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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


Church Meets Ministry Needs in Hominy Valley

Georgia Church Brings Hope to Orphans

Military Chaplains Perform Ministry in Iraq

Textbook Ministry Impacts Albanian Children

Companions in Christ Groups Stay Connected


‘Partners in Hope’ Builds Trust in South Dakota through Project Warm Embrace MEETING AN IMMEDIATE NEED

– such as

providing a warm coat – is a good way to begin working in a community struggling with poverty. But in many communities, historical and cultural experiences make the entrée into the community challenging.

Photos courtesy Second Baptist Church

Leaders and volunteers involved in Partners in Hope, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s rural poverty initiative, found these challenges working with Native Americans living in South Dakota. Partners in Hope is the Fellowship’s 20-year missions commitment to join forces with people in 20 of the poorest counties in the United States. Four of these counties are in South Dakota. “The missions programs on the reservations were not good experiences from a historical perspective,” says Chris Thompson, volunteer from Second Baptist Church in Liberty, Mo. “We [continues p. 2]

Online Newsletter You can access the fellowship! newsletter online in a PDF format. Go to News & Views at

Chris (left) and Dana Thompson, and their children, delivered coats and other cold weather items collected by Second Baptist Church in Liberty, Mo., to First Baptist Church, Eagle Butte, S.D., through Project Warm Embrace.

June 24-26 • Birmingham, Ala.



had to ensure that our involvement would be as a partner, assisting them with programs that they wanted to accomplish.” Thompson and Robert Francis, leader of Mid American Indian Fellowships, visited South Dakota in early 2003 to learn about ministry efforts in Eagle Butte, located on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Ziebach County. Ziebach is one of four South Dakota counties identified as among the 20 poorest economically in the United States. The two leaders learned of a coat drive program that had been discontinued. Reservation leaders were looking for a way to restart the program, so Thompson and his wife, Dana, coordinated an effort at Second Baptist. In November 2003, church members collected more than 2,000 coats, hats, gloves, blankets and other clothing articles for people in South Dakota. Dubbed Project Warm Embrace, donations were accumulated from across the country, with many coming from Native Americans. In December 2003, volunteers transported the items to Eagle Butte where they were distributed by pastors and leaders in the community. MissionConnect, the Fellowship’s spring Offering for Global Missions emphasis, seeks to connect individuals and churches interested in direct missions involvement with North America-based ministries supported by CBF. As part of MissionConnect, Fellowship Baptists can connect directly with Mid American Indian Become a Partner Fellowships and other in Hope CBF Global Missions THERE'S A NEW WAY to become a partners that illustrate Partner in Hope. An organization the Offering’s theme within a church – such as a youth of “Everyone … or missions group – an entire Everywhere, Being the

Presence of Christ” (see related sidebar, p. 3). Tony Garter, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Eagle Butte, received more than 20 boxes and bags of clothing, which he distributed to church members, people in the community and shared with a church community on Standing Rock reservation. “We had several people come to the distribution who were not members, and stayed for the worship service that followed,” Garter says. “We were also able to serve another 15 people in the community who are not church members.” Garter says he is hopeful that these donations will open doors with both the people who attended worship services for the first time, and others in the community who received clothing. But, he says, there is still an opportunity to prove to many in his congregation that Partners in Hope will become a partnership and not just a one-time donation. “I think we’re starting off on the right foot,” Francis says. “Native American people have seen a lot of outsiders come and go. Many talk big and promise much, but don’t do much. I think the people in South Dakota have a whole lot of potential for helping their own people and that’s what we hope to embrace and partner with.” Nearly 70 percent of the people living on the Cheyenne Reservation are at or below the poverty line. One inherent problem is a lack of retail outlets for people to purchase goods, including warm clothing. Thompson and others in Missouri are working to develop a thrift shop on the reservation that would not only provide goods for residents, but an economic source as well.

congregation or several churches can join together. CBF Global Missions staff members will provide information and resources to guide groups through a matching and commitment process. Through praying, advocating, giving and volunteering, Partners in Hope participants will develop personal relationships with community members that will be mutually transforming. For more information, contact Marianne Gruzlewski at the CBF Global Missions Office, Dallas, at (800) 782-2451 or partnersin


Second Baptist Church collects more than 2,000 winter clothing articles from across the country for people in South Dakota.

For more information about Partners in Hope, go to Global Missions/Partners in Hope at or contact Tom Prevost at (662) 871-2444, tprevost@thefellow, or P.O. Box 415, Belden, MS 38826. For more information about Partners in Hope volunteer opportunities in the areas of housing rehabilitation, literacy, community development projects, health care, or sports/ drama camps for youth and children, contact Mary Carol Day at the Fellowship’s volunteer office in Raleigh, N.C., at (877)

MissionConnect Resources THROUGH MISSIONCONNECT ,

the Fellowship’s spring Offering for Global Missions emphasis, individuals and churches are invited to walk alongside other believers in Christ, combining their giving, praying and serving to benefit the most neglected. Following are free resources available to promote MissionConnect: • MissionConnect CD-Rom. Includes PDFs of Offering promotion print resources, a five-minute missions challenge from CBF Global Missions Co-coordinators Barbara and Gary Baldridge,

promotional videos, and art and photos of subjects featured in the Offering promotion. • MissionConnect Bulletin Insert. Describes how CBF and its partners are being Christ’s presence among people often neglected in the United States — Iranian and Afghan immigrants and refugees, Native Americans, and the Mississippi Delta’s rural poor. • MissionConnect Poster. Features the majority of CBF Global Missions field personnel.


“Right now, money from the reservation doesn’t stay there,” Thompson explains. He says the thrift shop idea is one way they have begun building and strengthening relationships based on trust, not just meeting needs short term. “We want to be good partners,” Thompson says. Tom Prevost, the Fellowship’s national coordinator of Partners in Hope, says building strong relationships with people in South Dakota will be vital because of the initiative’s long-term commitment there. “Warm Embrace and the work that has followed is part of developing relationships and building trust in the beginning stages of what we hope will be a community transformation,” Prevost says. Francis says he is looking forward to the day that the people of South Dakota begin sharing their ministry with others. “I believe the people there have something they can share with the people in Missouri at Second Baptist and the Indian Fellowship,” Francis emphasizes. “I’m hoping to see them come to minister to people here; that’s the way the circle turns.” f!


Volunteers study a map before delivering items to Eagle Butte residents.

856-9288 or or go to Order the free resource “Partners in Hope flier” from the CBF Resource Link at (888) 801-4223 or the CBF e-Store (Shipping will be charged.) For more information about the ministry needs of Mid American Indian Fellowships, e-mail

By contributing writer Bob Perkins Jr., Mechanicsburg, Pa. • Everyone … Everywhere – Being the Presence of Christ Video. Designed to be used in segments of approximately five minutes. • Offering for Global Missions Leader Guide • Offering for Global Missions Envelopes (free for quantities of 300 or less) • Offering for Global Missions Speakers List • Offering Promotion Pak. Includes images of CBF Global Missions field personnel featured in Offering promotional materials.

Order from the CBF Resource Link at (888) 801-4223 or the CBF e-Store at http://cbfon

line.bizhosting. com. (Shipping will be charged.) Many of these resources are available for download as a PDF from the CBF Web site at Global Missions/Offering for Global Missions/Resources at For more information about the Offering, click on Offering for Global Missions under CBF Spotlights at www.thefellow or contact Terry Walton at (770) 220-1653 or

w w w . t h e f e l l o w s h i p . i n f o A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 4


Church Meets Ministry Needs in North Carolina Valley and Beyond I F G O D B R I N G S Y O U T O I T, H E W I L L B R I N G Y O U T H R O U G H I T.

scrawled on an adult Sunday school class chalkboard, are a mantra for missions at Hominy Baptist Church. It’s not just talk. It’s a steadfast, joyful walk. Located in Candler, N.C., the church was founded in 1812 by Baptists who came as pioneers to the mountains. Today’s congregation honors its founders with independent thought, deep faith and commitment to meeting needs, whether down a nearby winding road or across the nation. “Hominy Baptist Church is unlike any congregation I’m aware of. It is CBF solely, strictly and happily. This is a quiet place, but very public about what is being done here in terms of ministries,” says Pastor Joe Yelton. Related Resources “There is a Christ consciousness here that THE FOLLOWING resources provide we are our brothers’ information about becoming a keepers. I didn’t conmissional congregation: vince them of that. They • The Missional Journey: Being were like this when I the Presence of Christ. Outlines arrived,” Yelton adds. the characteristics of missional “People might assume churches. Includes a CD of the this is a nondescript video, The Missional Journey: country church just Being the Presence of Christ. doing things. It is much (free, plus shipping) more than that.” • The Missional Journey Guide. Hominy Baptist sits Assists churches as they atop a hill in Hominy discover, claim and commit to Valley, framed by towerthe mission God has for them. ing Smoky Mountain ($29.95 for workbook, CD and binder, plus shipping) peaks. Despite its scenic beauty, the valley is one Order from the CBF Resource of the poorest commuLink at (888) 801-4223 or the nities in Buncombe CBF e-Store at http://cbf County. To bring relief to its suffering neighbors, the church has created ministries that partner with established community agencies and other faith traditions. It also refuses to let its vision be limited by the church budget. “Many give far beyond their means,” Yelton says. Martha’s Kids, now a respected United Way agency, began when long-time member and school bus driver Martha Wolfe saw children on cold winter mornings without a jacket 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

The Fellowship Missional Church Initiative

or coat. She started collecting coats, and soon she was collecting food and money to help the children and their families with other needs. Although Martha’s Kids, now with solid funding, is no longer in the church budget, Yelton says members still give thousands of dollars each year to help with her ministry. The congregation bought and renovated a house next door to the church for use as a satellite for AshevilleBuncombe Community Christian Ministries, an ecumenical organization that helps poor people with basic needs. The church rents it to ABCCM for one dollar a year. Plans are to open a medical clinic in the building sometime this year. The church recently built a large, handsomely furnished ministry facility that houses both church and community

Everett Gill photo


These words, found

Mildred Brown, a longtime member of Hominy Baptist Church, receives Meals on Wheels sponsored by the church. Chris Hagood, a teacher’s assistant at a Buncombe County alternative school for high schoolers, and four students were delivering that day.

