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fellowship! Newsletter of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Vol. 10, No. 4

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CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal

Assistant Editor Rachel Gill ●

CBF Mission To network, empower, and mobilize Baptist Christians and churches for effective missions and ministry in the name of Christ.

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Editor David Wilkinson Managing Editor Phyllis Thompson

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Volunteers Turn TML Ministries Stretch Partner Schools Celebrate 5 8 a River of Death into From Homeless Spring Graduation the Water of Life to Homebound Kentucky Volunteers Former Muslim Now “Sock ‘em” With Love Touches Lives in the Persian Diaspora

Disaster Brings ‘All Walks of Life’ to God’s Table

Phone 770.220.1600 Fax 770.220.1685 ●

E-Mail fellowship@cbfnet.org Web Site www.cbfonline.org ●

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t was 8:30 a.m. when the phone rang. “Pastor, how can we serve hot meals to all those people hit by the tornadoes?” asked church member Cindy Camp.

It didn’t take Omega Baptist Church pastor John Spivey long to

respond. “Use the same system we do when there’s a funeral.” Just before dawn on Valentine’s Day, five deadly

fe l l ow s h i p ! is published 10 times a year by The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Inc., 3001 Mercer University Dr. Atlanta, GA 30341-4115. Periodicals postage paid at Atlanta, GA, and additional mailing offices. USPS #015-625

tornadoes struck South Georgia,

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to “fellowship!” Newsletter, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, P.O. Box 450329, Atlanta, GA 31145-0329.

food to victims, the

cutting a path 50 miles wide. Eighteen died. By noon, Omega Baptist, a congregation of 100, was serving media, politicians, (continued on page 2)

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CBF Disaster Relief ach year, CBF allocates thousands of dollars for disaster relief around the world. Some examples from the 1999–2000 fiscal year: • $5,000 to South Georgia for tornado victims

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• $10,000 to Zimbabwe for flood victims • $5,000 to Mozambique for flood victims • $15,000 to the Eastern Seaboard for victims of Hurricane Floyd • $478,000 for Albanian refugee relief • $1,140 to North Korea for famine relief • $47,000 to Turkey for earthquake relief • $25,000 for Chechen refugees • $5,000 for China earthquake victims In addition, CBF arranges ways for individuals to contribute to causes of their choice. For example, individuals gave thousands of dollars in addition to the funds allocated by CBF for nearly every disaster. See page three for ways that you can help disaster victims.

On the Cover — PAINFUL MEMORIES: Pastor John Spivey leaves the trailer park where a woman was killed when a tree fell on her mobile home. He carries the only keepsake he found: a shredded Christmas ornament.

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church members worked 12-hour days, sorting (continued from page 1) clothes and groceries and making sure hungry personnel, insurance adjusters and inmates from a nearby prison who were called for cleanup duty. people were fed. “We were lucky,” he says. “I slept right “I looked at those people from all walks of through the storm.” But within a mile of his life sitting in our dining room, sharing a meal, home and the church, the tornadoes twisted trees and my eyes filled up,” says Spivey. “I’ve tried to talk about it from the pulpit and I choke up. It is out of the ground, lifted water out of ponds and dumped it on what the Bible teaches– destroyed houses, that we are all welcome “I put a sign out front saying, and blew earth so around God’s table. But hard it sanded paint sometimes it takes a ‘Tornado victims, stop here.’ But I off cars. The wind disaster to make that think the biblical message goes a lot whirled papers and happen.” deeper. The true invitation of the belongings throughThe church building out the region. As also became a distribuchurch is — or should be — ‘If you cleanup crews found tion point for clothes have a need, stop here.’ ” personal belongings, and pantry items. “I they brought them put a sign out front — John Spivey, pastor, to the church and that said, ‘Tornado vicFirst Baptist Church, Spivey searched out tims stop here for Omega, GA owners.“We found clothes, groceries, hot legal documents from meals,’ ” says Spivey, “ a company 50 miles away,” he says. ‘and God bless you.’ ” An elderly couple in his church lost everyBut the congregation’s involvement went far thing when the storm ripped the roof off their beyond its walls. Spivey spent his time driving house. The husband had awakened and rushed between the church and the destroyed land and both of them out of bed to safety in a hallway. people around it. He delivered meals and clothes to those reluctant to come inside the church, such The next morning, Spivey discovered the woman wandering amid the ruins of her home looking as farm hands and factory workers from Central for hearing aids and glasses. He later watched America and Mexico. For two weeks, he and when they went back to see the remains of 30 years bulldozed away. “I knew they would want to say goodbye,” he explains. “But how do you say goodbye to a place where you have raised your kids, felt happiness, and, more than that, known security?” The landscape in the area is different now, he says, and in some areas, it looks cleaner, and better. In other areas, trees stand eerily askew, twisted into angles, tops missing. And people are different, too. “You can see it in their eyes,” Spivey says, “ the sadness. They’ll never be the S C O U T S ’ H O N O R : Boys from Scout Troop 641 in the Suwanee same.” f ! River Council made their way to neighboring Omega to help with cleanup. Photo by Mark Sandlin — By Phyllis Thompson, managing editor

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Birmingham Tornado Damages CBF Church n a recent Monday afternoon, 90 people — including 70 preschoolers — huddled in the basement of Birmingham’s Vestavia Hills Baptist Church while a tornado roared through the building above them.The storm lifted the roof from part of the sanctuary and adjoining facilities, cracking one of the sanctuary’s main structural beams, damaging the pipe organ and flooding offices. “But we’re lucky,” says pastor Gary Furr, “because no one was hurt and we were already planning to rebuild.” The church had saved $2.5 million and insurance will cover much of the remaining loss. The congregation, one of the leading CBF partner churches in Alabama, provided many volunteers for last year’s General Assembly in Birmingham. Member Barbara Vandergriff coordinated local arrangements, and minister of music Milburn Price was music coordinator. “CBF of Alabama has been wonderful,” says Furr. “Mart Gray (state CBF coordinator) contacted us just as soon as he could. Volunteers have been lined up to help.” Nevertheless, the ordeal hasn’t been easy. Says Furr, “We get through it hour by hour, day by day.” • For more information, visit the church web site via “ChurchLink” at www.cbfonline.org.

