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September/October 2005

All Church Challenge brings volunteers, unity to Helena


s some children performed a dance, others watched from atop volunteers’ shoulders. That afternoon local children sang, recited memory verses and played games. The community picnic drew

children, parents, grandparents and other members of the community to celebrate the week’s volunteer efforts.

Carla Wynn photos

bathing suits and towels donat- munity formed a 20-person “It was good to see the committee that helped orgaed by churches or volunteers. community clapping and exnize the event. This year, 13 PIH aims for developcited,” said Leonora Newell, local churches fed, housed or ing long-term sustainability who along with her husband, helped volunteers. Additional in communities, and the All Ben, serves as Cooperative churches participated in a Church Challenge provides a Baptist Fellowship Global community-wide, Missions field mid-week worship personnel workservice. ing with Part“Last year there ners in Hope, were adult ladies the Fellowship’s who said, ‘Why rural poverty can’t we do this for initiative. our children? Why Concluding can’t we do this all the first week year long?’” said of the third anHelena resident nual All Church Linda Whitfield. Challenge, the The impact of celebration hapTommy Rathbun of First Baptist Church of Truman, Ark., volunteers in the Helena community center library, helping catalogue about the All Church pened in the 2,500 books donated by churches. Challenge is park where earspreading, particularly among positive example of teamwork lier that week volunteers from parents and grandparents that lasts year-round. North Carolina, Texas and ArAn All Church Challenge volunteer walks with a child from Helena. who appreciate the children’s “Our goal is to keep that kansas taught soccer, baseball visit daughter took swimming lescamps. “It helps keep the kids ball moving,” Ben said. “It and football to local youth and sons from the volunteers. f! out of trouble and gives them slows down after the summer, children in Phillips County, By Carla Wynn, CBF positive minds instead of but it never stops. Eventually, one of the 20 poorest counLEARN – For more informaCommunications negative,” said Helena resident it’ll be rolling on its own.” ties in the United States. “It’s tion about Partners in Hope, Betty Ewing, whose grandFor the first time, the comnot just one church. We are together working here to do something good in Phillips County,” Ben said. heart, there is much to share in the process and affirmation In its third year, the All Yee was on the Fellowship’s AS THE FELLOWSHIP’S with other people,” she said. of those concerned,” she said. Church Challenge is a twonational Coordinating Council moderator, Joy Yee of San FranAfter graduating with a Yee, pastor of San Francisco’s week event that brought more from 1999-2001 and has been cisco hopes to serve others, bachelor’s degree in psycholoNew Covenant than 250 volunteers from 24 active in the CBF “using the gifts God has given gy from University of CaliforBaptist Church churches to the area for projWest regional me in the opportunities and nia-Berkeley, Yee participated since its founding ects including construction organization. She issues that God would have us in a summer missions experiin October 2000, and children’s camps. Some has served twice work on this year,” she said. ence, which prompted further is currently leadvolunteered in the commuas camp pastor Yee, the Fellowship’s first study at Golden Gate Baptist ing a merger with nity center’s library cataloging for JOURNEYS, female senior pastor and first Theological Seminary, where another congregamore than 2,500 books that an annual youth Asian-American to serve as she earned a master of divinity tion, which will had been donated by churchmissions summer moderator, took the role followdegree. “It was there that God enable both cones. Other volunteers created a camp sponsored ing this summer’s General Asgregations to better began to lead me in a step-bygarden, installed an irrigation by CBF West. sembly. Her plans include helpstep adventure of embracing reach the commusystem, built a tool shed and Even though ing CBF grow into a multiethnic Joy Yee vocational ministry,” she said. nity. Ordained in started a trellis. she had been organization, responding to Yee and her husband, Jim2000 by First Chinese Southern Volunteers provided a day involved in the Fellowship, CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal’s my, have two boys: Nathan, Baptist Church, Yee said mincamp for about 200 children, last year’s nomination as modcall to address global poverty, 13, and Kevin, 10. f! istry has been an integral part a sports camp for about 20 erator-elect came as a surprise. continuing work on the Partneryouth, and swimming lessons “The nomination was complete- of her Christian experience. ship Study implementation and “Because God has filled my life for more than 250 children, ly unexpected, but came with a filling the vacant CBF Global By Carla Wynn, CBF with His love and what is on His many of whom were given strong sense of God’s leadership Missions coordinator position. Communications Mark Sandlin photo

Yee sees Fellowship moderator role as chance to serve



Greg Jones preaches excellence at CBF Congregational Leadership Institute


reg Jones wants churches to pay attention to the excellence

Participants in the institute took with them varying perspectives on excellence. around them, to see the positives more than the negatives, and David Roberts, pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Emporia, Va., leads a peer above all, to be careful about how they quantify excellence. learning group for pastors in his area. These congregational leaders across the country. “I don’t say that excellence in churches is groups, one component of the Initiative for There are certain signs in congreganever about buildings, bodies or budgets,” Ministerial Excellence, meet monthly to tions, no matter their size or their makeJones said. “All of these can be signs of new provide opportunities for worship, spiritual life in Christ. What I do say and growth, Bible study, discussion of ministrywhat is important is that churches related issues and fellowship. need to keep God at the center as the “I think we have forgotten what reference for excellence.” real excellence is,” Roberts said. “And eading a church toward excellence Jones is the dean of the Duke I think our peer learning group is about learning to see the magic and Divinity School that manages an $84 network is one way to reestablish million Lilly Endowment grant for what is important and reestablish the beauty. It’s about learning to look Sustaining Pastoral Excellence (SPE). excellence in our churches.” for what’s right and where the assets He was the speaker at this year’s Jeanie McGowan is the modCongregational Leadership Institute, erator of CBF of Missouri and the are, not focusing on the problems.” held on Wednesday afternoon prior pastor of equipping for First Baptist — Greg Jones, dean, Duke Divinity School to the start of the 2005 CBF General Church in Jefferson City, Mo. Assembly. The theme for this year’s “I agree with Greg that too often institute was pastoral excellence. we settle for mediocrity rather than strivrelationships — friendships, hospitality In January 2003, the Fellowship ing for excellence,” she said. “Too often we to strangers and loving enemies. up, that point to excellence, Jones said. received one of the 86 SPE Lilly grants that assume that people aren’t capable of doing Jones said his goal in preaching “Res• They can articulate a rich Christian viDuke manages, said Terry Hamrick, CBF better work or aren’t willing. As leaders, urrecting Excellence” is to help people sion grounded in God’s excellence and coordinator for leadership development. The we need to equip them and train them gain a new appreciation for the beauty of God’s presence in and for the world. nearly $2 million grant funds the Fellowand expect excellence.” f! excellent ministry and be able to practice • They experience vital worship that ship’s Initiative for Ministerial Excellence, a it. “It’s about learning to look for what’s draws people together in praise to God. program designed to help sustain healthy right and where the assets are, not focusBy contributing writer Sue H. Poss, • They have a profound appreciation for ministers and deliver practical help to ing on the problems,” he said. Greenville, S.C. intergenerational ties, young and old together. • They have a passion for lifelong learning and growth from the youngest of children to the oldest of adults focused on making disciples. • They are engaged in outreach, understood not simply as doing good but as the expressions of their witness to God. • They are forever nurturing new

Sue H. Poss photo


Female pastor provides leadership to two Virginia congregations

Vol. 15, No. 5 COORDINATOR • Daniel Vestal COORDINATOR, COMMUNICATIONS & RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT • Ben McDade EDITOR • Lance Wallace MANAGING EDITOR • Lisa M. Jones PHONE • (770) 220-1600 FAX • (770) 220-1685 E-MAIL • WEB SITE •

fellowship! is published seven times a year by The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Inc., 3001 Mercer University Dr., Atlanta, GA 30341-4115. Periodicals postage paid at Atlanta, GA, and additional mailing offices. USPS #015-625 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to “fellowship!” Newsletter, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, P.O. Box 450329, Atlanta, GA 31145-0329


before her is quite commendable,” said what church members are going through.” Karen Massey, president of Baptist WomAnd while that kind of drama is being acten in Ministry. “While the situation in the ed out inside the church, another drama has association is difficult, Elizabeth says that taken place outside the church. As a young the support and encouragement from her female pastor, Rickert’s application for ordination by her churches through the James River Association has drawn some response. Three churches have withdrawn from the now 23-member association. One of them stated in its letter of withdrawal that it was because of “grave concerns” about Rickert. Two others gave other reasons but their Elizabeth Rickert leads a workshop at the 2005 Current retreat for withdrawals came just young leaders. days after the Ordination church members is overwhelming. I think Committee approved her, Rickert said. this is a perfect example of how the winds John Mann, director of missions of God’s spirit cannot be stifled.” for the association, confirmed three Rickert came to Cumberland from Atchurches have withdrawn since Rickert lanta, where her home church was Dunwas interviewed by the Ordination woody Baptist Church. She spent a lot of Committee, but he would not comment time studying theater while earning a deon their reasons. As for Rickert, he said, gree in leadership studies with a minor in “She’s a fine young lady. We’ve received business at the University of Richmond. letters from both of her churches in She took that interest with her to Emory support of her, and the association University’s Candler School of Theology approved her for ordination.” where she earned an M.Div. in May 2004. “Elizabeth’s ability to face the challenges