Everett Gill photo

Pastor Joe Yelton, at Hominy Baptist for seven years, was recommended to the pastor search committee by Cecil Sherman, Yelton’s boyhood pastor at FBC, Asheville, N.C., and former CBF coordinator.

activities. A state-of-the-art childcare center there serves 88 children of working parents – some who can pay, others who cannot. Staff in a professionally-equipped kitchen prepare lunch for the children, for homebound recipients of the church’s Meals on Wheels program, and in the near future for Day Stay, a new respite care ministry for adults struggling with dementia and other related illnesses. Church youth go regularly to spend time with nursing home residents. At Christmas, groups collect personal items to fill 200 shoeboxes. This past Christmas, half went to Samaritan’s Purse, the remainder to the community. Senior adults collect food and wrap each item in white tissue paper for families or an individual, knowing it’s the only gift some will open. Along with bags of staple food, they include a Christmas dinner of turkey with all the trimmings. And on the Sunday before Christmas, church families serve needy families a complete Christmas dinner in the church fellowship hall. The church also takes good care of its own. Several years ago, Bill and Gail Wright’s house burned early on a Sunday morning. The following morning, they were handed a check for $500, money raised by a special church offering. “I wouldn’t think of going anywhere else,” says Gail, a long-time member. “This place is God-centered. We do good works, but they are all in the name of God.” Doing good works takes a lot of money, but that does not dampen Hominy’s love for missions. Members look for creative ways to get the work done around the church. Volunteers take on janitorial duties, including summer mowing. One member has little cash to give. He offered to pick up the church’s trash each week, saving the cost of a $1,400 contract. Youth Pastor Trey Doyle is fairly new at Hominy and still in awe of what he sees there. “I’ve learned so much. This is an amazing church, just stuck down here in little old Candler,” he says with a grin. f!

T H E 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 has launched a new Web site, located at a new Internet address, Designed with more navigation aids, such as tool bars, quick links and search engines, www.thefellow was created to shorten user search times while increasing user engagement. The Fellowship partnered with Integro eBusiness Consulting of Denver, Colo., to do graphical redesign and implement new content management software for the site. “Since the Internet is such a dynamic environment, an effective Web site has to deliver the latest information and viewpoints in an easy to navigate format,” says Lance Wallace, the Fellowship’s associate director of news and information. “With the new design and features created, hopefully our users will spend more time learning about the Fellowship and less time searching.” Features on the home page include links to the Fellowship’s major areas such as CBF Global Missions, church life and theological education; news and views; and two search engines to enable quick access to information. Once a user links to an interior page, they will find a tool bar which gives them the option to click and respond in four ways: Learn, Pray, Give and Serve. By clicking on these links, site visitors can learn more information about the topic in which they’re interested, find prayer concerns on the topic, be able to donate online directly to that ministry area or notify the Fellowship of interest in volunteering in that area. “We want to involve and inform Fellowship Baptists in the life of this movement,” Wallace says. “This new site is a great tool for achieving our mission.” f!

By contributing writer Bob Perkins Jr., Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Contact Hominy Baptist Church at (828) 667-4541 or For more information about the Missional Church Initiative, contact Bo Prosser at (770) 220-1631 or bprosser@thefellow, or Terry Hamrick at (770) 220-1615 or thamrick@

By contributing writer Rachel Granger Gill, Weaverville, N.C. w w w . t h e f e l l o w s h i p . i n f o A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 4


CBF Launches New Web Site



Kirkwood Baptist Church Ministers to Roma, Bosnians in Their ‘Own Back Yard’ W H I L E O N H O M E A S S I G N M E N T in 2000, James and Robbi Francovich, CBF Global Missions field personnel to the Banjara Gypsies in India, visited Kirkwood Baptist Church in St. Louis. They spoke of the work being done among the Banjara Gypsies, as well as Roma and Dom, sparking a desire from many in attendance to take part in the ministry. Fern Allison, missions education coordinator for Kirkwood, approached Robbi about the possibility of the church participating in a short-term missions trip to India. The discussion took an unexpected direction when Allison shared a newspaper article she had recently read stating that St. Louis had a large number of Bosnian people, including Roma, living in the area. Robbi suggested that Kirkwood might find out more about these local people and how to minister to them. Kirkwood took the suggestion to heart.


Photos courtesy of Kirkwood Baptist Church

Kirkwood Baptist Church, along with partners from Southampton Presbyterian Church and Christy United Methodist Church, helps operate a food pantry in south St. Louis that primarily serves the need of Bosnian immigrants.


“We did ground work, meeting people already involved with ministry to the Bosnian and Roma people in the St. Louis area,” Allison says. “We immediately found a Presbyterian church in the area that offered an after-school program for children.” Encouraged by a common goal, Kirkwood joined a coalition of inner-city churches wanting to minister to the Bosnians in the area. To better meet the physical needs of these people, it was decided to establish a food pantry and coffee house. Louise Duke, current chairman of the missions committee for Kirkwood, is “the motivation behind the food ministry,” Allison says. “Louise is an expert at getting volunteers and training them – she organized the pantry and ministry.” The pantry now has more than 100 people involved in the ministry, working on rotating team schedules, providing food to 50-60 families weekly. “It’s been a great home missions, inner-city project,” says Scott Stearman, Kirkwood’s senior pastor. “We are staffing the food pantry each week and it has been good for our people to be involved.” In an effort to expand their spiritual ministry to the people, the churches involved began a search for a Bosnianspeaking pastor. While on home assignment, CBF Global Missions field personnel Keith Holmes and Mary Van Rheenen visited the St. Louis area and provided valuable language resources and cultural advice to the Kirkwood congregation. Their help was instrumental in finding Pastor Sasa Zivanov. A young Bosnian immigrant with pastoral experience, Zivanov was found in New Jersey and invited to come to St. Louis. His acceptance and arrival in the St. Louis area this January opened the door for ministry on a different level within the Bosnian community. Zivanov has already begun to make contacts among the people and hopes to start a Bible study soon. “We have committed two years to help pay Sasa’s salary,” Stearman says. “We also have an open-ended commitment to keep the food pantry going. The sense of things is that this [ministry] is a long-term commitment [by Kirkwood].” Leslie Limbaugh, associate coordinator of CBF of Missouri, was instrumental in connecting several innercity churches of various Christian faith traditions together to work in this ministry. “There are about 30,000 Bosnian refugees in the St. Louis area,” Limbaugh says. “Many of them are Roma. When inner-city pastors wanting to reach out to their

A prayer guide developed by the CBF Global Missions Romany (Gypsy) Team is available online to encourage prayer for the Roma people of Europe and Russia from April 8-14 or during a comparable weekly timeframe. To download this prayer calendar, go to Romany/Prayer Resources at The Fellowship’s April 2004 missions education curriculum focuses on CBF Global Missions field personnel who serve among the Romany. The May 2004 curriculum highlights CBF Global Missions field personnel who serve among the Kurdish people.

(Annual subscription: adult and youth, $20; children and preschool, $80. Shipping will be charged.) To order, contact the CBF Resource Link at (888) 801-4223.

By staff writer Jo Upton

Fellowship Contributes to Earthquake Relief in Iran T H E C O O P E R AT I V E B A P T I S T

Fellowship has approved sending $20,000 in emergency relief funds to Iran through Persian World Outreach, Baptist World Aid and Conscience International to help with recovery efforts following the devastating earthquake in Bam, Iran, in late December 2003. “Now that the search and rescue phase has been completed, earthquake response groups will make initial assessments and plans for short and longer-term recovery work,” said David Harding, CBF international coordinator for emergency relief. “The humanitarian response has been good but often the transition to longer-term response is often forgotten once the media leaves. The Fellowship wants to play a role in both phases.” The Fellowship’s $20,000 contribution includes $10,000 to Persian World Outreach (PWO) for help in the transitional needs for victims with a long-term perspective of how PWO can work in the future in transformational development. It also includes $5,000 to Baptist World Aid to assist Hungarian Baptist Aid which is already present in Iran for immediate action. Baptist World Aid is the assistance arm of the Baptist World Alliance which contributes to relief, development and Baptist causes worldwide. The final $5,000 is going to Conscience International for medical assistance and trauma counseling. Potential participants at this point include an emergency room doctor, an orthopedic physician, another general practice physician, a critical care nurse, a hospital administrator/ radiologist and a mental health counseling trainer. Conscience International is a private voluntary organization that creates programs

and provides services for the relief of hunger, disease, suffering, homelessness, and the denial of human rights. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the quake’s death toll is 33,00034,000 with an additional 30,000 injured and more than 70,000 left without homes. The earthquake struck near the city of Bam in the province of Kerman, southeast of Tehran. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reported that 100,000 to 120,000 people live in Bam and the surrounding villages, all of which have been affected by the earthquake. The government of Iran estimates that 80-90 percent of the homes in the immediate area of Bam have been destroyed. “CBF’s assistance financially and through personal visits is intended to help bring transformational development and hope to people that have been devastated with tragic loss,” Harding said. f! To contribute to the Fellowship’s effort to address the continuing need in Iran, please send your financial gift to CBF, P.O. Box 101699, Atlanta, GA 30392. Make your check payable to the Fellowship and indicate the general relief and development fund No. 17012 on the memo line.

By Lance Wallace, CBF Communications

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Bosnian neighbors contacted me, we met, prayed and began looking for ways to do this.” As the ministry continues to grow, Limbaugh looks forward to the possibilities. “This has been very exciting for me, to already have a pastor here,” she says. “We want to be poised for support and encouragement and see what God will do next.” “The most important thing about this story,” Robbi Francovich concludes, “is how the church took it upon themselves to find in their own community an unreached people group and partner with field personnel to meet the needs of the Roma refugees and immigrants. I think it is an example that should be modeled for other churches.” f!


“ S E E K I N G H I S H E A R T … Being His Hands” – with a

motto like that guiding First Baptist Church of Rome, it’s no wonder church members are passionately involved in missions. “Missions work is in the lifeblood of this church,” says Joel Snider, senior pastor of the Georgia church. “We really try to foster an environment where people will see ‘here’s a way to be the hands of Christ’ and then we rally behind them and support them,” says Phil Smith, minister of youth and missions. One of the missions projects they are currently involved with is the new partnership between World Vision’s Hope Child Project and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which has a goal of sponsoring 350 children that suffer in the HIV/AIDS pandemic. “Our congregation sponsors upwards of 80 children in Nairobi, Kenya, through World Vision,” Snider says. Individual families within the church sponsor approximately 60 children; the church sponsors 20 children. This partnership among World Vision, CBF and CBFrelated churches is working to improve the living conditions of children in areas where CBF Global Missions field personnel minister. “It’s a way to try to find synergy between what we can do as individuals for these AIDS orphans and what CBF is already doing in missions in Nairobi,” Snider explains. This partnership will add a new dimension to the existing ministry of CBF field personnel Melody and Sam Harrell. World Vision estimates that one African child is orphaned by AIDS every 14 seconds. “The AIDS orphan crisis in Africa is the largest humanitarian crisis of my lifetime,” Snider

Ministry Touches One Family at a Time THE STATE OF GEORGIA’S

deregulation of natural gas in fall 2001 caused significant confusion among consumers. They weren’t getting their bills for months at a time, only to find they owed hundreds of dollars to the gas marketers covering the previous months. For some families, this was a life-and-death situation: Housing Authority residents unable to pay their main utility bill were subject to being evicted from their homes.