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F I R S T B A P T I S T ’ S Q U I C K R E S P O N S E : Within hours after tornadoes touched down, members of First Baptist Church, Omega, opened their doors to serve meals and begin sorting and cataloging donated food and pantry items. For those who couldn’t come to the church, members delivered food, meals and groceries. They also helped neighbors with cleanup and repairs. — Photos by Mark Sandlin

How You Can Help here are many ways to help disaster victims.Two of the most helpful are donations of time and money. • If you would like to make financial donations, please send checks clearly marked “Disaster Relief” to CBF, P.O. Box 101699, Atlanta, GA 30392.

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• If you would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer, visit our web site at www.cbfonline.org.

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Zimbabwe Requests Assistance ith much of the world’s attention focused on Mozambique flood victims, Zimbabwe has been largely overlooked, even though cyclone Eline and subsequent flooding of the Limpopo River have affected thousands. John Mazvigadza, executive secretary of the Baptist Convention of Zimbabwe lists the following needs:

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• In Masvingo Province, 25,000 need at least seven tons of food per day. • In Manicaland Province, 30,000 are homeless and without food. • In Chipinge District, 2,000 lost everything. • In Chimanimani District, 500 lost everything. The Alliance of Baptists and CBF have responded by contributing $10,000 each. If you would like to give financial assistance, send checks clearly marked, “Zimbabwe Relief,” to CBF, P.O. Box 101699, Atlanta, GA 30392. ■

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Volunteers Turn a River of Death into the Water of Life

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Relief agencies around the world airlifted victims to higher ground. They set up tents for approximately 4,000 in refugee camps around surviving villages. But there was no fresh water anywhere. Existing supplies stood stagnant, filled with waste. The first team of Baptist disaster-relief workers traveled nearly 100 miles from Maputo before seeing dry ground. Eventually, they set up two waterpurification units assembled in South Africa along a creek near Jantique, a few kilometers east of refugee camps. They pumped purified water into a portable swimming pool for storage. But they were forced to stay nearly 20 miles away because of the continuing rain. Duncan’s team did repair work on the purification tanks and distributed peanut butter, powdered milk and baby formula to refugees. Unlike the preceding team, they set up camp at the water purification site. In an area teeming with mosquitoes, there were no comforts. “But we were able to leave a camp for the team that followed us,” says Duncan. “There will be tents and cooking facilities now. We feel good about that.” The team, which provided the only pure water within 100 miles, was able to purify 20 gallons of water per minute by the end of their stay. Save the Children trucked some of it to a hospital near refugee camps. Duncan’s group stayed until another Baptist Men’s team arrived with seeds, machetes and gardening hoes for 2,000 families. “We were glad to be able to give two of their greatest physical needs — food and water,” he says. “There, water is not just water. Water is a ministry.” f ! — By Phyllis Thompson, managing editor

F JESUS HAD BEEN HERE ON earth,” says volunteer Dale Duncan, “he would have been in Mozambique making sure people had clean water to drink. We have to answer that same call.” Duncan, a member of First Baptist Church, Spruce Pine, N.C., recently accompanied five Baptist Men from Oklahoma, Texas and North Carolina to Mozambique where they continued water purification efforts begun by an earlier team. For days, following torrential floods caused by cyclone Eline and subsequent storms, more than a million people in southern Mozambique clung to trees, poles and rooftops for safety as the Limpopo River swelled nearly 80 miles wide. Horror stories spread throughout the world. One woman was trapped in a tree four days with her baby wrapped around her neck. Unable to let go of the tree, she could not feed him. When they were finally rescued, he was dead. In addition to destroying villages and crops, the floodwaters introduced cholera, water-borne bores, diseases and parasites into available water supplies.

W AT E R I N J E S U S ’ N A M E : Dale Duncan saves vacation time to volunteer with North Carolina Baptist Men. In Mozambique, he and four others purified water and distributed food to flood victims. Millions escaped the flood with only the clothes they wore. Families still search for missing members. In particular, women and children welcomed the fresh water, nourishing food and medical care they received from volunteer teams. Photos by K. Brown

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Volunteers Count

Kentucky Volunteers Step Out With Love

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Last year, after taking part in TML’s homeless HEN A KENTUCKY MISministry, the church started a campaign to sions group traveled south to help “Sock ‘Em With Love.” They collected 450 Touching Miami with Love minpairs of socks that TML distributed. This year, istries, they took a step of faith into a communiMidway started a T-shirt campaign and collectty totally unlike their own and experienced mined approximately 200 shirts that will be distribistry in a way that changed their lives. uted to the homeless. They also sent gifts for “For our size church, it was a pretty big step,” preschoolers affected by AIDS. says pastor Mark Johnson, who serves at Midway The collection projects allow Midway and Baptist Church in Midway, a town of 1,500. TML to continue an on-going relationship. And The congregation — the trips to Miami have increased which averages 150 the missions consciousness of each week — gathered the congregation and encouraged 25 people for last sumthem to get involved in local mer’s missions trip. missions, Johnson says. Sixty years separated Now that Midway volunthe youngest, 13, from teers have shared hands-on the oldest, 73. ministry experiences with They traveled to the Wynns, they keep in Miami-Dade County, touch by e-mail. Johnthe most impoverished son describes proudly county in Florida, how church members where, of the 2.3 mile-mail TML, find out lion residents, the poorthe ministry’s needs and est live in Homestead then respond. It’s one more and Overtown —the T O U C H I N G W I T H LO V E : Thirteen-year way Midway is helping to locations of South old Midway volunteer Katie Baldwin quick“touch Miami with love.” f ! Florida ministries. Dur- ly became part of TML’s work with at-risk — By Lisa Smith Jones, ing a week-long camp, children through her tender touch and freelance writer, Atlanta, GA Midway members told loving smiles. Photos by Mark Johnson stories, made crafts and played games with Overtown’s at-risk children. HANDS-ON Midway’s relationship with South Florida M I N I S T RY: began four years ago when the congregation During TML worwanted to establish a personal relationship with ship, volunteer a CBF missionary family serving in the United Gene Logan learned that even States. teenagers respond The congregation chose Nell and Butch to a pat on the Green, former directors of TML, because they back and encourwanted to help a missionary family who had aging words. children. When a Midway team came to Miami for a fall weekend trip in 1997, they were the first mission group to visit under the new leadership of Larry and Laquita Wynn.