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Lance Wallace photo

THE PASTOR OF two small Virginia churches, Elizabeth Rickert jokingly said she feels like she puts on a one-woman show every Sunday morning. But she is not the star. “It is not about me,” she said of her ability to bring drama into the pulpit of Tar Wallet and Oak Grove Baptist churches in Cumberland, Va. “It’s about me being a vehicle, a player in the ongoing drama between God and my community and my congregations. Every week I go to the Scriptures and try to bring forth an interaction — in preaching, in hearing and singing the word, and in praying — that formalizes

On July 10, Tar Wallet was packed with church members from both congregations, family, friends, fellow ministers, and supporters from the Cumberland community who came for Rickert’s ordination service by both churches. Elizabeth A. Pugh, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., offered the charge to the congregation and presided over the service. David Key, director of the Baptist Studies Program at Candler School of Theology, offered the charge to the candidate. Michael Whelchel, Dunwoody Baptist Church’s minister of missions, brought well-wishes from Rickert’s home church. “I can’t say enough that these churches were willing to call a young female pastor,” Rickert said. “They were not trying to make a statement, just calling a pastor that they wanted. I’m fortunate that our paths crossed and that they found me.” f! LEARN – Contact Elizabeth Rickert at (804) 492-5547 or For more on ministry opportunities for women, contact Clarissa Strickland, CBF associate coordinator for leadership development, at (770) 220-1635 or cstrickland@

By contributing writer Sue H. Poss, Greenville, S.C.

Congregational Leadership Institute


Vir g ini a Pa stor



Initiative for Ministerial Excellence makes difference among pastors


wo years into the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Initiative for Ministerial Excellence (IME), the Initiative’s leaders are hearing

positive feedback and appreciation from pastors who have benefited from the various IME programs.

Carla Wynn photos

to the ministry because of support they have The Initiative, funded with a $1.99 received from their peer learning group,” million Lilly Endowment Inc. grant, was launched in response to the need for community among pastors and the understanding that healthy congregations need healthy ministers. One facet of the program has been the 39 peer learning groups that provide community to 369 ministers. Through these groups, IME has reduced the isolation many clergy experience, said Dave Odom, IME evaluator and Robert and Alicia Walker of Peachtree Baptist Church in Atlanta, below, gather with other peer learning group convenors before president of the Center for the General Assembly to share resources and stories and to hear Congregational Health. “The updates on the progress of the Initiative for Ministerial Excellence. invitation to form groups met said Terry Hamrick, a powerful need. IME has made a lasting the Fellowship’s leadcontribution by helping clergy find each ership development other and encouraging clergy to be recoordinator. sources to each other,” he said. Twenty pastors The peer learning groups met monthly have been awarded with group leaders receiving training at last sabbatical grants, June’s CBF General Assembly. Groups also enabling pastors to gathered at five state CBF meetings in 2004, engage in study, rest with 11 meetings scheduled in 2005. The and relaxation. One pastor even studied at Fellowship communicates with all group Oxford University in England. Thirteen of members through a monthly electronic these pastors went on their first sabbatical, newsletter, which was launched in January. Hamrick said. Sabbatical planning assis“Some pastors have recommitted themselves

tance was offered to each pastor in order to help better meet personal goals. IME will provide sabbatical assistance to 35 pastors next year. “A number of ministers indicated that they were nearing burnout and questioning the possibilities of future ministry without renewal and spiritual recharging. Many have brought back and begun to implement new ideas gleaned from sabbatical, which have taken their congregation’s ministry to a new level,” said Mike Harton, an IME regional coordinator. The Ministry Residency program, a pilot project for recent seminary graduates, has provided four people with a two-year mentoring and learning experience in a CBF congregation. In 2005, six graduates will be selected for residencies. “One significant outcome of IME is that congregations are becoming more aware that they need to be part of encouraging and supporting clergy,” Odom said. A luncheon for Initiative for Ministerial Excellence covenors was held during the General Assembly. f!

Mark Sandlin photos

Leadership Scholars


Class Notes

A. Frank Bonner was named recently as the 12th president of Gardner-Webb University. The new president joined the Gardner-Webb administrative staff in 1987 as dean of the college. He was promoted to provost and senior vice president in 1992. Bonner grew up in Greenville, S.C., and graduated from Furman University. He has a M.A. degree from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. ■ Central Baptist Theological

Life/Leadership Development/IME at

■ International Baptist

LEARN – For more about the Initiative for Ministerial Excellence, contact Terry Hamrick at (770) 220-1600 or thamrick@thefellowship. info. Or go to Church

By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

CBF’s Leadership Development initiative hosted a dessert social for Fellowship leadership scholars prior to the General Assembly. Among those who gathered included, clockwise, Linda Davis, left, a scholar from Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, talking with Clarissa Strickland, CBF associate coordinator for leadership development. Robert Rueda, a scholar and graduate of Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary, talks with Stephanie Glenn, a scholar and Truett graduate who will be serving with her husband, Aaron, as CBF Global Missions field personnel working alongside internationals in the Los Angeles area. Jennifer Adams, l-r, Casondra Brown of Truett Seminary, and Jo Ann Sharkey, resident minister at FBC, College Station, Texas, interact during the social.


■ Gardner-Webb University.

Seminary. Central Seminary is offering master of divinity courses at First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Two courses are being offered at the Murfreesboro site in fall 2005. Laura Moore, adjunct instructor in Old Testament at Central Seminary, is teaching “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible.” “Christian Heritage I” is being taught by Michael Smith, pastor of First Baptist Murfreesboro. An online course in theological ethics will also be offered. Tennessee CBF facilitated the partnership with First Baptist Murfreesboro. TCBF Coordinator Ircel Harrison will serve as volunteer site coordinator. For more information, contact Harrison at (888) 661-8223 or Central Seminary President Molly Marshall will be lecturing on “The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit” at Campbell University Divinity School on Oct. 24-25, as part of the Prevatte Lecture Series. The lectures are open to the public. For more information, contact Roy DeBrand at (800) 7609827 or

Leadership scholars interact at General Assembly social

Initiative for Ministerial E xcellence

Class Notes: News from partner schools

Theological Seminary. When Baptist World Alliance General Secretary Denton Lotz, and his wife, Janice, visited IBTS, Prague, for the annual graduation service, Lotz awarded nine students master of theology degrees and 13 students certificate in applied theology course diplomas. All the graduates received posies of flowers, a typical Czech custom, from Janice Lotz and Denise Jones, wife of the IBTS rector. Lotz, a former professor of missions at IBTS, spoke on the challenges facing Christians in their mission today. The graduating students were presented by the pro-rector and academic dean, Parush R. Parushev. The rector, Keith G. Jones, and the kvestor (director of finance and administration), Petra Veselá, congratulated each of the graduating students after Lotz presented the diplomas. The master of theology students came from Russia, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Kazakhstan. Certificate students were from Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine, Israel, Estonia and Albania. Student President Julie Justus, a former BWA staff member, expressed the thanks of the student body to Lotz for participating in the graduation.

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Global Missions volunteer arranges heart surgery for Macedonian boy

Student.Go participants TWENTY-EIGHT STUDENTS recently participated for a semester or a summer in Student.Go, a partnership between CBF Global Missions and PASSPORT, Inc. The program allows students to work alongside CBF ministry partners or career CBF Global Missions field personnel. Following are the students who served with their locations of service and schools:


ne volunteer can make a life-or-death difference in the life of a child.

