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May/June 2006

Fellowship to convene HIV/AIDS summit on eve of General Assembly Salvador to play free concert


o raise awareness and develop response to the growing global HIV/AIDS crisis, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship will

sponsor a summit June 21-22 in Atlanta prior to the Fellowship’s General Assembly. Following the plenary sesTitled “Breaking the Sision, participants will have the lence: Compassion for an HIV option to attend two breakout Positive World,” the summit sessions. Eight breakout opwill offer plenary and breakout tions will be offered, featursessions and opportunities to formulate personal, church and Fellowshipwide responses to this global health ing presentations crisis. from experts and “The summit time for discuson the HIV/ sion. Breakout AIDS pandemic topics related to is sounding a HIV/AIDS will clarion call to include local Baptists,” said church response, event co-chair medical issues, Jimmy Allen, aupersonal stories, thor of the 1995 and thinking book “Burden of biblically and a Secret” about David Beckmann theologically his family’s about HIV/AIDS. struggle with HIV/AIDS. “The “CBF has boldly entered HIV/AIDS pandemic is wipinto communities of need in ing out the lives of thousands other nations. We now need to of persons daily. It does not expand our efforts, join hands just threaten communities with partners who are tackling in distant lands. It is spreadthese challenges, and rescue ing death, destruction and the perishing as we care for the grief across our own nation. It dying,” said Allen, who now works its silent path of devasconsults with news media for tation.” David Beckmann, president of CBF partner organization Bread for the World, will speak during the plenary session beginning at 1 p.m. THE COOPERATIVE Baptist Wednesday. The session will Fellowship is partnering with present a global look at HIV the China Christian Council and its relation to poverty, as (CCC) to bring an exhibition well as testimony from a peron the Bible in China to three son living with HIV. U.S. cities this spring and “There’s a direct link besummer. tween poverty, nutrition, Originally showcased in quality of life and HIV infecAugust 2004 at an event in tion. Beckmann will be able to Hong Kong that drew more directly speak to the holistic than 20,000 visitors, “A Lamp picture of poverty and HIV,” to my Feet, a Light to my Path” said event co-chair John DerChina Bible Ministry Exhibirick, the Fellowship’s assocition debuted on American soil ate coordinator for missions at the Crystal Cathedral in Los training. Angeles, Calif., April 27-May 4.

religion, ethics and spirituality coverage; and serves as chaplain emeritus of Big Canoe Chapel in Big Canoe, Ga., where he lives. The summit has a two-fold purpose — for education and response. The breakout sessions and plenary sessions are designed to dispel some of the misinformation circulating about HIV/AIDS. The final plenary session, held 7:4510:10 a.m. Thursday, will focus on developing an individual, church and Fellowship-wide response. As a part of the summit, musical group Salvador will present a free concert at 8 p.m., June 21, in the Sidney Marcus Auditorium of the Georgia World Congress Center. Salvador is a partner with relief and development organization World Vision and has been involved in the ONE Campaign to alleviate poverty. During the concert, Salvador will make a presentation about the HIV/AIDS Salvador crisis, leading par-

How to Respond LEARN – For up-to-theminute updates on the summit, visit GeneralAssembly/summit.icm. Registration is $40 and includes breakfast Thursday. Registration for students is $30. To register,

ticipants to develop their own responses to the pandemic. Starting as a praise and worship band at their small Hispanic church in Austin, Texas, Salvador released its first album under the Word Record label in 2000. They have toured with Christian recording artists Third Day, Jaci Velasquez and Rachel Lampa. They have also

visit GeneralAssembly/summitreg.icm. For more information on Salvador, visit their Web site See pages 6-7 for details on the General Assembly.

performed at Billy Graham and Franklin Graham crusades, as well as major youth conferences. Their fourth album “Con Poder,” the 2004 Dove Award for best Spanish language album, was also nominated for best praise and worship album. f! Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

Bible in China exhibition coming to U.S. Missions associate coordinator Second-Ponce de Leon for field teams in Asia and the Baptist Church in Atlanta will Fellowship’s representative on host the exhibition May 19-24, the exhibition planning team. and the tour will conclude at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New “This is the first time ... that York, June 6-15. The Chinese Christians have Atlanta exhibition reached outside of China to the will kick off with a international community.” special address by former President “They also have encourageJimmy Carter on May 19. ment to offer us as the church “The point is to build relain the USA. We are Christian tionships and offer encouragebrothers and sisters, and we ment to the church in China,” need each other.” said Anita Snell, CBF Global

David Sapp, pastor of Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, and others key leaders at the church are part of the team planning and organizing the Atlanta event. “The explosion of Christianity in China in recent years is absolutely amazing,” Sapp said. “This is the first time, as I understand it, that Chinese Christians have reached outside of China to the international community. They are trying to build friends in the — Continued on page 11



CBF Global Missions strategy growing to include more volunteers, indigenous leaders


n response to societal trends and its own strategic plan for effectively reaching the most neglected peoples in the world, CBF Global Missions is seeking to better utilize volunteers and indigenous people

as a supplement to the ongoing work of its career field personnel. Increased priority will be given to AsYouGo affiliates, Global Service Corps (GSC) personnel, Student.Go summer and semester student workers, and volunteers. “Individuals and churches are coming to us and saying God has called them to be involved with specific ministries,” said Jack Snell, CBF Global Missions interim coor-

How to Respond LEARN – For more on the CBF Global Missions approach, go to globalmissions or check out the numerous people group resources from The CBF Store available online at PRAY – To view monthly prayer requests from the field or a list of field personnel birthdays, visit missions. You can also receive the monthly enewsletter “Prayer Associates” by subscribing at

GIVE – 100 percent of your gift to the Offering for Global Missions goes to support the work of global missions, including supporting and sustaining field personnel. To make a gift, use the envelope that accompanies this issue of the newsletter or go online to www. SERVE – To learn about all of the categories of service with CBF Global Missions, go to

dinator. “We want to provide more ways for hands-on involvement in missions.” Because of this new emphasis on empowering churches and individuals, this year’s appointments will focus on affiliates and GSC personnel. Additional career field personnel will be appointed in the future as additional financial resources allow for the required long-term commitment, Snell said. The Fellowship’s financial growth continues, but not enough to Scott Hunter, right, one of CBF’s Global Missions field personnel, works with indigenous leaders in Sri Lanka to carry out postimmediately appoint new catsunami development work. reer field personnel, he said. and affiliate field selection. “We are offerHowever, funding is only one contribing the invitation to become involved.” uting factor to the transition, which has Career field personnel will help facilitate been a part of CBF Global Missions’ strathe ministry of volunteers and short-term tegic plan from the beginning. A larger personnel. Whether it’s identifying how 8 societal shift is at play with an increasing Stretch Ledford photo

Traditionally, missions-sending organizations have utilized career personnel as the primary avenue of ministry, but CBF Global Missions is transitioning to better utilize the skills and gifts of the individuals and churches that comprise the Fellowship as well as the influence and effectiveness of indigenous leaders.

number of individuals and churches who want to be involved in more hands-on ministry, according to Snell. “There is a group of people who want to be involved and do things instead of just talk about it or give money,” said Matt Norman, associate coordinator for career

AsYouGo affiliates minister through ‘small things’ in China

Vol. 16, No. 3 COORDINATOR • Daniel Vestal COORDINATOR, COMMUNICATIONS & RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT • Ben McDade EDITOR • Lance Wallace ASSOCIATE EDITOR • Carla Wynn PHONE • (770) 220-1600 FAX • (770) 220-1685 E-MAIL • WEB SITE •

fellowship! is published 7 times a year in Sept./ Oct., Special I (Oct.), Nov./Dec., Jan./Feb., Mar./Apr., May/June, Special II (Aug.) 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


In an effort to provide professional participate on field teams. English training services, the Ballews are “Our ministry appears to be small in the process of developing Lighthouse sometimes,” Larry said. “It’s a ministry of English Training Services (LETS). The small things, having breakfast with a couple of guys, teaching English to a business person. These aren’t flashy or spectacular activities. These aren’t huge crusades, but for whatever reason, God has fashioned us to be faithful in this ministry of small things. These small things make a difference in the long run.” Working as affiliates has given the Ballews accountability, support and friendship on the field. “For us, we join with other CBF personnel in Asia for support and mutual accountability,” Larry said. “Additionally, we hope that our From left, Larry, Joshua, Sarah and Nathanael Ballew. relationship with CBF will provide Ballews are hoping volunteers will plug more churches and individuals with opinto LETS, augmenting their reach in the portunities to bless Macau through their community. prayers, service in Macau as volunteers, The Ballews’ sons, Joshua, 13, and and the giving of financial gifts.” Nathanael, 11, have actively participated The Ballews work closely with Grace in their ministry. When they first moved Baptist Church in Macau. The church has to China, the children were enrolled in some members with disabilities and deals a local school, which allowed them to with illiteracy, Sarah said. These challenges quickly learn the language and adapt to encourage the Ballews to engage more the culture. of the senses in each worship service The Ballews face many challenges to capture the attention of more of the in Macau. Despite religious freedom, congregation. Christians are still a major minority in “The service is quite simple because we the city. Because of constant exposure to don’t want to do anything that they can’t Christianity through Catholicism, many replicate and do for themselves,” Sarah said.

