton through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Collegiate Congregational Internship program. Using a grant from the Lilly Endowment, the program helps 100 college students every summer work in 10-week, full-time internships in church congregations. His job was to work with the children’s

minister. “I sighed, and said ‘OK, let the journey begin,’” Kelly says. It turned out to be a profound spiritual journey. “I fell in love with it,” he says. “It wasn’t like I was an intern. It was like I was a part of the staff. I was responsible for things. I got to help plan mission trips. I went on my first mission trip, through Together for Hope in Arkansas. “When I came back to school, I’m like, ‘This was amazing. I know exactly what I’m called to do: youth ministry and children’s ministry.’” In January 2011, Kelly began working as the part-time youth minister at Murfreesboro Baptist Church near the Chowan campus. He’s also active in residence life at the university, supervising a dorm of freshman males. He’s not sure whether he wants to try for a master’s degree in student affairs when he graduates in December, or if he wants to go to seminary. But he’s confident that his future will involve working with young people. “I’m just listening and trying to see what it is that God really wants me to do,” he says. “I wouldn’t trade the congregational internship for the world. I learned a lot about the ABCs of ministry, and really good communication skills from that internship. But most of all, it helped me to see what I wasn’t seeing.” Across the state, at the divinity school at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, Amy Brown is looking forward to working as the director of Passport Choices camp at Wingate University in Wingate, N.C., this summer. She was the director at Passport Choices last summer, and a Bible study leader in 2006.

Kelly Brown (left) with campers at Hayes-Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh, where he served as a congregational intern.

Passport Inc. is an ecumenical, nonprofit organization supported by several church groups, including the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Its aim is to provide mission education for children and handson mission and discipleship experiences for youth. Amy got involved with Passport camps as a youth through her home church, First Baptist of Shelby, N.C. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.A. in communication disorders and planned to work in speech pathology, but she felt drawn to ministry. After a summer working as a waitress, she entered Gardner-Webb’s divinity school, where she will graduate in May.

me for speaking to them.” In Chapel Hill, Chip Rotolo is finishing his junior year at the University of North Carolina and preparing to head to Kampala, Uganda, this summer. There, he will work with two full-time Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionaries as a part of Student. Go, a CBF Global Missions program that gives undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to “serve among and advocate for the most neglected people in our world.” Chip, who describes himself as “strongly driven” to studies of Christianity, sociology, philosophy and psychology, worked with Student.Go in Helena, Ark., in the summer of 2011. Guided by two full-time CBF

“I’m just listening and trying to see what it is that God really wants me to do,” Her experiences at Passport camps helped her find her calling as a youth minister. “I was a camper for a couple of years with my home church and loved the energy and experiences at Passport,” she says. “I knew that being on staff was something I wanted to experience. I learned so much about myself during these summers; I knew I had to do it again.” “When I was a camper, Passport was an eye-opening experience of finding Jesus and myself in the Kingdom of God, but honestly, this is still true,” she says. Amy especially values the opportunities Passport gives to women in ministry, she says. “Last summer, I would have girls come up to me to tell me that they had never seen or heard a female pastor. They would thank

missionaries, he worked with Together for Hope, a rural poverty ministry. Using an aging public pool near one of Helena’s public housing areas and a park as his base, he developed a program offering swimming lessons. Chip, who is white, enlisted the aid of young African American adults who wanted to help their community, even though they were not strong swimmers at first. Chip helped them to develop both their swimming and leadership skills. Together, they made a difference in the community, and they also provided an example of interracial harmony in what he describes as “an otherwise racially segregated town.” By the end of the summer, Chip and his crew took their swim team to a big meet

in Memphis, Tenn. — where they won blue ribbons in competition against established YMCA teams. “Maybe I was caught in the moment, but it seemed very much like a ‘victory’ for Helena upon seeing the reactions of family and friends of the swimmers when we returned home,” he said. Even more important, he added, “My team touched the heart of Helena locals.… We ended each lesson, each practice, each talk, and each day with ‘Put your hope in God,’ and we taught hardened hearts to seek each other’s needs through prayer and kind acts.” Chip expects that this summer, when he will be teaching English, computer and sports in Kampala, will continue the process of opening his eyes, mind and heart. “Student.Go promotes the idea of getting ‘Beyond your culture. Beyond your comfort zone. Beyond yourself,’ and the program has certainly encouraged me to think ‘beyond’ in terms of my future,” he says. He would recommend Student.Go, he says, to anyone who wants a summer experience that will offer new opportunities and challenges, new friends and the chance to explore “what is out there in the world.” For him, he says, Student.Go opened his eyes to “areas of social and economic justice” that he had not thought about before. But he does have one warning: “Student.Go will affect the way you live and think for the rest of your life … not in a cliché sense, but in an entirely real sense. If you can handle this truth, then I strongly encourage you to apply to Student.Go for a challenging, emotional, spiritual, rewarding and indescribable experience.” BT —Linda Brinson is a freelance writer in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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P.O. Box 6318 Macon, GA 31208-6318

May 2012 NC Edition  

North Carolina edition of Baptists Today news journal.

May 2012 NC Edition  

North Carolina edition of Baptists Today news journal.