Jan/Feb 2006 fellowship!

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January/February 2006

One year later: Fellowship continues Southeast Asia tsunami relief


ec. 26, 2004 should have been a day like any other. At least it started out that way. Fishermen set out with their boats to sea.

Women woke their children. Life was normal. But in an instant — a roaring wave, a rush of water — life changed for coastal residents of Southeast Asia.

Global Missions coordinator. The Fellowship has also helped Individuals and groups “We are deeply grateful to repair or purchase fishing from churches volunteered all whose on-going support boats to enable fishermen to in the area, helping with through the Offering for return to their livelihood. construction projects and in Global Missions enables medical clinics that treated The Fellowship continues our personnel to partner with to be on the local churches field, and whose and internagenerosity has tional groups provided resources such as Habitat so we can for Humanrespond to these ity, Mercy devastating needs.” Foundation Needs in the and others for region are still new housing great. Rebuilding is projects. a slow process, but The rainy the Fellowship has season brings Generous contributions from Fellowship Baptists and churches committed to meet further comhelped fisherman devastated by the tsunami take steps to regain their livelihood. long-term needs. plications. Some tents LEARN – For thousands of tsunami continually sit in puddles of more information on tsunami survivors. water. The Fellowship helped relief, visit www.thefellowship. “Because of the outpouring provide wooden floors, which info/disaster/tsunami. To make of love and concern from CBF give temporary relief by lifting an online contribution to these partners and friends, shattered tents and allowing water to efforts, visit www.thefellowship. lives are being restored, new flow underneath. info/Landing/giving.icm and hope is being engendered, and In India, where many give to the Offering for Global those who felt they had no churches were damaged or Missions. future are slowly embracing destroyed by the tsunami, the courage to face another Fellowship is funding new By Carla Wynn, CBF day,” said Jack Snell, interim church buildings. Communications





Stretch Ledford photo

meters of the Indian Ocean. More than 225,000 people When buffer zones were lost their lives, bringing a proestablished, these families lost found sense of suffering and their land. The new village will loss to those who survived. include a community center An ocean away, Fellowship with specialized programming Baptists saw the destruction, such as day care or various and they responded. More skill training. than $2.56 million was More than An ocean away, contribFellowship Baptists saw 45 schools have uted to the been helped the destruction, and Fellowship’s through rethey responded. Asian Rebuilding or sponse fund, supplies such as which is aiding in tsunami books, clothing and shoes. relief and development projLivelihood kits specific ects in Southeast Asia. As of to occupations have been Dec. 6, more than $885,600 provided to get carpenters, has been distributed to help fishermen, farmers and in a multitude of restoration, mechanics back in business, rebuilding and development thus providing an income for projects, which will continue their families. More than 1,300 through December 2007. kits were distributed this fall. The tsunami flooded many wells and destroyed other means of obtaining clean water. Through drilling new wells and constructing water towers, clean water MONEY GIVEN last sumis being made available to mer to the Jimmy and Rocommunities. In one area salynn Carter Offering for where only 17 percent of Religious Liberty and Huwater storage tanks were man Rights is being put to functional, repairs have use to help hilltribe immirestored the system to serve grants in Thailand obtain approximately 3,000 people. legal status in that country. The Fellowship has also “This offering has been provided water purification extremely timely,” noted tablets in India and larger Rick Burnette, one of CBF’s purification systems capable of Global Missions field percleaning 600 gallons of water sonnel. “We don’t think it per hour. A new affordable was merely coincidental.” well-drilling technology has Rick and his wife, Ellen, been introduced by CBF and work with various hilltribe Thanks to money given to the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Offering for Religious its partners in Sri Lanka with people as liaisons with the Liberty and Human Rights, Rick Burnette, left, is able to help Thailand hilltribe the intention of using this in Palaung and Kachin minor- immigrants to obtain legal status in that country. to distant sites to work. As immar over the last two decades other areas needing water. ity networks, assisting commigrants, it has been difficult for and have settled in Thailand near munities in finding ways to In Sri Lanka, the them to get documentation to the border with Myanmar. They make a living, including susFellowship is partnering to allow them to work. live in villages that are squeezed tainable agriculture, and dealbuild a new 77-house village Recently, Thailand opened by neighboring citrus plantaing with related rights issues. that will house “squatter” up an opportunity for some tions and national park land and Many of the Palaung and families, who lived on of these immigrants to obtain depend on the ability to travel Kachin fled civil unrest in Myanborrowed land within 100


