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fellowship! C O O P E R AT I V E B A P T I S T F E L L O W S H I P


Providing Funds to Leadership Scholars

Church Connects with Missions Field Personnel

Baptists Today Celebrates 20 Years

Facing Uncertain Financial Times

Congregations Share in CBF’s Vision

W W W. C B F O N L I N E . O R G

River Provides Way to Share Healing Love of God MY FIRST RIDE UP THE SUNGAI RIVER

in Indonesia was on a narrow 20-foot,

wooden boat powered by twin, 40-horsepower outboard engines. The motors made a terrible racket — whether from the poor fuel or the wear and tear of use on the river, I was never sure. They vibrated and coughed, and my host constantly fiddled with switches and levers as he tried to keep them running. As we wildly bounced over swells and the wakes of passing boats, I was sprayed with the foul water of the river. As a Florida boy born and raised, I am used to boats and water, but I do not think my adrenaline has ever pumped so much. A couple of times I thought we would capsize, and I did not want to be thrown into this lattecolored water.

Field personnel photo

EDITOR'S NOTE: CBF columnist and missions advocate Patrick R. Anderson shares his reflections from a trip to Indonesia. Contact Anderson at <panderson>.

My host, and the captain of this small boat, was one of CBF’s global missions field personnel who, along with

in from remote regions in

his wife, lives and works with the people along Sungai

Indonesia. Further upstream,

River – people for whom abundant life would mean a

the river winds through clear-

meager rice harvest this year or an unlikely catch of

cut forests and becomes

some eating-size fish.

loaded with mining and

Near its mouth, the river is congested with boat traffic. Ocean ships enter the river from the Straits

chemical waste. In the motor boat, we

of Malacca or the Java Sea, the South China Sea or the

bounced through the traffic

Banda Sea, and come far inland, loading fuel oil brought

past people [continues p. 2]

Indonesian children play at the edge of the Sungai River, the source of both life and death for their people group.

Online Newsletter Now you can access the fellowship! newsletter online in a PDF format. Go to Newsstand/fellowship! Newsletter at


Courtesy of Frank Broome


Field personnel photo


who live crowded right onthe river’s edge in dwellings built on stilts that hang precariously over the riverbank. Young and old people smiled and waved at us as we sped by, giving me a hint of the millions of other people who live inland, out of sight from the river traveler. I was reminded that early Western conquerors, the Dutch and British among them, came into this same river hundreds of years ago. They were drawn by the abundant spices growing in the mountains, which were treasures worth killing and dying for in Europe. Nothing much has changed for the people along the river, it seems, except the fact that the river now predominantly carries death instead of life. In ancient times, the river carried both life and death. Conquerors from the sea and headhunters from the mountains swept through here on forays. Yet people have still drawn their sustenance from the river for thousands of years. Today, the river brings death in the form of disease. Almost all of the CBF field personnel provide milk and health problems among bottled water to even the youngest the Sungai are attributresidents living along the river. able to the pollution and waste of the river. Children suffer from waterborne parasites, and infant mortality here is among the highest anywhere in the world, not unlike that of other river people throughout Asia and Africa. Several times, we pulled up to the river’s bank to be welcomed by men, women and children as we handed out milk and bottled water. In the silence of the river, after the engines had been stilled, the sounds of everyday life filled my ears. I heard quiet conversations, murmured greetings to us and expressions of curiosity, the omnipresent sounds of coughing and wheezing by old and young alike, and the lapping of waves on the shore and against the small boats and docks sticking out from the muddy bank. I also heard what I later discovered to be the sounds of residents using the river as their toilets. As I studied the setting more closely, I could see small, thatched huts standing on slender poles with room enough for no more than one person. These huts served as toilets. Nearby a woman stood waist-deep in the river washing herself, splashing water on her head and body, filling her mouth and swishing the filthy water around before spitting

The Sungai River brings sustenance and also disease to those who work and play on its banks.

it out. Two young boys splashed and played on the muddy bank. Another woman squatted to do the family’s wash, rubbing the pile of clothing on a board submerged just beneath the surface. Two men pulled at a net they Missions Education had stretched into the river, and when it was Discover more about the river brought to shore only a people through CBF’s February few pieces of garbage – 2003 missions education and no fish – had been resources. Curriculum is available caught. Whether that for all ages. (Annual subscription was a blessing or curse, cost: adult and youth, $19.95; I could not decide. The children and preschool, $79.95. air was thick and hot, Shipping will be charged.) To and mosquitoes buzzed place an order or for additional all around us. information, contact the CBF The river is grocery Resource Link at (888) 801-4223. store, toilet, playground, highway and bathtub. Cultures throughout the world have found their sustenance from rivers. Many, like the Egyptians, considered the river to be a god. Even with the problems it brings, I cannot help but consider that the same river also provides a means to take God’s healing love to the Sungai people. Officially considered to be nominally Muslim, the people are living and dying without God. Coming into a village from the riverside, the back side, we were welcomed and accepted, much more so than if we had come in from the roads and highways that now crisscross Indonesia. Our field personnel seek ways to help provide a safe and dependable source of drinking water and to facilitate health care, disease prevention and sustainable agriculture, while finding relevant ways to convey God’s love. They need our help in reaching out to these neglected people who so desperately need the presence of the Gospel, the hope found in Jesus. f!


CBF Provides Scholarship Support to Partner Schools C B F ’ S 1 2 PA R T N E R schools have selected the 71 recipi-

Leadership Scholars Baptist Seminary of Kentucky: Brandy Albritton, Bern Kiser, Sonny Price Baptist Theological Seminary at Richond: Bryn Bagby, Vanessa Ellison, Daniel Glaze, Kathy Hulin, Michael Kellett, Stuart Lamkin, Beth Richards, Suzanne Stovall, Ryan Tucker Brite Divinity School: Patrick DeVane, Carl Gregg, Mandy

Nethercut, Aliou Niang, Monika Ringo Campbell University Divinity School: Amy Andrews, Amanda Blackwell, Rich Catlett, Beth Cockman, Jerry Layton, Beth Riddick, Michael Sowers, Rod Walls, Jeromy Wells Candler School of Theology: Mary Catherine Foster, Jeremy Lewis, Tommy Shapard, Anne Vestal Central Seminary: Katherine Brennan, Melissa Hatfield,