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• Since the summer of 1996, more than 1,100 volunteers have helped with TML and Open House Ministries (OHM) in Homestead (see story on page 6). • More than 300 volunteers from 30 churches in 12 states have helped with construction on the new OHM ministry center. • About 100 local volunteers and 20–25 out-of-town church groups have assisted with projects at TML in the last two years. ■

A W AY F R O M T H E C I T Y: Volunteer Doris Logan takes TML’s at-risk children for a carefree day at the beach.


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A History of Outreach: The Missionaries

South Florida Ministries Reach From Homeless to Homestead

arry Wynn and his wife, Laquita, traded his position in corporate life to serve in inner city Miami. For 21 years, Larry HEY’RE 40 MILES APART, BUT was an executive in the they’re still one ministry, working together newspaper business before to empower and assist disadvantaged resicoming to direct dents of south Florida. Touching Miami CBF missionaries Bert and with Love MinDebbie Ayers, co-direct Open istries in 1997. House Ministries (OHM), an outLaquita was a reach to the Homestead/Florida bookkeeper and City community. Their partners assistant compto the north, Larry and Laquita troller for several national firms. Wynn, are “Touching Miami with CBF missionarL A R RY A N D L A Q U I TA W Y N N Love” (TML) through a sixies Butch and Nell year old ministry that Green, now working with embraces the inner city. Both are part of the South internationals in Belgium, Florida Ministries team in Miami-Dade County, an first led the ministry which ethnically diverse area where approximately 60 was initially housed at percent of Florida’s welfare recipients live. Central Baptist Church in OHM and TML share the common goal of Miami. In 1996,TML meeting spiritual and physical needs in their moved to a building adjacommunities. The South Florida Ministries Plan cent to the church. ■

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summer of 1998, the focus of volunteer groups had shifted to construction of the ministry center. Projected completion date is the end of June with a dedication ceremony on July 2, following the Fellowship’s General Assembly. Some new programs will begin by September. OHM strives for a holistic ministry that meets immediate physical needs, prevents people from needing assistance again and encourages spiritual development. “The thrust is prevention and education done with the love of Christ,” Bert Ayers says. Donations from partner churches, CBF of Florida and the hard work of volunteer groups keep OHM vibrant and viable. “From all across the country, we’ve received everything from bicycles to canning jars that we were able give to those in need,” says Bert Ayers. OHM volunteer groups get a taste of the big city on weekends when they drive to Miami and spend Sunday mornings helping Touching Miami With Love with its homeless ministry. The TML ministry center places Larry and Laquita Wynn in the heart of the city’s highest concentration of homeless people. “It helps groups see another side of ministry,” Bert Ayers says. TML — in cooperation with Miami’s Central Baptist Church — provides breakfast, showers, haircuts and clean clothing to homeless men, women and children. The ministry also includes Sunday worship, day storage for personal belongings and temporary shelter. Here, as in Homestead, along with funding from CBF of Florida and Atlanta, volunteers provide the hands and money for ministries. “More and more, people are becoming missions-minded,” says Debbie Ayers. And they’re becoming more hands-on. “They want to touch it and feel it if they’re giving their money,” she explains. f ! — By Lisa Smith Jones, freelance writer, Atlanta, Ga.

allows CBF partner churches to treat the two ministries as one, sharing financial, prayer and Open House resource support. Ministries Settled in an area that is more farm-oriented than big city, OHM began at the ert and request of University Baptist Debbie Church in Coral Gables, Fla., Ayers came all the way from after Hurricane Andrew devastatAlbania in 1998, to ed Homestead in 1992 and an become co-direcestimated 1,000 volunteers tors of Open poured into the area to give House Ministries. assistance. Prior to becoming Eventually the number of B E R T A N D D E B B I E AY E R S CBF missionaries, volunteers dwindled and the Ayerses had worked in requests for home repair dried up. But poverty physical rehabilitation. and unemployment didn’t disappear. To meet After working four years those needs, OHM, which had operated out of among Albanians, they several rented facilities, began construction on replaced Dave and Tracy an 11,000-square-foot ministry center that will Bengtson, who first coordinated OHM. house a free dental/medical clinic, prayer room, The Bengtsons are now food distribution/storage area, two childcare CBF envoys working with rooms, a conference/meeting room and offices. internationals in Miami. ■ When the Ayerses came to direct OHM in the

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How You Can Become Involved o receive a TML brochure, video or quarterly newsletter: phone (305) 377-8817; fax (305) 377-3855; e-mail <tmlministries@compuserve.com> Address: Touching Miami with Love, 46 NE Sixth Street, Miami, FL 33132.To volunteer at OHM, phone Isabel Saint-Gaudens, volunteer coordinator, at (305) 271-9636 or e-mail <Isaintgaud@aol.com> To receive an information packet or brochure, or to be placed on the OHM mailing list, phone (305) 242-1418 or e-mail, <75147.2632@compuserve.com> ■

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outh Florida Ministries has identified the following needs for volunteers: • Eight volunteer teams (25–40 people per team) to help lead four weeks of summer camps for children and also participate in other TML ministry areas

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• A summer intern/missionary from a CBF partnering church R E A C H I N G O U T W I T H LO V E : Larry Wynn (above) greets Sunday worshippers. At OHM, volunteers help with everything from painting to leading Bible clubs. Photos provided by OHM and TML missionaries

• Construction volunteer teams to help meet the completion goal of late June • Volunteers to assist with neighborhood prayer walks and surveys • Copies of the Bible in the Contemporary English Version (CEV) ■

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Fast Facts About Persians Homeland: Iran Population: 75+ million worldwide; 1.5 million in U.S. Religions: Muslim (99% in Iran), Jewish, Armenian Christian, Zoroastrian, 35 Christian churches and fellowships in U.S. Location: Iran; refugees/ immigrants scattered around the world. Highest U.S. concentration in California (estimated 750,000); second highest concentration in Washington, D.C. area (estimated 100,000).