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Photo courtesy of the Ballews

A DECADE HAS PAST since Larry and Sarah Ballew moved across the world to Macau, China. After Sarah’s missions experience in Korea and Larry’s time in Zambia, the Ballews once again sensed a calling that took them far from the United States. They now work as “life strategists,” teaching English, counseling, helping people address life issues, assisting people with relationships, and building relationships within the Macau community. They have chosen to affiliate with CBF Global Missions through the AsYouGo program, which allows individuals doing missions work funded by another source to be a part of the Fellowship’s Global Missions structure and

indigenous people are familiar with the gospel but do not see its relevance to their own life. “They’ve almost been inoculated to the gospel,” Sarah said. “They’ve heard a little about Him and now are immune to Him.” Sarah expressed that most people are interested in them because they are Americans, but the Ballews continuously seek to bridge the gap of just being friends with people in the community and introducing them to Christ. Ancestor worship and the influence of family can be barriers to Christianity in China. Out of loyalty to their family, individuals often resist accepting Christ. “The biggest challenge is discouragement because it does take a long time for someone to believe,” Sarah said. For those who are already believers, the Ballews are working to build depth and encourage spiritual growth. “We are willing to come up along side people as the Lord is growing and maturing,” Sarah said. f! LEARN – For more information about Macau or how to volunteer, visit http://www. For more on AsYouGo, visit SERVE – Interested in serving as an AsYouGo affiliate? Contact Matt Norman at (770) 220-1609 or e-mail

By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications

Global Missions Strategy


A s Yo u G o A f f i l i a t e s i n C h i n a



CBF Global Missions Categories of Service Career: Personnel who are employed by CBF Global Missions to share their faith cross-culturally.

Mark Sandlin photo

volunteers can be utilized, supporting volunteers in ministry, or providing guidance and accountability, career personnel will continue to be an influential part of ministry. With their leadership, more volunteers and short-term workers can be empowered to participate in hands-on ministry, Snell said.

Jack Snell, left, interim CBF Global Missions coordinator, commissions AsYouGo affiliates Ann and Nick Skipper at the 2005 General Assembly in Grapevine, Texas.

“Career personnel are indispensable because they are the cross-cultural and missiological specialists who provide opportunity, credibility and accountability for GSC and affiliate personnel,” Snell said. GSC will continue to be valuable avenues for ministry, Snell said. For a specific, shortterm time period, they expand the work of

Global Service Corps (GSC): One- to threeyear assignments that fill strategic needs all over the world. AsYouGo Affiliate: Self-supporting personnel serving through the CBF Global Missions field team structure. Whether through business or education employment or through the direct financial support of churches, it provides a global

career field personnel because of their ability to start quickly, often bringing a unique skill set to ministries as they explore their own calling. Currently 15 GSC personnel are serving around the world, with seven more slated for appointment during June’s General Assembly. Technology has enabled the world to become better connected, thus creating new missions opportunities. As affiliate personnel, global citizens — those people whose vocations allow them to work anywhere in the world — could directly work with field personnel and ministries. More than ever, creative missions opportunities exist, and CBF Global Missions is seeking to better connect individuals and churches with those opportunities.

missions connection for CBF-minded people who have a specific mission calling to areas where CBF is not currently sending career or GSC personnel. Student.Go: Summer or semester ministry opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to serve among unevangelized and marginalized people. Volunteer: Individuals who pay their own way to be a part of CBF Global Missions work around the world. Assignments can be short- or long-term.

Already with 20 affiliates serving, the AsYouGo program is growing steadily with 14 additional people scheduled for appointment in June, Norman said. “It’s the approach of the future for people to use their skills and calling in creative ways to share the gospel,” Snell said. CBF Global Missions will also continue seeking better ways to utilize indigenous leadership. While this partnership model is already in use, continued efforts will be made to increase the effectiveness of the approach, Snell said. Indigenous workers are most often the best ministers to their communities and finding new creative ways to empower them is essential for future ministry growth. f! By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

Samples extend friendship through Mihmani services

Photo courtesy of Lita and Rick Sample

culture. I think that is why they’re so exWHEN FREMONT, California-based CBF cited about this.” field personnel Lita and Rick Sample began These friendship gatherings are aimed planning a friendship gathering at Crossprimarily at fellowship and sharing. Rick roads Church for their Afghan neighbors, said, “We have been sharing the love of they knew the traditional tables and chairs Christ from the very first Mihmani, but in would not make their guests feel at home. “When we visit in their homes, we’ve become used to dining on the floor on carpets with them. It’s part of their culture. So that’s what we decided to do,” Lita said. Co-sponsored by CBF and Crossroads Church, the first meeting of Mihmani (which means friendship gathering in Farsi, the native Afghan The Mihmani gatherings are held in a Persian-friendly environment language) was held last spring. with rugs and pillows rather than tables and chairs. For the past three years, the culturally sensitive ways because the Afghan Samples have been building relationships community is almost exclusively Muslim.” with local Afghans. About 30,000 to 50,000 One especially meaningful Mihmani serAfghans, many of them refugees, live in the vice was held on Mother’s Day 2005, when San Francisco Bay area. Rick asked the oldest child and the husband When the Afghans arrive for a Mihmani of each mother to stand up in front of the service, they are greeted with floors covgroup and express their appreciation. ered by Persian rugs with pillows around “We wanted to do something to make the edges. Afghan women bring food for the women feel special,” Rick said. “Cula potluck-style meal. Someone is present turally, it is extremely uncommon for an to translate English into Farsi. Sometimes Afghan man to publicly make a speech of there is a concert by an Afghan performer. affirmation to his wife.” Dancing continues to be a favorite part of When the Samples began the Mihmani Mihmani services. meetings, they hoped to eventually form “The Afghans are really happy about it,” house churches in Afghan homes. That Lita said. “Because not only do we befriend dream has come true. them, we acknowledge and embrace their

M i h m a n i S e r v i c e s f o r A f g h a n s | A n t i p h o n y N u t u r i n g G o d ’s C a l l t o S t u d e n t s

“Out of the Mihmani gatherings, one house church has been launched,” Rick said. “We are working on a second one in another location.” The Samples are excited about the success of the Mihmani services. “How many Baptist churches have 100 Muslims coming in their doors?” Rick said. “We’re having that right here. We’re doing it in a culturally sensitive way and through building relationships. f! By contributing writer Traci Rylands, Atlanta, Ga.

How to Respond LEARN – Get the spring quarter of “Doing Missions in a World Without Borders” missions education curriculum by calling (770) 220-1600. You can also get the “Focusing on Internationals” DVD for $7.50 by calling The CBF Store at (888) 801-4223 or PRAY – Visit globalmissions/prayercentral for the latest prayer concerns from field personnel. Or, sign up to receive Prayer Associates at or by calling (770) 220-1600.

Antiphony confronts students with God’s call ATTENTION STUDENTS: God is calling you. College and graduate students will be challenged to respond to God’s call at the second-ever Antiphony conference, Dec. 29, 2006Jan. 2, 2007, at the Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta. Titled “Call and Response,” the event centers on dialogue and discussion, challenging students to consider God’s call and their response in a global climate of need, change, conflict and disparity. Named for a musical term describing a reciprocal exchange of voices, Antiphony was first convened with overwhelming results during the New Year’s holiday in 2005. Students who attended the first Antiphony have gone on to enroll in seminary, serve in various missions capacities and have entered local church ministry. “The first Antiphony was a huge success,” said Amy Derrick, Antiphony steering committee chair and CBF Global Missions associate coordinator for Global Service Corps and Student.Go. “Students and student leaders alike were energized by the event and were grateful for a safe space to have meaningful dialogue around the issue of calling and about the global issues that affect all of us,” she said. “So many of us just want to do something ‘good’ with our lives, while at the same time remaining faithful to our calling,” said Joel Baucom, a Campbell Divinity School student who attended the first Antiphony. “Antiphony has such potential to transform your perspective on what it means to be that follower of Christ.” The cost of the conference is $200, which covers four nights in the hotel, one dinner, two lunches and the conference fee. Registration opens August 15 and closes Nov. 15. Those interested can register online at The first Antiphony had a gala on New Year’s Eve, and the success of that event led organizers to include a gala again at this year’s event. “Antiphony is nurturing the call of future Christian leaders,” Derrick said. “These students are the future of CBF.” LEARN – For more on the conference, watch for future issues of fellowship!, or go online to www. By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications

GIVE – Give to the Offering for Global Missions by using the envelope attached to this issue or go online at www.thefellowship. info/ SERVE – For CBF volunteer opportunities, go to

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Banjara Gypsy students make an impact at CBF partner schools Prasanna and Sagar Bhukya, they pray they are seeing a spiritual equivalent of that “little

cloud ... like a man’s hand” referred to in 1 Kings 18. That tiny bit of mist turned into massive droughtbreaking rains.