Courtesy of Suzanne Stovall

ents of the 2002-03 Fellowship leadership scholarships. This financial support is given to outstanding students who are planning for a ministry in local congregations or in missions. “CBF tries to invest in future leaders, working with our partner schools to identify students called to Christian service,” says Terry Hamrick, CBF coordinator for leadership development. Hamrick says CBF has committed a total of $355,000 for this year’s leadership scholarships, providing $5,000 to each student – $4,000 for tuition and $1,000 to attend CBF’s General Assembly and annual seminarians’ retreat. For Suzanne Stovall, a Mississippi native attending Virginia’s Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, the scholarship provides financial freedom to pursue her heart’s desire. “My passion is working with children,” Stovall says. “This scholarship enables me to attend seminary knowing I won’t be obligated to loans that restrict my ministry choices after graduation.” Stovall adds that she identifies with CBF in a “personal way.” In May of this year, she went to Kenya as part of BTSR’s missions immersion experience and worked alongside CBF global missions field personnel Melody and Sam Harrell in their urban ministry project. Tommy Shapard, a student in the Baptist Studies Program at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, is grateful for his scholarship. “This is a wonderful resource for seminarians,” Shapard says, “easing the financial restraints on those of us who work and attend school.” Shapard, a vocal and choral musician, currently uses his training to serve as assistant minister of music at First

Leadership scholar Suzanne Stovall sings with a child in the Kids to Kids program, a ministry for street children and at-risk children in Nairobi.

Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. He intends to continue in music ministry after graduation. While operating his own business, Jerry Layton felt God leading him into Christian ministry. After a missions trip to South Africa in March 2000, Layton knew he could no longer ignore his calling. Enrolling at Campbell University Divinity School in January 2001, Layton turned the business over to his two sons, who had recently graduated from college. “This scholarship will help free me from the financial burdens associated with a reduced salary,” Layton says. He plans to enter the missions field upon graduation and is quick to say that CBF “has been invaluable” in helping him determine the direction of his ministry. f! For information about leadership scholarships, contact CBF’s partner schools, or go to Classroom at Or contact Terry Hamrick at (770) 220-1600 or <>. Jeanie McGowan, Todd Pridemore, Emily Yeh Duke University Divinity School: Chris Aho, Rachel Olsen, Jose Luis Villasenor Logsdon School of Theology: Brian Edwards, Louis Paugh, Danyel Rogers M. Christopher White School of Divinity: Jill Awuni, Cody Davidson, Greg Hathaway, Johnny Lewis, Shirley Luckadoo, Jake Myers, Lee Norris, Carol Seeley, Michelle Wood

McAfee School of Theology: Mark Basehore, Laura Domke, Michael Duncan, Linda Mitchum, Alan Redditt, Andrew Smith, Ryan Tracy, Julie Whidden, Brian Wright Truett Seminary: Stephen Bills, Danny Cook, LeAnn Gardner, Tracie Gray, Eric Maggio, Carol McEntyre, Michael Mitchell, Rachel Sciretti, Cindy Wallace Wake Forest Divinity School: Bill Ballard, Ray Howell IV, Chris Towles. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2003

A C H U R C H ’ S PA R T N E R S H I P

with CBF global missions field personnel in Toronto may

provide the largest rewards to refugees who find a new home in South Carolina. That is the consensus of those involved in a unique arrangement between First Baptist Church, Greenville, S.C., and field personnel Kim and Marc Wyatt. The Wyatts, natives of North Carolina who work with refugees and other internationals in Toronto, are part of CBF’s international team. Since last year, the Greenville church has paid their base salary. The couple has made numerous trips to Greenville while on home assignment for a year, and just recently the church sent an intergenerational team of volunteers to work on-site with the Wyatts. So far, it is the only direct partnership between a CBF church and CBF field personnel. “It’s been a real joy to interact with the members of this church,” says Kim, who thought being on home assignment for the first year of the partnership might be a hindrance to a strong start. “But we found having that year to get to know one International Team another only Members of CBF’s international helped,” she says. team: The couple visited Cecelia Beck (Global Service the church six times Corps*), Toronto and met with memAnne Burton, Los Angeles bers of all ages. “We Nomie Derani, Dearborn, Mich. got to know them Dean & Karr La Dickens, North personally and they America got to know us,” Kim Kirsten & Stan Granberry says. “We were able to (Global Service Corps*), Paris lay a strong foundation, Butch & Nell Green, Brussels, and now that we’re back Belgium in Toronto, they are Josephine Holmes, North starting to know our America work firsthand.” Lynn & Mike Hutchinson, The church sent France its first missions team Brian & Claire McAtee, Boston to Toronto in midLita & Rick Sample, East Bay October. area, Calif. “What we learned is Kim & Marc Wyatt, Toronto that these refugees are * Global Service Corps field much like us,” says Mary personnel serve between one Wrye, minister of sinand three years.


Photos courtesy of FBC


South Carolina Church Helps Support CBF Field Personnel Living the Call

Mary Wrye (left, middle), minister of singles and missions at FBC, Greenville, S.C., spends time with refugees as part of an intergenerational volunteer team (above) who traveled to Toronto.

gles and missions at First Baptist. “Only because of unsafe conditions in their own countries are they now in the position of having to learn a new language and a new culture.” As part of the pact between the Wyatts and the church, Kim and Marc will spend significant time in the Greenville community. “They are seeking to listen and learn about Greenville-area needs, and how they can be of service in meeting the local mission challenges the congregation faces,” explains Gary Baldridge, CBF global missions cocoordinator. “That’s part of our commitment to CBF’s mission statement of serving churches.” Being a part of this kind of partnership was completely unexpected for the Wyatts. “We had no idea how it would work or what it would look like,” Kim says. “But after a lot of discussions, we saw this as a win-win situation all the way around.