Carter offering makes resident status possible for Thailand hilltribe immigrants

Stretch Ledford photo



alien resident cards which offer significant residence rights. But the cost to register is generally beyond their means — about 5,100 baht, or approximately $123 at the current rate of exchange. “That is a lot of money for most Palaung families,” Rick noted. “They make somewhere between a dollar to two dollars a day.” Using $10,000 of the Carter offering along with another $30,000 in donations from churches and individuals, the Burnettes, working with a Christian development project, have set up a revolving fund for those eligible to get this documentation. Currently, the Thai government has said immigrants are eligible if they came to Thailand before Oct. — Continued on page 8



■ Baptist Seminary of Kentucky.

The Baptist Seminary of Kentucky and the Lexington Theological Seminary have agreed to jointly exist on the historic Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) school campus near downtown Lexington. The Baptist Seminary of Kentucky has approximately 50 students enrolled for the academic year. They will join about 170 Lexington Theological Seminary students on the campus. The school had, since its establishment, used the facilities of Lexington’s Calvary Baptist Church as a temporary home. (ABP) ■ Baptist Theological

Seminary at Richmond. The estate of Carlyle D. Teachey has provided a bequest of more than $200,000, which will contribute to the seminary’s current capital campaign, Building Our Future … Together. ■ Campbell University

Divinity School. Students heard seven leaders of major world religions share common concerns for their faiths as they face the 21st century at the divinity school’s first interfaith dialogue held on Nov. 8. Concerns discussed were stewardship of creation, pluralism, disease, fundamentalism and erosion of morality. The divinity school will partner with the Charles B. Keesee Educational Fund Inc., to provide a maximum renewable grant of $4,000 annually for students from Virginia and North Carolina. ■ Truett Theological Seminary,

Baylor University. The seminary will be hosting four pastors’ conferences this spring as a part of the Truett Pastoral Conference Series. Conferences include: Building Community through Small Groups Conference on Jan. 31-Feb.1, Conference for Pastors and Laymen on Feb. 6-8, Ministerial Ethics Workshop with Tony Campolo on Feb. 13-14 and Hispanic Preaching Conference on March 31-April 1.

Vol. 16, No. 1 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 • fellowship@thefellowship.info WEB SITE • www.thefellowship.info

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


Two key Fellowship partners piloting Barnabas Project


wo CBF partner institutions are doing what Fellowship

BUA will be responsible for selecting the students with the best experience, educaChristians do best — partnering in mutually beneficial ways to tion and gifts to meet a specific programming need and supplement their qualificado more than they could do separately. tions with targeted one-on-one training from BUA professors. and missionaries,” senior pastor Tom Ogburn The prototype for the Barnabas Project First Baptist committed to underwrite pointed out. “It also helps us reach out to a — an effort by CBF partner school Baptist scholarships, set up an emergency medisegment of our community that we might University of the Américas in San Antonio cal account, provide to place specificallymissions resources for trained students in the BUA library and staff internships to provide supplemental meet identified needs support for the onof the host church campus administra— began last sumtion of the project. mer at First Baptist “We want to lay Church of Oklahoma the groundwork for City, Okla. CBF of reaching these families Oklahoma partnered and bringing them financially with BUA together through First and First Baptist for Baptist’s Hispanic the project. ministry initiative,” Through their noted Allan Escobar. internships, Allan Allan Escobar interacts with Banjara youth in India while working with CBF Global Missions field Future Barnabas and Griselda Escopersonnel James and Robbi Francovich. Project partnerships bar, second-year stucall for the local never have reached on our own.” dents at BUA, will explore and help launch church requests to be matched with students “We also were looking for a different, evangelism outreach efforts to an estimated between October and February of each more focused means to have two-way part30,000 Spanish-speaking residents in the academic year. The specialized training will nerships that would benefit our students Oklahoma City area. take place from February through May. f! as well as the host churches,” said Marconi “Bringing these interns into our commuMonteiro, vice president for student develnity helps put our congregation in the very By contributing writer Craig Bird, San Antonio opment at BUA. midst of the education of future ministers Courtesy field personnel