Upon examining Denis, Hurst suspected Dr. Richard Hurst of Tyler, Texas, has he had a systolic heart murmur, causing been volunteering alongside missions most of his blood to bypass his lungs. Time field personnel for 10 years. In June 2004, was running out. He needed surgery to he went to the Balkans to work with CBF save his life. Global Missions field personnel Martha and Rick Shaw. The visit changed lives, especially for a young Macedonian boy named Denis. “Denis is a Roma-Albanian boy from a very poor and neglected family in the backwaters of the Balkans,” Shaw said. “Within his village, there are 11 other children with congenital diseases.” They met 9-year-old Denis in a dirt-floored house in the rural village of Tsrni Bregovi in the Republic of Macedonia. Hurst, a retired physician, Dr. Richard Hurst examines Denis during their first meeting in June 2004. Denis described Denis as being small recently had successful surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. LEARN – To learn more and thin with blue lips and about connecting with CBF Hurst was determined to get Denis the fingernails because of poorly oxygenated blood. Global Missions field personnel through volsurgery he needed and to raise $10,000 for the Denis had been born with a congenital unteering, visit boy to travel to Sofia, Bulgaria, for the operaheart defect and was not expected to live Missions/Volunteer Missions/ or call (800) tion. With the help of family, friends, church past 10 years of age. “Denis was short of 782-2451. members and his community in Tyler, Hurst breath from just walking across the room,” raised the money within a few months. Hurst said. By Christy Carpenter, CBF Communications

Touching Miami With Love, Miami — Jessica Boe, graduate, Birmingham Southern College; Jubilee Eason, Gardner-Webb School of Divinity; Caitlin Goodspeed, Elon University; Laura Medley, Georgetown College; Shawn Warner, Baylor University; Woubedel “Wobbie” Worku, graduate, Baylor University, also served in Pecs, Hungary in the fall; and Dalia Tobar, McGill University

Courtesy Dr. Richard Hurst

Camp Frazer, Great Falls, Va. — Sara Beth Bozard, Winthrop University; and Elizabeth Steger, Georgetown College Children’s Day Camp, Calvary Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. — Ashley Coates, Oklahoma State University; and Misty Burton, Carson-Newman College Brooklyn, N.Y. — Kevin Lankford, Hardin-Simmons University Detroit, Mich. — Amy Paulson, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; Alyssa Stevenson, University of North Texas; Clayton Roy, The College of William & Mary; and Mark Cowan, George Brown College Open House Ministries, Homestead, Fla. — Elizabeth Bradley, Furman University; and Rosemary “Rosie” Stafford, Auburn University

Children raise money for tsunami relief

Sowing Seeds of Hope, Perry County, Ala. — Eva Marie Buford, George W. Truett Theological Seminary; Lyndsay Cogdill, Samford University; Amanda Gibson, University of South Carolina; and Clary Gardner, Furman University

BY PLACING JARS in local businesses, the Girls in Action group at First Baptist Church in Manchester, Ga., raised $311.16 for the Fellowship’s tsunami relief fund.

Fremont, Calif. — Leah Jones, Georgetown College; and Taisha Marie Rose, Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology Two students served during the spring semester — Kelly Williams of Birmingham, Ala., served with Global Missions staff in Birmingham; and Claire Cook of Waco, Texas, served in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, among immigrants and refugees. *Three Student. Go participants served in North Africa.

* Due to global security concerns, names and specific locations of some of CBF’s personnel will not be publicized.


Courtesy Devita Parnell

LEARN – For more information on Student.Go, contact Amy Derrick at aderrick@thefellowship. info or Jennifer Fuller at To view available Student.Go positions, visit By contributing writer Ashley Grizzle, Atlanta

“A good number of church members did give generously,” Hurst said. “Using e-mail and personal contacts, $6,000 was raised by October. Then the editor of the Tyler paper ran a page-and-a-half story on Denis, and the $10,000 was in.” In February, Denis and his mother were escorted to a clinic in Sofia where Denis underwent successful heart surgery. Upon visiting with Denis and his mother in the hospital and praying with them, Shaw said, “One of the delights of being a missionary is moments like this.” Denis returned home in March where his fellow villagers praised God to see him return healthy and learn that Denis will now live a long and healthy life. “Working with CBF field workers is a joy,” Hurst said. “They make it so easy to share and share.” f!

“We made up little containers and some of the girls went around and put some out in different businesses, and we just stood at the [church] doors on Sundays [after

worship]. Some of the girls gave their own money,” said GA leader Annette Ferguson. Devita Parnell, CBF of Georgia’s associate coordinator for congregational life, showed the children a computer presentation with photographs from the Fellowship’s relief efforts in Southeast Asia. “The girls were curious about life in this part of the world, asking simple questions about food, clothing and shoes,” Parnell said. “I think this experience has helped these children identify with others in need and to understand that, in many ways, they are just like children everywhere.” Ferguson said the group frequently discusses the needs of missionaries and this was a way for them to get involved. “I think they learned that even so far away you can do things for others in different countries and be missionaries where you are,” Ferguson said. f! LEARN – For more information on the Fellowship’s ongoing Asian response, visit

The Girls in Action missions education group at First Baptist Manchester collected money for victims of the devastating tsunamis in Southeast Asia. Devita Parnell of CBF of Georgia, back row, left, gave a presentation on CBF’s work in Southeast Asia and received the $311.16 collected by the girls.

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Surgery for Macedonian Boy


By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications


Ts u n a m i R e l i e f





Cowboy Church in Texas focuses on reaching unique population


onday through Friday the main event at the Stephenville Cattle Company is the sale and smell of cattle. On Sunday, the smell

still lingers, but the moo of cattle and the call of the auctioneer transform into the sounds of a country and western band and the call of Christ. The Cowboy Church of Erath County has found its home in a sale barn.

Mark Sandlin photo

is also no formal invitation. “At the end of Co-sponsored by the Baptist General the service, I say the sinner’s prayer, and if Convention of Texas and the Cooperative they said it with me, I have them fill out a Baptist Fellowship, this new church start form and put their name on it and put it in held its first service at the cattle company the milk jug.” on Oct. 3, 2004, Since the first with 220 in Sunday, the church attendance. has had 142 people Stephenville, join as members Texas, is the perfect through letter location for a or statement of cowboy church. faith and 30 join “Stephenville by baptism. The is the capital of congregation cowboys,” said averages 250 in Pastor Charles worship. “On Easter Higgs. Higgs set up Charles Higgs leads a worship sampler called ’Cowboy Church Worship’ during the 2005 General Sunday, we had 492, shop in an office Assembly. and over 300 on down the street three separate occasions,” Higgs said. from Tarleton State University just two When the church sponsored its first months prior to the church’s first service, rodeo, more than 350 attended. The church hanging out a sign that said Cowboy will sponsor another rodeo Ministry. which organizers hope “People saw the sign, and started coming in here,” recalled Higgs. Through the ministry office, word of mouth, and families from sponsoring churches, Higgs began two Bible studies with a core group of 23 people. Prior to the first service, Higgs sent out a direct mail piece to 15,000 homes. The owners of the sale barn have attended all but one service, and let the church keep a sign up, as well as use two upstairs rooms for storage, children’s church and a nursery, Higgs said. The Cowboy Church of Erath County is poised to reach a unique population in a non-threatening setting where those who embrace western culture feel welcome and comfortable. “In the cowboy church, there are no worship wars,” noted Higgs. “Here, it’s just hymns with a country western background, which is embraced by all.” A longtime preacher in traditional Baptist churches in Texas, Higgs has always had a desire to reach the cowboy population. “My grandfather and uncles were cowboys,” he said. “God really put this on my heart.” The sale barn provides the perfect spot, and Higgs wears western gear, including a cowboy hat to preach. “The only time we take our cowboy hats off is when we call on the Lord, when we pray,” he said. Instead of passing the plate, the church has two cowboy boots and a milk jug in place, with envelopes and cards nearby where members and attendees can put their money, or write out prayer requests. There

Cowboy Church


Coordinator Search Committee

will draw 600 people. From holding a family team roping event to sponsoring a country and western dance for college students, Cowboy Church uses the ways of its constituency to reach out to a wide range of ages. At least one-third to possibly one-half of those attending are unchurched people, Higgs estimated. Higgs said the church hopes to buy some land and start building an arena and a metal church building during its first year. Higgs and leaders from his church led a General Assembly worship sampler to let people experience worship in the format of the Cowboy Church. f! LEARN – For more information about Cowboy Church, contact Charles Higgs at (254) 968-2210 or or visit For more information about new church starts, contact Phil Hester, CBF associate coordinator for church starts, at (678) 429-9753, or phester@thefellowship. info, or go to Global Missions/Church Starts at