Sue H. Poss photos

A Model Partnership THE PARTNERSHIP that First Baptist Church, Greenville, S.C., and CBF global missions field personnel Kim and Marc Wyatt have formed could become a model for other relationships. “From time to time, churches explore a similar possibility, but FBC, Greenville, has led the

way in making it happen,” says Gary Baldridge, CBF global missions co-coordinator. “Virginia Baptists and a private foundation have each stepped forward to sponsor one missionary unit in a big way; but among individual congregations, I don’t recall any others who have gone this far. “FBC, Greenville, provides a model we hope many congrega-

personal face on missions, Cothran believes. “I think the relationship we’ve established, their presence in our church, and the group that went (to Toronto) will heighten the awareness of missions throughout the world, and our members will be more generous in their giving and more interested in personal participation in missions,” Cothran adds. “Throughout the years, our congregation has been a missions leader. Our gifts to global missions are a good indication of that, as each year we are at or near the top in giving.” “We have already felt very supported by this church,” Marc says. “We feel this is our home church. This is our family. They continue to encourage and strengthen us. We feel they are a part of our international team and our vision. By the church adopting us, they really adopted our team, and they give support to things that happen all across the globe.” The Wyatts are thrilled that a church would have such a vision to want to exceed what they were already doing. “They see it as an opportunity to expand their mission vision, not just in other parts of the world but right at home – right in Greenville, South Carolina,” Kim says. “When that starts being a mindset of the people, that, to me, is a successful partnership.” f! For more information on partnership missions, contact Tom Ogburn in the CBF Resource Center, Dallas, at (800) 7822451 or <>. Or contact Mary Wrye, minister of single adults and missions at FBC, Greenville, at (864) 233-2527 ext. 145 or <>. By contributing writer Sue H. Poss, Greenville, S.C.

tions will consider adapting to their own situations,” says Baldridge, adding that such partnerships help CBF realize its mission “of serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.” “This partnership also helps CBF global missions by freeing up resources for other fields of endeavor and by giving a

potential handle to other congregations searching for ways to connect innovatively,” he adds. FBC is providing annually $45,000 of the compensation package for the Wyatts, and the global missions budget is assuming roughly the other half needed for field operating and administration expenses. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2003


“I think being able to be in the church and to see the energy and interest that we were able to generate for work with internationals has been a highlight of the partnership so far,” Kim adds. “We have been able to help them see that most refugees are not poor people, as we sometimes think, but just have had something terrible happen to them in their country that has forced them to leave.” The partnership provides consistent interaction between field personnel and the church. Not only are the Wyatts being supported financially, they also brainstorm with the church on how to minister to internationals in Greenville. CBF field personnel Kim “We think this partnership has really and Marc Wyatt interact with RAs and GAs at opened their eyes to the potential First Baptist during their right there at home, the opportunity they have to impact the peoples of the visit to Greenville. world there in their community,” Kim emphasizes. Wrye thinks the partnership will expand awareness of internationals who live in Greenville. “Even before we went to Toronto, we had church members to say that they were seeing internationals here whom they had not seen before,” Wrye says. “We are already exploring ways in which we can help these people become more assimilated into the Greenville community.” John Cothran, a founding member of CBF, chaired a committee that selected the Wyatts to be the church’s partner couple. “We always need to keep in mind the broad picture of missions, the needs of inner-city Atlanta to the furthest places,” Cothran says. But being able to identify with a specific couple through direct support and the special relationship they have created helps put a more



Baptists Today Celebrates 20 Years of Keeping Christians Informed B A P T I S T S T O D AY celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The national news journal is a

valuable partner with CBF because of shared beliefs in freedom of the press and in the value of keeping clergy and lay leaders informed about issues that impact individual and cooperative ministries. John Pierce became the fourth editor of Baptists Today in February 2000. Following are some of his perspectives on the mission of the news journal as it enters its third decade of publication. WHAT IS BAPTISTS TODAY? We like to describe Baptists Today as an autonomous, national news journal. And each of those words is important. First, Baptists Current Baptists Today editor John Pierce Today is autonomous. (right) discusses Baptist life with former We are not owned editor Walker Knight. or controlled by any institution or denominational body. Our board of directors is comprised of highly respected Baptist leaders who guarantee editorial freedom. Our sole purpose is to provide readers with a reliable source of unrestricted news coverage, thoughtful analysis and inspiring features. Second, we are a national publication. Our audience is Courtesy of Baptists Today


Meet the Staff John D. Pierce is executive editor of Baptists Today. Previously, he served as managing editor of The Christian Index, the state newspaper of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and as Baptist campus minister at several colleges in Georgia. He holds degrees from Columbia Theological Seminary, Southeastern Seminary and Berry College.


Jackie B. Riley is managing editor. Previously, she was a book editor at Smyth & Helwys Publishing, a high school teacher and a church staff minister. She is a graduate of Southern Seminary, Georgia College and Georgia Southern College.

broader than one state or even one convention. Our Baptists Today readers are most often affiliBoard of Directors ated with CBF and/or the James T. McAfee Jr. (chair) Southern Baptist Convention, Thomas E. Boland (vice-chair) as well as the Alliance of Jimmy R. Allen Baptists, the American Nannette Avery Baptist Churches and others. Wilma B. Cosper Third, we take our news Carolyn W. Crumpler delivery role very seriously. James M. Dunn Sensationalism is no more Jimmy L. Gardner accepted than censorship. William B. Greenhaw We work hard at providing Kate J. Harvey open, honest and fair reportR. Scott Walker ing of news about issues Winnie V. Williams of importance to Baptist Christians. We have no axe to grind nor a hidden agenda. We just want to deliver information that can be trusted. Fourth, we are a monthly journal that also provides what we hope is insightful analysis of some of the important issues facing churches and Christians today. And we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think the editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opinion is the only one of value. We welcome passionate, though respectful, letters to the editor as well Keithen M. as guest commentaries. Tucker is development Dialogue, we believe, is a and marketconstructive exercise. So ing director, diversity of opinions is coming from encouraged here. Wingate University in North Carolina where he served as director of church relations following 22 years in the pastorate. He is a graduate of Drew University, Southeastern Seminary and Georgia Southern University.


Both the times and the publication have changed since March 1983 when Walker Knight and other faithful Baptists rolled out


The conversation-style interview with John Claypool last spring brought more response than anything else published in my time here. And, we constantly receive affirmation for the quality design and professional look of the publication as well as the variety of relevant content. Of course, content selection is most crucial to our mission. We don’t simply paste up stories that have appeared elsewhere. The vast majority of what one reads in Baptists Today is original. Not everything in every issue appeals to the same readers. So we try to provide a good mix of features along with news and analysis. In recent issues, for example, we have covered PASSPORT youth camps; Laity Lodge; Liberia Baptist Seminary; the CBF General Assembly; First Baptist Church in Providence, R.I.; Tony Campolo; the “Left Behind” phenomenon; pastoral sabbaticals and much more. And that’s in addition to all the news and issues such as denominationalism, Calvinism and the shifts in missions. We like hearing from our readers. It helps us in making story selections for the future.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR BAPTISTS TODAY? Strangely, our strength is also our weakness. Freedom is fragile. In addition to revenue from subscriptions and advertising, we rely on gifts from faithful friends like CBF, churches and individuals. [CBF’s 2002-03 budget allocates $50,000 to Baptists Today.] We have a small, dedicated


the first issue. The newspaper was birthed amid the battle for control of the SBC and focused heavily on issues related to that struggle. It was originally called SBC Today. Now that the fate of the SBC is sealed, alternatives for faithful Baptists have emerged and only persons over age 40 can recall when Southern Baptist leadership included those without a fundamentalist agenda. However, it is a much more complex time for church leaders. Baptists are exploring their identity and seeking to partner with those who share their values and mission priorities. So communication is more important than ever. Baptists Today is a primary means for helping church leaders discover the options for doing missions and ministry in ways that reflect their values and meet their needs.