The Tosans’ Prayer Requests

• That God will provide pastors and Christian lay people to lead Farsi-speaking churches worldwide. • For the Iranian Bible School, which provides Farsi-language training for Iranian pastors, missionaries, church planters, and other church leaders. • That IBS students will find summer missions opportunities. • For students ready for a place to serve. • That financial aid will be provided for students in need. • For Iran to stop persecuting Christians and open their doors to the gospel. CBF Resources: To order the Persian Unreached People Group Flyer, call (888) 801-4223 or browse the CBF e-Store at www.cbfonline.org.

Former Muslim Touches Lives in the Persian Diaspora

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In 1984, as the country became more and ICH TOSAN WAS BORN A more chaotic, Mich decided to leave. Although Muslim in Iran, the proud land of police at the airport were arresting other fleeing the ancient Persian Empire, Iranians, he found that buses were moving in where Persian, or Farsi, is still spoken. Today, he and out of the country freely. He boarded a bus, and his U.S.-born wife, Pat, are CBF missionaries and a month later, arrived in a Denmark refugee who live in Reseda, Calif., just north of Los Angecamp where he lived for nine months. les. Their work is to reach Persians in the United In Denmark, a group of street evangelists from States and around the world for Christ. Their son, YWAM (Youth With A Michka, also serves with Mission) ministered to them in their ministry. Mich. But his decision As a boy, Mich to become a Christian dreamed of becoming a came after Christ Muslim priest, hoping in appeared to him in a this way to help the poor vision saying, “Follow of Iran. “I saw the great me.” Later, as Mich contrast between the read these same words rich and the poor and in the Bible, his faith the corruption of society in Christ was cementand religion,” he says. ed. “I understood that “Change was needed.” the way to change the As a university student world is through the studying Islamic theololove of Jesus Christ, gy during the Shah’s not through violence reign in the early ’70s, or political power,” he the secret police stopped says. “At age 32, I had Mich on the street, quesfinally found peace in tioned him about a book my heart.” he was reading, beat him The desire to share and after searching his A H U M B L E E V A N G E L I S T: Although she became that peace with others home, let him go. After a Christian in her 80s, Mich Tosan’s mother (dressed still motivates him. In that, Mich joined a Musin white), was open about her faith, spreading the California, Mich and lim group who helped gospel to many others before her death. his family live among the poor and told them Photos by Pat Tosan 750,000 Iranians. that, in God’s eyes, all They began their human beings are equal. work in January 1996, by inviting Iranian neighWhen Ayatollah Komeini came to power in bors for tea. Soon, five women came to an Eng1979, he claimed to support freedom lish/citizenship class in their home; two weeks and justice for all. “But, in fact, later, they added a prayer time. A month later, he was doing the opposite,” Mich one person came to their first Sunday afternoon says. Universities were closed. Bible study. In May, 10 attended worship at the Students were killed, including First Baptist Church of Reseda. The Persian several of Mich’s close friends and Church of Reseda, which grew out of that meetschoolmates.

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Jesus Loves Muslims, Too t the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, USA and Iranian soccer teams met for the first time since the Iranian revolution. Forty thousand fans, including many from Iran, were in the stands cheering the Iranian team.The final score, a 1–1 tie, boosted national pride. For CBF missionaries, Mich and Pat Tosan, and local Farsi-speaking Christians, the game was an opportunity to witness. Christians placed themselves right outside the stadium’s main gate, giving away thousands of tracts, and hundreds of JESUS films and New Testaments. “Some responded they were Muslims,” says Pat Tosan. “Our answer was that ‘Jesus loves Muslims, too .’ ”

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ing, will soon celebrate its fourth birthday. It has an average attendance of 50. The couple credits growth to outreach with neighbors. They also meet many Iranians who visit California, then return to Iran and tell about the loving Persian Church in Reseda that has embraced family and friends. “There’s lots of traveling back and forth,” Pat says. “Even though we can’t go to Iran, these visitors experience the love of Christ through the Persian Church’s witness. They, and others who live here but go back to Iran for visits, take the gospel and love of Jesus with them to share with their families and friends there. The church in Iran is growing despite persecution.” As a way to reach Farsi speakers worldwide, the Tosans developed a nonprofit organization to send Christians of Muslim background as witnesses to their own people. Persian World Outreach (PWO) provides Bibles, videos and other Christian literature to Iranians worldwide. The Iranian Bible School in West Hills, Calif., trains Iranian pastors, missionaries and other church leaders in church planting, networking and theology. Email and a web site foster communication with Farsi speakers in Turkey, Greece,

Japan, Austria, Germany, England, Korea, Russia, Canada and Sweden. PWO is networking to help Iranians around the world. Two years ago, at age 85, Mich’s Iranian mother, who had thought she would never see her son again, came to visit. “He had the blessing of winning her to Christ and baptizing her,” says Pat. Pat Tosan Before she died, his mother became an evangelist. The couple smile fondly as they remember when Keith Parks, then CBF’s global missions coordinator, came to see them. Not knowing who Parks was, Mich’s mother asked, “Does he know Jesus?” The peace of Christ was in her Mich Tosan heart, says Pat. Like her son, she wanted to pass it on. f ! — By Rachel Gill, assistant editor. For more information, contact Persian World Outreach, 7115 Shupe Ave., West Hills, CA 91307, <persianwo @csi.com>, www.farsinet. com/pow/.

Adopt-a People n 1999, the CBF Western Region voted to adopt the Persian unreached people group. Later that year, First Baptist Church, Peoria, Ariz., took a leading role in the work. Member Joyce Reed serves as an e-mail “clearing house” for prayer concerns. For more information about adopting Persianspeaking people, call (800) 782-2451 or e-mail, <adopt@mindspring.com>

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Iranian Fisenjan (Chicken with Walnuts in Pomegranate Sauce) To order the free cookbook, Breaking Bread in a World Without Borders, call (888) 8014223 or browse the online e-Store at www.cbfonline.org.