Prasanna even inspired one of her BUA professors Nora Lozano to join a Global Women project that trained Banjara women in India last October. Prasanna, who lives on-campus, has had other impacts at BUA, too — from cooking a complete Indian meal for all the on-campus students to providing all the members of the Torah Dance Club with Indian dress. “It has been hard to be so far from

“Sagar has already proven an asset in class discussion by offering a perspective that is not bound to American cultural values,” said Truett professor Joel Weaver. “He provides the Truett community with a tangible and visible expression of the universal nature of the Church.” Calvary Baptist Church in Waco is providing Bhukya a spiritual home. He

LEARN – For more information about the CBF Banjara Gypsy Project and to contact Prasanna or Bhukya, visit http://banjara. To learn about the

Photo courtesy of Truett Seminary

Prasanna and Bhukya are the first — the Francoviches hope of many — Banjara Gypsy Christians to receive advanced theological training in the United States. Prasanna is studying at Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio, while Bhukya is enrolled at Baylor University’s Truett Baptist Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas. “We have partnered with several indigenous Banjara Gypsy ministries for years,” James said. “Now the children of our partners have grown up and are assuming leadership roles — no small challenge when only an estimated 1 percent of the 10 million Banjaras are Christian believers.” Banjara are overwhelmingly Hindu. CBF’s Banjara Gypsy Team, which includes the Francovichs and Eddie and Macarena Aldape, launched the “Next Generation Project” to maximize the leadership opportunities of those partner’s children. Two of the major goals, in addition to providing theological training, were to introduce Banjara “... this has been Christians to a wonderful Fellowship opportunity, and churches and I have learned schools and to encourage so much. I’m the leadership looking forward of women to returning in Banjara to India and ministries. When Woodsharing it with land Baptist others.” Church in San Antonio designated $25,000 for the Banjara ministry, the money went to underwrite the education of two students. Prasanna, the daughter of Narasingh Naik, the general secretary of Banjara Development Trust, began her studies at BUA in January 2005 and will complete her bachelor’s degree in theology in May 2006. Bhukya, the son of Lazarus Lalsing, director of Banjara ministry for the Church of South India, started work on his master of divinity at Truett in fall 2005. “Mary is a homeopathic doctor by trade but her heart is to minister among Banjara women in rural villages,” Robbi said. “She is a key because of her passion for Banjara women and her maturity as a young professional to help uplift the often oppressed tribal women both physically and spiritually.”

has taken part in worship services and is involved in a “life group” there. “Sagar’s bright smile and powerful testimony have already made an impression at Calvary,” said Sharyn Dowd, a Baylor University professor and ministry associate for neighborhood outreach at Calvary. Woodland’s gift is paying for all of Prasanna’s expenses as well as many of Bhukya’s. Truett Seminary gave Bhukya a tuition, books and insurance scholarship. “Mary and Sagar would love to visit Fellowship churches as their class demands allow,” James said. “They both have powerful testimonies. “And if there are others who would like to join Woodland in making it possible for Banjara students to be trained, let us know,” James added. “We have a Muslim-background believer who is ready to come right now if we can generate more funds.” f!

Fellowship’s partner schools, visit www.

By contributing writer Craig Bird of San Antonio, Texas Sagar Bhukya began his studies at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary in fall 2005.

home because I miss my family very much,” she admitted. “But this has been a wonderful opportunity, and I have learned so much. I’m looking forward to returning to India and sharing it with others.” Bhukya, whose entire family was ex-communicated from their home community when his grandparents and parents became Christians, has a master’s degree in business administration from a top Indian university. In India, he frequently served as James’ translator at evangelistic meetings.

Join Leadership Development for dinner! Theological Education Dinner June 21, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Grand Ballroom E, Omni Hotel at CNN Center Keynote speaker: David Tiede Topic: “Theological Education as Leader Education.” Cost: $50 per person. Reservation forms available at www.thefellowship. info/documents/TheoEdDinnerRegistration. pdf. Please return completed form to Mary McCoy at or contact Mary at (770) 220-1637.

Mary Prasanna has ministered to her fellow students at Baptist University of the Americas by sharing Banjara culture.

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Craig Bird photo


hen CBF Global Missions field personnel James and Robbi Francovich look at Mary

Banjara Students at Partner Schools



Assembly to offer conference, luncheon for chaplains, counselors


he Cooperative Baptist Fellowship will sponsor a conference and luncheon for chaplains and pastoral counselors during its

General Assembly June 22-23 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. increased interaction with each other, discussion about the CBF chaplaincy and pastoral counseling ministry, and continuing education for development,” said George Pickle, the Fellowship’s associate coordinator for chaplaincy and pastoral counseling. “I am extremely pleased that Dr. Molly Marshall will be our resource person.” On Friday, June 23, a luncheon will be held, featuring a presentation on contemplative prayer by Loyd Allen, professor of church history and spiritual formation at Mercer University’s McAfee Loyd Allen School of Theology. The event will be in Grand Ballroom B of the Omni Hotel from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

As an auxiliary event preceding the Assembly, a conference will be held Wednesday, June 21, featuring Molly Marshall, president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Marshall, also a professor of theology and spiritual formation, will present on the conference theme, “Renewing a Theology for Ministry: The Call Molly Marshall to Care.” The event, held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Grand Ballroom E of the Omni Hotel at CNN Center, can earn conference participants a continuing education unit from the Association of Professional Chaplains. “This experience will enable our CBF chaplains and pastoral counselors to have

Commencements at CBF partner schools ■ Baptist Seminary of Kentucky

“These opportunities for reflection and growth provide a meaningful experience for the CBF pastoral care community during the CBF General Assembly,” Pickle said. Events are open to endorsees, retirees, seminary students, interested applicants and spouses, if applicable. Also scheduled is a workshop highlighting the Fellowship’s endorsement process for chaplain and pastoral counselor applicants. Pickle and Troy Petty, chairman of the Fellowship’s council on endorsement, will lead the workshop and dialogue. f! LEARN – For more information or to pre-register for General Assembly, visit www. icm. Both the conference and luncheon events require advance registration. To register, contact Jen Van Camp at (770) 220-1645,, or George Pickle at (770) 220-1617, The workshop is free and part of the General Assembly.

By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

• Cynthia M. Jordan, certified clinical chaplain, C.P.S.P., Catawba Valley Medical Center, Hickory, N.C.

Hospice —

• Charla B. Littell, clinical pastoral educator, A.C.P.E., Duke University Health System, Durham, N.C.

• Stuart G. Collier, chaplain, New Beacon, Inc., Birmingham, Ala. • Ann R. Pennington, chaplain, VistaCare Hospice, Waco, Texas Hospital —

• Bonnie R. Reedy, CPE resident, Rex Healthcare, Raleigh, N.C.

• Susan L. Harthon, supervisory candidate, A.C.P.E., chaplain, Clarian Health Partners, Indianapolis, Ind.

• Travis K. Smith, board certified chaplain, A.P.C., CPE resident, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, N.C.

• Rachel Hunt Hill, provisional board certified chaplain, A.P.C., CPE resident,

• Gene T. Vincent, CPE resident, Pastoral Counseling Centers of Tennessee, Inc., Nashville, Tenn.

Military — • Stephen M. Shaw, active duty chaplain, U.S. Navy, Pace, Fla. • Samantha D. Sullivan, chaplain candidate, U.S. Navy, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. LEARN – The next Council on Endorsement meeting is scheduled for June 21. For more information about CBF chaplaincy and pastoral counseling, contact George Pickle at (770) 220-1617 or gpickle@thefellowship. info. Information is also available at www. Life/Chaplains PC/ Endorsees.icm.

Baptist Theological

Seminary at Richmond. R. Michael Harton, regional coordinator of the Initiative for Ministerial Excellence, a program funded by the Lilly Endowment through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, has been elected

■ Baptist University of the Americas

Albert L. Reyes, president Graduation: May 13 Speaker: Josue Grijalva Graduates: 95 ■ Campbell University School of

Seminary Molly Marshall, President Graduation: May 13 Speaker: Trinette McCray, executive director of vocation development, Cardinal Stritch University Graduates: 25 Graduating class: 104th ■ Baptist House of Studies

Duke University Divinity School Curtis Freeman, director Graduation: May 14 Speaker: John Hope Franklin Graduates: 166 Graduating class: 18th ■ M. Christopher White School

of Divinity, Gardner-Webb University Robert Canoy, acting dean Graduation: May 13 Graduates: 31 Graduating class: 12th ■ Logsdon School of Theology,

Seminary, Baylor University Paul Powell, dean Graduation: May 12 Baccalaureate Speaker: William M. Pinson Jr. Graduates: 40 Graduating class: 10th

Campbell University Divinity School. In early

February, 19 Campbell University Divinity School

Theological Seminary at Richmond.

students were commissioned by the university.


School of Theology, Emory University David Key, director Graduation: May 15 Speaker: Marian Wright Edelman, president, Children’s Defense Fund Graduates: 18 Graduating class: 16th

■ George W. Truett Theological

as interim dean of the faculty at the Baptist

Luncheon for Chaplains, Counselors

■ Baptist Studies Program, Candler

Mercer University Alan Culpepper, dean Graduation: May 20 Speaker: Lien-Hwa Chow, professor, dean and former president, Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary Graduates: 39 Graduating class: eighth

From left, Elaine Miller, Vickie Woods and Elsie Peterson fellowship with each other moments before they were commissioned at Campbell University Divinity School. Michael Harton

Divinity School Newell Williams, president Graduation: May 13 Graduates: six Graduating class: ninth

■ McAfee School of Theology,

Photo courtesy of Campbell Divinity School

■ Baptist Studies Program, Brite

Hardin-Simmons University Thomas V. Brisco, dean Graduation: May 13 Graduates: 13 Graduating class: 10th

Class Notes: News from partner schools THE FOLLOWING are news items from Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner schools. To include items from your school, send an e-mail to Lance Wallace at

Richmond Thomas Graves, president Graduation: May 27 Speaker: Denton Lotz, general secretary, Baptist World Alliance Graduates: 41 Graduating class: 14th

■ Central Baptist Theological

• Charis A. Weathers, CPE resident, Swedish Hospital, Seattle, Wash.

Duke University Medical Services, Durham, N.C.

■ Baptist Theological Seminary at

Divinity Michael Cogdill, dean Covenant/Hooding Service: May 14 Speaker: Marsha Foster-Boyd, director of accreditation and leadership education, Association of Theological Schools Graduates: 27 Graduating class: ninth

CBF-endorsed chaplains, pastoral counselors at 520 THE FOLLOWING chaplains and pastoral counselors were endorsed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Council on Endorsement at its February meeting:

Greg C. Earwood, president Graduation: May 13 Speaker: Wade Rowatt Graduates: two Graduating class: second



Class Notes


The commissioning served as recognition of the call each student has received to ministry.