When First Baptist, Rome, member Steve Edwards discussed the situation with his wife, Marie, she suggested he take their Christmas money and pay the gas bill for someone who needed help. From that generous offer, Steve took a list of hardship situations (no names were included) from the local Housing Authority to his Sunday school class. "This is somebody right here in our community that needs some help. I can’t help

Photos courtesy of FBC, Rome


Georgia Church Brings Hope to Kenyan Children, Missions Personnel

Volunteers from FBC, Rome, serve in their community by participating in the church's annual Hands of Christ Day.

all of them, but I can help one of them. All I want you to do is take one family," Steve told them. By the end of class, all five situations – totaling $3,200 – were paid for and the idea of “One Family Helping One Family" was born. Thanks to a series of local newspaper articles, the entire community rallied behind Steve’s idea. In less than 10 weeks, 220 families in Rome had their gas bills paid in full – an amount totaling approximately $126,000. First Baptist members alone contributed

more than $40,000. As a result of his hard work and dedication, Steve was awarded a daily Point of Light Award on May 8, 2002. His actions exemplify being the presence of Christ. “People can’t relate to a lot of things, but they can relate to being cold and not having heat. What impressed me most of all was how generous this community is and how people responded – it was amazing," Steve says.

Contact First Baptist, Rome, at (706) 291-6850 or For more information about the Hope Child Project, contact John Thompson at (336) 852-5376 or jthompso@world Please identify yourself as related to CBF when inquiring for information.

Anonymous Donor Contributes $2 Million to Support CBF Global Missions T H E F E L L O W S H I P has received a

God, I react with both gratitude and $2 million anonymous contribution excitement. Here in Georgia, from a member of First Baptist throughout our country, and around Church, Gainesville, Ga., in support the world, the church – the Body of of CBF Global Missions. Christ on this earth – will be “This gift is an extraordinary strengthened. We will all benefit example of Christian stewardship from this magnanimous gift and and generosity,” said Daniel Vestal, from the beautiful spirit of the one the Fellowship’s national coordinator. who gave it.” “We are very grateful to the donor It costs approximately $130,000 for the gift as well as the spirit and per year to support a long-term humility in which it has been given.” field personnel family. Establishing The gift will be distributed an effective Christian witness among CBF Global Missions and among the world’s most neglected CBF of Georgia. people – those who are unevange“We will do our best to use this lized and marginalized – is CBF’s gift in ways that will please God and No. 1 priority in global missions. honor those who made it possible,” “Time and again faithful and said CBF of Georgia Coordinator generous individuals, wanting no Frank Broome. “It will have a sigpersonal credit, are standing in nificant and positive impact on our the gap, providing the balance of missions program, and we are very funds needed to move forward,” grateful.” said Barbara Baldridge, CBF The gift came through First Global Missions co-coordinator. Baptist, Gainesville, and will be “Thanks to this, we will continue to received in two installments. deploy new ambassadors for Christ “First Baptist Church of and to support fully those already Gainesville is blessed to have this serving.” f! family among us,” said Gainesville’s By Lance Wallace, CBF Communications pastor Bill Coates. “They are repeatedly generous with our own congregation and with the larger purposes of the church beyond our local community. “When I think of the number of people who, because of this gift, will be exposed to the Bill Coates (left), pastor of FBC of Gainesville, presents a check to gospel’s truly Gary Baldridge (center), CBF Global Missions co-coordinator, and good news of the Daniel Vestal (right), national coordinator of CBF, as part of an grace and love of anonymous $2 million contribution by one of his church members.

By contributing writer Amy Walker, Atlanta w w w . t h e f e l l o w s h i p . i n f o A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 4


says. “We have partnered with CBF and World Vision to encourage [other] CBF churches to sponsor Hope children.” Another way First Baptist members collaborate with CBF Global Missions is by caring for the children of field personnel when they gather for their annual meetings. “We’ve been going for several years and doing childcare and camp for their kids. In doing that, we have gotten to know several field personnel,” Smith says. For the last five years, members worked with the children of field personnel who serve among three people groups in North Africa and the Middle East. “We’ve probably sent 30 different people from this church, [which means] there are probably 30 people in this church who have a personal relationship with CBF field personnel because they’ve changed their infant's diapers and taught their older children,” Snider says. Having first-hand knowledge of the field personnel’s daily workload enables First Baptist members to contribute in two additional ways: giving to the Offering for Global Missions and praying. “It’s a lot easier for me to promote [the] Offering when 30 people in our congregation know exactly what these people [the field personnel] are doing,” Smith says. Snider adds: “It helps us to have a much better understanding of what mission activities are being done and it helps us to understand the lives of [field personnel] and how to pray for them.” f!



Military Chaplains Fulfill Unique Ministry During Operation Iraqi Freedom


men and women serving in Iraq have special ministry needs that go far beyond normal Sunday worship. Trained and equipped to recognize these needs, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship-endorsed chaplains continue to provide ministry tailored to support their special “flock.” As hostilities continue in Iraq and Afghanistan, chaplains endorsed by the Fellowship continue to serve in both theaters. Those serving include U.S. Army chaplains Capt. Fran Stuart of Clarksville, Tenn.; Capt. Roger Benimoff of Austin, Texas; Capt. Emerson Byrd of Fort Carson, Colo.; and Capt. Michael C. Cox of Killeen, Texas. Capt. Rick Stevenson of Raeford, N.C., recently returned from service in Iraq. Stuart, battalion chaplain for the 526th Forward Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, uses new and inventive ways to bring spiritual renewal to those under her care. Realizing that the holiday season is a particularly difficult time for those deployed far from home, Stuart put together a Christmas choir composed of 25 soldiers from her battalion and supporting units. More than 150 soldiers attended the performance. “The choir dressed in colorful satin choir stoles made by local Iraqis,” Stuart says. “They sang a medley of familiar Christmas hymns and carols, performing on an elegant stage. Following the performance was karaoke, dancing and pictures around the Christmas tree to send home to families.” Another extremely meaningful project for Stuart was the Coin and Covenant Program, a special marriage enrichment

Army Chaplain Scott Sterling Awarded Bronze Star for Exceptional Service in Iraq MAJOR SCOTT STERLING , ethics instructor at the U.S. Army Chaplain School in Fort Jackson, S.C., was awarded the Bronze Star in January for “exceptionally meritorious service while serving as a battalion chaplain in Iraq. Sterling was deployed with the 260th Quarter Master Battalion from Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, Ga., last February and remained with the battalion until their return this past November. Endorsed by the Fellowship


in 2002, Sterling has a total military service of 16 years. His experience and dedication provided spiritual leadership for more than eight months to nearly 3,000 people serving in Iraq, including National Guard, Reservists, active duty soldiers from various units, and civilians. The battalion arrived in Iraq shortly before the war began and was located in a desolate camp near the border of Kuwait and Iraq. As the war moved further north into Baghdad, the

Courtesy of Emerson Byrd/U.S. Army

N O T T H E T Y P I C A L C H U R C H congregation, military

Chaplain Emerson Byrd says after serving in Iraq, he understands from a new perspective the biblical character David's dependence on God's deliverance.

ceremony offered to soldiers. “It’s a historic moment for us – it’s the first time this program has been implemented in Iraq,” Stuart says. Approximately 40 soldiers attended the first ceremony. During the ceremony, participants receive a certificate of commitment and are given a special coin – a tangible reminder of their continued love and support to their families while separated. The certificate, signed by the soldier and their battalion chaplain, is sent home along with a picture to capture the event. Military ministry also involves the difficult task of grief support. Benimoff, Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, feels this is the time when he is most able to convey the love of Christ. “I learned early on, when I went through Clinical Pastoral Education in Dallas, Texas, that one does not have 260th also moved. Their final destination was Camp Cedar, in the shadow of the ancient Biblical city of Ur. Sterling ministered at Camp Cedar for five months, coordinating religious services for all the soldiers and civilians in camp, designing a chapel able Scott Sterling to facilitate worship for the various religious groups, and providing Bible study every night to meet the

spiritual needs of everyone. “Many nights at 11 or 12, I would get a knock on my tent flap from soldiers needing care,” Sterling says. “They [soldiers] had just gotten off the phone, or e-mail, with a spouse or child and needed someone to talk to. Some soldiers even had suicidal thoughts and gestures that needed care, and we dealt with it.” The Bronze Star is typically awarded to soldiers who excel by providing “outstanding leadership, mentorship, and spiritual fitness,” as the medal declares.

New Endorsees THE FELLOWSHIP now has

endorsed 380 chaplains and pastoral counselors. The following individuals were endorsed recently: Correction Chaplains: Timothy Hunter, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Marlin, Texas Hospital Chaplains: Patricia Baldwin, Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas; Charles B. Christie Jr., Gwinnett Hospital System, Lawrenceville, Ga.; Thomas Rice Deal Jr., Florida HospitalSeminole Division and Orlando Police Department, Orlando, Fla.; Franklin Duncan, Care

and Counseling Center of Georgia, Decatur, Ga.; Charles Edmondson, Denton Regional Medical Center, Denton, Texas; Karen J. Estle, Wishard Memorial Hospital, Indianapolis, Ind.; Olen Grubbs, Erlanger Medical Center, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Merrill Hawkins, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, Tenn.; Steven Hill, St. Mary’s Health System, Knoxville, Tenn.; Peggy Johnson, Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas; Barry Kendrick, The Ingalls Center of Pastoral Ministries, Birmingham, Ala.; Donald Kriner, Wellstar Health System, Marietta, Ga.; Bryan Lake, Coffee Regional Medical Center, Douglas, Ga.;


of his deployment has been the “week-to-week journey” during worship services. “We have been talking about people throughout the Old and New Testament who put their faith in God's plan,” Byrd explains. “A unique opportunity has been to study about people who walked in this part of the world and trusted God to be faithful.” Byrd is humbled by the troops’ awareness of the importance of prayer. “Those attending weekly services always ask for prayer for their families back home. They also speak of the fact that they know many people are lifting us up in prayer daily.” George Pickle, associate coordinator for chaplaincy and pastoral counseling for CBF, is grateful to the devoted Fellowship chaplains serving in the military. “We continue to pray for these chaplains and their families,” Pickle says. “They are the presence of Christ in this torn and traumatic world.” f! For more information about CBF chaplaincy and pastoral counseling, contact George Pickle at (770) 220-1617 or Information is also available at at Church Life/Chaplains & Pastoral Counselors.