staff and are good stewards of those resources. We recently launched the “Friends of Freedom” Campaign, chaired by Jimmy Allen, with the goal of raising $300,000 annually for the next three years for operational expenses. Keithen Tucker, our director of development and marketing, is also seeking gifts to begin an endowment fund to secure 7 the future. Baptists Today, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that accepts tax-deductible, charitable gifts. Our circulation continues to grow. In addition to individual subscriptions, we offer a great church plan and the opportunity for donors to provide subscriptions to seminary and college students. We have a paid circulation of 9,400 that is growing each month through these church group plans. We strongly encourage churches, at a minimum, to provide copies to 25 key leaders so they can be well informed about the complex issues facing Baptist churches today. These subscriptions to key leaders 20 Years of have a great payoff when it comes time Service to discuss missions M A R C H 1 9 8 3 : First edition budgets, affiliations of SBC Today published with and other decisions. Walker Knight as editor. An active lay leader Offices housed at Oakhurst who travels extensively as Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga. chief executive of a large 1 9 8 8 : Knight retires and Jack organization once told me: “I am U. Harwell, longtime editor of a very busy person, but by reading The Christian Index, is named Baptists Today each month, I stay editor. well-informed about what’s hap1 9 9 1 : Board of directors pening in Baptist life.” votes to change the publicaThat’s our goal — to serve tion’s name to Baptists Today. churches by providing a reliable 1 9 9 4 : Publishing offices source of unrestricted news covmove to donated space in erage, thoughtful analysis and downtown Decatur, Ga. inspiring features focusing on 1 9 9 7 : Harwell retires and issues of importance to Baptist Knight serves as interim editor. Christians. f! 1 9 9 8 : Publishing office reloFor more information, contact Baptists Today at (478) 301-5655 or <>. Or write to Baptists Today, P.O. Box 6318, Macon, GA 31208-6318. Subscriptions are $18 for one year; $32 for two years.

cates to Macon, Ga., to rent space from Smyth & Helwys Publishing. Bob Ballance is named third editor. 2 0 0 0 : John Pierce becomes the fourth editor of Baptists

Today. 2 0 0 2 : Offices are relocated to the Woodruff Carriage House in downtown Macon. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2003


Uncertain Financial Times Require Faithful Stewards S O M E P E O P L E M AY N O T


think it appropriate for my first article in the fellowship! to deal with

economic uncertainty and anxiety. However, there is a need for a different message to be voiced. Every day I hear the anxiety that people or financial markets. I suspect that life was just as uncertain feel about the financial markets. The in Jesus’ time, when He told the parable of the talents in experts cannot grasp the volatility Matthew 25. The followers of Jesus lived in a world ruled of the market and the mix of good and by dictators who could end the lives of thousands with a bad economic news. If you type “economdecree, a world where storms, drought and disease could ic + uncertainty” or “financial + crisis” wipe out whole towns and markets. into your Web browser, you will be overSome of you have begun to think like the third servant in whelmed with the number of responses. Matthew 25: “Maybe I should be burying my savings and retireThe explanations are all over the map. ment funds in the back yard, or suggest that CBF add an investThese explanations are mostly related ment option to its portfolio called the ‘sock drawer’ fund.” to current events and are short-term in That is not what Jesus’ parable calls us to do. I have EDITOR’S NOTE: Gary outlook. My hope is to put the uncertainty always wondered what the Master would have said in a down Skeen, president of in a little different perspective. financial market. It would have been nearly impossible to CBF’s Church Benefits Recently, a financial journal discussed obtain the doubling returns of the first two servants in our Board, wrote the how the industry is in need of managers recent past. Then it occurred to me to take comfort in the following article. who have experience with falling marfact that the Master praised faithfulness, not financial kets. The current advisors have not experienced this. It gave increase. There is no indication that the Master even needme hope that there might be some value in my getting older. ed the resources; He just wanted faithful servants. Some of you will remember the 1960s: the tension and In times of uncertainty, we need to do our best to be anxiety of the Cold War, the hopefulness and energy of faithful servants with what we have been entrusted. Are we Kennedy’s election, followed by the trauma of his assassinainvesting those resources appropriately? Are we doing it in tion, and later the fear related to the Vietnam War. Then in a way that the Master would approve? In the parable, we do the 1970s, we faced the oil shortage, worried that OPEC would not know anything about the level of risk. All we know is the threaten our way of life. Later, we moved to an economy Master found the servants faithful. where Arthur Andersen was hiring every accounting graduate Are we, as church leaders and individuals, being faithwith a decent GPA. But by 1975, an accounting graduate with ful with what has been entrusted to us? Let’s concentrate on a 4.0 average could not get an interview. In the early 1980s, being faithful and leave the uncertainty and increase in the certificates of deposit were returning over 20 percent and hands of the Master. f! Contact Gary Skeen at (770) 220-1600 or <gskeen the government wondered if $1 bills were worth circulating.>. But then came the crash of 1987. In the 1990s, we were afraid Japan would own all of the U.S., and that the banking crisis and collapse of the Top 5 Reasons Why Members Choose Benefits Board Asian Rim would send our economy AN INCREASING NUMBER of members MMBB is a name you can trust. With into a tailspin. We worried that the are rolling over funds from other financial a 90-year track record in pensions, MMBB Russian economy and its Eastern institutions into their Ministers and has helped thousands of ministers and neighbors would stop the growth Missionaries Benefit Board (MMBB) lay people retire comfortably. CBB shares of U.S. global influence. Now, the accounts through CBF’s Church Benefits that credibility through its partner integrity failures of some key business Board (CBB). This is the result of changes relationship with MMBB. leaders have shaken our faith in the in the tax law earlier this year that permit Your needs are our needs. Because we U.S. corporate world. greater flexibility in retirement account understand life in the ministry, we tailor our I mention all this so we remember rollovers. Here are some reasons why products to meet your needs. [continues] that uncertainty is always with us, and members have chosen to roll over funds: our faith is not really in the corporate C O O P E R AT I V E B A P T I S T F E L L O W S H I P