1 cup water Add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the chicken breasts 4-5 minutes on each side until light golden brown. Remove and keep warm. In the same pan, fry the onion until just browned and stir in ground walnuts. Continue cooking 2–3 minutes before adding pomegranate paste, pumpkin, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 35–40 minutes until chicken is cooked. Serve hot over white rice. Serves 4–6

3 tbsp. oil for frying 4 boneless chicken breasts, skinned 1 onion, finely chopped 8 oz. walnuts, finely ground 1/3 small can of pumpkin (optional for richness) 4 tbsp. Pomegranate sauce (found in most Middle Eastern stores)

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P a r t Dn oe ir ns gh i M p iM s si in oi ns st r i e s

CBF Leadership Scholars, Our Future

Partner Schools Celebrate Spring Graduations

Joshua Stowe Logsdon School of Theology Hardin Simmons University, Abilene,Texas Background: Studied Biblical languages at Oklahoma Baptist University, was pastor of First Baptist Church, Atwood, Okla. About Logsdon: “After my first year, I fell in love with Logsdon. It was everything I had hoped it to be and more.The freedom to think and grow accelerated the process of my formation in faith and spirit.”

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Vocational Goal: “To teach the teachers.” Stowe wants to continue his Biblical studies in an academic setting while serving churches through pulpit supplies, interim positions, conferences and retreats.

Anna Virginia Dempsey Candler School of Theology, Baptist Studies Program, Emory University, Atlanta, GA Background: Majors in religion and English; former pastor Maxeys Baptist Church, Maxeys, GA

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EARLY 1,300 BAPTIST STUDENTS ARE PREPARING FOR MINISTRY AT one of 11 seminaries, theology schools or Baptist studies programs in CBF’s network of ministry partnerships. Many students bring the enthusiasm of youth to the rigors of seminary classrooms; others are older learners who gave up established careers to follow God’s call as already experienced church leaders. The Fellowship provides financial support for schools through its Baptist principles ministry group and offers scholarships for students and placement help for graduates. Each spring, schools prepare for graduation ceremonies. In the lives of students and schools alike, these are important events, marking the conclusion of one phase and the embarking into another phase of the ministry journey. To learn more about partner schools, see CBF PartnerLink at www.cbfonline.org.

Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond Tom Graves, president Graduation: May 27 Speaker: G.Thomas Halbrooks, Dean of the Faculty, BTSR Graduates: 48 Graduating class: 8th Baptist Studies Program Brite Divinity School Texas Christian University Jeff Pool, interim director Graduation: May 13 Graduates: 9 Graduating class: 4th Divinity School Campbell University Michael Cogdill, dean Graduation: May 15 Speaker: D. Hughes Matthews, South Wales Baptist College, Cardiff,

About Candler: Candler and CBF, with my relationship with Christ as the central foundation, have prepared me for ministry in a world DEMPSEY that needs to hear different Wales voices and approaches to Graduates: 32 God. . . so why not that of Graduating class: 3rd a female pastor?” Vocational Goal: Pastor or associate pastor of a CBF-affiliated church. ■

Baptist Studies Program Candler School of Theology Emory University David Key, director Graduation: May 15 Speaker: George Mitchell, former U.S. Senator from Maine Graduates: 17 Graduating class: 10th Central Baptist Theological Seminary Tom Clifton, president Graduation: May 20 Speaker: Carolyn Weatherford Crumpler, former Executive Director of Woman’s Missionary Union, SBC Graduates: 30 Graduating class: 5th Baptist House of Studies Divinity School Duke University Furman Hewitt, director Graduation: May 14 Speaker: Elizabeth Dole, former head of American Red Cross and former cabinet officer under President George Bush Graduates: 25 Graduating class: 12th

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M. Christopher White School of Divinity Gardner-Webb University Wayne Stacy, dean Graduation: May 13 Speaker: Paul Broyhill, CEO and President, Broyhill Industries, Lenoir, NC Graduates: 22 Graduating class: 6th Logsdon School of Theology Hardin-Simmons University Vernon Davis, director Graduation: May 6 Graduates: 6 Graduating class: 4th McAfee School of Theology Mercer University Alan Culpepper, dean Graduation: May 5 Speaker: Dr. Jimmy Allen, Interdenominational Chaplain, Big Canoe Resort; founding member of CBF Graduates: 26 Graduating class: 2nd

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Preparing Leaders George W.Truett Theological Seminary Baylor University Brad Creed, dean Graduation: May 12 Speaker: Dellana O’Brien, former Executive Director,Woman’s Missionary Union, SBC Graduates: 38 Graduating class: 4th Divinity School Wake Forest University Bill Leonard, dean (The Divinity School at Wake Forest University opened in the fall of 1999.)

uick facts about the 11 schools that comprise the consortium of theology schools related to CBF

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Enrollment: 1,271 in 11 schools, located in 5 states 1999 graduates: 198

S T U D E N T S P R E PA R E F O R O U T R E A C H : Lisa Orr, Kristie Sessoms, Diane Buie and Harvey Clayton were recently commissioned at Campbell University Divinity School before leaving for three weeks of ministry in Africa.

CBF contributions for 1999–2000: $294,000 in grants and another $205,000 in leadership scholarships CBF scholarships: 41 in 1999-2000

CBF Matchmaker Unites Churches and Job Candidates

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S STUDENTS seek ministry outlets, many turn to CBF for help. Michele Deriso is director of CBF’s reference and referral network. Her assignment is to match inquiries by churches and CBF-related organizations to candidates for ministry positions. Deriso asks each church to send a written statement of its ministry philosophy and a complete job description. Using skills developed as a former personnel specialist, she then chooses resumes to send to church personnel committees. “I find great joy in helping people find places of service that use their skills and abilities to their greatest potential,” says Deriso. “I want them to be in a place where they can be happy and fulfilled.” Individuals may submit resumes and churches can

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request information about candidates by contacting Deriso at (770) 220-1626 or <mderiso@cbfnet.org> or CBF, PO Box 450329, Atlanta, GA 31145. f !