By staff writer Jo Upton John Little, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Barbara Marshall, Department of Veterans Affairs, chaplain, U.S. Navy Reserves, Fayetteville, N.C.; Ralph "Mike" Mikels Jr., St. Mary’s Health System, Knoxville, Tenn.; Brent Peery, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston, Texas; Dora Saul, Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas; Joanne Swanson, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Sing Chi Yue, Catholic Healthcare West, Bakersfield, Calif. Military Chaplains: Wallace Boswell, U.S. Army, Apex, N.C.; Cameron Gunnin, U.S. Air


Courtesy of Roger Benimoff/U.S. Army

to ‘say anything’ in order to communicate the presence of Christ to others,” Benimoff says. A SPECIAL MEETING and luncheon “In fact,” he continfor chaplains, pastoral counselors, ues, “the lack of words retirees, sponsors and people helps me focus on interested in endorsement will Christ and points othtake place during the Fellowship’s ers to God in the midst 2004 General Assembly in of the crisis. I am simBirmingham, Ala. ply ‘with’ the soldiers as Retired chaplains and pastoral counselors are invited to attend a they express their meeting to explore the involvement thoughts and feelings.” of retirees in CBF’s chaplaincy and Benimoff says his pastoral counseling ministry. The regiment has lost nearmeeting is scheduled for June 24 ly 50 people and his from 10 – 11 a.m. squadron has lost 10. “I A pre-luncheon gathering follows have conducted eight at 11:30 a.m., with the luncheon memorial ceremonies scheduled from noon – 1:45 p.m. for our fallen soldiers.” The speaker will be Dan Bagby, Although the hours Theodore F. Adams Chair of can be long and the Pastoral Care at Baptist Theological conditions difficult, the Seminary in Richmond, Va. To make luncheon reservations, chaplains often find contact Lea Bond at (770) 220encouragement as they 1645 or minister to the troops. Byrd, battalion chaplain for the 1-12 Infantry Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, says perhaps the most rewarding aspect

General Assembly Luncheon

Chaplain Roger Benimoff helps his regiment deal with the loss of fellow soldiers.

Force, San Antonio, Texas; Michael McCawley, U.S. Army, Boiling Springs, N.C.; Jeffrey Payne, U.S. Air Force, Fredericksburg, Va.; David Smelser, Civil Air Patrol and Caring Angels Hospice, Cuba, Ala. Pastoral Counselors: Geraldine Craddock, Asbury College Counseling Center, Wilmore, Ky.; Dodie Huff-Fletcher, St. Matthews Pastoral Counseling Center, Louisville, Ky.; Tom O’Neal, Baptist Counseling Center at Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C. Public Safety Chaplains: Gerald Richards, Cary Police Department, Cary, N.C.

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“ A J E N I J U B A B A D I M R I ? ” Translation: “Are you Santa Claus?” That’s what Serxhane, an 11-year-old Albanian orphan, asked Rick Shaw – who serves with his wife, Martha, as Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Global Missions field personnel in Skopje, Macedonia – a few weeks after receiving textbooks from Martha and Fellowship volunteers. But according to Rick Shaw, it wasn’t the gift as much as God’s love demonstrated through giving that created the mistaken identity. “I told the young Albanian that like Baba Dimri, we love people — especially the children of the world,” he says. Serxhane was one of approximately 500 children who received textbooks, along with backVolunteers from Highland Baptist and Calvary Baptist, along with Martha and Faith packs and school supplies. The textbook project Shaw, collate textbooks and school supplies at Martha and Rick Shaw's office in was part of the Shaws’ ongoing ministry among Skopje, Macedonia. orphan and indigent children in Skopje and surThey spread the word to other stateside Fellowship churches, rounding villages, made possible by the Fellowship’s 2003while the Shaws contacted churches in the Balkan region. 04 Offering for Global Missions. In all, more than $40,000 was raised. The children who received textbooks are either In August, three Highland members – Phil Collier, Terri orphaned or have only one parent who is employed. Most Connolly and Angela Dennison – along with Mary are ethnic Albanians who face discrimination and lack of Thompson of Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky., educational and employment opportunities in Macedonia. another church instrumental in the project – traveled to “Many of the children are very bright and … dream of a Skopje, where they distributed textbooks and visited in better life,” Martha says, but they face obstacles to learning schools and orphans’ homes. They were such as having to provide their own books. “You can imagine joined by several local Albanian and what a challenge this is when no one in the home is working,” Macedonian church members and she adds. Kristen Connolly, When Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., Terri’s daughter and learned of the textbook shortage, they quickly responded.

Helping Hands CHURCHES AND organizations that participated in the textbook ministry included the following: • Calvary Baptist Church, Lexington, Ky. • Highland Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky. • Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky. • Beuchel Park Baptist Church,


Louisville, Ky. • Trinity Baptist Church, Harker Heights, Texas • Memorial Drive Baptist Church, Houston, Texas • Central Baptist Church, Bearden, Knoxville, Tenn. • Lafayette Baptist Church, Fayetteville, N.C. • Rivertown Community Church,

Conway, S.C. • First Baptist Church, WinstonSalem, N.C. • Broadus Memorial Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Va. • Lakeshore Drive Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark. • Brookwood Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala. • Arkansas CBF

• Edenton Baptist Church, Edenton, N.C. • University Baptist Church, Buffalo, N.Y. • Pintlala Baptist Church, Hope Hull, Ala. • Northside Baptist Church, Clinton, Miss. • Bridgewater Baptist Church, Bridgewater, N.J.

Photos courtesy of Highland Baptist


Albanian Textbook Ministry for Children Demonstrates Importance of Offering

THE FOLLOWING OPPORTUNITIES are available to partner in the ministry of CBF Global Missions among Albanians:

Learn. Order the resources “Individual UPG Fliers: Albanians” (free) and “Individual UPG Videos: The Albanian People” ($6.95) from the CBF Resource Link at (888) 801-4223 or the CBF eStore at (Shipping will be charged.) Pray. Following is a free prayer resource: • Partners in Prayer Calendar. Lists birthdays of CBF field personnel and their children. Order from the CBF Resource Link at (888) 801-4223 or the CBF e-Store at (Shipping will be charged.) Serve. CBF Global Missions has the following long-term field personnel needs among Albanians: • Church Planter/Mentor, Kosovo. A couple or individual will plant churches among Kosovar Albanians in a location in Kosova relatively near the city of Rahovec. The personnel will also mentor a Kosovar Albanian pastor-leader. For more information, contact Tom Prevost at (662) 871-2444 or or Becky Buice Green at (770) 220-1624 or

a Student.Go missions intern serving in the region. “(The Kentucky volunteers) left full of love for Albanian people and with ideas of ways they could continue to support our ministry here as well as begin a ministry to the Albanians who live in their own community,” Martha says. Since the volunteers’ return, Highland Baptist has discovered that many Albanians live in Louisville. The church hosted a Thanksgiving meal for local Albanians as part of an emerging, cultural exchange-oriented ministry, said Phil Collier. “Our church has been energized by this project,” Collier says. “We have become more missions-oriented, with a large percentage of our members becoming involved in missions work and justice issues.” Collier noted that Highland has also enjoyed the connections created by the project – with new Albanian friends and sister churches like Lexington’s Calvary Baptist. Calvary collected money for the textbook project and donated school supplies for distribution. The church’s deacons also held a dessert auction during a deacon fellowship to help send Mary Thompson on the textbook distribution trip. “It meant the world to me to have the opportunity to go and help the Shaws,” Thompson said. “I felt God’s hand throughout the experience.”

The Fellowship’s Offering for Global Missions, with the theme “Everyone … Everywhere, Being the Presence of Christ,” encourages this kind of personal missions involvement, along with prayer and financial support. The Offering’s importance to ministries among Albanians cannot be underestimated, Martha says. “The Offering for Global Missions provides funding for us to be here, to establish ministries among orphans and widows, and to communicate with CBF constituency churches and other churches the Albanian story,” she says. “The offering is the financial foundation of our presence in the Balkans among Albanians. Without it, we could not be here.” In addition to the textbook project, the Shaws have developed other holistic, transformational ministries alongside Albanians, including English as a Second Language; clothing, food, medicine, firewood and heater distribution; medical care arrangement and financing; church planting and discipling; human rights advocacy; sewage system installation in villages; and prison ministries. “Our goal is to guide Albanians to see the gospel as powerful, real and relevant to their lives and culture,” Martha says. f! For more information about the Offering or the Albanian ministry, go to Missions/OGM/OGM%20Index.icm or contact Terry Walton at (770) 220-1653 or Use the contribution envelope in this issue to enable the Offering to meets its $6.1 million goal. Please mark your check “Offering for Global Missions.”

By contributing writer Melanie Kieve, Allendale, S.C. Children in the Liria School in the Gazi Baba ghetto of Skopje receive backpacks.

Albanian families in Louisville celebrate Thanksgiving at Highland Baptist.

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How to Respond



Companions in Christ Groups Share Community, Remain Connected Following 28-week Journey


Charleston, S.C., believes strongly in the Companions in Christ small group spiritual formation resource. “We finished the first 28 weeks, then the eight-week study on forgiveness,” Flowers says. “When we completed that one we said, ‘What are we going to do now?’ so we formed a Bible study starting this spring.” Flowers says his group is reluctant to disband and lose the bonds forged during the original 28-week experience. “You learn about these people that you worship with each week,” he explains. “You feel secure enough to be who you really are and find that this is a community you really care about.” The group also shared the closeness of prayer. “There were people and issues we were praying for, and after awhile, these people we had never met became like family to us.” More than a quarter of the adult Providence congregation has participated in Companions. “This is one of those things people are hungry for,” Flowers says. “People often come to our church and say they want to grow spiritually – so what does that mean? Companions gives people a tool, a vehicle, to do that.” Mary Jayne Allen, minister of education at First Baptist

The Spiritual Formation Network TO SUPPORT a growing interest in spiritual formation, the Fellowship’s Congregational Life area is launching a Spiritual Formation Network. "We have a growing number of churches using the Companions in Christ resources," says Eileen Campbell-Reed, CBF spiritual formation consultant. "Many find themselves saying, ‘This has been wonderful, so what’s next?’ Part of the answer is to gather people, somewhat more formally, into a Spiritual Formation Network and to continue supporting people in their journey."