Jim Strawn Helps Fine-Tune Fellowship Financial Processes J I M S T R AW N B R I N G S an extensive financial background

There is ease of consolidation with the safety of diversity. CBB offers members the opportunity to consolidate funds for easier management and the freedom to direct their money into a variety of investment funds. Our mission is paramount. MMBB’s mission (in partnership with CBB) is to promote the better maintenance of the ministry, manage the entrusted resources for the benefit of our members, and administer lifetime benefits and services


Stanley Leary photo

to his position of chief financial officer for CBF. As coordinator for finance, Strawn’s skills and knowledge match the goals and high standards of CBF’s finance department. “What we want out of finance is the strongest and the best — good people performing their jobs to the best of their abilities,” Strawn says. “We know what is at stake and we feel responsible for making wise decisions.” Wise financial decisions seem to be Strawn’s specialty. Born and educated in Georgia, he received his bachelor’s of business administration degree in accounting from the University of Georgia, becoming a Certified Public Accountant for what is now the firm of Deloitte and Touche. While there, Strawn connected with Cox Communications, beginning a career in the broadcasting business that spanned 30 years. Strawn learned about corporate finances while serving in several positions at Cox, including 10 years at radio stations in Miami, Fla., and a TV station in the San FranciscoOakland Bay area. After 17 years, Strawn left Cox to team with friend and business associate, Jim Wesley, forming DKM Broadcasting Corporation in 1984. By showing investors they were “management that could deliver,” Strawn and Wesley raised the money needed to buy seven radio stations. Summit Communications Group, a privately owned company in North Carolina, bought DKM in 1988, retaining Strawn and Wesley as part of management until 1995, when Summit sold the stations. Encouraged by their success, the duo put together another company, Patterson Broadcasting, consisting of 13 radio stations. Not long after Patterson’s formation, the era of radio consolidation began, making competition with huge broadcasting companies too difficult. The decision was made to sell in 1998, completing Strawn’s career in broadcasting, but not in the financial arena.

When he’s not in the office guiding CBF’s financial operations, Jim Strawn enjoys being on the golf course or collecting first edition books.

Retirement, although attractive at first, didn’t remain in Strawn’s plans. His association with CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal led to his addition to CBF’s staff in 1999. Strawn became CBF’s chief financial officer in 2001. He describes the role as extremely fulfilling, adding that he finds purpose behind his work. “Quality is our most important goal,” emphasizes Strawn, adding that he has confidence in the integrity and accuracy of the information handled by CBF’s finance staff. Among his accomplishments at CBF, Strawn cites procedures implemented for developing budgets, cash management systems that invest money wisely, accurate contribution records and development of electronic field reporting systems for global missions field personnel. “An organization like ours rests on good reporting systems,” Strawn says. “Financial reports — like budgets — are simply measuring tools. To truly benefit from them, an organization must have the ability to regularly view those measurements. That’s what we strive to do.” Based on past performance, Strawn looks forward to a bright future: “It’s with efficiency, compassion and justice. amazing what has been done at CBF in Rolling over funds into your CBB the past 11 years. Everyone has done a account is easy. Call CBB at (800) 352wonderful job of managing Fellowship 8741 for guidance through the process finances, and our staff will continue to of rolling over funds into your CBB fine-tune the whole process.” f! account(s).

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2002 issue of “Tomorrow,” a quarterly newsletter of The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board.

Contact Jim Strawn at (770) 220-1600 or <>. By staff writer Jo Upton JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2003


Congregations Join CBF in Being the Presence of Christ I N C R E A S I N G LY , C H U R C H E S A R E C H O O S I N G


to join with CBF financially as it carries out

its vision of being the presence of Christ in the world. Pastor Dick Allison of University Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Miss., says his congregation gives its undesignated funds to the missions and ministry budget of CBF because “we celebrate the idea of partnering with others rather than trying to own and control all aspects of the Christian ministries with which we are involved.” Citing examples, Allison says: “We are excited about the way CBF partners with theological institutions. We also affirm partnerships with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, World Vision and Smyth & Helwys. We are very much at home in CBF.” At Seventh & James Baptist Church in Waco, A Home in CBF Texas, Pastor Raymond Bailey says, “Participation and partCBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal’s nership characterize our latest book, It’s Time! … an approach to missions, and Urgent Call to Christian Mission, that seems to conform to the was written out of a community philosophy of CBF.” experience – the CBF community. He emphasizes: “The Vestal notes how the Fellowship Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has shaped him over the past provides a structure ... through 10 years. “I have found a home which our undesignated gifts in CBF, and I want others to join are used in ministry” — a me and help build it for future structure “of mutual trust” that generations,” he writes. respects “soul competency, Books are available for $9.95 separation of church and state, each, plus shipping, from the and equality of persons.” CBF Resource Link at (888) Bailey adds, “We believe 801-4223 or the CBF e-Store there is only one ‘mission’ of at the church and that is to do

Budget Perspective CBF EXPRESSES GRATITUDE to those congregations and individuals who help support the Fellowship’s missions and ministries budget. “Our mission and ministries budget is built around the strategic initiatives and priority


areas of CBF’s Strategic Plan,” explains CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal. “This budget is also a stewardship plan, spelling out how the Fellowship plans to use the contributions we receive from individuals and churches.” CBF’s 2002-03 budget of $19.28 million reflects twin

the will of Christ. The many facets of that mission are expressed in our local work – worship, education, justice, care for the weak and our cooperative efforts. We partner with local churches, including those of other faiths, and secular agen- Emmanuel Baptist Church, Alexandria, La. cies to do the work of Christ. We also take two special mission offerings each year and distribute them to appropriate venues such as the CBF Offering for Global Missions.” Larry Taylor, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria, La., says his church has been giving to CBF missions for several years. “Once a year, as members sign their pledge cards for the coming year, they have the option to choose their missions gift vehicle. The number of people choosing CBF has continued to increase each year.” Taylor explains that his congregation makes a unified decision regarding what percentage of undesignated receipts leaves the church for missions. “Giving people choices has worked nicely for us,” he says. “The more information people receive, the more they seem to choose CBF.” f! By contributing writer Gay Campbell, Atlanta

priorities: a commitment to the ministry partners who are a vital part of the Fellowship network and the provision of financial resources needed to implement the Strategic Plan goals.