By contributing writer Alison Wingfield, Dallas, Texas

Council officers name search committee for Global Missions coordinator THE OFFICERS of the Fellowship’s Coordinating Council have appointed a seven-member search committee to fill the Global Missions Coordinator position. Jack Snell, Global Missions associate coordinator for field ministries, is currently serving as interim coordinator of Global Missions following Barbara Baldridge’s resignation. “We have been blessed in the CBF movement with wonderful leadership in Global Missions,” said Tim Brendle, committee chair. “I expect that to continue with God’s leadership. Any time there is a transition there are unsettling feelings, but it is a moment of opportunity.” The members are as follows: ■ Tim Brendle, committee chair. Brendle, of Richmond, Va., is a retired pastor, former missionary and missions administrator who has served on the Council. He is also a former chair of the Fellowship’s personnel committee. ■ Jana Benjamin, of Tullahoma, Tenn., is a member of King’s Cross Church and a former missionary in Hong Kong, Macau and the Philippines. She is completing a term on the Council where she served as a member of the Global Missions Initiative Team. ■ Rusty Brock, of Ardmore, Okla., is the pastor of Northwest Baptist Church. He is a current member of the Council and chair of the Global Missions Initiative Team. ■ Frank Broome, of Macon, Ga., is coordinator of the CBF of Georgia. Prior service includes the Macon and Columbus Baptist associations. ■ Beth Fogg, of Richmond, Va., is a member of Second Baptist Church and a former moderator of the Richmond Baptist Association, former president of the Baptist General Association of Virginia and a former member of the Council. ■ Harriet Harral, of Fort Worth, Texas, is principal of The Harral Group, specializing in organizational effectiveness and communication. She also directs Leadership Fort Worth and is chair of the deacons at Broadway Baptist Church. She is in her second year on the Council and chairs the personnel committee. ■ Earl Martin, of Jefferson City, Tenn., is senior professor of missions at Carson-Newman College. He is a former pastor and was a Baptist missionary for 32 years in Africa and Europe. His last two years as a missionary, he served CBF Global Missions in Europe. The committee held its first meeting during the General Assembly. By Lance Wallace, CBF Communications

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about various topics while going behind the scenes at Disney parks. Students will also participate in the World Showcase at Epcot®, giving them the opportunity to explore how the three faith groups are ministering in those countries. The cost for the conference is $275 per student, which includes a room, conference fee, transportation, three meals, two T-shirts, the Y.E.S. program and a three-day Park Hopper® Ticket. The conference is open to sixthgraders through 12th-graders. The 300 spots available to Fellowship churches are already taken, but churches can join a waiting list in hopes of expanded participation in the coming weeks. LEARN – For more information, visit or call (800) 769-0210. By contributing writer Melanie Kieve, Alabaster, Ala.



s members in CBF partner churches participate in the “Companions in Christ” small group resource for spiritual formation, the influence

can be felt throughout their congregations.

to a variety of spiritual practices. Before starting “Companions,” Wilshire member Carolyn Strickland wondered how she would find the time to devote to the study. As she worked through the resource, Strickland discovered the gift of a daily devotional time. “And now I can’t do without one,” she said. Although Strickland admitted it took discipline to make the 28-week commitment, she said the time spent was well worth it. The “Companions in Christ” series continues with: • “The Way of Blessedness” • “The Way of Forgiveness” • “The Way of Grace” Stephen Bryant, the world editor and publisher of Upper Room Ministries, led a General Assembly workshop introducing “Companions in Christ: Exploring the Way: An Introduction to the Spiritual Journey” — a 6-week prequel to “Companions.” This resource examines the basic concepts of the Christian life and spiritual formation. f!

at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, “We saw an intense interest in God’s Texas, also led the training. presence in our lives, even the most quiet among us,” said Carolyn Shapard, minister of adults at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, referring to the response to “Companions.” There was a deepening sense of prayer within the congregation as participants engaged in the 28-week spiritual formation resource, she added. Wilshire was among 18 pilot Fellowship churches who used the resources shortly after the Fellowship began its partnership with Upper Room Ministries in fall 2003. Eileen Campbell-Reed, spiritual formation consultant for CBF, was an integral part of helping facilitate the “Companions” partnership. “Our experience with the ‘Companions’ project was the seedbed which led to the formation of the Spiritual Formation Network,” said Bo Prosser, CBF coordinator for Congregational Life. “Upper LEARN – Resources are available Room has become an invaluable from The CBF Store at (888) Participants engage in intercessory prayer for one another during a partner, providing rich resources for ‘Companions’ training session. 801-4223 or www.thefellowship. congregations and individuals.” info. Spanish-language resources “If we can be a part and can begin this Shapard helped lead a one-day “Companare available. For more information, visit journey of transformation, then God can ions” training event prior to the CBF General use us in transforming the world,” Swift said. Assembly with approximately 30 participants. “Companions” introduces participants Jorene Swift, minister of congregational care By Lisa M. Jones, CBF Communications Lisa M. Jones photo

HUNDREDS OF YOUTH from three faith traditions — the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church — are expected to gather at the Walt Disney World® Resort Jan. 13-16 for the first-ever “Faith in 3D” ecumenical student conference. Sponsored by the three faith groups and coordinated by Fellowship partner Passport Inc., the weekend offers students the opportunity to view faith in a new dimension and to deepen that faith. During the conference, youth from the three denominations will spend time worshipping with, learning alongside and building relationships with one another — a combination that is intentional, according to Rick Bennett, the Fellowship’s associate coordinator for faith formation and a Faith in 3D planning committee member. “This conference is an attempt to communicate to youth that ‘Jesus is Lord’ and that’s what matters most,” Bennett said. “Our denominations are unique in many ways, but nothing should keep us from coming together — we are all part of the body of Christ.” That sentiment is echoed by David Burroughs, president and CEO of Passport Inc. “We like the idea of teens seeing that the Christian church is larger than their local church,” Burroughs said. Youth will worship together several times during the weekend, with each denomination leading in one worship service. The Baptistled worship will feature Christian singer-songwriter Kyle Matthews of Nashville, Tenn. The closing worship will include a celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. In addition to free time in Disney’s four parks, youth will also take part in Disney’s Youth Education Series (Y.E.S.), which enables participants to learn

‘Companions’ resource helps transform congregations

Chaplain retires after 22 years of military service “In the last three years, I’ve had some and Marines, and Craddock had the opU.S. NAVY CHAPLAIN Ron Craddock’s unique opportunities,” Craddock said. “Not portunity to serve all three branches. Plus, retirement ceremony was held earlier this only serving on a carrier, but also serving with he began his military career as an enlisted year on the deck of the USS Theodore General [Tommy] Franks in AfghaniRoosevelt, where he had stan. It was a great opportunity to spent his last tour of duty serve under Franks as his deputy comas Strike Group and Command chaplain and to have a chance mand Chaplain. to be there in the war zone during the “An aircraft carrier for a early days. In my ministry, I had the chaplain in the Navy is the opportunity to counsel young soldiers pinnacle of ministry,” said involved in combat and to talk with Craddock, a CBF-endorsed ones who were returning.” chaplain who retired from While he may have retired from more than 22 years of the Navy, Craddock has not retired military service. “It’s the from ministry. Craddock and his highlight for a Navy chapChaplain Ron Craddock launches his boots from Catapult #2 on board the USS wife, Beth, are eager to start the lain because you form the Theodore Roosevelt as a Naval tradition signaling his last underway on board an airnext chapter in their ministry and ministry of the entire battle craft carrier and in honor of his retirement. are open to church ministry as well group of ships.” as hospital and bivocational ministry opserviceman in the Air Force. Keeping in line with Navy tradition, portunities. f! George Pickle, CBF’s associate coordinaCraddock was piped ashore for the final tor for chaplaincy and pastoral counseling, time as the gathering of more than 200 LEARN – For more information about spoke at Craddock’s ceremony and presentpeople offered him a final salute. Cradchaplaincy and pastoral counseling, contact ed him with a retirement certificate. dock’s ceremony was unique in that the George Pickle at (770) 220-1617 or Craddock, who was endorsed by CBF in Coast Guard, Marines and Air Force were 2000, served in a variety of places — from all represented. Navy chaplains serve not Japan to Kuwait to Florida. only the Navy but also the Coast Guard By contributing writer Patricia Heys, Atlanta Courtesy Ron Craddock

Faith in 3D student conference

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Companions in Christ


Chaplain Craddock Retires


Faith in 3D



Loss of a child presents a ‘New World’ of challenges for parents


he death of a child is described as the ultimate loss for a parent. Jan and Tony Cartledge experienced ultimate loss when their

7-year-old daughter, Bethany, was killed by a drunk driver in 1994.