Bo Prosser, coordinator for congregational life at CBF, says that "spiritual formation practices give us the fuel we need to be the presence of Christ in the world." "We cannot be Christ's presence on our own power," Prosser explains. "We must devote ourselves to balance in prayer and devotion in order to serve others. The Spiritual Formation Network gives us another missional opportunity to share fellowship with one another to build up the Body of Christ."

Courtesy of FBC, Chattanooga

D O N F L O W E R S , pastor of Providence Baptist Church in

FBC, Chattanooga, Tenn., has started almost a dozen Companions in Christ groups since beginning to use the resource in 2001.

Church Chattanooga, Tenn., says her experience has been equally positive. “Companions is everything people could want in a small group,” Allen says. “Over an extended period of time, you share prayer, Bible study and your stories with each other – things that bond you as a group.” Allen served as facilitator for the pastoral staff group at First Baptist, Chattanooga, in September 2001. The church had a total of six groups that first year and has continued to have two groups each year since. “We had a number of transitions during that year,” Allen says, referring to her group. “I’m not sure we could have survived all that went on with people, personally and professionally, without the group. It was so sustaining to move through all of that together.” Allen says that although many of the groups continue to meet regularly to remain connected and to share prayer requests, there have been no cliques among the participants. “I appreciate that about Companions,” Allen says. “It doesn’t produce cliques. It is designed to help people process their own spiritual growth and development, then funnel that growth into and through the congregation.” Allen feels that people who experience Companions are stronger members of the congregation. “The bottom line for me is Jesus saying, ‘Love God and love your neighbor as yourself,’ and I think that is what spiritual formation is all about.” f! By staff writer Jo Upton

General Assembly Auxiliary Events Bountiful Feast: A Spiritual Formation Network Dinner Wednesday, June 23, 6 p.m., Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, Birmingham, Ala. Speaker: Tilden Edwards, founder of the Shalem Institute Cost: $35 per person. For reservations or more information, go to or contact Toni Draper at (770) 220-1654 or tdraper@thefellow Companions in Christ One-day Training Event Wednesday, June 23, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30, Southside Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala. Registration: $75 by Wednesday, May 26; after that date, $100 for first person from a church and $85 for each additional person. To register, call (800) 491-0912. For more information, e-mail frank@firstbaptist Other Events SOULfeast: A Spiritual Formation Conference July 18-22, Lake Junaluska, N.C. The conference theme, “In Search of Authentic Christian Spirituality” invites participants to four days of worship, workshops and Sabbath rest. For more information, go to or call (800) 972-0433. Resources Beginning with the 28-week resource Companions in Christ, the series now has three additional books: The Way of Forgiveness, The Way of Blessedness, and The Way of Grace (available fall 2004) Order from the CBF Resource Link at (888) 801-4223.


Spiritual Formation Resources, Events

CBF Coordinating Council Votes to Double BWA Funding T H E C O O P E R AT I V E B A P T I S T

Fellowship Coordinating Council approved a budget that doubles the Fellowship’s annual contribution to the Baptist World Alliance during the council’s recent meeting. The proposed budget calls for the Fellowship to increase its contribution to BWA from $20,000 to $40,000. In addition, the Fellowship will collect a special offering for BWA during the annual CBF General Assembly, scheduled for June 24-26 in Birmingham, Ala. Daniel Vestal, the Fellowship’s national coordinator, reported BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz will speak at a breakfast during the Assembly and lead a workshop. The BWA allocation was part of a $16 million budget the council approved for fiscal year 2004-05, which begins July 1. Finance committee member Nelson Rodriguez of Fort Worth, Texas, said the committee proposed a flat budget because of continuing revenue challenges. “We’re being pretty conservative,” said Rodriguez. “We feel it is a good, sound budget.” The Fellowship will vote on the budget at the annual business session during the General Assembly. The council voted to pursue participation in the new, ecumenical Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A. (CCT). Vestal represented the Fellowship at a January CCT meeting near Houston, Texas. The stated purpose of this group is to enable churches and national Christian organizations to grow closer together in Christ in order to strengthen their Christian witness in the world. “Members of the task force believe this is a real, historic moment for this movement,” said John Finley, pastor of First Baptist Church of Savannah, Ga., and a member of the Fellowship’s ecumenical task force. “CBF, as a

national, religious organization, has chosen to participate in a national, ecumenical organization for the first time.” In order to become a participating member of CCT, the Fellowship’s General Assembly would have to approve the proposal. In other business, the council took the following action: • The council approved a job description and title change for the Resource Center Coordinator, the position formerly held by Reba Cobb, who left the Fellowship in August. Now called “coordinator of administration,” the position will supervise administrative areas, finance, human resources, information technology and Resource Link, the Fellowship’s merchandising arm. A national search is in process, but there is no firm timetable to have a candidate in place (see p. 22 for more information). • The council gave its approval to a collaborative approach to the Offering for Global Missions with the 18 autonomous state and regional CBF organizations. Any state or regional organization that wishes to participate can receive 10 percent of an increase in giving from their state or region to the national Offering to be used for mission projects within those areas. • Vestal and Emmanuel McCall, pastor of Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in College Park, Ga., were nominated to be the Fellowship’s representatives to the BWA. The council approved the nomination, and the Fellowship will vote on the nominees at the General Assembly. • The council ratified the selection of Atlanta as the host city for the 2006 General Assembly. f! By Lance Wallace, CBF Communications

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In Praise of Freedom B A P T I S T S W E R E B O R N A S A F R E E D O M M O V E M E N T.

From our beginning, we have

championed the freedom of every believer to interpret and apply Scripture without the 16

imposition of man-made creeds or ecclesiastical authority. We have challenged a monarchical form of church government or denominational connectionalism that minimizes the autonomy of the local church. We have stood for the freedom of the individual conscience in matters of faith and have resisted attempts by either the church or state to compel the conscience by any form of coercion or intimidation. How precious is this freedom and how easy it is to take it for granted! I sometime hear younger Baptists (as well as not-so-young Baptists) say, “We don’t care about the politics or power struggles of the past,” or “We are not interested in what happened in Daniel Vestal Baptist life in the past.” When I hear such remarks, I wonder if those individuals would say the same thing about the Protestant Reformation, the American Revolution, the Civil Rights Movement, the collapse of Communism or the dismantling of apartheid. Would they also say, “I don’t care about tyranny, prejudice or oppression in the past and efforts to resist and overcome it?” Or, “I don’t care when human dignity is denied, character is assassinated, careers and ministries are destroyed, churches are divided and institutions are changed.” Cooperative Baptist Fellowship was born out of a struggle for freedom: soul freedom, Bible freedom, church freedom, religious freedom. The birth of this renewal movement came from the pain of freedom fighters. These noble men and women resisted fundamentalism, authoritarianism and just plain meanness. We will not be cut off from those roots that birthed us; nor will we be separated from the principles of freedom that continue to form us; nor will we shrink from the struggle against any form of tyranny that enslaves the soul or imprisons the mind. We will continue to be a freedom movement. Perhaps freedom is not valued unless it has been lost or is threatened. I hear regularly from Baptist laypeople who are in churches where there is little freedom. They always speak with grief and anguish at being in a church that they love (and in many cases helped to build) where freedom is no longer valued. They are not free to disagree or even 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

discuss. They are not free to be involved in the decisionmaking processes of the church. Everything is controlled and imposed. I also hear regularly from clergy who are looking for a church where they are free to lead, where they are free to speak and live out their calling. These clergy confess with grief and anguish that they don’t feel free to exercise their God-given gifts, but rather feel stifled by the tradition and inertia of the church. How precious is freedom? I’m grateful to be a part of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. It is a place where we hold unswervingly to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, yet treasure the freedom to disagree with one another. This is a fellowship where there is love of Scripture, yet freedom to differ in interpretation. This is a fellowship where we share a common commitment to global missions, reconciliation and justice, yet affirm the freedom that results in diversity. In the words of Julie Pennington-Russell, “I’ve been bound and I’ve been free, and free is better.” Some would argue that freedom results in license or irresponsibility. But with authentic freedom comes equal responsibility. We are set free from man-made creeds so that we might obey the Word of God. We are set free from human traditions, rules and regulations so that we might be a slave to Jesus Christ. We are set free from fear so that we might be humble servants. We are set free from forced conformity so that we might nurture community. We are set free from guilt so that we might live in peace and be peacemakers. Authentic freedom is not to be shunned or feared but is to be sought and celebrated. It seems to me that the heart of the gospel is this message of freedom. Freedom from a performance-based religion, freedom from a works righteousness, freedom from the guilt of sin and failure, freedom from the fear of death and hell, freedom from peer pressure and conformity to the world, freedom from the tyranny of the immediate, freedom from sin’s curse and Satan’s power. Freedom. How sweet the sound! Thank God for freedom! f! By CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal


General Assembly Birmingham • June 24-26 2004 General Assembly Schedule WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Coordinating Council (Sheraton Birmingham) 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Companions in Christ Training (Southside Baptist Church, Birmingham) 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Bountiful Feast: A Spiritual Formation Network Dinner (Sheraton) THURSDAY, JUNE 24 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Prayer Room Open (Convention Center) 9:00 a.m. Registration Opens (Convention Center) 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Congregational Leadership Institute (Convention Center) 9:00 a.m. – Noon Coordinating Council (Sheraton) Noon – 7:00 p.m. Resource Fair Open (Convention Center) 1:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Children’s Assembly & Youth Program (Convention Center) 2:30 p.m. – 3:35 p.m. Ministry Workshops (Convention Center) 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. State & Regional Gatherings (Convention Center) 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Open Time for Dinner & Auxiliary Events (Sheraton) 7:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Children’s Assembly & Youth Program (Convention Center) 7:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Gathering Time (Convention Center) 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. General Session I (Convention Center) 9:15 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Concert by Chris Rice (Convention Center) FRIDAY, JUNE 25 7:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Open Time for Breakfast & Auxiliary Events (Convention Center & Sheraton) 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Prayer Room Open (Convention Center) 8:30 a.m. – 7:15 p.m. Resource Fair Open (Convention Center) 8:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Children’s Assembly & Youth Program (Convention Center) 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. General Session II (Convention Center) 11:00 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. Ministry Workshops & Business Breakouts (Convention Center) 12:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Open Time for Lunch & Auxiliary Events (Convention Center & Sheraton) 1:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Children’s Assembly & Youth Program (Convention Center) 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. General Session III (Convention Center) 3:30 p.m. – 4:35 p.m. *Ministry Workshops & Worship Sampler (Convention Center) 5:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Open Time for Dinner & Auxiliary Events (Convention Center & Sheraton) 7:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Children’s Assembly & Youth Program (Convention Center) 7:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Gathering Time (Convention Center) 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. General Session IV (Convention Center) 9:15 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Reception sponsored by Global Missions 9:15 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Resource Fair Open (Convention Center) SATURDAY, JUNE 26 7:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Open Time for Breakfast & Auxiliary Events (Convention Center) 8:00 a.m. – Noon Prayer Room Open (Convention Center) 8:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Children’s Assembly & Youth Program (Convention Center) 8:30 a.m. – 9:35 a.m. *Ministry Workshops & Worship Sampler (Convention Center) 8:30 a.m.– Noon Resource Fair Open (Convention Center) 9:50 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. *Ministry Workshops & Worship Sampler (Convention Center) 11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Gathering Time (Convention Center) 11:15 a.m. – Noon Communion Service (Convention Center) * Simultaneous worship events have been incorporated into the Friday afternoon and Saturday morning ministry workshop sessions and are now titled “Worship Sampler.”