If you would like to help support CBF’s missions and ministries budget, a contribution envelope for

that purpose is included in this fellowship! issue. To download a budget brochure, go to About CBF/Budget at www. Or order up to 50 additional copies from the CBF Resource Link at (888) 801-4223. Brochures are free while supplies last.


I’m a Jimmy Carter Kind of Baptist: A Personal Reflection of Joy T H E A N N O U N C E M E N T T H AT

President Jimmy Carter was to receive the Nobel Peace Prize 11

awakened in me a great surge of emotion. It was also a reminder of how much his life and ministry have impacted mine, and how much joy he has brought through the years. That

I was 32 years old when he was elected president of the United States. He represented everything I believed a president should be. He was an unashamed Christian, a fact that caused him much ridicule and misunderstanding. He was both evangelical and ecumenical, and, on top of all that, he was a Baptist. His faith was profoundly personal, but it was not private. He was a churchman, a lay preacher and a serious student of Scripture. I could hardly believe it when he was elected president, but my joy was abounding. A year or two later when the Southern Baptist Convention inaugurated Bold Mission Thrust, I remember hearing the president give a personal testimony via satellite at an annual meeting. The joy of being engaged in global missions with the personal involvement of Jimmy Carter brought great joy. When the J I M M Y C A R T E R ’ S L I F E has Camp David been a light among us. His social Accords were signed, I conscience is born out of a biblical remember faith: doing justice, loving mercy watching on television as and walking humbly with God. Anwar Sadat — C B F C O O R D I N A T O R D A N I E L V E S TA L and Menachem Begin stood together with President Carter between them. I will never forget the picture of a Jew, a Muslim and a Christian embracing one another in celebration of peace and reconciliation. I wept with joy. When President Carter was not re-elected, my joy turned to disappointment. But his courage and resolve led to an even deeper and different kind of joy. In the years following his presidency, I have read nearly all the books he has written, observed his involvement in Habitat for Humanity, watched the establishment and functioning of The Carter Center, and been inspired by his tireless efforts in working for social, economic and political justice.

Jimmy Carter’s life has been a light among us. His social conscience is born out of a biblical faith: doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God. Through the years, his example of “hands-on” missions involvement, advocacy for the poor and powerless, and commitment to racial reconciliation Daniel Vestal greets former President Jimmy Carter during the 2001 CBF General Assembly. and human rights has challenged and convicted me as to how little I do. His personal integrity and partnership with Rosalynn have been an example and blessing to my wife, Earlene, and me. President Carter’s efforts on behalf of the Baptist family have been significant. He is a faithful member of the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga. He has supported a number of Baptist institutions and organizations. He has made numerous attempts to create understanding and foster healing among Baptists. He has convened and moderated meetings with Baptist leaders, written letters, made phone calls and given great energy and effort to restore broken relationships. He has been a supporter and friend of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and a personal encourager to me. Often people will ask, “What kind of a Baptist are you?” I gladly respond, “I’m a Jimmy Carter kind of Baptist.” f!

Mark Sandlin photo

famous smile is contagious and irrepressible.

By CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2003


State and Regional Roundup News and Notes from Around the Nation FLORIDA luncheon in Pensacola at the New World Landing Restaurant. Brenda Lisenby, CBF global missions field personnel in China, spoke on her work, issuing an invitation for attendees to visit the area. CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal shared his thoughts on CBF’s beginning, saying it was “the result of God’s amazing grace.” T Thomas, CBF of Florida missions coordinator, encouraged participation in various missions partnerships in Florida and elsewhere.

TENNESSEE T E N N E S S E E C B F observed its 10th

anniversary Nov. 11, using the theme “Celebrating Our Freedom, Faith and Future.” Woodmont Baptist Church, Nashville, hosted the event, as 200

GEORGIA M O R E T H A N 1 , 0 0 0 people attended the CBF of Georgia Fall Convocation Nov. 10-11. The Taliaferro County Initiative received $25,000 in pledges and $4,000 in cash, and the Chamblee-Doraville Ministry Center received $1,900 in contributions. In addition, a large number of theological books were collected for the Baptist Institute in Bosnia. Robert Richardson, CBF of Georgia’s volunteer assistant to the coordinator for reference and referral, recently traveled with Terry Brooks of South Carolina, Rick Jordan of North Carolina, and Clarissa Strickland of national CBF to McAfee School of Theology, Gardner-Webb, Duke, Wake Forest and Campbell universities to interview students interested in future ministry placement. Gainesville First Baptist Church will host the CBF of Georgia General Assembly on March 7-9, 2003. Maurice Boyd, minister of The City Church, New York, will be the speaker.


its Fellowship Gathering in October. The luncheon at University Heights C O O P E R AT I V E B A P T I S T F E L L O W S H I P

Courtesy of TCBF


Baptist Church in Springfield was attended by 85 people. CBFMO Moderator June Brown presented Larry Johnson of The Baptist Home with a check for $1,553. Doyle Sager, pastor at First Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Mo., delivered an inspiring message to the group.

C B F O F F L O R I D A held its annual

Coordinator Ircel Harrison (l-r) and previous coordinators Bill Junker, Lila Body, Lloyd Householder and Monty Jordan (not pictured) were recognized for their service to TCBF.

people gathered to honor the organizers of TCBF and to commission two Tennessee natives as CBF global missions field personnel. Jerry Mantooth, pastor of Monte Vista Baptist Church, Maryville, brought the message on the importance and challenges of being part of TCBF. Reba Cobb, CBF Resource Center coordinator, represented national CBF.

TEXAS C B F T E X A S held its Coordinating

Council meeting Nov. 10-11 at First Baptist Church, Waco. The Council approved a motion from Denny Brown of the finance committee to adopt finance policies and a budget, and one from Phill Martin of the personnel

Coming Attractions Jan. 29--Feb. 1 current: Connecting Young Baptists Retreat Woodlands Conference Center Williamsburg, Va. Contact: Valerie Burton, <avburton@bell> or Mary McCoy, (770) 220-1637, <> Feb. 1 A New Model For Children’s Sunday School Athens First Baptist Church Athens, Ga. Cost: $25 per person for four workshops Contact: Frank Granger, (706) 548-1359 Feb. 19 Spring Lectureship Central Seminary Kansas City, Kan. Speaker: James H. Charlesworth Theme: Dead Sea Scrolls Contact: Shirley Wallace, (913) 371-5313, ext. 111 Feb. 17--19 William L. Self Preaching Lectures Cecil B. Day Hall, Mercer University Atlanta, Ga. Leader: Walter Brueggemann Cost: $65 Contact: Diane Frazier, (678) 547-6470

For a complete schedule of events, go to Community/Calendar at

subcommittee to launch a search for a full-time coordinator. Discussions included the identity/vision of CBF Texas and a conversation with special guest Keith Parks about the proposed Baptist General Convention of Texas Missions Network. Judy Battles, administrative coordinator, reported that CBF Texas – now incorporated with the state of Texas due to the dedicated work of Randy Fields – has also brought World Vision in-kind assistance to Texas flood victims. A missions committee was appointed with David Wright as chair.