Seminary Sends students to Africa

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AMPBELL UNIversity Divinity School commissioned four students for a mission trip to Africa during a recent emphasis on Bible teaching, discipleship and global missions. The students will spend three weeks studying African culture and performing service work in rural and urban settings with local congregations. Henry Mugabe, principal and professor at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Zimbabwe, traveled from Africa to Campbell to be part of the week’s activities. “The goal of mission edu-

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cation is to have students sharing God’s love with other parts of the world,” said Bruce Powers, associate dean of the divinity school. “As Christians, we have no choice but to be evangelists. That is what this week is all about. f !

CBF Scholarships Give Financial Help to Future Leaders

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CHOLARSHIPS are awarded on the basis of financial need, and commitment to serve in keeping with CBF’s mission statement. They are available in two forms: block grants given to Baptist students in schools supported by CBF, and CBF Leadership Scholarships given to students specifically supportive of the Baptist principles that CBF advocates. For more information, contact the financial aid office of the CBF partner school in which you are interested. f !

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Partnership agreement: CBF neither owns, operates nor names trustees to any divinity school or seminary. CBF contributes prayers, dollars, advocacy and a network for ministry placement. ■


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Places, Faces he CBF Global Missions Office recently announced the following staff changes, which will become effective July 1, 2000. Philip Hester, pastor of Northstar Community Church, San Diego, Calif., (see article,April 2000 fellowship!) will become associate missions coordinator for church starts. He will lead CBF efforts in U.S. church planting by assessing potential church planters, training and coaching approved church planters and assessing potential areas for church starting. Milton Womack, president of Cornerstone Programs International, Houston,Texas, an organization providing psychological and educational services to missionaries, mission boards and indigenous churches, will become associate missions coordinator for pastoral care and chaplaincy. He will assist field personnel with pastoral care and administer the chaplaincy endorsement process. Tamara Tillman, who has been serving as a missionary in the Middle East, will become associate missions coordinator for missions education. She will provide training for church missions education leaders as well as lay leaders. Grace Powell Freeman, associate missions coordinator for missions education will become associate coordinator for missions operations. She will oversee the work flow within the global missions office.

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CBF Blitz Finds New Ways to Connect came to hear about CBF. And at ECENTLY, CBF leaders the end of 1998, CBF of Texas “blitzed” South Carolina claimed 111 additional churches. Baptists with meetings in 28 With reports of such a succhurches and one YMCA. cessful effort in Texas, other “It’s too early to know longCBF states, including North term consequences of the meetCarolina, Alabama, Louisiana, ings,” says South Carolina CBF Georgia, Tennessee and MisCoordinator Marion Aldridge, souri, hosted statewide blitz “but it was a wonderful time events. for Baptists to think about Baptist life in ways they had not done previously. Texas: We went to a lot of The First CBF “Blitz” churches where CBF is • Presented CBF message in 38 churches still an unknown, • Involved more than 3,000 people churches where people • Raised the consciousness of Texas are committed to Baptist Baptists toward CBF principles.” Addressed “misinformation” about CBF • “It was a good week,” • Strengthened ties with Baptist General says CBF’s national NetConvention of Texas working Coordinator • Contributed to an increase of 111 Bill Bruster. He expects churches added to CBF ranks during the CBF in South Carolina next year to grow as a result. And he feels strongly that Future Dates: similar blitz events are Missouri: September 24–27, 2000 important for CBF’s Tennessee: October 15–18, 2000 future. Blitzes were first used during the week of April 29-24, 1998, when CBF of The North Carolina blitz Texas sponsored 35 rallies took place in September 1998. across the state to introduce “It was tremendously effective,” Baptists to CBF. Using the says Bob Patterson, CBF coortheme “Celebrate the dinator for the state since 1999. Spirit/Learn the Truth,” blitzes He estimates that nearly 4,000 featured CBF leaders from people heard the CBF message Atlanta and Texas pastors who during the meetings. “Many supported the Fellowship. The people came for the fellowship, meetings helped Texas Baptists he says, “especially in sparsely discover CBF’s new approaches populated areas. They enjoyed to Baptist life. being with like-minded people. During the five days of the And there was a lot of interest blitz, more than 3,000 people

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because the Fellowship promotes missions.” He and state leaders have worked continuously to build on the interest sparked during the blitz. By February 2000, “the number of churches and individuals contributing to CBF had just about doubled,” he says. “We have to let people know who we are, what we’re doing, and answer their questions,” says Bruster. “We tell them that CBF is not an industrial age pyramid; it does not work from the top down. CBF is organized as a molecular structure, one well-suited to an autonomous body, like a Baptist church, where everybody is important.” “CBF seeks to serve rather than be served,” says Texan David Currie, a CBF national coordinating council member.

UPDATE Village Baptist Maintains Focus

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ESPITE A FIRE that raged through Village Baptist Church in Bowie, Md., earlier this year, (see March 2000 fellowship!) destroying most of the church, members want to focus on ministry, not the construction of a new building. “Right after the fire, they met to discuss priorities,” says missionary Frank Dawson, who with his wife, Cindy, recently visited the church. “Their response was immediate. They didn’t want the ministries of the church to suffer.” Before the fire, Village Baptist, a congregation of approximately

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100, reached out to its suburban community through a host of ministries—Girl Scouts, Alcoholics Anonymous, a chemical dependency support group and Christian counseling —all of them housed in the church building. When the fire raged through the building, it not only destroyed the congregation’s worship area, but its ministry facilities. Immediately, the fire station across from the church offered its building for worship. Still, the congregation worried there would be no place for Sunday School and weekday activities. But the other local churches have responded “with a spirit of community unlike anything I’ve seen,” says Dawson, coordinator for unreached people groups in Russia. Bowie Alliance Church offered its building rent-free and rearranged its worship schedule so that Village Baptist might maintain a regular schedule. Other churches have agreed to house ministry groups. “And surprisingly,” says Dawson, “the congregation has grown not only closer, but larger. Some who had stopped attending have returned because they realize how close they came to losing something very important.” Perhaps the largest loss continues to be Pastor Bruce Salmon’s personal library. “When you collect books over a period of 30 years, you don’t keep records of titles or authors,” explains Dawson. “That’s what the insurance

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company is wanting to replace them. “And that’s not counting other things that are irreplaceable, such as sermon notes and outlines.” Shortly after the fire, pastor Salmon had to preside at a funeral. “He had nothing to draw from,” says Dawson. f !