THE COOPERATIVE BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP’S GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS … • a time every year to enjoy fellowship between believers • a respite for spending time with each other and with God • a place to meet new colleagues and reconnect with friends you’ve had for years • a missional journey to hear, to think, to pray, and to do! Join other Fellowship Christians at the 2004 General Assembly as we celebrate the ministry opportunities of today, awaken to the challenges of tomorrow and strive to be the presence of Christ together. There is no charge to attend the General Assembly. However, separate pre-registration, advance reservations and cost may be required for some auxiliary events.

Pre-register online at or by calling (800) 352-8741. Pre-registration will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17. After this date you may register on-site at the Birmingham Convention Center beginning Thursday morning, June 24 at 9 a.m. w w w . t h e f e l l o w s h i p . i n f o A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 4

What’s New for General Assembly 2004 Bountiful Feast: A Spiritual Formation Network Dinner, will be held Wednesday, June 23 at 6 p.m. at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel. Tilden Edwards, founder of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, will provide the keynote address. The evening provides an opportunity for community building through lively table conversation, inspiring music and great food.

For a complete listing of workshops, go to

Building Community What is the Baptist World Alliance? Denton Lotz What is this worldwide fellowship that has been so much in the news this spring? Come and hear more about this 99 year old Baptist fellowship. Tilden Edwards

John Kinney, dean of the theology school, Virginia Union University, Richmond, Va., will be the keynote speaker for the Thursday evening General Session. Chris Rice, contemporary Christian recording artist and songwriter, will be in concert Thursday night in the Resource Fair area following the worship service. Ministry Workshops, an additional ministry workshop time has been added for Saturday morning at 8:30. This brings the total number of workshop sessions to five. Please note that the workshop times have been shortened to 1 hour and 5 minutes.

John Kinney

Chris Rice

Bible Study, led by William Hull, Samford University professor and former university provost, will be offered during four sessions of the ministry workshop times. “A Celebration of Preaching,” Proclaimers within the CBF family will be sharing thematic sermons during three of the workshop times on Thursday and Friday. Baptist World Alliance, will sponsor a breakfast, Friday morning, June 25 at 7 a.m. and will lead a workshop on Friday at 11 a.m.

For a complete listing of auxiliary events, go to WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23 Couple Communication Instructor Training 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: $125 per individual or couple Contact: Priscilla Hunt, (318) 795-3385, priscilla Companions in Christ Training Event 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Facilitators: Marjorie Thompson, Frank Granger. For more information, e-mail: Location: Southside Baptist Church Cost: $75 by Wednesday, May 26. After May 26, $100 for first person from a church, $85 each additional person. Materials and lunch included. To register, call (800) 491-0912 Bountiful Feast: A Spiritual Formation Network Dinner 6 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel Cost: $35, reservations required Contact: Toni Draper, (770) 2201654, THURSDAY, JUNE 24 Baptist Women in Ministry Annual Meeting and Worship Service 9 a.m. Breakfast and Business Meeting; 10:30 –


Barbeque and Bagels: Engaging Baptists and Jews in Dialogue Tom Allen This workshop will help you discover models and resources for facilitating dialogue between your church members, other Baptist Christians, and Jews in your community. Starting a Hispanic Church. Bill Bruster and Bernie Moraga. Learn how your church can start a new Hispanic church as part of the partnership between CBF and the Baptist General Convention of Texas to start 400 Hispanic churches. Operation Inasmuch David Crocker Operation Inasmuch is a mobilization of 50-75 percent of a congregation in a one day, hands on missions blitz into their community. A how-to manual will be available.

Worship Samplers, formerly known as simultaneous worships, will be offered as part of three of our workshop sessions, Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and 9:50 a.m.

Auxiliary Events


Creating Cooperative Youth Ministries in the Post-Convention Era Lyle Edwards, Mark Nethery and John Lepper What do you do when state Baptist convention offerings do not meet the needs of students? This workshop will help answer this question and many others. Baptist Polity: (Im)perfect Methods for a (Post)modern World Bill Leonard Explore the historical foundations of congregational polity in Baptist traditions. Why Work Together in Healthcare Missions? Fred Loper, MD and Drayton Sanders, MD This workshop, specifically for health professionals, will examine the benefits of networking with Christian organizations dedicated to sharing the Gospel through healthcare missions. Church and State: An Election Year Update J. Brent Walker A discussion of the relationship between the Baptist principle of church and state separation and involvement in civic activities in an election year. Religion and Politics: Why the Press Misses the Story Greg Warner and Rob Marus Much reporting on religious issues and public-policy debates is inadequate. There will be discussion about the factors that contribute to this problem, and what involved Christians can do about it.

Noon Worship Service; Location: Baptist Church of the Covenant Cost: $10, deadline for reservations, June 1. Contact: Karen Massey, (678) 547-6460, Congregational Leadership Institute 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. “The Missional Church In Context: God’s Journey for a Congregation Being Led by the Spirit” will be facilitated by Craig Van Gelder. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: $45 per person, $40 per person when three or more from one congregation, $40 per person for full-time students. Lunch not included. Contact: Mary McCoy by May 31, (770) 220-1637, Global Missions New Church Starting Initiative Meeting 10 – 11 a.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: No cost Contact: Phil Hester, (678) 429-9753, Retired Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors and Spouses Meeting 10 – 11 a.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/ Convention Center Cost: No cost Contact: George Pickle, (770) 220-1617, State and Regional Leadership Luncheon 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/ Convention Center Cost: Complimentary, reservations required Contact: Bill Bruster, (214) 282-2146,

Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors Luncheon 11:30 a.m. – noon Pre-luncheon gathering, Noon – 2 p.m. Luncheon. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: Complimentary, reservations required Contact: Lea Bond, (770) 2201645, Whitsitt Baptist Heritage Society 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Board Meeting 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Annual Meeting Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: Board Meeting, By Invitation Only. Annual Meeting, Complimentary Contact: James Dunn, (336) 758-4409, Associated Baptist Press Banquet 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/ Convention Center Cost: Contact Jennifer Pintor to purchase tickets Contact: Jennifer Pintor, (800) 340-6626, Ext. 0, Interim Pastor Network Dinner 5:00 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: complimentary, Reservations Required Contact: Bill Bruster, (214) 2822146, bbruster@ Mercer University McAfee School of Theology Dinner 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Alumni and Friends Dinner Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: To Be Determined, Reservations Required Contact: Sharon Lim, (678) 547-6420,

The Missional Marriage Charles Qualls Participants will explore some of the critical issues for working with couples in your congregation. Managing Change and Conflict in the Local Church Dan Bagby This workshop will present a practical application of helpful Family Systems principles. Practical guidelines for care and ministry especially in change and conflict will be shared. Opening Doors of Understanding Annette Hill Briggs and Patricia Efiom Share the experience of these white and black ministers who have joined together in this small congregation to understand and shape ministry in an interracial congregation. Exploring Our Spiritual Gifts Tim Brock A brochure outlining a process for exploring spiritual giftedness in your own church context will be provided for each person who attends. The Missional Sunday School Michael McCullar and Bo Prosser You will explore ways to be the presence of Christ in your Sunday School classes through outreach, inreach, quality Bible teaching, and more. Setting Deacons Free! Tom Stocks This experience will share comparisons and contrasts between the Family Ministry Plan for Deacons and the Team Based Ministry Plan. Endorsement and Dialogue Elizabeth Thompson and George Pickle The session will emphasize the meaning and experience of endorsement for chaplains and pastoral counselors.

Faith Formation Preaching Jesus Christ: Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time Charles Bugg and Mack Dennis This session will look at several biblical texts and ask, “As we preach these texts, how do they call us and our hearers into a deeper, more vital relationship with the God most fully revealed in Jesus Christ?” Spiritual Formation Network: A Panel Discussion Eileen CampbellReed A new CBF network is emerging which invites, introduces, and supports various experiences of spiritual formation for individuals and congregation. Panelists will discuss the “who, what, why, and how” of the network and respond to questions. Values Clarification: A Fresh Beginning Ron Crawford Articulating congregational values will provide direction and focus to a church. Come learn how your church can focus, re-focus, and grow.

You Can Be the Presence of Christ – I Can Do That! Margaret Harding Explore creative ways that women can be the presence of Christ in daily ministry and missions situations. Spiritual Formation in a Youth Ministry Setting Kirk Hatcher and Erin Conaway The use of ancient spiritual disciplines and the incorporation of those practices into youth ministry will be discussed. Little Believers: How Children Come to God Keith Herron Explore a spiritual world of children and seek to understand the stages of faith appropriate to their age. Klesis: Hearing God’s Calling in Your Life Doris Nelms, Kathy Dobbins, and Colin Harris Learn how Klesis can help you to acknowledge individual gifts and affirm ministries in your church and community. This process explores vocational and spiritual gifts, personality preferences, values and passions. Companions in Christ: An Introduction Marjorie Thompson Companions in Christ, a 28-week small group resource, provides an experience in spiritual formation. The resource invites participants into a deepening relationship with God, as individuals and as a group. Create a Faith Development Blueprint for Your Church Priscilla Tunnell Discuss a system of Faith Development used by one church and the process they used to create their Blueprint. A procedure is then devised to formulate one unique to your church. Baptism: We’ve Got It Right … and Wrong John Tyler Discuss ways to better prepare baptismal candidates, to revitalize the baptism service, and to address a persistent question: Should we re-baptize veterans of the faith who come to us from other denominations?