Clearys Retire from Fulfilling, Diverse Missions Ministry “There is a lot of joy being a missionary,” Joyce said. “I’m really glad we answered God’s call and didn’t miss out on the experience.” After pastoring churches in Florida in the late 1960s, the Clearys went to Austria as missionaries with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Foreign Mission Board from 1971 to 1980. They returned to Florida from 1981 to 1990 and served as campus ministers for the Florida Baptist Convention at the University of South Florida. They returned overseas in 1990, serving in Poland, first through the Foreign Mission Board and then as CBF global missions field personnel from 1993 to 2000. Since February of 2000, the Clearys have been working with two CBF ministries in Miami – Touching


Ben McDade photo

O N D E C . 3 1 , CBF global missions field personnel Joyce and Tom Cleary retired after concluding a more than 30-year ministry. They most recently served in Miami’s inner-city neighborhoods. In retirement, the Clearys will live in Tampa, Fla., and spend time with family, especially their young granddaughters. They will work on renovations to their townhouse; look for ways to plug into their new church home, Bayshore Baptist Church; and as always, share God’s love with those around them however they can. The Clearys have been enriched through their years of ministry, and they will continue to do missions education, letting people know that, as Tom puts it, “Missionaries don’t cry themselves to sleep every night.”

CBF Global Missions Co-coordinator Gary Baldridge (center) makes a presentation to retiring field personnel Tom and Joyce Cleary.

Miami With Love and Open House Ministries. Initially, they planned to retire in 2000 to spend time with their two sons’ families, but CBF Global Missions Co-coordinators Barbara and Gary Baldridge convinced them that the ministries in Miami could benefit from their experience. “It was an easy decision to go to Miami,” Overheard: Sound Bites from Baptist Life Tom said. “No less than in Austria and Poland, I A M I N T E N S E LY grateful for those that pray for me. Prayer that they offer changes me, we experienced a change changes my perspective, changes people around me and changes my life. of culture by going to — Lita Sample, who serves with her husband, Rick, as CBF global missions field personnel among Miami. There internationals in the East Bay area of California is a fine team in place there, and it gave us a I D O N ’ T T H I N K God ever stopped calling men and women. We just stopped nurturing new look into the urban and cultivating it. life.” — Curtis Freeman, director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke Divinity School (a CBF partner), The Clearys especiting the failure of churches and pastors to help students amplify and interpret their ministry calling cially like to recount the T H E C E N T E R I S Jesus Christ, who never once said, ‘say after me,’ but commanded, stories of their young ‘follow me.’ friend, Keyshawn, who — Phyllis Rodgerson Pleasants, a church history professor at Baptist Theological Seminary at displayed bad behavior Richmond (a CBF partner school), explaining that experiencing Christ in community is more valid to and anger toward everypostmodernists than rational appeals based on the authority of texts or doctrines one at the TML afterschool program. One day M A N Y O F T H E missionaries we know didn’t have a problem signing the ‘Baptist Faith and while making a leather Message’ because they looked on it like signing a contract with any corporation you would work for. bracelet during a craft — Tim Webb, who, along with his wife, Jan, recently resigned as Southern Baptist International time, Keyshawn showed Mission Board missionaries to Mexico rather than endorse the 2000 “Baptist Faith and Message” evidence that, while

“ “



he struggled to work through all of the issues of coming from an abusive home with a mother addicted to crack cocaine, he was recognizing some of the truths the Clearys and others were trying to communicate. “He said he didn’t want to put his name on the bracelet, and he was pretty adamant about it,” Tom said. “He wanted to put ‘Jesus,’ because he said, ‘Jesus is my friend.’” As they look back on their experiences overseas and at home in Florida, it may be their last stop in Miami that ultimately proves to be the most life-changing. “When we served overseas in Austria and Poland, we ministered to mostly educated people who had some means,” said Joyce. “In Miami, we gained new insights into poverty and the hopelessness that accompanies it. We feel like in just two and a half years, God gave us a special love for the people there. The work in Miami was so precious to us.”

Educators to Explore Being ‘True Survivor’ C B F W I L L S P O N S O R the third

Class Notes At BTSR. A Virginia Baptist couple has made a commitment of $1 million to the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond to help retire the debt on the seminary’s main campus building. Concerned about the $2 million debt on the building that BTSR purchased in 1997, the donors, who wish to remain anonymous, have agreed to retire one-half of the amount, with the hope that the gift will encourage others to provide the


annual gathering for Christian educators March 2-5 at Bayshore Baptist Church in Tampa, Fla. The conference for ministers of education, age-group ministers and all education staff ministers focuses on the theme “True Survivor.” With time for fellowship, reflection and interaction with colleagues, the conference will provide four interactive discussion times. CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal will be the banquet keynote speaker. Cost per participant is $50. To register, contact Bo Prosser at (770) 220-1600 or <>.

Academy Develops Youth Theological Reflection THE YOUTH THEOLOGICAL

Initiative (YTI) Summer Academy will welcome 54 rising high school seniors to Emory University in Atlanta for a four-week experience in Christian theological education during summer 2003. The goal of the YTI Summer Academy is to develop theological reflection among youth for the benefit of church and society. The YTI will gather a community

remaining $1 million needed. Over the past five years, the Virginia seminary has purchased three buildings from Union Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education. At Logsdon. Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon School of Theology celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. A major gift in 1982 made possible the creation of the theology school. At McAfee and Truett. Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary and McAfee School of Theology

of youth and adult learners to: • explore the relationship of theology to contemporary society and imagine new possibilities for the public good; • worship together with the YTI community and make pilgrimages to worship with a variety of Christian congregations and with other religious communities; • encounter people whose lives and work have been deeply shaped by their faith; • serve the city of Atlanta by investigating issues such as homelessness, health care, the environment, racism, AIDS and criminal justice; • explore the Emory campus; and • share dreams and perspectives and sing, dance, read poetry, play and feast together. YTI participants must be present for the entire program, arriving on June 28 and departing on July 26. It is not possible to participate in other programs (e.g. sports camps, music groups) that are concurrent with YTI. Every youth admitted to the YTI Summer Academy receives a full scholarship for tuition, room and

at Mercer University have been fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Both are accredited for five years, the longest period of time the ATS gives for a first-time accreditation. Truett’s accreditation covers the master of divinity program and gives preliminary approval to the school’s doctor of ministry program. The ATS gave McAfee associate status in June 2000, the earliest date it could qualify under accreditation guidelines.