■ The Divinity School

Wake Forest University Bill Leonard, dean Graduation: May 15 Speaker: Jill Crainshaw Graduates: 43 Graduating class: fifth

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Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 2006 General Assembly Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga. • June 21-24, 2006

Worship to illuminate theme of ‘world in need’


ne of the most anticipated elements of the annual General Assembly for Fellowship Baptists is the substance and style of

worship during the general sessions. attendees experience God’s presence during the sessions through a variety of music, drama, video, sermons, symbols and sacraments. With the theme of “Being the Presence of Christ … For a World in Need,” the worship promises to cause the attendees to transcend their own needs and contemplate God’s work through them in the world. “The general sessions will feature traditional hymns and anthems as well as music from around the world, as we sing our faith in a variety of styles and expressions,” Walker said. “Friday night’s commissioning service will also incorporate communion and music from the Taize community.” OFFICIAL HOTEL A variety of choral music will be used from a combined I N F O R M AT I O N children’s choir representing First To reserve your hotel online, go to Baptist Church, Dalton, Ga., and GeneralAssembly/reg.icm to pre-register.

This year’s steering committee appointed Alicia Walker, associate pastor for music and worship at Peachtree Baptist Church in Atlanta, as the lead worship planner, in conjunction with artist in residence C. Michael Hawn, a faculty member at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas; Fellowship moderator Joy Yee; Bo Prosser, coordinator of Congregrational Life; and the steering committee, which is led by Jim Ross, pastor of Madison Baptist Church, Madison, Ga. Each year, worship planners spend hours in collaboration to help Assembly

After registering online, you will be directed to the room reservation Web site for the Omni or Westin.

HOTELS Omni at CNN Center (headquarter hotel) and The Westin Peachtree Plaza

H O T E L I N F O R M AT I O N Omni at CNN Center, Single/Double/Triple/ Quad – $109.00 plus tax (Current room tax 15%) The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Single/Double/Triple/ Quad – $105.00 plus tax (Current room tax 15%)

Please make your hotel reservations by phone or online (instructions below) by May 25, 2006. 1. Phone: Call the Omni at CNN Center Hotel at (800) 400-1700 or The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel at (800) 228-3000 and reference “Cooperative Baptist Fellowship” as your convention group. You will be asked for a credit card number to hold the reservation, and your credit card will be charged at that time. The deposit is refundable if cancelled seven days prior to arrival. 2. Go ONLINE to Assembly/reg.icm and make reservations online with either the Omni at CNN Center or The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. You will be asked for a credit card number to hold your reservation. Your credit card will be charged at that time for one night’s room and tax. This deposit is refundable if cancellation is made seven days prior to arrival. If you need help making your reservations please call S. Stewart & Associates for assistance at (770) 619-9671.

Helpful Reminders 1. Reservations should be made no later than May 25, 2006, for advertised room rate. Reservations received after the cut-off date will be accepted on a space available basis and at the hotel’s prevailing room rate. 2. Sharing a room: Please make only one reservation per room, listing all occupants in the room. A confirmation listing each occupant will be mailed to you (the primary occupant) if reservation is completed by phone. Please print your confirmation if completed online. 3. All reservations holding more than 10 rooms will be required to forward a non-refundable, one night’s deposit for each room held by April 1, 2006. If not, all rooms held will be released back to the CBF Housing Room Block for re-sale. 4. Changes/Cancellations: Please call the Omni at CNN Center or The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel for all changes/cancellations and reference your confirmation number. When canceling a reservation, please be sure to ask for a cancellation number and keep a record of the number. 5. RATES DO NOT INCLUDE the current room tax of 15%.


Choose from among more than 100 workshops at this year’s Assembly ____________ A sampling of


SPARK a Child’s Interest in Missions Virginia Butler A child’s life is full of active learning experience. Discover how Spark, CBF’s new resource for teaching missions, invites children to explore cultures nearby and far away through the stories and work of CBF field personnel.

Calebs Cafe: New Service for Adult and Youth Small Groups David Cassady Learn about a new online service for Christian groups to stay in touch, learn and grow. Get a customized private online space for your Christian group to share prayer requests, announcements or anything else.

Operation Inasmuch David Crocker Hear about a proven mobilization of 50-75 percent of a congregation in a one-day, hands-on mission blitz their community. This presentation will tell the OIAM story, show its impact on churches and communities, and share a testimony of one church’s experience. A how-to manual is available.

Missions: The Next Generation Amy Derrick Come and hear about missions, service and growth opportunities for

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Joy Yee featured speaker, moderator

Trevor Hudson featured speaker

Al Staggs worship leader

C. Michael Hawn artist in residence

Alicia Walker worship planner

First Baptist Church, Roswell, Ga.; and a separate children’s choir from Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Ga.; to a consortium of youth choirs from Georgia and South Carolina known as “jubilate!” Also featured will be the sanctuary choir from Baptist Fellowship Church in College Park, Ga., and a festival choir made up of singers from churches in and around Atlanta. Add in dramatic interpretations of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Clarence Jordan by dramatist and former pastor Al Staggs and compelling messages from Yee, CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal and South African pastor Trevor Hudson, and Assembly attendees will no doubt leave re-

focused on the vision of being the presence of Christ in the world. “The general sessions are being designed to facilitate thoughtful worship, extending to all the opportunity to explore our calling to be Christ to a world in need,” Walker said.

students of all ages including Passport and Mission Exchange for high school students and Student.Go and Antiphony for college and graduate students.

Marriage Ministry Jump Start

Women Deacons: History, Controversy, Current Status Charles Deweese See demonstrated the viability of women deacons in the local church by use of scripture and Baptist history and theology. Hear specific examples of churches that have adopted women deacons and benefited from their service.

IGNITE a Passion for Youth and Missions Rob Fox and Phil Smith As teenagers seek to discover their place in community, the church has a responsibility to offer opportunities that fuel a passion for being Christ’s presence in the world. Learn how CBF’s new youth resource, IGNITE, equips teenagers through Bible study, worship, missions understanding and response.

Building a Missional Deacon Ministry Eddie Hammett What is the role of deacons in building a missional church? We will explore the challenges and benefits of this question along with practical tips for empowerment, accountability and coaching.

FORM: A New Resource for Teaching Preschoolers about Missions Tricia Hays As preschoolers form their ideas about God, the world and others, the church has a wonderful opportunity to guide their missional journey. Through this workshop, preschool missions leaders will explore FORM, CBF’s new missions resource for preschoolers.

It’s Time to Become a Missional Church David Hughes Learn about the new It’s Time study course. It will introduce you and your congregation to the concept of being a “missional church” with the help of Daniel Vestal’s book, It’s Time: an Urgent Call to Christian Mission. This experience may transform your church!

By Lance Wallace, CBF Communications

Priscilla and Greg Hunt Hear practical approaches to developing and strengthening your marriage ministry. Explore resources and leadership training options for couples and staff. This will be an informationpacked workshop that provides immediate action opportunities to make an impact on couples, your congregation and your community.

The Once and Future Sunday School and the Session Series Michael McCullar and Rickey Letson The Sunday School is a cross between the “same-old-thing” and a “brand new thing!” Michael offers helps that will aid Sunday School leaders honor traditions while embracing innovations. Participants will examine how to build a Sunday School for adults with a focus on innovative growth and relational connectivity with new learners. Be introduced to the Sessions Series from Smyth and Helwys, and hear some practical tips for using them within the adult education ministries of your church.

For a complete list of workshops, go to GeneralAssembly/2006.icm.

How to Respond LEARN – For more information on General Assembly, visit www.thefellowship. info/CL/GeneralAssembly/2006.icm. Online Pre-Registration To pre-register for General Assembly, visit GeneralAssembly/reg.icm. You must preregister before making hotel reservations. Once you have submitted your registration for the General Assembly, you will be directed to the link for hotel reservations. The deadline for pre-registration is Thursday, June 15.

General Assembly



Assembly to consider important business items


he General Assembly will take up several key items of business during the 16th annual gathering in Atlanta, June 22-23. Those

in attendance should be prepared to vote on a proposed operating budget, the nomination of officers and board members, and new language for the constitution and bylaws. This year’s operating budget, which will be presented to the Assembly for a vote by Coordinating Council Finance Committee Chair Henry Tyson of Fitzgerald, Ga., is set at $17 million, a percent increase over fiscal year 2005-06. The nominating committee’s report for the next slate of officers includes Joy Yee, pastor of 19th Avenue Baptist Church in San Francisco, Calif. as immediate past moderator; Emmanuel McCall, pastor emeritus of Christian

Fellowship Baptist Church in College Park, Ga., as moderator; Harriet Harral, an organizational “... we gladly and leadership declare our consultant from Fort Worth, Texas, allegiance to as moderatorJesus Christ as elect; and Hal Lord and to Bass, political science professor His gospel as at Ouachita Baptist we seek to be University in Arkadelphia, Ark., the continuing presence of as recorder. McCall, who Christ in this takes office at world.” the conclusion of the Assembly on June 23, will be the Fellowship’s first African-American moderator. The Fellowship has always emphasized diversity in its elected

Plan your schedule to maximize your fellowship ____________ A sampling of

Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond Alumni & Friends Dinner

Auxiliary Events African American Network Sponsors the Gospel Festival June 23 — 11:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. International Ballroom B/C, Omni Hotel at CNN Center

June 22 — 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Grand Ballroom B, Omni Hotel at CNN Center Advance reservations and payment required. Cost is $35.