Class Notes: News from partner schools

Waco peer learning group grieves loss of Kyle Lake THE GROUP was supposed to meet Tuesday to discuss what was going on in their lives and ministries. Instead, they ended up attending a funeral of one of their own. Kyle Lake, the youngest member of a CBF peer learning network in Waco, Texas, was electrocuted and died in a freak accident during a baptism on Oct. 30. The 33year-old was pastor of University Baptist Church, an innovative congregation with a large population of college students. “We feel a deep sense of loss,” said Burt Burleson, pastor of Dayspring Baptist Church and leader of the peer learning group. Burleson officiated at Lake’s funeral. The group recently gathered in a member’s home instead of at the restaurant coffee house where they normally meet. “We spent two hours, mostly talking about Kyle,” Burleson recalled. “It was a tender kind of experience.” The peer learning network is one of 73 networks that meet on a monthly basis as part of the Fellowship’s Initiative for Ministerial Excellence funded with a $1.99 million Lily Endowment Inc. grant. The networks are designed to provide community to ministers in their first seven years of ministry, ministers in rural settings and ministers in multi-staff congregations.

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said, “I look forward to our monthly meetThe groups meet monthly to discuss a ings and MAKE SURE I always block out the variety of ministry issues, offer ongoing time in the schedule because it’s a major prieducation needs and provide support for ority for my personal life and well-being.” each other. Waco’s network formed eight or nine “It provides a safe place where they can years ago as a reading group share,” noted Terry “Th e peer learning group and then was “grandfaHamrick, CBF coorthered” into CBF’s peer dinator for leadership is a place to learning network. development. “They turn where “We often have somecan say what they you know these thing to read, but the need to say, share people are agenda has become more whatever concerns about our lives. We have they have, and know going to get it.” truly come to love each that there will be peo- — Burt Burleson, other,” Burleson said. ple who understand.” peer learning group leader Hamrick hopes that other “(The peer learngroups will experience this type of support. ing group) is a place to turn where you “I’m convinced that the primary value is know these people are going to get it,” Burnot the content, as good as that is, but the leson agreed. “We share the language we primary value is the community and relaknow together as persons in ministry.” tionship,” he explained. f! Other benefits include broadening ministers’ perspectives, according to Burleson. LEARN – For more information about peer Kyle Lake’s church is a case in point. learning groups, contact Terry Hamrick at “Emergent churches don’t have the same (770) 220-1615 or thamrick@thefellowship. kind of connective tissue denominationally info or visit www.thefellowship.info/Church as do traditional churches,” Burleson said. Life/Leadership Development/IME/Peer “Knowing Kyle gave us insight into the new Learning Networks.icm. thing that’s happening.” In a quote about his own experience in By contributing writer Alison Wingfield, peer learning groups on CBF’s Web site, Lake Dallas

Barnabas Project


M o u r n i n g Ky l e L a k e


Class Notes



CBF Day on Campus expands relationships with partner schools


he Fellowship is beginning a new initiative called CBF Day on Campus to expand relationships with partner schools and to be a

more effective resource for students.