Both schools are also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. ATS accreditation will allow them to qualify for grants. It also means that graduates of the school can be accepted into other accredited schools.

For more information about CBF partner schools, go to Classroom or Community/Networking/ Partners at www.

For more information or to request an application packet, call (404) 7129160, e-mail <>, or write: Youth Theological Initiative, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322. Download an application from the Web at: http://

Volunteers Needed for China Opportunities C B F I S O F F E R I N G two volunteer

ministry opportunities in China: • Student Cultural Exchange (tentative dates, July 16–Aug. 5). Three-week program in partnership with Chinese universities. College students will study Chinese culture while helping Chinese students improve their English skills. • 2003 China Bound: Summer English Program (tentative dates, June 30–Aug. 3). Program to help Chinese middle and high school English teachers improve their conversational English. Up to 100 volunteers needed. Estimated cost of trip: $2,400, by March 15, $2,600 after March 15, due by May 1. This includes air transportation, lodging, meals, airport exit fees, a Chinese visa, medical insurance, and orientation in China. Passports are to be obtained at volunteers’ expense.

A non-refundable $200 deposit is due by April 15. For more information, contact Ann and David Wilson, CBF volunteer

For more information, contact BWIM at (913) 321-6864 or <>. For more information about the

assistants-China, at (989) 835-1536 or

assembly, go to Community/General

<>, or go to

Assembly at


Auxiliary Events Enrich 2003 General Assembly



S E V E R A L A U X I L I A R Y E V E N T S at

the 2003 General Assembly will enrich the experience for participants as they prepare to explore the theme: “It’s Time! Being the Presence of Christ.” The CBF General Assembly will be June 26-28 in Charlotte, N.C. The Congregational Leadership Institute, scheduled for June 26, will be led by Brian McLaren, founding pastor at Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Md. McLaren will discuss “The Church on the Other Side,” answering the questions: How does the church make the transition to viability and effectiveness in the 21st century? What strategies are needed in moving toward accomplishing God’s mission? What kind of leaders are needed to guide this transition? Registration for the Leadership Institute is $45 for one person, $40 each for three or more from the same church and $40 each for full-time students. Registration deadline is May 15. For more information, contact Mary McCoy at (770) 220-1637 or <>. Baptist Women in Ministry will hold a 20th Year Celebration Banquet on the evening of Wednesday, June 25, at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. With the theme “We Have These Treasures,” the celebration will focus on the gifts and accomplishments of women in ministry and Kate Campbell will perform in concert. Invitations to BWIM members will be mailed in May.


board. Transportation is not included. Applicants must be high school juniors during the 2002-03 academic year and should have a strong academic profile as well as a desire to be challenged spiritually and intellectually. Youth are recruited from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, denominational and religious backgrounds. Youth who have not been formed by specific faith traditions are also welcome. The application includes four short essays, two recommendations and a high school transcript. Applications are due Feb. 14, 2003. Applicants will be notified of admissions decisions by April 7.


Reba S. Cobb EDITOR


Lisa M. Jones PHONE

(770) 220-1600 FAX

(770) 220-1685 E-MAIL


fellowship! 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 POSTMASTER:

Send address changes to “fellowship!” Newsletter, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, P.O. Box 450329, Atlanta, GA 31145-0329 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2003

Global Missions Co-coordinators Advocate Living the Call Q: WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A MISSIONARY CANDIDATE? A: We look for candidates who desire to follow their calling and use their gifts to serve God – candidates who believe strongly in prayer and can adapt to other cultures. The best candidates regularly share their faith, have seen others come to Christ, and can help new believers grow in their faith. They know how to start new churches and have a vision for a church planting movement. They keep their eyes open and readily reach out to meet economic, physical, and social needs in the community. They know how to match needs to resources and can comfortably work with people from other faith groups and organizations in a common cause.

Field personnel photo

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following interview with Barbara and Gary Baldridge, CBF global missions co-coordinators, focuses on “Living the Call” – the theme for the 2002-03 Offering for Global Missions.

Q: WHO ARE THE MOST NEGLECTED? A: The most neglected include those who have never heard the Gospel. The most neglected are also the poorest of the poor; the homeless; the street children; and the rejected and abandoned – those whom society marginalizes. Most CBF field personnel share the Gospel with the most neglected in Southeast live in Southeast Asia, parts of the Middle East and North Asia (above) and other parts of the world. Africa. Those who have the greatest physical and economic needs, whose countries have been in the most turmoil, usually have also had the least opportunity to hear the Gospel. In North America, the

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

most neglected include the inner-city of Miami, parts of New York City, Toronto, Vancouver, Detroit, Los Angeles and Mexico City. And greatly overlooked are the poor of Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta and Cotton Belt, as well as the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and the Native American reservations of the Northern Plains.

Q: HOW ARE YOU HELPING CHURCHES FULFILL THEIR MISSIONS CALLING? A: We are building a worldwide network of resources so that every CBF church and member can fulfill their calling to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, whether we have missionaries in that place or not. We want to be able to connect churches with partners or organizations working in any area of the world. This expands our ability to reach the most neglected, far beyond the places we have personnel. Q: DOES HAVING THIS NETWORK MEAN THAT OFFERING FOR GLOBAL MISSIONS DOLLARS ALSO REACH FURTHER? A: Definitely. When our field personnel partner with national Christians, local churches, and other organizations, they bring more value to the work. Every dollar is multiplied, because it’s combined with money from other people and organizations. The result is maximum effectiveness for each dollar. We get more bang for our buck! f! CBF’s Offering for Global Missions supports field personnel who are living the call. This year’s offering goal is $6.1 million. For an update on offering receipts or to read the entire text of the Baldridges’ interview, go to By freelance writer Lisa O’Brien, Birmingham, Ala.

2003 January  
2003 January  

2003 January