To Help: BF of North Carolina is collecting and storing books to restore Rev. Salmon’s library.To donate books, contact: Robert Patterson, CBF of North Carolina, 501 West Fifth St.,WinstonSalem, N.C. 27101 or call (888) 8221944.To contact Rev. Salmon, call (301) 249-6448 or e-mail <villageb@erols.com>

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John and Revonda Deal, who helped begin the CBF Europe office and worked with internationals in the diplomatic community in Washington, D.C., before John Deal joined the global missions staff in April 1999 as associate coordinator for mission finance, have announced their retirement. Jim Strawn (see article, April 2000 fellowship!) will fill this position. ■

Thomas Joins CBF of Florida eginning September 1, T Thomas will become associate coordinator for missions for CBF of Florida. He will lead Florida churches and individuals in starting new congregations, and developing missions partnerships among churches and individuals. Appointed in 1991, T and Kathie Thomas were the first CBF missionaries.They developed and led CBF’s first worldwide ministry to Gypsies. ■

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T R A N S C E N D I N G H A R D T I M E S : Bruce Salmon preaches in Bowie Alliance Church. Behind him, choir members wear robes salvaged from the fire; in front of the pulpit is a cross that also survived the flames. Photos by Cindy Dawson S U N D AY LU N C H : Without a fellowship hall, members meet in homes for nearly all of their weekly activities, including meals.

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Bringing Peace to the Forefront ounded in 1984, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA) is a network linking Baptists involved in justice and peace issues throughout North America. Its board of directors is comprised of members affiliated with 12 Baptist conventions and five racial/ethnic groups in Canada, the U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico, plus representatives from Baptist convention peace and justice offices. The organization has no official sponsorship by any convention. Its primary purpose is to encourage greater Baptist involvement at local, national and international levels in justice and peace concerns and to help clarify understanding of such involvement as essential to Christian discipleship. ■ For more information, contact the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, 4800 Wedgewood Dr., Charlotte, NC 28210 or Ken Sehested at <ken@bpfna.org>, or visit the web site at www.bpfna.org.

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Peace Trek Seeks End to Sanctions

“Most U.S. citizens are oblivious to the tragedy, which one U.S. congressional leader has termed ‘infanticide masTEN-MEMBER U.S. querading as policy,’ ” Sehested interfaith delegation, said, noting that 70 congresincluding Ken Sehested, execusional representatives have tive director of the Bapnow signed a letter calling tist Peace Fellowship of “According to the United Nations, for an end to the sancNorth America, recently as many as 5,000 children under tions. concluded a fact-finding Four U.N. officials have visit to Iraq by calling the age of five die every month in resigned in protest of the for an end to sanctions Iraq. Altogether, more than one sanctions, with one of against the Middle Eastmillion Iraqis have died because of them, Denis Halliday, endern country. ing a 34-year career in the The delegation, trava combination of poor nutrition, U.N. Sehested’s group met eling under threat of contaminated water and lack of with Hans von Sponeck imprisonment and fines the most basic levels of health care who recently announced by the U.S. Treasury his resignation as the Department, found speand medicines. In fact, many U.N.’s humanitarian officer cial significance in sancbelieve the sanctions have caused in Iraq, citing the inadetions being imposed on more deaths than all the so-called quacy of the U.N.’s oil-fora land in which Abrafood program, created in weapons of mass destruction in ham, the common 1996, as his reason. ancestor of Jews, Chrishistory.” Delegation members tians and Muslims, — Ken Sehested, executive director, also met with Deputy answered God’s call to Baptist Peace Fellowship of Prime Minister Tariq Aziz righteousness. who reiterated the Iraqi North America The delegation saw government’s promise to first-hand the disastrous allow U.N. weapons inspectors try’s infrastructure destroyed, consequences of nearly 10 to return in exchange for liftits health care and educational years of sanctions and contining the sanctions. systems starved of resources. ued bombings that have virtuThe delegation’s statement represents the inauguration of a national “Campaign of Conscience” designed to broaden the anti-sanctions movement, co-sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the nation’s oldest interfaith peace and justice organization, and the American Friends Service Committee. Co-leader of the delegation was James M. Lawson, a United Methodist pastor known for his work in the civil T H E M I S E RY O F S A N C T I O N S : A three-year-old-child, suffering dysenrights movement as a colleague tery in the El Monsour Children’s Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq, is but one of of Martin Luther King Jr. f ! the thousands of casualties in present-day Iraq.

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ally cut Iraq off from the rest of the world. Visits to hospitals, schools, sewer treatment plants and other institutions demonstrated how Iraq’s water system has been poisoned, the coun-

Photo by Richard Deats

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Class Notes Worship Congress Held By Latin American Baptists

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ECENTLY MORE than 2000 musicians, pastors, theologians, and Baptist lay people from 18 countries, packed the First Baptist Church Niteroi, Brazil, for a first ever Latin American Baptist congress on worship. During each of the four-day congress, three different styles of worship were modeled— traditional, contemporary and renewal/charismatic. Evening services integrated classical, gospel and contemporary songs, liturgical dance, Latin American indigenous music and powerful preaching. “We do not worship tradi-

Sound Bites “While we give our dollars for world hunger — which we should do — we endure policies and politics that continue to focus greater wealth into the hands of those who need nothing and away from the hands of those who need everything. And perhaps only the church has the moral power to bring about change . . . .We have a great challenge to speak truth from the biblical call for justice, not from the claustrophobic posture of Baptist political correctness, be it the correctness of the left or the right.” — Texas Christian Life Commission Executive Director Phil Strickland, in a call for prophetic voices in Baptist life that will speak to issues of economic justice.