Contact: April Hurst, (205) 951-5225,

Contact: Audrey Thomson, (804) 204-1206,

Mercer University McAfee School of Theology

Baptist Women in Ministry June 21 — 3:00 p.m. Business Session; 4:00 p.m. Worship International Ballroom A-C, Omni Hotel at CNN Center Contact: LeAnn Gunter, (404) 634-2463,

Asian Ministry Dinner

Campbell University Divinity School 10th Anniversary Celebration

Contact: Yoo Jong Yoon,

Associated Baptist Press Dinner

Global Women June 22 — Noon – 1:00 p.m. Cottonwood B Room, Omni Hotel at CNN Center

Contact: Edgar Berryman, (770) 220-1600, June 23 — 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Redwood Room, Omni Hotel at CNN Center

leadership with constitutional mandates for alternating between male-female and clergylaity officers. Current moderator Yee, a Emmanuel McCall Chinese-American, is the first female senior pastor to serve as moderator. The Assembly will also vote on a proposed preamble to the Harriet Harral Fellowship’s constitution and bylaws. The full text of the new preamble is as follows: “As a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches, we Hal Bass celebrate our faith in the One Triune God. We gladly declare our allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord and to His gospel as we seek to be the continuing presence of Christ in this world. Our passion is to obey the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:1920) of our Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit, and to uphold Baptist principles of

June 22 — 8:45 p.m. Room A311, Georgia World Congress Center Ice Cream Sundae Celebration for Friends of Campbell University Divinity School

June 22 — 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Grand Ballroom A

Contact: Kathleen Lansing, (202) 544-4226,

Baptist World Alliance June 23 — 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Room A412, Georgia World Congress Center Contact: Denton Lotz, (703) 790-8980,

General Assembly

June 23 — 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. International Ballroom C, Omni Hotel at CNN Center Dean of the Divinity School Charles Bugg will be our speaker for this annual gathering. Contact: Karen Lukridge, (704) 406-3327,

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Theological Education Banquet

8:00 p.m.

Free concert featuring Salvador

Thursday, June 22

Resource Fair Open Workshops

10:30 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.

General Session I — Response from

11: 45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Lunch & Auxiliary Events

2:00 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Workshops (includes Business

National Convocation of Hispanic Leaders Dinner

June 22 — 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. International Ballroom F, Omni Hotel at CNN Center

Gardner-Webb University and School of Divinity Alumni & Friends Breakfast

Apart (off-site)

9:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

June 23 — 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. Cottonwood A/B Rooms, Omni Hotel at CNN Center

June 23 — 11:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. Grand Ballroom E, Omni Hotel at CNN Center



Friends of Truett Luncheon

Contact: Cathy Anderson, (770) 424-8326,

1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Children’s Ministry Network

Baptist Joint Committee

Invitation to Sabbath: A Clergy Day

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Contact: Lisa Wimberly Allen, (913) 406-2425,

Contact: Jan Turrentine, (615) 383-3192,

Auxiliary Events

Auxiliary Events

June 22 — 11:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. Room A411, Georgia World Congress Center The luncheon will observe the Baptist Center for Ethics’ 15th anniversary.

Wednesday, June 21 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

7:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

June 23 — 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. Juniper Room, Omni Hotel at CNN Center

Central Seminary Breakfast

Schedule of Events

Contact: Sharon Lim, (678) 547-6420, Reservations made by June 20 - $33 per person. RSVP by mailing check made out to Mercer University, 3001 Mercer University Drive, Atlanta, GA 30341. Reservations made AFTER June 20 and at the door are $40.

Baptist Center for Ethics

For more information or to order tickets, call (800) 340-6626 or visit

Contact: Irma Duke, (910) 893-1847,

By Lance Wallace, CBF Communications

Dinner for Alumni and Friends

Sponsored by CBF, Baptist University of the Americas and the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas June 23 — 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. International Ballroom F, Omni Hotel at CNN Center Contact: Gabriel E. Cortes, (210) 2983187,

June 22 — 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. Room A412, Georgia World Congress Center

faith and practice as we partner with one another and other Christians.” The Assembly amended the constitution and bylaws in 2005 in Grapevine, Texas, and some in attendance expressed dismay over the language changes. At the October 2005 meeting of the Coordinating Council, the wording for the new preamble was approved and sent to the Assembly for full approval. “This is a fresh start to make a positive statement about who we are as Fellowship Baptists,” said Jack Glasgow, pastor of Zebulon Baptist Church in North Carolina and a member of the Council, in his motion for approval of the preamble back in October. “We have a chance to say clearly that the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is not reticent at all to stand up and say we are committed to the lordship of Jesus Christ.” Business items will be introduced during the Thursday morning general session, June 22; discussed in business breakouts Thursday afternoon; and voted on during the Friday morning general session, June 23.

CBF moderator Joy Yee

Breakouts) 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

State/Regional Meetings

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Dinner & Auxiliary Events

6:45 p.m.

Pre-Worship Gathering

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

General Session II

8:30 p.m.

Resource Fair Event

Friday, June 23 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Auxiliary Events

8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Resource Fair Open

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

General Session III — Report from CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Fellowship Time

Speaker – Dr. Fred B. Craddock, Bandy Distinguished Professor of Preaching and New Testament, Emeritus, in the Candler School of Theology, Emory University

11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Lunch & Auxiliary Events

2:00 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.


3:30 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.


Contact: Kyle Reese, (325) 655-4101,

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Dinner & Auxiliary Events

6:45 p.m.

Pre-Worship Gathering

For a complete list of auxiliary events, go to www. GeneralAssembly/2006.icm.

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

General Session IV

8:30 p.m.

Resource Fair Event

Saturday, June 24

Auxiliary Events

8:15 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Companions in Christ Training (off-site)

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MORE THAN 100 Christian educators from across the country gathered at Providence Baptist Church in Charleston, S.C., to participate in the True Survivor 6 training conference, March 6-8. Sponsored by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Congregational Life Initiative, the conference featured presentations by Ivy Beckwith, author of “Post Modern Children’s Ministry,” and Dave Odom, president of the Center for Congregational Health in Winston-Salem, N.C. Bo Prosser, coordinator for Congregational Life, facilitated conversations around the keynote challenges. Beckwith challenged educators to begin reframing their understanding of Sunday School, making the local church’s Bible teaching ministry a partner with the home. “Children’s ministry has become little more than a marketing tool,” she said. “Most churches have moved from spiritual formation to entertainment.” Odom continued the missional theme. Speaking from the perspective of “Calling,” he sparked educators to recognize “that the church is much more complex than we admit. We’ve become so familiar with this system that we’re in danger of losing our passion for the work,” he said. This year’s recipient of the Jack Naish Distinguished Christian Educator Award was Jill Jenkins, minister to children and families at Johns Creek Baptist Church in Jill Jenkins Alpharetta, Ga. The award, in memory of the long-time Christian educator Jack Naish, is presented annually to an educator who has distinguished himself or

Partnership unites Fellowship church, new Hispanic congregation


early six years ago, Ruth Cuellar knocked on doors in Newnan’s Hispanic community, introduced herself and invited people to

the city’s first Hispanic church, Rainbow of Love ministry, which Cuellar pastors with her husband, Chris.

Through a partnership with Newnan’s Central Baptist Church, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner church, Rainbow of Love has received support that has enabled the ministry to grow in number and deed. “Central Baptist Church has been the door that God opened for us. All the staff has been really supportive,” Cuellar said. Central Baptist Church supports Rainbow of Love through a monthly $2,000 contribution, the use of the church building for the ministry’s weekly activities, and even a van. With the church’s support, Rainbow of Love has developed a significant social service ministry, which provides assistance with medical, housing, immigration and legal needs. Because many Hispanics in the church do not know English, Cuellar helps to

prevent potential language misunderstandings. An annual eight-week “Welcome to the Community” program provides English classes for Hispanic parents and babysitting or tutoring for their children. The ministry also started Newnan’s first Alcoholics Anonymous group for Spanish-speakers. The Hispanic population in the United States has grown significantly, no longer isolated to particular regions, according to Bernie Moraga, consultant for

herself in the model of excellence and quality Christian education. “Jill is a woman of creativity and integrity of ministry,” Prosser said during the presentation. “She loves the children and their families in ways that they know without a doubt that they are loved and cared for.” A new dimension to the conference was the participation of Christian education students from Campbell University Divinity School and the coinciding meeting of the Children’s Ministry Network. The Children’s Ministry Network has begun reorganization and will be forming a leadership team to work with the Congregational Life team for planning and ministry to children and preschool ministers. LEARN – For more on the Fellowship’s Congregational Life initiative, go to www.thefellowship. info/CL, or contact Bo Prosser at By CBF Communications


Carla Wynn photos

Christian educators gather for True Survivor conference

the Hispanic Church Start Initiative. Moraga is particularly interested in multiplying Cuellar’s indigenous leadership, with more Hispanic women serving as pastors. Cuellar’s effective leadership has been integral to Rainbow of Love, according to Central Baptist Church pastor Joel Richardson. “We think it is important to have a woman as gifted as

Ruth Cuellar, pastor of Rainbow of Love, knocked on doors in the Hispanic community in Newnan to start the new church.