students on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting, depending on the school’s desires. The ultimate purpose is to provide a time of intensive interaction with seminary students. Depending on the school’s wishes, CBF can visit for as much as two full days or as little as a half day. Information presented can include an introduction to the CBF movement or information about CBF Global Missions, church benefits planning, CBF reference and referral services, congregational life and chaplaincy and pastoral care. Opportunities to talk with CBF Global Missions field personnel and representatives from CBF state and regional organizations will be made available when possible. In the fall of 2005, Fellowship staff traveled to the Baptist House at Duke Divinity School, Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Central Baptist Theological Seminary and Wake Forest Divinity School. Visits are planned to other schools in the early part of 2006. f!

Nathan Taylor photo/BTSR

CBF and is more efficient for the schools in The Fellowship wants to increase awarethe area of scheduling. ness of CBF resources and opportunities “I also think it’s good for those CBF staff among students, faculty and administrawho are participating because it keeps us tors at CBF partner schools, according to Clarissa Strickland, the Fellowship’s associate coordinator for leadership development. “If we’re going to be providing scholarship money, we are better stewards of our money if we keep students and faculty aware of and tied to the Fellowship, especially where the resources we offer are concerned,” CBF Associate Coordinator for Leadership Development Clarissa Strickland Strickland said. talks with Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond student John Ivins during In the past, varia CBF Day on Campus. ous CBF departments LEARN – For more information, coninformed of what different areas of CBF are have traveled to partner schools at different tact Clarissa Strickland at (770) 220-1635 doing,” Strickland said. times. Strickland explained that having the or cstrickland@thefellowship.info. The new initiative will give the Fellowship departments go to the schools at the same By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications leadership an opportunity to interact with time makes the trips more cost effective for

Annual ‘Current’ retreat flows to Atlanta

Carla Wynn photo

will be led by David Odom, president of STREAMS WILL FLOW through Atlanta the Center for Congregational Health. The on Feb. 8-11, 2006, and will bring new curBible study stream will be led by Nancy L. rents of activity. “Streams” is the theme for deClaissé-Walford, associate professor of Old the seventh annual Current retreat. Testament and biblical languages at Mercer “Current is an entry point to the CooperaUniversity’s McAfee School of Theology. tive Baptist Fellowship. It is an opportunity to Sam Hestorff from Bayshore get introduced to CBF Baptist Church in Tampa, life and to meet other Fla., will lead the stream on young ministers who youth ministry. The collegiate care about the vision of ministry stream will be led CBF,” said Carol McEnby Dick Ferrell of Emory tyre, co-chair of the CurUniversity. Jana Kinnersley rent steering committee. from Milledge Avenue Baptist Current is CBF’s Church in Athens, Ga., and young leader’s network. Connie Campbell from First Each year, the retreat Baptist Church of Chattanoois planned with the intention of attracting ga, Tenn., will lead the stream pastors, youth minisabout children’s ministry. “It’s important that young ters, college ministers, Baptist leaders from around seminarians and other the country are able to conyoung Baptist leaders. The 2006 ‘Current’ retreat will include group worship times and “We want to have an nect with each other, to be a breakout sessions. educational component resource for each other, and to at this retreat,” said Current steering commitsupport each other in ministry,” said Current tee member Rhonda Abbott. “We will fellow- steering committee member Ryan Clark. Jay Hogewood, pastor of University ship, we will network and we will gain inBaptist Church in Baton Rouge, La., will be valuable tools to take back to our ministries. preaching and John Wiles will lead worship The folks we have invited to lead streams are for the retreat. Breakout sessions are also some of the best and brightest in their fields.” offered, including video production, a marStream topics center on five different areas. The Congregational ministry stream riage enrichment sampler, and an exploration