Bob Perkins photo

The “stages of grief ” are a concept made In working through their grief, the popular by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Jan said Cartledges wrote a book, “A Whole New their experience was more like cycles of World,” in which they described their expegrief. Instead of moving in a linear way riences dealing with their loss. They shared from one to the other, some people may many of the lessons they learned with a make progress one day, yet regress another. workshop audience at the Fellowship’s The stages of General Assembly. grief include shock, “The loss of a child crying, isolation, is described as the preoccupation with ultimate deprivation,” the loss, physiJan said. “I’ve lost cal distress, anger, a parent and other guilt/regret, depresrelatives and close sion, aimlessness, friends, but none of acceptance and the grief I had expehope. rienced up until that One of the hardpoint was anything est aspects for her like the grief I felt to deal with, Jan when Bethany died.” said, was the anger Tony said, “The Tony Cartledge, left, and his wife, Jan, explain their personal grief journey in a workshop at the CBF over the driver who death of a child is General Assembly. was responsible for not something you causing the acciexpect. It’s not supdent. It was found that he was driving while posed to happen. And, at the very least, intoxicated, pled guilty to the charges, and you think if you have to lose your child at was sentenced to spend time incarcerated. least you can say goodbye. Yet, Jan said she was still very angry and it “The loss left a very deep and painful was hard for her to forgive him. hole in our lives,” he said. “We embarked “I had some terrible thoughts that I was then on a journey not so much to try to not proud to share with other people,” she make sense of what happened … but we said. “I felt bad — with guilt about the way also wanted to learn how to be good stewI felt towards the other driver. But all of ards with one’s pain.” that was very normal. Then one day I got The grief process is a normal one, Jan a letter he sent while he was in prison exsaid. “It’s an important and normal repressing his remorse and sorrow. sponse to the loss of any significant object “I realized that all of that anger and or person. Grief is nature’s way of healing a bitterness I felt was eating me up,” Jan said. broken heart.”

“When I finally forgave him, and wrote a letter back, that was a tremendous release. I can honestly say I don’t think about him today. There’s quite a peace in my life — the freedom in forgiveness and letting that anger go.” Tony said a hard aspect to living through this tragedy was the sometimes frustrating things people said trying to explain the loss. “You don’t know at times if people are trying to explain what happened, or trying to make themselves feel better,” he said. “The question is, ‘Why is there suffering in our world?’ “I’m convinced that God loved us enough to create us as a free people who can make choices, instead of robots who can’t. If you make bad choices, there can be bad consequences for you and for others.” Tony said if you listen to what Jesus taught in the New Testament, you are more likely to suffer if you follow Him, not live in a perfect world. “In some ways, God was as brokenhearted as we were. And God knows what it is like to lose a child.” Jan said when you don’t know what to say to someone who has experienced loss, or if you don’t know what to do, practice the three Ps: “presence, purpose and patience.” “It’s okay to admit, ‘I don’t know what to say.’” Jan said hope helped to sustain them both. “Complete recovery is a myth. You will never be the same. There will always be an empty chair at our table. But with time and effort, hope has grown.” f! LEARN – “A Whole New World” by Jan and Tony Cartledge is available from Smythe & Helwys Publishing at

By contributing writer Bob Perkins, York, Pa.

Resources help churches reach community, world THE FELLOWSHIP has launched two resources to help churches and individuals respond to the missional call and express the missional lifestyle. “It’s Time: A Journey Toward Missional Faithfulness” is the foundational resource for the missional church. The study kit includes a copy of “It’s Time: An Urgent Call

to Christian Mission” by CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal, administrator and teacher guides, a member journey guide, a DVD and a free one-year Web subscription. After purchasing the kit, churches can purchase additional materials according to the number of people participating in the study. “Klesis: God’s Call and the Journey

How to Respond LEARN – These resources can be ordered from The CBF Store at www. or (888) 801- 4223. The “It’s Time” study kit costs $49.95. “Klesis: God’s Call and the Journey of Faith” is available for $14.95. For more information on the missional church, visit the Fellowship’s Congregational Life Initiative at

C a r t l e d g e Wo r k s h o p


For more information on “Klesis,” contact Rick Bennett at (770) 220-1605 or GIVE – The Fellowship needs the prayerful support of individuals and churches to reach its financial goals. Use the envelope in this issue to contribute to the Fellowship’s general missions and ministries budget.

Missional Resources


Renovaré Bible

of Faith” is a revised study that explores personal passion and God’s call. More than a spiritual gifts study, the new Klesis resource leads participants to a more holistic consideration of their unique call and passions for ministry. f!

Renovaré to release spiritual formation Bible RENOVARÉ, an international spiritual formation organization based in Colorado, has recently released a spiritual formation Bible. The “Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible” has been in development for five years by more than 50 theologians, pastors and individuals across the nation. Aimed at offering a renewed spiritual formation approach to Scripture, the Renovaré Bible shows how spiritual formation is grounded in biblical history. “Those who interact with its contents will come to understand how God has worked in history to form the lives of individuals for His purposes. The resources presented in the ‘Spiritual Formation Bible’ will provide direction on how individuals can experience this same formation,” said Rick Bennett, the Fellowship’s associate coordinator for faith formation. Using the New Revised Standard translation, Renovaré has supplemented this Bible with more than 50 character sketches, an index of spiritual disciplines found in Scripture, essays and notes on each Bible book, and essays and graphics highlighting the spiritual formation journey. Among the publication’s general editors are Renovaré founder Richard Foster and Dallas Willard. Walter Brueggemann edited the Old Testament content, and Eugene Peterson edited the New Testament content. Book contributors include Brueggemann, James Crenshaw, Peterson, Edwin Searcy and William Willimon. The Fellowship’s Faith Formation Initiative partnered to help sponsor Renovaré’s International Conference, a spiritual formation conference in June with keynote speakers Richard Foster and Dallas Willard. LEARN – The Bible can be ordered online at www.renovare. org or For more information, visit www.renovare. org/readings_renovare_bible.htm. By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

Spiritual Formation Calendar Upper Room Five Day Academy for Spiritual Formation Oct. 16-21 Camp Sumatanga, Gallant, Ala. Academy leaders: Mary Jayne Allen, Loyd Allen and Hazelyn McComas. For more information, contact Mary Jayne Allen at (423) 265-2257 or or Carolyn Dobson at (423) 332-0863 or

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HALF OF THE TIME Scott Cole served as senior pastor of a Birmingham, Ala., church, he struggled with his vocational calling. One day of particular struggle led Cole to the sanctuary for prayer, but not until he read the latest e-mail to hit his account. Part of an ongoing online discussion, “This guy wrote, ‘I think we all need to quit our churches and go get day jobs,’” Cole said. After more than six years of service at West Side Baptist Church, Cole left in September 2003 to start a new church. For about three years he said he had been “sensing a desire to be involved in church starting.” But new churches rarely have the funds to employ full-time ministers. As bi-professional, Cole runs his own financial planning business and serves as associate pastor for Fellowship of the Valley, an emerging church in Hoover, Ala. Through discussions with Phil Hester, CBF associate coordinator for new church starts, Cole’s perception of bi-professional ministry broadened. Bi-professional ministry is the Fellowship’s model in most of its approximately 70 church starts, Hester said. According to Hester, biprofessional ministry has many advantages, namely placing church planters among the unchurched people they hope to reach. In many cases, the church planter can earn a higher salary than full-time pastors. Because church planters aren’t dependent on financial support from congregants, they can lead with integrity and courage, Hester said. Having a non-ministry job has brought greater understanding of the ministry for Cole. “I would get frustrated that people weren’t participating [in church activities], but that freedom of schedule that pastors have isn’t available to everyone,” he said. “It’s forced me to do a lot of theological study on ministry and the role of the minister.” Fellowship of the Valley is supported by CBF, the American Baptist Churches USA and Shades Crest Baptist Church, also in Hoover. In this ministry, Cole found his calling. “It’s a challenge and has been one of the best times of theological growth in my life. It’s about relationships, not programs,” he said. LEARN – For more on CBF church starts, visit Missions/Church Starts/ or contact Phil Hester at (678) 429-9753, or By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications


Partners in Hope High Plains fulfills mission through partnership


ucked away in the Cheyenne River Valley of South Dakota, miles

of Pine Ridge Indian reservation, the Fellowship partners with a vocational training away from a grocery store and a hospital, is a community of program and supports the dream for a future children’s home and foster care facility. Lakota people who feel they’ve been forgotten. The Lakota’s poverty Bridger, formerly stems in part from a large community the lack of jobs on the on the Cheyenne reservation. Money River reservation is earned and spent in Ziebach County, off the reservation, has whittled now to leading to a stunted 10 families. There economy. Under the are no jobs. There social entrepreneurship is no self-sufficient model, PIH aims economy. But there to foster economic is hope. sustainability without “I sit out losing the community’s sometimes in culture. Through the evening and microenterprise vision. We have or small business things we want to development, more do for ourselves so jobs will be created, that we can have thus stimulating the Dana Thompson, left, shows building plans for the Cheyenne River Economic Development Project to, l-r, employment here,” local economy. Greg Prince, Ben Elk Eagle and Duane Contois. said Debbie Day, a lifetime Bridger resident. Partners in Hope, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s rural poverty initiative, started working alongside Bridger residents two years ago through Project Warm Embrace, a clothing distribution effort that has delivered more than 5,000 items during the two last winters. After two years of listening to the Lakota’s dreams, Dana Thompson, director of Warm Embrace Inc., together with community leaders and others drew up the Cheyenne River Economic Development Project. “We don’t want to put a Band-Aid on a problem. We and our Lakota brothers and sisters hope for self-sufficiency,” Debbie Day stands outside the community center in Bridger on the Cheyenne River reservation. Thompson said. The project includes constructing a building “To be self-sustaining, there needs to be to house several an economy and the community will be the Lakota-run small first to tell you that,” said PIH High Plains businesses. There will be facilitator Chris Thompson. a restaurant, welcome The Lakota have much to contribute and tourist center, thrift to the Fellowship’s partners working and furniture store, alongside them. “I have found new heroes laundromat, medical of the faith. There are people in these and dental facilities, counties doing things beyond all odds,” and living areas for a said PIH Coordinator Tom Prevost. groundskeeper and PIH High Plains work is currently volunteers. “None of enabled through a three-year partnership these are our ideas,” between CBF of Missouri and CBF Global Carrie Mikkonen, right, the director of the Delta Dental mobile health unit, talks with Chris Thompson and Carol Prevost, PIH literacy advisor, about how Thompson said. Missions. f! the dental unit is meeting needs in rural South Dakota. “The kids will grab The Cheyenne LEARN -- For more on Partners in Hope your leg and say, ‘Thanks. My mouth didn’t hurt last night,’” she said. project will work in tanefforts in South Dakota and the four other rea trade. We put that together, and we can dem with The Bridger gions of the U.S., visit make it work,” Ben Elk Eagle said. Project, which is creating business opporSERVE – For more about PIH volunteer opPIH High Plains works alongside the Latunity through the Lakota Tepee Bed and portunities, contact volunteer@thefellowship. kota in four counties, where half the populaBreakfast, a tourism business with poteninfo or (800) 782-2451. tion is in poverty and more than 80 percent tial to both jumpstart Bridger’s economy are unemployed. In Shannon County, home By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications and share Lakota culture. “Each of us has Carla Wynn photos

Cole enters bi-professional ministry to start church

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Partners in Hope


Church Starter



Missions curriculum inspires church to help Stories on Wheels happen


BF Global Missions field personnel Ben and Leonora Newell

Courtesy FBC, Huntsville

church’s particular needs, a monthly guide for intergenerational mission study and aconly dreamed of a bookmobile to house a Stories on Wheels tion, and additional support resources. Churches are also utilizing the curricuministry in Helena, Ark., earlier this year. lum as content for Sunday school assemblies, preaching illustrations, Vacation Bible While the Newells were dreaming, the chil- in the project. The church is also planning a School materials, or missions moments in missions trip to Helena for next summer. dren of First Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala., worship, Tillman said. “The ‘Doing Missions in a World Withwere learning about the Newells’ ministry The 2005-2006 curriculum year starts in out Borders’ curriculum equips us to answer — part of Partners in Hope, the Fellowship’s September and covers a wide rural poverty initiative — in range of topics, including: CBF’s “Doing Missions in a the Balinese, international World Without Borders” misstudents in Los Angeles, the sions education curriculum. Banjara Gypsies of India, minThe curriculum described istry in Brussels at Christmas, how the Newells started Stovolunteer missions, the central ries on Wheels, a book/toy Detroit community, addresslending library, in a local coming poverty in the colonias of munity center and dreamed Texas, immigrants to Europe, of distributing books and toys the Lampungese, ministry throughout the community with internationals in the San — if they could find an approFrancisco Bay area, a Bible priate vehicle. study on the environment The story caught the and The Cowboy Church new attention of First Baptist Volunteers from First Baptist Huntsville clean, scrub and mop the interior of a passenger church start. f! Huntsville member George bus to prepare it to be a bookmobile. Bugg, who was teaching the LEARN – Yearly subscripGod’s call to serve,” said Tamara Tillman, curriculum to a Royal Ambassadors group. tions are $80 for the preschool and children’s the Fellowship’s associate coordinator of “I’ll never forget getting an e-mail from curriculum (13 weekly sessions per quarter), missions education. “It presses us to look George that night (after RAs),” said Jane and $20 for the youth and adult curriculum beyond ourselves … thinking instead about Hull, the church’s children’s music and mis(one session per month). A Missions Picture the needs of others.” sions minister. “He said, ‘I have a far-fetched Pak is also available for $12. To preview a The “Doing Missions in a World Without idea. … We have a bus we don’t need for sample or order the curriculum, contact The Borders” curriculum provides opportunities long trips anymore. They (the Newells) need CBF Store at (888) 801-4223. to experience missions through field personit; we have it. Why don’t we give it to them?’” For more information, contact Tillman at nel stories and prayer requests, local misWithin a few weeks, the church voted not (770) 220-1619 or sions project suggestions and other activities. only to give the 48-passenger bus to the NewOther features of the curriculum include ells, but also to retrofit it for use as a bookmoBy contributing writer Melanie Kieve, a flexible format that can be tailored to a bile. Church members of all ages were involved Alabaster, Ala.

Raleigh man uses talents to support ministry

Courtesy Oie Osterkamp

expenses for missions volunteers traveling MISSIONS TRIPS are inspirational, even to Helena this summer. The cards, based life-changing events for participants. on six paintings by Osterkamp, were For one North Carolina man, his life used to help was changed raise funds for last summer at a missions teams Partners in Hope from both First site in Helena, Ark., Baptist Church and he continues and St. John’s to draw on that Baptist experience to make Church in a difference in his Raleigh. own community. “I’ve Last June, Oie done cards Osterkamp traveled before and to Helena, along used them as gifts,” with teams from Oie Osterkamp with a new friend in Helena, Ark., said Osterkamp, 16 churches across during last year’s All Church Challenge. a member of First the United States, Baptist Raleigh. “I just thought this would to conduct youth camps, Bible studies be a great way to help raise money for our and construction projects focused on church’s missions efforts.” community renewal. Tom Prevost, coordinator for Partners So inspired by his experience in Helena, in Hope, said Osterkamp is taking his Osterkamp created a set of greeting cards volunteer commitment home with him. so the proceeds could be used to defray

Curriculum Inspires Church


N o r t h C a r o l i n a Vo l u n t e e r


Last summer’s trip was the first as an adult for Osterkamp, and he said it was the experience of a lifetime. “It was a wonderful week,” he said. “We did a lot of work and we made some new friends, not only in Helena, but in the other team from St. John’s.” Osterkamp also worked on the community garden and helped with the youth sports camps. f! LEARN – For more about Partners in Hope, visit For more on Osterkamp’s original designs, contact him at

By contributing writer Bob Perkins, York, Pa.