Ruth to represent the spirit of our church in this effort. She is free to lead this work as she sees fit,” he said. “We trust her to do things that would honor the Lord and our church.” Cuellar would like to see more joint activities between the congregations, but it Worship services at Rainbow of Love are is difficult because of completely in Spanish, language differences. which members find helpful as they adjust However, a joint Vato life in a primarily cation Bible School is English-speaking more successful each environment. year, Cuellar said. At the beginning, Rainbow of Love reached transient Hispanics, many of whom stayed in the United States for a couple of years before returning to their native countries, but the church’s new strategy focuses on families, who are more likely to stay in the Newnan area, Cuellar said. However, there is a place and purpose in reaching temporary U.S. residents, Moraga said. “When people go back to their home country, they take the gospel with them,” he said. Moraga understands this first-hand. After coming to the United States from Chile, he became a Christian, who later baptized his parents after they became Christians. His parents later established a church in Chile. It’s a domino effect, Moraga said. “You never know the people you are going to touch,” he said. f! LEARN – For a brochure on starting Hispanic churches, “Building Churches through Partnership,” visit The CBF Store online at or call (888) 801-4223. You can contact Bernie

Chris Cuellar serves as the chief musician for worship at Rainbow of Love, a new Hispanic church start in partnership with Central Baptist Church, Newnan, Ga.

Moraga at or (505) 247-4781.

By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

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New Hispanic Congregation


Tr u e S u r v i v o r C o n f e r e n c e



Georgia church ordains couple to serve new Hispanic church start

A Trilogy of Resources


n a spring Sunday afternoon in Morrow, Ga., English and Spanish

Patricia Heys photo

chair of the deacons at First Baptist helped initiate the partnership. “In 10 to 20 years, voices joined together in affirmation of the pastoral ministry of I think the Spanish-speaking church will be meeting in the sanctuary, and we will be Edwin and Vilma Perez. meeting in one of the classrooms,” she said. panic Church Start Initiative. “If we can do The couple was ordained at First Baptist In addition to pastoring the Un Nuevo that, then we will be successful.” Church of Morrow April 9 in a unique biAmanecer church (which translates as At First Baptist, the Perez’s Spanishlingual service. In attendance, were mem“A New Dawn”), Edwin Perez works as a speaking church meets in a large classroom bers of FBC Morrow and members of the medical doctor and Vilma Perez works as a Perez’s Hispanic Baptist church, professional counselor. which meets on the grounds of As natives of Puerto Rico, the First Baptist. couple are accustomed to women The relationship between these in church leadership roles, but in two churches is a result of the the United States, Vilma has met Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s resistance from both English and Hispanic Church Start Initiative, Spanish speaking Baptists to be which pairs CBF churches with recognized as a pastor. First BapHispanic congregations. The tist Morrow has not only given the Fellowship works together with Perezes a physical space for their the Hispanic Baptist Convention church but also the opportunity of Texas, Baptist General for both of them to pastor. They Convention of Texas and Baptist said that First Baptist was one of University of the Américas to the only churches in the area that link congregations in one-to-one shared their vision for the church. partnerships. “[First Baptist] has allowed us A year and half after its beginto be who we are — and that’s the ning, the Hispanic partnership uniqueness of this venture,” said has helped to create 105 new His- Bernie Moraga, CBF Hispanic network consultant, speaks a challenge to the Edwin Perez. “We are not a just congregation at First Baptist Church, Morrow, Ga., as Vilma, center and Edwin panic churches, and its goal is to a ministry now, we are a church. Perez are ordained into the gospel ministry to serve a new Hispanic church create 400 churches by 2010. The They have given us a structure start, Un Nuevo Amanecer. partnership was formally signed where we can both minister, and for Sunday morning worship and Wednesduring the Fellowship’s 2003 General Asthat is very important.” f! day evening bible study. The new church sembly in Charlotte, N.C. LEARN – To co-sponsor a new church or is self-supporting and contributes to First “We are trying to promote an indigrequest more information, contact Moraga at Baptist’s budget. enous concept, meaning the new churches (505) 610-1945 or “I believe that this new church is going are self-supported from day one,” said Berto do very well,” said Sarah Withers, who as nie Moraga, CBF consultant for the HisBy Patricia Heys, CBF Communications

Pastors retreat provides renewal for Texas-area clergy THE COOPERATIVE Baptist Fellowship’s Initiative for Congregational Life held its second pastor’s retreat April 3-5 at Cenacle Retreat House in Houston, Texas, offering 20 pastoral leaders an opportunity for Sabbath, prayer, rest and renewal. “We occasionally need someone who will mandate Sabbath for us,” said participant Chris Thacker, who serves as pastor of First Baptist Church in Eagle Lake, Texas. “Otherwise we’ll spend our days living from the surface while neglecting the depths.” The retreat — second in a series of four held around the country — included time for solitude and silence but within the fellowship of other pastoral leaders, said the Fellowship’s congregational life associate coordinator Rick Bennett. Each retreat features four leaders — CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal, congregational life coordinator Bo Prosser, Bennett and a regional leader. Spiritual formation author and speaker Jeanie Miley was regional leader at the Texas meeting. These leaders present on different forms of prayer, the relation-

Hispanic Church Leaders Ordained


ship between spirituality and pain, what it means to observe Sabbath, and spiritual formation resources for churches and individuals. These sessions launch structured times of silence, solitude Jeanie Miley and prayer. “It is unusual to be with 20 ministers who for a period of four and a half hours a day say nothing,” said Rodney McGlothlin, pastor of First Baptist Church in College Station, Texas. “We are professional talkers. We need the discipline of silence. Perhaps we can even learn to listen.” Following silent times, pastoral leaders reconnected to share about the experience and what they learned. “The pastorate can be a lonely place, and they’re looking for a time to have transparent fellowship with other pastors,” Bennett said. “Even amid silence, there is an incredible sense of community that is formed.” Although the retreat is geared toward

Te x a s P a s t o r s R e t r e a t


pastors, the chaplains that attended also came away renewed. “I gained a spiritual renewal that enabled me to continue my ministry as a chaplain who sees more than 100 people every week in a cancer hospital,” said Christiana Liem, chaplain at University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The next retreat is set for Sept. 11-13 at Kavanaugh Life Enrichment Center in Louisville, Ky. Registration is free and limited to 20 participants, who are responsible for their travel expenses. “I would strongly encourage Fellowship pastors to take advantage of these retreats. They provide an opportunity for prayer and reflection while connecting with friends old and new alike,” Thacker said. f! LEARN – To register, visit http://www. Registration.icm. For more information, contact Bennett at (770) 220-1605 or

By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

CBF Resource Update

SOMETIMES I AM ASKED about the relationship between the recent ministry resources that CBF Congregational Life has developed, namely, It’s Time: a Journey Toward Missional Faithfulness, Klesis: Rick Bennett God’s Call and the Journey of Faith, and Christianity for Beginners. All three of these resources exist independently of one another and were created to stand alone. Each resource has grown out of CBF’s stated mission to help Christians and churches discover and fulfill their God-given mission. However, an exciting missional synergy emerges when the resources are used in tandem. Begin by using It’s Time to explore and respond together to the urgent call to be the presence of Christ. The It’s Time study has the potential to equip the traditional congregation with a new perspective on mission and ministry and leave its members asking, “How is God calling me to utilize my passions to be the presence of Christ where I live?” Klesis: God’s Call and the Journey of Faith explores the idea of God’s call to ministry as this applies to every Christian. Klesis creates a sacred space where participants explore, connect and discern God’s call on their lives. Through a series of assessments and reflections, Klesis will help participants hone in on how God is calling them to utilize their passions to be the presence of Christ where they live. Regardless of how God is calling a person to be the presence of Christ, we all should be able to answer basic questions about Jesus. That’s where Christianity for Beginners contributes to the synergy. It’s not just for beginners! A small group experience with Christianity for Beginners will help long-time Christians become more effective in personal witness. New Christians will understand more deeply the basics of the Christian faith. Seekers will come to understand the mission and person of Jesus. It’s Time!, Klesis, and Chrisitianity for Beginners are resources created for the local congregation. Put these to use as you join in the missional journey. Personal devotion, introspection and prayer, discipleship, and evangelism are all parts of this exciting group of materials. You will be richer in studying and applying these for congregational and individual missional ministries! LEARN – To order these resources, go to www.thefellowship. info/thecbfstore or call (888) 8014223. By Rick Bennett, CBF associate coordinator for congregational life

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CONTACT YOUR state/regional CBF organization to get involved. Many state/regional CBF organizations have

How CBF responds to disaster WITH EXPERTS PREDICTING another active to provide an appropriate and meaningful re-

developed disaster response plans and will

sponse based on who we are and what we can

help coordinate local responses. Each plan

do. The Fellowship does not engage in search

is unique to a state or region’s resources

and rescue operations, but when the recovery

and desired level of response. If you wish to get involved in disaster response, here’s how to contact the Disaster Response Coordinator (DRC) in participating state/

phase begins, teams of qualified volunteers will be mobilized into the disaster zone for debris removal, weatherproofing, distribution of goods

regional organizations:

and services, and other activities in selected

■ Alabama — John Mitchell, missions


coordinator, (334) 897-8524,

The nature and scope of a disaster, as well as the desire of churches and individuals to be involved, dictates the Fellowship’s response. The selection of where we work is guided by several criteria: • First priority for use of our resources is to take care of CBF church communities. • Once the CBF family is cared for, the response moves into the wider community as an outreach of a CBF partner church in selected marginalized or overlooked communities. • Depending on available resources, the response widens to include poor and marginalized communities where there is no CBF presence as we work in partnership with other groups. When major disasters happen, updates on the Fellowship’s involvement will be posted at ■ Arkansas — Charles Ray, DRC,

(501) 223-8586, ■ Florida — Barry Hudspeth, DRC,

(850) 712-1261, ■ Georgia — Frank Broome, coordinator,

(478) 742-1191, ■ Kentucky — Rhonda Abbott-Blevins,

missions coordinator, (502) 426-1931, ■ Louisiana — Reid Doster, DRC,

(985) 778-6049 or (985) 674-2004, ■ Mid-Atlantic — Fred Herring, DRC,

(202) 399-5906, (202) 265-1526 or (202) 253-0378, ■ Mississippi — Charles Holmes, DRC,