Leadership Development Creative Leadership for Congregational Change Roy Godwin and Larry McSwain Explore the methods for the management of change and transition in the local church among laity and staff. What Staff Members Wish Their Pastor Knew Bruce Maples and Nina Maples In any closely-working team, it’s the little things that can pile up over the years. Two ministers with over 30 years of staff experience share a light-hearted look at some of the “little things.” Leading Change in a Congregation David Odom How can you initiate change that makes a long-term impact on the vitality of your congregation and its ministries? We will explore the role and work of leaders in discerning God’s will and initiating change in a congregation.

[continues on next page] FRIDAY, JUNE 25 Baptist World Alliance Breakfast 7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/ Convention Center Cost: To Be Determined, Reservations Required Contact: Vicky O’Boyle, (703) 790-8980, Ext. 130, George W. Truett Theological Seminary Alumni Association Breakfast 7:00 – 8:45 a.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/ Convention Center Cost: To Be Determined, Reservations Required Contact: Laura A. Cadena, (214) 616-3058, Hispanic Network Reception 7:00 a.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: Complimentary, Reservations Required Contact: Bill Bruster, 214-2822146, M. Christopher White School of Divinity of Gardner-Webb University Breakfast 7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/ Convention Center Cost: To Be Determined, Reservations Required Contact: Bruce Rabon, (704) 406-4256, brabon@gardner Ministers on the Move 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. A time for clergy in “transition” to meet privately with members of CBF’s reference and referral team. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: No Cost Contact: Clarissa Strickland, (770)

220-1635, African American Network Luncheon Noon – 1:45 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/ Convention Center Cost: Reservations Required Contact: Bill Bruster, (214) 2822146, Baptist Center for Ethics Luncheon 12:15 – 2:00 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: To Be Determined, Reservations Required Contact: Robert Parham, (615) 383-3192, Baptist Joint Committee Religious Liberty Council Luncheon Noon – 1:45 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: $25 per person, Reservations Required Contact: Wanda Henry, (202) 544-4226, Church Benefits Board Luncheon Noon – 2:00 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/ Convention Center Cost: By Invitation Contact: Gary Skeen, (770) 220-1621,; Valerie Hardy, (770) 220-1638, CBF Children’s Ministry Network 12:15 – 1:45 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/ Convention Center Cost: To Be Determined, Reservations Required Contact: Cathy Anderson, (828) 253-3208, Coordinating Council Alumni Dinner 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/ Convention Center Cost: $10 per person,

Reservations Required Contact: Charlotte Taylor, (770) 220-1640, ctaylor@thefellow Wake Forest University Divinity School Reception 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Location: Birmingham Museum of Art Cost: No Cost, Reservations Required Contact: Wade Stokes, (336) 758-4837, Asian Network Dinner 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: Complimentary, Reservations Required Contact: Bill Bruster, (214) 2822146, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond Alumni and Friends Dinner 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: To Be Determined, Advance Reservations Appreciated Contact: Bob Spinks, (804) 355-8135, New Missionary Reception 9:00 p.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: Complimentary SATURDAY, JUNE 26 Fellowship Heritage Society Breakfast 7:00 – 8:15 a.m. Location: Sheraton Hotel/Convention Center Cost: Complimentary with Reservations. Reservations must be made by noon Friday at the CBF Exhibit Contact: Sunday Tyson, (770) 220-1663,

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Wired for Ministry: Certificate Training for Ministry Anytime, Any Place James Peak Do you want to become the leader God has called you to be? Begin the journey at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and its exciting new program for non-resident students in professional and volunteer ministries: The BTSR School of Christian Ministry.

General Sessions

So, You’re on the Search Committee Clarissa Strickland and Panel A panel discussion to offer help to church search committees seeking congregational staff ministers.

Assembly is “Being the Presence of Christ: Today … Tomorrow … Together.” The three main worship services are intentionally weaved together through music, participation, scripture, thematic material and worship elements. Themed Scripture Passage: 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

A Dialogue with the Coordinator Daniel Vestal Enter in dialogue with CBF’s coordinator on the present and future of CBF.

Global Missions Ministering Among Muslims in a Post 9/11 World “Nomie” Come hear former Muslim speakers tell about the challenges and opportunities for sharing Christ’s love in the face of hardship. Opportunities for Students Amy Derrick and John Mitchell Some of the opportunities available to students such as Student.Go, Antiphony conference, and Mission Exchange will be discussed. Albanian-Balkan Team: Celebrating Ten Years Arville and Shelia Earl A look at the ministry of the Albanian-Balkan Team over the past 10 years and a vision for the future. Poverty in America, 2004 Pat Fulbright A look at life below the poverty level as “families” examine budgets, access resources, and discover why they “just can’t make it.” Global Missions New Church Starting Initiative Phil Hester See the guidelines, methodologies and research CBF is using in its Church Start Initiative and hear the latest in Global Mission’s new church starting from CBF experts and field practitioners. Being the Presence of Christ Among the Kurds “Frank” The CBF Kurdish Team invites you to learn how the presence of Christ is being practiced in the homeland and throughout the Kurdish Diaspora. Partnering Your Church with CBF Global Missions Tom Ogburn and Panel Discover how your church can partner with CBF Global Missions in launching a new ministry in your community or in the world. Transformational Development Work in God’s World Ben Newell This session will explain what, why, and how people can connect and participate in justice and mercy issues, HIV/Aids, Poverty, Emergency Response, and Community Development and Empowerment. Who Will Step Out in Faith? Tom Prevost Explore the need for CBF career envoy and GSC categories of service. Learn about a future as a team member in holistic ministries with “most neglected” peoples. Partners in Hope: CBF’s Rural Poverty Initiative Tom Prevost Get the latest update on efforts in the nation’s 20 poorest counties. Reaching Internationals in Your Own Neighborhood (Ministry Network) Rick Sample Join the 2nd Annual Internationals Ministry Network meeting. Hear missionaries and ministers on International Student ministry. Indigenous Missions: Persian World Outreach Model Mich and Pat Tosan Practical ways that you as a Christian leader/worker and your church can assist in indigenous missions efforts for those ethnic people walking into your church. Promoting the Offering for Global Missions Terry Walton and Panel A demonstration of approaches for promoting the Offering as a singular emphasis as well as alongside other missions stewardship programs. Participants will receive a promotional packet and will have the opportunity to ask specific questions related to their needs. Being the Presence of Christ in China Ron Winstead Learn about why we have chosen to work together with the registered Christian churches in China and how your presence as teacher, business person, physical therapist, or short-term volunteer in Chinese communities can provide a positive witness.

T H E T H E M E F O R T H I S Y E A R ’ S General


“Being the Presence of Christ Today” Hear John Kinney, dean of school of theology at Virginia Union University Music by Christian recording artist, Chris Rice and a Mass Choir featuring 200-voice choir and orchestra from churches in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia Dramatic sketches led by the Dramatic Vagabonds of Birmingham, Ala. F R I D AY E V E N I N G

“Being the Presence of Christ Tomorrow” Join us for the commissioning of new CBF Global Missions field personnel Video presentations of CBF Global Missions team Inspired congregational singing S A T U R D AY M O R N I N G

“Being the Presence of Christ Together” Experience communion officiated by Fellowship co-pastors Video presentations of “Being the Presence of Christ” Inspiring music

Information on W H E R E T O S TAY Go to to make hotel reservations. Hotels are filling up quickly, however rooms are still available. All reservations must be in writing and submitted by fax or online to the Birmingham Convention Housing Bureau. Contact (770) 619-9671 for further information.

CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS AND YOUTH A S S E M B LY For more information about Day Care and Day Camp (infants through children entering kindergarten) and Children’s Assembly (children who have completed kindergarten through 6th grade), contact Michelle McClintock at (205) 989-4292, or go to www.the For more information about Youth Assembly (students who have completed grades 7 through 12), contact Brent McDougal at (205) 486-3900, or

Pre-register online at or by calling (800) 352-8741. Pre-registration will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17. After this date you may register on-site at the Birmingham Convention Center beginning Thursday morning, June 24 at 9 a.m. 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

go to

For more information, call (800) 352-8741


Fellowship Roundup News from CBF’s states, regions and national offices ALABAMA Michael Lewis has been hired as the associate coordinator for new church starts. He can be contacted at On Jan. 25, a young congregation in Cullman joined the Fellowship network and ordained their pastor, Debbie Williams. Members of the AlabamaCBF staff were there to participate and celebrate this occasion. Riverchase Baptist Church, Birmingham, hosted the AlabamaCBF Spring Conference, March 5-6, “Growing Children ... Growing Faith,” where Calvin Miller was the guest speaker. Rod Marshall from Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes led parenting seminars and Mark McClintock, PASSPORTkids!, taught school-age children techniques of ventriloquism. Vestavia Hills Baptist Church is seeking partners in establishing the Centro de Esperanza in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. The Center of Hope will be committed to ministries that enhance the health, dignity and wholeness of individuals and families. Contact Dennis Anderson at (205) 979-5920 or GEORGIA T H E B A P T I S T W O M E N in Ministry

of Georgia will hold its annual spring meeting on April 17 at Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Forsyth with Susan Burnette preaching. Lunch, business, scholarships and awards are additional highlights. Contact Devita Parnell, (478) 742-1191 ext. 28 or Touching Taliaferro with Love, an initiative of CBF of Georgia and the Taliaferro County community, has set dates for 2004 summer camps,

June 20-25 and June 27-July 2. Ann Peisher of Athens is camp director. New Horizons Camp, an annual CBF of Georgia children’s missions camp for children who have completed grades 3-6, will be July 13-16 in Covington. Dixie Ford of Conyers is camp director. Starting in July 2004, teams of youth and adults, through CBF of Georgia’s partnership with BosniaHerzegovina, will travel to Sarajevo, Bosnia. Ten days of ministry and mission work will revolve primarily around a coffee house ministry.