B a s k e t b a l l To u r n a m e n t

Partners in Hope hosts basketball tournament PARTNERS IN HOPE, the Fellowship’s rural poverty initiative, hosted its first national basketball tournament for middle and high school-aged teams from some of the 20 poorest counties in the United States. Twelve boys and girls teams involving about 115 youth met in Helena this summer for a weeklong round robin tournament that included spiritual gatherings and community improvement projects each morning. Four teams totaling nearly 30 Lakota youth came from Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, and 14 youth traveled from Nada, Ky., joining the six teams from Helena. “The games were well-attended, and it was really good basketball,” said Ben Newell, one of CBF’s Global Missions field personnel, who has lived in Helena since 2002. Fellowship of Christian Athletes provided leadership during small group Bible studies each morning. Called “huddles,” these groups also worked on a small volunteer project each day beautifying the community and painting two classrooms at local Head Start child development centers. This “reverse missions,” as Newell calls it, instilled the PIH philosophy of reciprocity, where communities give as well as receive. “They came to give their gifts to include basketball to another impoverished community,” Newell said. The huddle groups were intentionally intermixed among diverse players represented in order “to expose the kids to other cultures by having them work with others on mission projects,” said Alvin Jones, director of parks and recreation for Helena. The multiculturalism was a new experience for the Kentucky youth, most of whom had never interacted with other races. For many, it was the first time to see a different part of the country. “We crossed the Mississippi River, and they were like, ‘It’s an ocean! It’s so big!’” said Jennifer McClung, an intern with Mountain Hope, Kentucky Baptist Fellowship’s branch of the rural poverty initiative. At the end of the week, teams played for the championship. Helena boys’ teams won both the junior and senior high sections, and the Lakota girls’ team won the junior/senior high tournament. “They enjoyed the experience of going and playing against some good competition. I had kids ask me if they were going to have it again next year,” said Henry Brown, who led the teams from South Dakota. LEARN – For more about Partners in Hope, visit www. By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

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Fellowship produces news you can use COOPERATIVE Baptist Fellowship Communications works hard to keep CBF from being the best kept secret in Baptist life. In fulfilling its mission of telling the Fellowship story as widely as possible, CBF Communications has generated more than 300 stories during the past year. Still, many churches and Fellowship supporters don’t see them or don’t know they can use the articles in their church publications. “CBF news releases are intended for public use,” said Lance Wallace, the Fellowship’s associate coordinator for communications. “We hope churches will find these stories helpful in informing their communities about the good work of the Fellowship and its partners.” LEARN – To see the most up-todate stories on the Fellowship, visit, and look at the “Fellowship Newsstand” in the lower right corner of the home page to find the five most recent articles published by CBF Communications. To get the list of stories from the past month, click on “News & Views” in the top menu bar or go to News.icm. To sign up to receive news releases directly by e-mail, send your e-mail address to Wallace at or call (770) 220-1641. There are also a number of electronic newsletters with helpful information on a variety of Fellowship-related topics. To sign up for one or more of these e-mail newsletters, go to Signup.icm.

journey As We

of the United Nations (including the United States) have pledged to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015: 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger 2. Achieve universal primary education 3. Promote gender equality and empower women 4. Reduce child mortality 5. Improve maternal health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases 7. Ensure environmental sustainability 8. Develop a global partnership for development. These goals provide a framework for justice and help us understand how to address the moral issues of our time. They are specific enough to hold us accountable and to hold our religious, business and political leaders accountable. Last year, I was in Nairobi. While sitting around a table with several adolescent boys, I asked them the question, “What is the best thing in your life?” They each answered quickly with similar responses: “Jesus” or “My relationship with God” or “Being a Christian.” Then I asked them, “What is the hardest thing in your life?” I was overwhelmed by their answers. The first one said, “My next meal.” The next one said, “What I will eat.” The next one said, “Where I will sleep tonight.” Later in reflecting on this conversation, I realized how different the answers would be if I were asking those questions of adolescents (or adults) in the U.S. Many years ago, the prophet Micah said, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) f!

By CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal

Justice: A global imperative JEFFREY SACHS in his recent book, “The End of Poverty,” reports the startling statistic that every year more than 8 million people around the world die because they are simply too poor to survive. That translates into 20,000 daily deaths. More than 1 billion of the world’s population lives on less than $1 per day. Sachs writes, “The poor die in hospital wards that lack drugs, in villages that lack anti-malarial bed nets, in houses that lack safe drinking water. They die namelessly, without public comment. Sadly, such stories rarely get written. Most people are unaware of the daily struggles for survival, and of the vast numbers of impoverished people around the world who lose their struggle.” Global poverty is not only a social, economic or political problem, it is a moral issue. How can we continue to enjoy luxury when so many are perishing? How can we justify our standard and style of life when multitudes struggle with survival? How can people of faith say they love God and not respond to the world’s suffering? As a Christian, I am convicted by the words of St. James: “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one

of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:15-17) There are hopeful signs. President Bush recently announced the release of $750 million in additional aid for Africa. Emerging coalitions like “The One Campaign,” “Call to Renewal” and “The Micah Challenge” are urging Americans to engage with the poor. Voices from diverse religious communities are joining together calling both for compassion and justice. Television ads can be seen featuring prominent faith leaders and ordinary people engaging with poor people. In early June, I participated in an ecumenical/interfaith convocation at the Washington National Cathedral where more than 1,500 people committed themselves to a world in which hunger is no more. Each of us stood and made a commitment to continue or expand hunger ministries and recruit others for the movement to end hunger, poverty and disease. Yet the awesome challenge remains. The global imperative of our time is justice. “Can we find the moral vision, the urgent passion, the political will and the collaborative spirit to bring an end to global poverty?” All 191 member states


Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 2006 General Assembly Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga. June 21-24, 2006 (Auxiliary events only will be held June 21 and June 24, main General Assembly meeting will be held June 22-23.) To reserve your hotel online, go to to preregister. 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%) 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 7 days prior to arrival. 2. Go ONLINE to Assembly/reg.icm and make reservations online with either the Omni at CNN Center or 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 7 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 nonrefundable, 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 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%.


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‘A s W e J o u r n e y ’


General Assembly Hotel Information



Fellowship Roundup: News from CBF’s states, regions and national offices ■ Florida

■ Kentucky

■ Missouri

Florida CBFers welcome new ministry partners Angel and Jason Pittman, CBF Global Missions field personnel. Jason will serve as the executive director of Touching Miami With Love, an inner-city ministry near downtown Miami, and Angel will serve as the special events coordinator for TML. The Pittmans, who have been involved in urban work for more than 10 years, served in Texas before going to inner-city Detroit with CBF Global Missions in 2002. Wanda Ashworth, director of the CBF ministry in Homestead, Open House Ministries, announced the arrival of Leah Crowley from York, S.C. Crowley is serving as the director of children and youth.

Kentucky Baptist Fellowship will sponsor the first Children’s Mission Day on Oct. 1. Children’s Mission Day will center on Christ through quality worship experiences, provide meaningful times of Christian formation and engage the Christian mission in our world today. Featured leaders include Mark McClintock of PASSPORTkids! and Kim Wyatt, one of CBF’s Global Missions field personnel in Toronto. For more information, contact Craig Cantrall at (502) 426-1931 or Trinity Baptist, Lexington, launched Partners in Hope work in McCreary County, June 15-18. “Mountain Hope” is the new name for CBF’s rural poverty initiative in Kentucky. To participate in Mountain Hope, contact Rhonda Abbott at On Sept. 10, Central Baptist, Lexington, will host a carnival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to raise funds for “Play Able Place,” Kentucky’s first playground specifically for children with disabilities. Baptists and Muslims are uniting for this event in conjunction with Current’s annual “11 on 11” day of service. For more information, contact Brandy Albritton at Three mission workdays will be held in October: Oct. 8 at Living Faith Baptist Fellowship, Elizabethtown; Oct. 15 at Seven Hills Baptist, Owensboro; and Oct. 22 at Stearns Baptist, Stearns. Contact the KBF office at (502) 426-1931 or

CBFMO will sponsor a Ministers Retreat on Sept. 19-20 at Windermere. This year’s retreat features Wayne Stacy. The theme will be built around “The New Homiletic.” For more info, contact CBFMO at (816) 415-0009. The annual fall Fellowship Gathering for Fellowship Baptists and friends will be Oct. 25 in Springfield hosted by University Heights Baptist Church. For more information, e-mail CBF organizations in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma in partnership with national CBF and the Center for Congregational Health will offer Convergence beginning in October 2005. Convergence is a four-part experience designed to help prepare the next generation of missional church leaders. Each of the four sessions will be held at the Keeter Center on the campus of The College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout. Contact Dawn Hall at (336) 716-9722 for more information. CBF of Missouri, national CBF, and Organizational Health Associates offer emerge beginning in October 2005. emerge is designed for promising lay church leaders between the ages of 30 and 50 who will be trained and mentored in an intensive one-year process. Each of the four events will be held at Windermere Baptist Conference Center beginning Oct. 21. For more information, contact

The following two ministerial networks, led by CBF Associate Coordinator for Faith Formation Rick Bennett, gathered in August at First Baptist Church of Griffin for encouragement, support and exchange of ideas. The Children’s Ministry Network met and discussed topics relating to books on children’s ministry, creative activities for the summer and ideas for fall planning. The Christian Educator’s Network met for a discussion titled “Somewhere Between Christian Education and Spiritual Formation.” The Mercer Preaching Consultation will be Sept. 18-20 at King and Prince Resort, St. Simons Island. Speakers will be Gardner Taylor and John Claypool. For more information, call Truett Gannon at (678) 547-6457. The Baptist Women in Ministry of Georgia Fall Retreat will be Oct. 28-29 at The Calvin Center, Hampton. The speaker will be Alica KirkpatrickBremer. The CBF of Georgia Fall Convocation will be Nov. 13-14 at First Baptist Church of Griffin. Millard Fuller will be the speaker.