(601) 519-2785, ■ Missouri — Kathy Pickett, DRC, (816)

415-0009, ■ North Carolina — Chris Ingram, DRC,

(919) 787-4423, ■ North Central — Carolyn Crumpler,

moderator, ■ Northeast — David Waugh, DRC,

respond to disaster dictates the nature and breadth of the Fellowship’s involvement. Because disasters generally occur with little or no advance warning, a disaster response plan is helpful in providing the quickest and most effective response possible. Fellowship partner churches are encouraged to develop their own disaster response plans that will guide relief efforts in the event of a disaster, whether hurricane or otherwise. A church’s disaster response plan should

hurricane season, the Fellowship is preparing

How to prepare your church Local churches are the foundation of the Fellowship, and their ability and desire to

Carla Wynn photo

Disaster relief – How you can help

resources, both in physical facilities and human skill. Is your church equipped for use as a shelter (i.e. shower facilities, ample space, etc.)? What useful equipment, tools or vehicles does your church have or have access to? What church members have interest in disaster response? Do any church members have training, related skills or experience in disaster response? If disaster hits your community, your church should have a plan for helping its own members. Each church will have a different plan, but members could be divided into small care groups based on close geographical proximity. Each group could have a leader responsible for contacting care group members after a disaster. The church could also have a disaster response coordinator whose responsibilities could include evaluating damage, coordinating potential volunteer work crews, determining what supplies and materials are needed to aid in response, utilizing the After Hurricane Katrina, Fellowship volunteers worked in church’s resources to respond in the Lacombe, La., a small African-American community that had most effective way, and coordinating been largely overlooked by major response organizations. with other state/regional CBF organihave both an inward and outward focus. What zations and national CBF. will your church do if disaster strikes your If your church would like assistance in community? What will you do when disaster developing a disaster plan, please contact strikes in neighboring communities or elseyour state/regional DRC or coordinator. You where? Developing a plan will help your church may also contact the CBF Global Missions at provide its best response, appropriately using (800) 352-8741 for a copy of the CBF Disaster resources and skills present within your church. Response manual. f! In developing a response plan for disasters outside your community, consider church By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

(212) 594-4464, ■ Oklahoma — T Thomas, coordinator,

(405) 447-2471, ■ South Carolina — Beverly Greer,

missions coordinator, (864) 360-1396, ■ Tennessee — Mike Young,

missions coordinator, (888) 661-8223, ■ Texas — Rick McClatchy, coordinator,

(210) 732-2225,

journey As We

By CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal

■ Virginia — Jim George, DRC, (757)

539-8801, ■ West — Glen Foster, council

coordinator, GIVE – 100 percent of all financial contributions given to a disaster through the Fellowship go directly to fund the appropriate response. Financial gifts for hurricane relief can be made online at icm, or mailed to CBF, P.O. Box 101699, Atlanta, GA 30392. In case of a hurricane disaster, checks can be made payable to CBF with “Hurricane Relief Fund #17004’’ in the memo line. Any gift-in-kind donations needed will be posted on the Web site. Do not send materials or gifts-in-kind (GIK) until instructed to do so. Financial donations are preferred so that necessary supplies can be purchased as close to the disaster zone as possible. VOLUNTEER – Volunteers are an important part of CBF disaster response, and volunteer requests will be handled through CBF’s Dallas office. Those wishing to volunteer should register through the Dallas office, which will connect volunteer requests with those in the volunteer database. For more information, call (800) 782-2451 or email


Evangelical and Ecumenical LABELS CAN CONFUSE as well as illuminate. At the risk of confusion, let me define some terms as they have to do with CBF. You might offer a different definition or even disagree with my presuppositions, but that is part of what it means to be Baptist (another label that can be confusing or illuminating). Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is EVANGELICAL. The individuals and churches that comprise this Fellowship believe and proclaim the Good News of God’s love for all people. We are followers of Jesus Christ by voluntary choice and invite others to make that choice. We place the Bible at the very center of our faith and practice rather than man-made creeds or ecclesiastical authority. We welcome anyone into our churches who confesses a personal experience with Christ. We gather in congregations on the basis of our shared experience and place great value on corporate worship. The word evangelical has fallen into disrepute. But in the broadest and best sense of the

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word, we are evangelical. We are not legalistic or fundamentalists in our understanding or application of the gospel; rather our greatest joy is in the incredible, amazing, surprising grace of God that heals and transforms. Missionaries we send and support are bearing witness to this grace in word and deed. I read the prayer requests of these folks and repeatedly they report the conversion of a friend. Chaplains that we endorse tell of faith being born in people where they minister as well as faith being strengthened. New churches are being started (about one per month) to reach the unchurched. To be evangelical doesn’t mean we must be manipulative or coercive. We need not objectify people as “prospects” or even as “seekers.” But as we do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God, we should not be surprised that others will join us. As we seek and serve the Kingdom, we should rejoice when others decide to do the same thing. When we love one another, love our neighbor and love our enemy, we should anticipate and celebrate that others will respond to that love and receive it into their lives. We are evangelical. Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is ECUMENICAL. We believe that the household of

faith is bigger than the Baptist tribe. The Christian family is rich and diverse. The body of Christ is grand and glorious, and we should do all we can to nurture it. Perhaps a way to begin is to acknowledge this reality and meditate on the implications of such a reality. Then in humility, let us seek to build up the body of Christ and do all we can to promote Christian unity. Recently I spent three days with 45 denominational leaders at a retreat in Atlanta to help birth a new ecumenical body, Christian Churches Together in the USA. It was a blessed and glorious time as representatives from five faith families (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical and historic African American denominations) gathered for prayer, worship, conversation and decision-making by using the consensus method. I am grateful that CBF has already voted to become a founding member of CCT. I’m also grateful that in a variety of ways, we are seeking to be ecumenical. Many of our mission partnerships are with ministries that are non-Baptist. Our partnership with Upper Room is helping us to learn about spiritual formation from other faith traditions. And our partnerships with nonBaptist seminaries enrich us immensely. Our missionaries live out their call in close cooperation with the broad range of Christians. The chaplains we endorse have for a long time been an example of Christian ecumenicity. In full appreciation for the fact that labels can be restrictive, I am persuaded to say that CBF is both evangelical and ecumenical. And I am also compelled to pray for the Spirit’s help that we live out and into these descriptions in full measure. f!

CBF Disaster Response


‘A s W e J o u r n e y ’



Fellowship Roundup: News from CBF’s states, regions and national offices ■ Alabama AlabamaCBF seeks to fill the position of coordinator. Please send cover letter, resume, etc., to the search committee at You may also send a fax to (205) 424 -5651 and please note AlabamaCBF Coordinator Search on cover sheet. To mail information to AlabamaCBF, send it to Search Committee, 2539 John Hawkins Parkway, Suite101113, Hoover, AL 35244. All correspondence will be confidentially received. For more information, please contact us at On March 3, AlabamaCBF gathered at Southside Baptist Church, Birmingham, for its annual General Assembly. “Connecting with Your World: To Infinity and Beyond” was this year’s theme. Four women represented innovative organizations in an afternoon panel. They were Colleen Burroughs for Watering Malawi, April Hurst for Global Women, Lia Scholl for Starlight Ministries and Leslie Seagraves for 10/40 Connections and were moderated by Anita Snell, associate coordinator for mission teams in Asia for CBF. Anita and Jack Snell, interim coordinator for Global Missions, led the evening worship. Fifteen churches and organizations with Alabama connections participated in a showcase spotlighting their missional endeavors. AlabamaCBF has a new mailing address. It’s 2539 John Hawkins Parkway, Suite 101-113, Hoover, AL 35244. The phone number is (888) 245-4223.

■ Florida Staff ministers with responsibilities in Christian education from Florida CBF churches were invited recently to a retreat in Orlando, Fla. Rick Bennett, CBF’s associate coordinator for congregational life, led the retreat with the theme “Spiritual Formation.” Pastors of new church starts also recently met together in Orlando. Hosted by Tommy Deal, CBF of Florida’s

associate coordinator for missions, the meeting included Tom and Joyce Cleary, pastors of Lakeland Fellowship; Bob Mulkey, pastor of Baptist Fellowship at The Villages; Greg Champagne, pastor of New Journey Church in Brooksville; Ed McQueen, pastor of Water of Life in Deltona; Sam Schlegal, pastor of Church at Vilano; and Fred Harrold, pastor of New Life Community in Plant City. Finally, missions coordinators of state and regional CBF organizations also recently met in Orlando. They met to compare missions work, consider opportunities to partner and network churches and individuals wanting to lead missional lives. Presentations were made by David Harding, the Fellowship’s international coordinator for emergency response and transformational development, on state disaster response and Tamara Tillman, associate coordinator for missions education, on new CBF missions education resources. Those attending were John Mitchell and Mike Lewis from Alabama, Deal from Florida, Rhonda Abbott from Kentucky, Beverly Greer from South Carolina and Mike Young from Tennessee.