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tions or styles, we worship Almighty God,” said the Baptist World Alliance’s (BWA) Tony Cupit who pleaded with the participants, “not to demonize the way others worship. Let us celebrate that God by His Spirit has given others insights on worship.” BWA is a partner with CBF in missions and ministry. One of the most memorable moments was a public act of reconciliation between the two BWA member bodies in Brazil. Thirty-five years ago, 14 churches of the Batista Nacionales (National Baptist Convention) churches were expelled from the Baptist Convention of Brazil because of charismatic-influenced worship styles.

“I believe what is happening is a miracle of the Holy Spirit,” said Fausto Vasconcelos, pastor of First Baptist Church, Rio de Janeiro, “because we don’t see it as two conventions, only one, the Brazilian Convention.”

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At Wake Forest

“We need now to recover the prophethood of all believers, matching our zeal for the priesthood of all believers with a passion for the prophethood of all believers.”

a ‘D’ beside the name. ‘F’ stands for ‘fills me,’ and ‘D’ stands for ‘drains me.’ Then he just tries to make sure he sees more people who fill him than drain him in any given week.” — Texas pastor

At Belmont

— Christian ethicist Foy Valentine at a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission

New CBF Coordinator REG EARWOOD, pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Georgetown, Ky., recently replaced Larry Burcham on the CBF Coordinating Council. Burcham has moved from Kentucky to become pastor of First Baptist Church, Gatlinburg, Tenn. f !

Julie Pennington-Russell in an interview in Baptists Today

“We must remind our adults and teach our children that soul freedom is universal, that religious liberty is indispensable, and that churchstate separation is absolutely essential to protect the first two.” —Brent Walker at a service installing him as the agency’s fifth executive director

Overheard “A friend and mentor once told of how, every time he makes an appointment with someone, he places an ‘F’ or

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At McAfee Peter Rhea Jones, a veteran pastor and former seminary professor, has been named professor of preaching and theology. He comes to the position after serving more than 20 years as pastor of First Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga.

Brad Braxton, an AfricanAmerican Baptist minister, has been appointed assistant professor of preaching and biblical studies. He previously served as senior pastor of Douglas Memorial Community Church in Baltimore, Md. At the divinity school, he will also recruit students and develop relations with African-American churches.

Robert Fisher, vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas State University, recently became president. Belmont University, with 2,600 students, is a liberalarts school affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

At M. Christopher White The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada recently granted full accreditation to the M. Christopher White School of Divinity at GardnerWebb University. ■


Coming Attractions June 29–July 1, 2000 General Assembly

Orlando, FL Location: Orange County Convention Center Theme: Living Missions Contact: Connections, (800) 262-9974 for hotel reservations; Boehm Travel Companies, 1-888-3835816 for discounted flights and auto rentals. September 8–9 Regional Sunday School Training,

Virginia,Vinton Baptist Church,Vinton,Va. Sponsored by The Center for Christian Education & CBF Contact: Bo Prosser at (704) 364-2089 or <bozo64@charlotte. infi.net> September 22–23 Regional Sunday School Training,

Texas,Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas Sponsored by The Center for Christian Education & Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Contact: Bo Prosser at (704) 364-2089 or <bozo64@charlotte.infi.net> October 13–14

Incarnational Theology: Christianity at its Best

There were inspirational stories. Omega Baptist Church became a clearinghouse for all kinds of assistance. The congregation turned its fellowship hall into a veritable catalogued warehouse of supEDITOR’S NOTE: Although New Community plies. If you needed a specific item, they knew Church in Buena Vista, GA, has only 23 members, exactly where it was. With a big sign outside invitwhen pastor Jim Myers asked for volunteers to help ing folks in, they coordinated meals and assignvictims of the Valentine’s Day tornadoes in Omega, ments for volunteers and provided lunch and supGa., three-and-a-half hours away, 30 people per for anybody who was hungry. responded. “That included children,” he explains. Most important for me was a lesson learned. The group left on Friday at noon and I have always believed in something called, returned on Saturday evening. They in fancy terms, Incarnational Theology. spent most of the day helping a It simply means that, as Jesus Christ plant nursery owner. The following was God’s presence to us, so we who is an excerpt from an article are believers are to be the presence of Myers wrote for the Tri-County God to others. We certainly are not as Journal. Viewpoint perfect an incarnation of Christ as he was of God, but we are called to try. The truth Like most tornadoes, this one left is that all most people will ever see of God is that behind, among other things, a lot of stories and a which we allow to shine through us. lot of valuable lessons. The weekend we were in Omega, nobody asked There were, as always, the tragic stories. One about our denomination; they didn’t ask for our lady died after the storm dropped a mobile home theology. We didn’t have to pass any doctrinal on top of hers. An expectant mother sustained quizzes. Nobody inquired about our economic or injuries that required her baby be delivered at educational backgrounds. seven months. The baby died. We didn’t consciously go to be the presence of There were bizarre stories. The tornadoes took God to the people of Omega any more than did the roof off an elderly woman’s house and broke anyone else who volunteered there. But that’s what all the windows. She slept through the whole we became. thing. A family was carried in their home from We practiced Incarnational Theology. one side of the road to the other. All emerged It ignores a thousand-and-one superficial quesunscathed, their house unharmed. A truck was tions to focus on Christianity at its best: one perfound in a field with decals and tags identifying it son has an emptiness and another can fill it. as one missing from a dealership in Camilla — 50 miles away.

Regional Sunday School Training,

Georgia,Wieuca Rd. Baptist Church, Atlanta Sponsored by The Center for Christian Education & Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Contact: Bo Prosser at (704) 364-2089 or <bozo64@charlotte.infi.net> For a complete schedule of events, visit our website at www.cbfonline.org.

P. O. Box 450329 Atlanta, GA 31145-0329 Address Service Requested

2000 May  
2000 May  

2000 May fellowship!