■ Louisiana Louisiana CBF is hosting its second annual “The Stagg-Tolbert Forum on Biblical Studies” Oct. 8. The forum is an annual event of CBF-LA designed to make excellence in biblical scholarship accessible to the lay person. Fisher H. Humphreys will speak at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Baton Rouge.

Coming Attractions OCT. 8 The Stagg-Tolbert Forum on Biblical Studies Broadmoor Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, La. Lecturer: Fisher Humphreys Lunch reservations: (225) 927-5454 OCT. 11 Fall Workshop for the McAfee Institute for Healthy Congregations McAfee School of Theology, Atlanta Topic: “Understanding Congregations: Traditional, Contemporary, Emergent” Speaker: Chris Seay, pastor of Ekklesia congregation, Houston, Texas Info: Includes small work groups to discuss team building, strategy planning, community outreach, understanding congregational systems and possibilities for a regional network of contemporary ministries. Registration: $39 by Oct. 1 Contact: Larry McSwain, (678) 547-6442, OCT. 16-22 Upper Room Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation Camp Sumatanga, Galant, Ala. See p. 7 sidebar for details. LEARN – For a complete schedule of events, go to www.thefellowship. info/Inside CBF/Calendar.

Fellowship Roundup

■ National CBF employees marking employment anniversaries include: 5 years, Allison Gill, Phil Hester and Milton Womack; and 10 years, Tamara Tillman.

■ North Central Jorge Zayasbazan, moderatorelect for North Central CBF and staff sergeant in the Wisconsin National Guard, has been mobilized to go overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He reported for training with the 2nd Battalion, 128th Infantry on Aug. 17.

■ Oklahoma In the spring, CBF of Oklahoma held its General Assembly at First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City. Featured speakers were Hardy Clemons, Paul Montacute of the BWA, and Grace Powell Freeman from national CBF. As summer began, so did a period of intense missions activity for CBFO and its churches. First Baptist Lawton, and Braden Park, Tulsa, took groups to South Dakota to work with Partners in Hope projects there. Other congregations including First Baptist churches of

Corrections/Additions: In the June/July “fellowship!” newsletter, New Hope Baptist Church pastor Dale Watts was incorrectly identified on p. 6. We regret the error. The new church start in Canton, Okla., highlighted on p. 11 of the June/July issue is being supported by The Native American Church of Watonga and CBF of Oklahoma. The new church is also receiving support from the American Baptist Churches USA National Ministries’ Indian Ministries. We regret the omission.

■ Tennessee A Church Leadership Academy was held at First Baptist Church of Knoxville on Aug. 20. Training was offered to Sunday school teachers of all age groups, pastors, church staff, deacons, media library workers and other lay leaders. Michael McCullar led seminars for experienced adult teachers. Devita Parnell led seminars for those who are new teachers. Frank Smith taught the youth leader sessions. Teaching children’s leaders was Connie Campbell. Tammy Abee Blom taught the preschool leadership seminars. Mary Jayne Allen taught two classes on spiritual formation. Bill Shiell led a session on preaching. Gene Wilder facilitated a discussion on helping a church clarify its denominational relationships. Church involvement in missions was the topic addressed by Mike Young.

■ West Campers from across the West traveled to Arroyo Grande, Calif., for the weeklong JOURNEYS missions camp. Stripped of everyday comforts and technologies, youth focused on developing Christ-like strengths and serving God through service to others. This year’s mission site was Growing Grounds Nursery. Campers worked alongside mental health patients planting lettuce and peppers, pulling weeds, potting plants and reorganizing the nursery. This 7-acre site provides local restaurants and markets with produce

and also supplies many area nurseries with native California plants. Proceeds go directly back into the nursery and other mental health programs. Campers spent a total of 16 hours at the mission site, sharing Christ’s love through their actions. Back at camp, youth fellowshipped through Bible studies, worship and many activities. Each morning after breakfast they joined together in a pep-rally-like celebration, complete with the band Diminished Fifth. The camp theme was “The Mercy League” and Micah 6:8 was their focus Scripture. Joy Yee, CBF moderator, served as JOURNEYS camp pastor. Some youth accepted Christ, others heard His calling in their lives, and still others simply acknowledged His presence for the first time. For more information, contact camp director Mari Licking at (623) 979-3239 or Photos and information may also be found at CBFWest/Journeys.icm. CBF West’s 2006 Annual Meeting will be held in Tucson, Ariz., from Jan. 26 (6 p.m.), to Jan. 28 (noon). Everyone who participates in any way in CBF West is welcomed and encouraged to attend these meetings. As program and logistical details develop, they will be posted at AnnualMtg.icm.

Courtesy CBF West

■ Georgia

Shawnee, Stillwater and Oklahoma City; Northwest of Ardmore; Tulledega Hills of Henryetta; and NorthHaven of Norman have worked in Canton, Okla., with the new Native American church there. His Nets, a CBFO mission project, distributed nearly 2,000 insecticide treated mosquito nets in Ghana in June. Thanks to that ministry, thousands of people will be malariafree for many years to come. Recently, CBFO partnered with the Braden Park Baptist Church in Tulsa to help La Nueva Jerusalem, or The New Jerusalem Hispanic Baptist church, buy a building.

Campers in small Bible study teams studied how they could develop their own “Super Powers” of justice, mercy, and humility during JOURNEYS missions camp.

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Courtesy Monte Vista Baptist Church


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local church missions blitz in their commuMISSIONS IS AT THE HEART of Monte nity. Church members participate in a loVista Baptist Church in Maryville, Tenn. cal Habitat for Humanity project each fall. “It’s one of the most powerful things that When the church does other house repair happens for us as a church family,” said projects, it tries to partner with another church member Sue Wyatt, who has cochurch that is closest to the person in need. ordinated several trips to Perry County in “There may be a small church right Alabama, a post-9/11 trip to New York and down the street from that person, but a number of local projects. they can’t provide The church [house repairs], has a long hisso we ask them to tory of missions partner with us like activity, beginproviding lunch,” ning years ago Mantooth said. with a trip to Within the local South Dakota Chilhowee Baptist to work on an Association, church Indian reservamembers volunteer tion. Now, the at the Baptist cenchurch takes ter that the church multiple group helped start. trips a year and The church has sends myriad also committed to individuals on Perry County in international Alabama, where 60 missions enBenny Wagner, left, and Pat Dial work on the roof for a porch in Perry County, Ala. people participated deavors. in Sowing Seeds The church’s of Hope for the church’s fourth trip there. consistent missions involvement stems In 2003, the church went the extra mile from the constant promotion of missions, to include one Perry County teen, who said church pastor Jerry Mantooth. On the helped the team with renovations to his Sunday before a person or a group leaves grandfather’s house. William Martin, 15, for a missions trip, the church commisstayed with the youth group all week and sions participants during morning wor“on the way back home, these parents got ship. When participants return, they share to talking” about including him on the their experience with the congregation. youth trip to PASSPORT, a youth camping “People come back and tell the stories that experience that focuses on missions, said motivate others to go,” Mantooth said. youth minister Dean Denton. f! But the best missions motivator has been “the going and doing,” Mantooth said. SERVE – For more information The church focuses on missions involveabout volunteer opportunities, contact ment. “That’s what inspires people,” he said. Timothy Wood at (800) 782-2451, One of the church’s five-year goals is or visit www. to involve each member in at least one Missions/Volunteer missions project a year. Just prior to the Missions. church’s 50th anniversary, members participated in Operation Inasmuch, a hands-on By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

Tennessee church thrives on missions involvement

Carla Wynn photo


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

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Female pastor leads two Virginia churches


A young resident of Helena, Ark., gets swimming lessons during the All Church Challenge.


Cowboy Church reaches Texans


Missional resources can impact churches


Partners in Hope, High Plains, fulfills mission


Vestal: Justice is a global imperative

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All Church Challenge inspires Arkansas community

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


f fellowship!


Sept/Oct 2005 fellowship!  
Sept/Oct 2005 fellowship!