■ Georgia More than 500 gathered for worship and a variety of breakout sessions at the 2006 spring General Assembly at First Baptist Church, Athens. Renée Bennett of Macon was elected to serve as moderator. Renée Bennett First Baptist Church of Decatur recently hosted a seminar on campus ministry called “The University Campus: Tomorrow’s Moderate Baptists” May 4-5. Cosponsored by the Center for Baptist Studies at Mercer University, national CBF and

Coming Attractions JULY 24-28 Marriage Enrichment Leadership Training Tall Oaks Conference Center Linwood, Kansas Sponsored by the Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment in Winston-Salem, N.C. Leaders are Michael and Suanne Yarbrough. Cost is $918 per couple. This includes tuition, materials, housing and meals. Registration deadline is June 12 with $100 deposit due by this date. Balance due two weeks prior to workshop. Info: (800) 634-8325 or e-mail or visit SEPT. 29-OCT. 1 and OCT. 13-15 Marriage Enrichment Leadership Training St. Louis, Mo. Both weekends are required. Sponsored by the Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment in Winston-Salem, N.C. Leaders are Bruce and Trish Williams and Charles and Janet Alexander. Cost is $450 per couple and includes tuition and materials. Meals and housing are extra. Registration Deadline is Aug. 18. $100 Deposit due to ACME by this date. Balance due two weeks prior to workshop. Info: (800) 634-8325 or e-mail or visit

Fellowship Roundup

CBF of Georgia, the conference explored ways for moderate Baptists to expand campus ministry. Upcoming missions opportunities for Georgia churches include the Touching Taliagerro with Love day camp, June 11-16 and June 1823. The baseball camp runs June 26-30. For more information, e-mail CBF of Georgia’s associate coordinator for missions, Jimmy Lewis, at

■ Kentucky Kentucky Baptist Fellowship representatives Charlotte Benningfield, Rhonda Abbott Blevins, Mark Nethery and Carl Smith traveled to North Africa in March to explore a partnership with a national association of Protestant churches. “Experience Independence,” a missions event for youth, was held March 24-26 in Independence, Ky. Johnny Lewis and Jonathan Eskridge, CBF/ ABC church planters, led the event. Kentucky Baptist Fellowship held its annual spring gathering at First Baptist Shepherdsville April 28-29. Kevin Cosby gave the keynote address. Bo Prosser, CBF Associate Coordinator for Congregational Life, led Kentucky Baptist Fellowship’s Leadership Conference in April titled “The Missional Church Tool Box.”

■ Oklahoma CBF of Oklahoma heard from both Daniel Vestal and Phil Hester at its annual General Assembly, April 28-29, at University Heights Baptist Church in Stillwater. Following the national theme of “Being the Presence of Christ for a World in Need,” the program also included Rossi Francis of the Grace Temple Baptist Church in Gulfport, Miss. A team from Oklahoma had worked with his church soon after Hurricane Katrina, and CBFO has been assisting both him and his congregation since that time. A compilation of the recent articles tracing CBFO history written by Dan Hobbs for the CBFO newsletter has been published under the title, “Shaping a New Thing.” As CBFO enters its 15th year, this is a valuable resource about its origins and the sacrifices of the early leaders. NorthHaven Church of Norman celebrated groundbreaking ceremonies on March 26 and has begun its search for a pastor to lead this two-year-old CBF congregation.

■ National Congregational Life Initiative will pay half of the registration cost for CBF congregational leaders to participate in online seminars offered by The Wayne E. Oates Institute through July 2006. Non-member seminar registration is $60, but CBF participants will pay $30. For more information about the May or July online seminars, visit www.oates. org. When completing your registration form, identify CBF as your affiliation in order to receive the discount.

ministry among Hispanics in Virginia. National CBF, the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) and Fredericksburg Baptist Church are partnering to provide financial support for Greg and Sue Smith, who lead LUCHA (Latinos United through David George, left, and Ngoc Q. Ha, center, pastors from Christ in Solidarity and Immanuel Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., talk with Zejlko Support) Ministries, a Mraz, general secretary of the Baptist Union of Croatia, community-based outduring Mraz’s recent visit to Tennessee. reach ministry in Fredericksburg. The Smiths helped start the ■ Tennessee ministry in April 2004, and they have Zeljko Mraz, the general secretary previously served as missionaries in of the Baptist Union of Croatia, and his Costa Rica. wife, Svjetlana, were in Tennessee, March 15-23, to meet with the TCBF Coordinating Council, speak in churches, and visit with church leaders. They visited Signal Mountain Baptist Church, Signal Mountain; Immanuel Baptist Church, Nashville; King’s Cross Church, Tullahoma; and Central Baptist Church of Bearden, Knoxville. They also met with leaders from First Baptist Church, Chattanooga; First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro; and Monte Vista Baptist Church, Maryville. Several Tennessee Baptist churches have developed partnerships with congregations in Croatia including First Baptist, Chattanooga; First Baptist, Knoxville; and King’s Cross Church, Tullahoma. Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Kansas City, Kansas, continues its partnership with First Baptist Church of Murfreesboro, and Tennessee Cooperative Baptist Fellowship will offer two new classes in the fall: New Testament I and Formation for Christian Ministry. David May, professor of New Testament at Central, will teach the Bible course. Lisa Kimberly Allen, dean and vice president for institutional development, will teach the second course. A video-supported online course titled Constructive Theology I will be taught by seminary president Molly T. Marshall. L. Dean Allen, dean and vice president of administration, has outlined a four-year schedule that will lead to a 75-hour Master of Divinity degree designed for those seeking ordination or to serve as professional ministers. For additional information on admissions and class registration, go to or call Steve Guinn at (800) 677-2287. TCBF Coordinator Ircel Harrison recently convened the 7th annual Church Staff Roundtable at Falls Creek State Park near Spencer with 26 participants from seven churches. For the first time, an additional meeting was held at Natchez Trace State Park near Wildersville involving participants from Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. Twenty-five participants from seven churches attended the first-ever meeting.

■ Virginia Three Baptist organizations have recently partnered to fund ongoing

Bible in China exhibition — Continued from page 1

Christian world. It’s a major development for Chinese Christians to have the opportunity. As a part of our mission commitment, we wanted to be in a place of responding to that and encouraging that.” The exhibition will highlight the Bible ministry of Chinese churches in varying stages and will communicate the spreading of the gospel and the establishing of churches in China. According to CCC materials, “the purpose of the exhibition is to bear witness to how Chinese Christians love God’s Word, how the good news in the Bible has been spread in China, and how Christ’s body has been built up under the consistent guidance of the Word.” The exhibition will include six galleries: “The Early History of the Bible in China,” “Bible Publication after 1980,” “Bible Distribution after 1980,” “Bible Ministries for National Minority Churches,” “The Bible and Church Life” and “Christian Art Works.” The U.S. tour is the result of meetings in February and August 2005 between CCC representatives and Carter, evangelist Billy Graham, pastor and bestselling author Rick Warren and others. “I just hope that American Christians understand how important this is and what a major overture it is for the Chinese Christian community,” Sapp said. “We are proud to be a part of that.” f! LEARN – Admission to the exhibition is free. For more on the Atlanta schedule, visit www. or call (404) 5914346. For more on the New York tour, visit

Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications

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Photo courtesy of CBF of Louisiana

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AMID DISASTER response efforts to rebuild homes and lives after Hurricane Katrina, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship church start has been born in western St. Tammany Parish, La. Bridgewater Church, which launched Feb. 12 with a worship service at Madisonville Maritime Museum in Madisonville, is already averaging more than 40 in worship. While this church start was planned before


“Many people here have tried everything and are coming to the conclusion that the only thing that can help them now is a savior. We want to introduce them to Jesus Christ, get out of the way and let them get acquainted,” Doster said. CBF church starts are vital to the Fellowship’s growth, but Doster has been slowly introducing the Fellowship to attendees, many of whom are not familiar with the movement. “Once they experience our reverence for biblical authority, balanced by respect for honest questioning, and see our commitment to justice and mercy in the world, they will understand who we are,” Bridgewater Church met Feb. 12 for the first time at the Madisonville Maritime Museum in Madisonville, La., and has averaged more than 40 in he said. attendance at weekly worship services. Some attendees heard about the Fellowship because Katrina, the storm undoubtedly shaped the CBF volunteers helped clean and repair church’s ministry. the damage Katrina caused. Volunteers “Even eight months after Katrina, people helped Lonnie and Tina Livaudais, who are still not back to normal,” said the church’s even though their home and business pastor, Reid Doster. “People are grieving over flooded still donated 50 hymnals to the tangible and intangible losses. Bridgewater is church. Pam Howell, the church’s music meeting a need for the familiar — something minister, and her husband, Mike, also sufthat feels rooted in timeless truth — and a fered significant damage to their home and need for closeness with safe people.” business. Because of the experiences of the When CBF of Louisiana began looking congregation, “Bridgewater will probably for a place to start a church, St. Tammany always have disaster response in its DNA,” Parish was the fastest growing area of Lousaid John Daugherty, CBF of Louisiana’s isiana. Growth potential still thrives with coordinator. “It will certainly be a part of 27 housing developments being constructthe make up of their congregation.” f! ed in the church’s focal area. But with the strength — the highest per capita income LEARN – For more information on Bridgeand number of college graduates — also water, visit the church’s Web site at www. comes weakness — highest suicide rates, For more information rampant divorce and substance abuse, on CBF church starts, visit www.thefellowDoster said. Two of the church’s small groups offer support for members dealing with grief or divorce. By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

New Louisiana church creates ‘bridge’ from disaster to hope

Carla Wynn photo

(800) 352-8741

P.O. Box 450329 • Atlanta, Georgia 31145-0329

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

HIV/AIDS Summit to challenge Fellowship



Banjara develop potential at partner schools

Worship and warm fellowship draws new members to the Hispanic church, Rainbow of Love, in Newnan, Ga.

CBF Missions utilizes indigenous leaders

Story on page 8


More General Assembly updates


Fellowship gears up for hurricane season

Serving Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission

New Hispanic churches thriving as CBF partnership expands



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f fellowship!


May/June 2006 fellowship!  
May/June 2006 fellowship!