Church in Springfield is hosting a Church Leadership Institute, 9 a.m. 3 p.m., April 23. CBF of Missouri’s General Assembly is April 23-24 in Springfield at University Heights. The theme is “Being the Presence of Christ: Everyone ... Everywhere,” and the program includes a missions banquet and coffee house concert with Kate Campbell at Springfield's University Plaza and Convention Center. Dinner and concert is $30 per person. Bernie Moraga, coordinator of the CBF Hispanic Network and pastor of First Spanish/Fruit Avenue Baptist Church in Albuquerque, N.M., will be Saturday’s preacher. Second Baptist Church in Liberty is hosting “Worship and Praise Gathering” at 6:30 p.m., May 2. This evening of blended worship and communion is sponsored by CBF-partnering churches in the Kansas City area.


awarded George Pickle, CBF’s associate coordinator for chaplaincy

Coming Attractions May 6-7 Theology of Hope Candler School of Theology Emory University, Atlanta Featuring: Jurgen Moltmann Contact: May 27-29 Baptist History and Heritage Society Annual Meeting Vancouver, Wash. Theme: “Baptist Footprints in the Northwest” Featured Speakers: Walter B. Shurden, J. Wayne Flynt Information: or (800) 966-2278 June 24-26 General Assembly 2004 Birmingham Convention Center, Alabama Information: For a complete schedule of events, go to Inside CBF/Fellowship Calendar at

and pastoral counseling, the prestigious COMISS Medal for his outstanding service as a leader in pastoral care. Founded in 1979, the COMISS Network is a national organization of chaplaincy, pastoral care and pastoral counseling stakeholders. The COMISS Medal is the organization’s highest honor and George Pickle has been awarded only three times since its inception. During his two years with CBF, Pickle has focused on building the Fellowship’s endorsement process and growing the number of CBF endorsed chaplains and pastoral w w w . t h e f e l l o w s h i p . i n f o A P R I L / M AY 2 0 0 4



counselors, which now stands at 350. As CBF Global Missions field personnel to the diplomatic community, Ana and David D’Amico have served at the United Nations in New York for the past eight years. Beginning Feb. 18, they started developing additional ministries from their new residence in North Carolina, while continuing their work as part of the Transformational Development Team. The D’Amicos will continue to attend U.N. conferences, and connect other field personnel to conferences relevant to the Fellowship’s ministry worldwide. The will also begin work among persons of Hispanic origin living in North Carolina. CBF has an opening for a coordinator of administration in the Atlanta Resource Center. This position reports directly to the CBF coordinator. Responsibilities include overseeing the daily operations of the CBF staff including direct supervision of the offices of Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Facilities/ Office Management, and the CBF Resource Link. The coordinator of administration will assist the CBF coordinator by functioning as chief of staff and will act in the absence of, and on behalf of, the CBF coordinator as required. The position relates to the CBF coordinators and staff personnel, Coordinating Council members, state and regional coordinators, churches, constituents and partnering organizations. A bachelor’s degree required; graduate level work preferred. A minimum of 10 years experience in organizational management, supervision and administration, preferably with nonprofits. Qualified candidate will possess demonstrated skill in organizational leadership, written and verbal communications, and human relations. Proven comprehensive knowledge of the theories, principles, and practices 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

of administrative management and working knowledge of the fields of Human Resource Management, budgeting, accounting, and information systems required. To be considered, qualified applicants should e-mail resumes to: searchcommittee@the or mail to: CBF, Attn: Search Committee, PO Box 1876, Raleigh, NC 27602. Deadline for resumes is April 30, but the process will remain open until the appropriate candidate is found.

NORTH CAROLINA Bob Patterson, coordinator of the CBF of North Carolina, has announced plans to step down “sometime during 2004.” Patterson, hired in February 1999 as the state organization's first coordinator, made the announcement Jan. 20 during a meeting of the organization's Coordinating Council. Patterson asked the council to allow him to “phase out” by forming a search committee soon but offered to serve until a new coordinator is selected. Patterson, 60, cited a “confluence of events” leading to Bob Patterson his decision. These include personal and family interests, he said, and an awareness “of imminent changes in North Carolina Baptist life.” (ABP) SOUTH CAROLINA C B F O F S O U T H C A R O L I N A will

sign a formal partnership agreement with the Union of Baptists in Belgium as part of its General Assembly on April 23-24. The Fellowship’s national coordinator, Daniel Vestal, will lead worship and popular singer Sara Reese will be guest musician at the assembly, to be held at Boulevard Baptist Church in Anderson. CBF Global Missions urban team member Ronnie Adams will speak at the

Vol. 14, No. 2 CBF COORDINATOR • Daniel Vestal EDITOR • Ben McDade MANAGING EDITOR • Lisa M. Jones PHONE • (770) 220-1600 FAX • (770) 220-1685 E-MAIL • WEB SITE •

fellowship! is published bimonthly 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

missions banquet on Friday night. Adams works with Rauschenbusch Ministries in New York City.

TENNESSEE W H E N A H A N D F U L of Baptists

gathered for worship on Dec. 6, 1998, in Hendersonville, Tenn., the future of their fellowship was unknown. On Jan. 17-18, the congregation now known as Believers Baptist Fellowship celebrated its status as a healthy, ministering congregation with two days of special activities. In addition to the pastor, Tim Rayborn, other speakers included Daniel Vestal, the Fellowship’s national coordinator, led a conversation and discussion about the CBF movement. Ircel Harrison, Tennessee CBF coordinator, and Mike Young, Tennessee CBF missions coordinator, were also involved in the dialogue with church members.

looked young and bilingual when it hosted a missions workshop Feb. 14 at the Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio. About 70 people from 12 churches gathered at BUA, formerly known as the Hispanic Baptist Theological School. Instead of a single spring meeting, CBF Texas sponsored a series of these workshops around the state. George W. Truett Seminary at Baylor University in Waco hosted a workshop Feb. 21, Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene on Feb. 28 and the Baptist Studies Program of Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth on March 6.

CBF Begins Partnership in Haiti T H E F E L L O W S H I P announced a

$16,000 donation to begin a partnership in Haiti to address the needs of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The initial donation will be made with World Vision, a Christian organization and formal partner of the Fellowship committed to holistic development. To endow a social services program for women and children at the Port-Au-Prince prison, $10,000 will be earmarked for pastoral care, legal fees and support for incomegenerating activities. The remaining amount will be used for cistern/well construction to serve several schools. The Fellowship’s involvement is intended to initiate long-term transformational development among the population that has been seriously neglected by the government. “There has been a lot of church planting activity in Haiti in the past, but the poverty issues seem to have been overlooked, including basic human need issues such as clean



Class Notes: News from Partner Schools Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. The spring enrollment grew by 11 new students, bringing the total of master of divinity students to 37 in the 2003-04 academic year. Also, the seminary will have its Spring Convocation at 3:30 p.m. April 25 at Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky. Wayne Ward will be the featured speaker.

23 Baptist Studies Program, Candler School of Theology, Emory University. Jürgen Moltmann’s A Theology of Hope (Harper & Row, 1975) will be revisited at Candler, May 6-7. Moltmann, who first published this groundbreaking book 40 years ago, will lecture twice along with Douglas Meeks, Cal Turner Chancellor Professor of Theology and Wesleyan Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, and Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale University Divinity School. Candler professors Nancy Eiesland, associate professor of sociology of religion; Robert Franklin, presidential distinguished professor of social ethics; and Ted Runyon, professor emeritus of systematic theology will speak also. For more information, visit Central Baptist Theological Seminary. The seminary has named American Baptist pastor James McCrossen interim president. The move follows Central President Thomas E. Clifton’s retirement announcement in August. As his first act, McCrossen hired executive consultant John Borden to give leadership to the strategic partnerships the seminary is currently considering in order to expand its scope and strengthen its financial base. Molly T. Marshall, professor of theology and spiritual formation at Central, will participate in a conference April 1-2, on Theology: Faith, Hope, and Love Seeking Justice, on the occasion of the installation of Nancy Elizabeth Bedford in the Georgia Harkness Chair of Applied Theology at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Ill. Marshall will be speaking on Theology as Faith Seeking. M. Christopher White School of Divinity, Gardner-Webb University. Wayne Stacy, dean of the divinity school, became pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., in April. Since 1997, Stacy has been dean of the divinity school. He recently requested and was granted a sabbatical leave from the divinity school and has been serving as interim pastor at First Baptist Church, Gastonia, N.C. Robert Canoy has been named interim dean of the divinity school. f!

water, access to healthcare and education for children,” said David Harding, CBF’s director of emergency response. “Our partnership with World Vision will bring a more holistic approach to meeting the needs of the Haitian people.” f! The Fellowship and World Vision have developed a list of volunteer opportunities in the areas of agriculture, computer technology, education, healthcare, infrastructure and social work. For more information, contact the

Fellowship’s volunteer office in Raleigh, N.C., at (877) 856-9288. To contribute to the need in Haiti, send your financial gift to CBF, P.O. Box 101699, Atlanta, GA 30392. Make your check payable to CBF and indicate the Haiti relief and development fund No. 17013.

By contributing writer Bob Perkins Jr., Mechanicsburg, Pa.

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F O R T H R E E W E E K S in January, Jason Wood spent two

in the Sowing Seeds of Hope project. “The group spent time working with the children and assisting the teachers, much like a teacher’s aide might do,” she says. Dean says this was something different for Samford students. “We have had various clinical experiences, but this is the first time we have traveled outside the Birmingham area – certainly the first time we have done anything like this in a truly rural area.” According to Dean, the students agreed that children need the very best from the adults in their surroundings. “Education gives any child the edge to be able to get out of poverty and to fulfill their dreams,” Dean says. “I think they all felt very strongly about that, about helping children understand that they can fulfill their dreams.” Wood plans to return to Perry County in the next few months, and see if the young boy is still improving. “We often think ministry means only preaching or sharing the gospel, but when you look at the ministry of Christ, it was all relationally based,” Wood says. “If you are trying to share the gospel with someone who is hungry, you have to ease the pain in their stomach before they can hear what you are saying. You have to meet the need and then let them know you are doing this because they are loved by Christ.” John Martin, coordinator for Sowing Seeds of Hope, concludes: “I feel that the students who came here realize the great need and that they want to be responsive to take an interest in those who are less blessed.” f!

hours each morning making an eternal difference in the life of a 10-year-old boy in Perry County, Ala. A junior at Birmingham’s Samford University, Wood was part of a four-person team that traveled to Marion, Ala., to work in area public schools. “The most meaningful part of the trip for me was working with this boy,” Wood says. “He is in third grade, but still reads at a preschool level.” Wood admits that the first day was difficult. “He didn’t want to have anything to do with me – he didn’t want to hear it. Finally, I realized he had a bad self-image and didn’t think he could read. “I finally got across to him that he could do it, if he would just put his mind to it,” Wood explains. “After that breakthrough, we made some significant progress. It was really satisfying to see him mature and learn.” Carol Dean, an instructor for the School of Education at Samford, accompanied the group to Marion to participate

Courtesy of Carol Dean


Samford Students Minister in Perry County as Part of Sowing Seeds of Hope

Perry County elementary and high school students receive help from Samford University students Jason Wood, Erin Dawson and Sara Terry.

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

Alabama's Sowing Seeds of Hope is part of Partners in Hope, the Fellowship’s rural poverty initiative. To learn more about Partners in Hope, go to Global Missions/Partners in Hope at For more on Sowing Seeds of Hope, go to or contact John Martin at (334) 683-4666 or

By staff writer Jo Upton

2004 April/May  
2004 April/May  

2004 April/May