CBF Day on Campus


Cur rent Retreat in Atlanta


New Endorsees

of body, mind and spirit for the minister. Nine different breakout sessions are offered throughout the retreat. CBF staff will be leading three of the sessions. Associate Coordinator for Leadership Development Clarissa Strickland will lead a discussion about finding a ministerial position. CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal will lead a discussion about the future of CBF, and Fellowship church planters Johnny Lewis and Chris Raffield will discuss the postmodern church leader. Current steering committee members agree that the Current retreat is essential for the Fellowship’s future. “I think everyone realizes that the viability of our organization depends on those that follow us,” Abbott said. “In the leadership development of CBF, I think it’s wise to focus on the next generation.” f! LEARN – Registration is $110 and includes streams, breakout sessions, fellowship games and activities and four meals. Register with Mary McCoy at (800) 352-8741. For more information, visit www.thefellowship.info/ current/2006retreat.icm. Lodging is available at the Holiday Inn, located a block from the host church. To make reservations at a special rate of $79 a night, call (404) 371-0204. Rooms need to be reserved by Jan. 7.

By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications

New endorsees THE FELLOWSHIP recently endorsed the following chaplains and pastoral counselors, bringing the total to 507. ■ Hospice

• Glenda Bumgarner, pastoral counselor, chaplain, VistaCare USA, Greenville, S.C. • Frances McKown, chaplain, Hospice of Yancey County, Burnsville, N.C. • Rachel Shapard, part-time chaplain, Advanced Home Health & Hospice, Lubbock, Texas • Charles Walters, chaplain, Hospice of North Central Florida, Gainesville, Fla. ■ Hospital

• Cyrus Bush, CPE resident, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, N.C. • William Lemmond Jr., chaplain, The Baptist Health System of East Tennessee, Newport, Tenn. • Beth Riddick, CPE resident, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, N.C. • Tracey Robinson, CPE resident, MCV/VCU Health System, Richmond, Va. • Rebecca Shoaf, part-time chaplain, Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta, Ga. ■ Military

• Otto Mazzoni, reserve chaplain, United States Army Reserves, Danville, Va. • Peter Ott, active duty chaplain, United States Navy, Yucaipa, Calif. • Joshua Witt, chaplain candidate, United States Army, Shelby, N.C. ■ Pastoral Counselors

• Laurice Rogers, pastoral counselor, Life Care Counseling Center, Louisville, Ky. • Gloria White, pastoral counselor, Care and Counseling Center of Georgia, Decatur, Ga. “Significant ministry of the Fellowship is expressed through endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors who serve in hospice facilities, hospitals, military installations, business and industrial corporations, public safety services, correctional institutions, learning disability schools, and pastoral counseling centers and offices,” said George Pickle, the Fellowship’s associate coordinator for chaplaincy and pastoral counseling. “These ministers in specialized settings are the presence of Christ in the trauma and drama of the world.” LEARN – For more information, contact George Pickle at (770) 220-1617 or gpickle@thefellowship. info. Visit www.thefellowship. info/Church Life/Chaplains PC/ Endorsees.icm. By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications

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THREE BOOKS written by CBF constituents have been added to the list of materials offered by The CBF Store to aid in spiritual growth and understanding. “Sacred Stories of Ordinary Families” was written by Diana Garland, chair of the School of Social Work at Baylor University. The book highlights families actively living out faith in ordinary activities, crises, catastrophes, joy and loss. Garland’s book includes guides for conversational groups. “I think we think about faith very individually in this country, and it seemed to me that family ministry and congregation ought to be about growing family life in faith,” Garland said. Randy Hyde, pastor at Pulaski Heights Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark., has recently written “After God’s Own Heart: The Life and Faith of David.” “I’ve taken what I think are the major points of David’s life and have tried to weave a sense of who David is and how his life has impacted the JudeoChristian tradition,” Hyde said. “I think there are a lot of situations that almost everyone can identify with in their own pilgrimage of faith,” he added. Hyde will be preparing a guide for individual and group study that will be available soon on the church’s Web site at phbchurch.org. Pastor David Crocker started the focal point of his book, “Operation Inasmuch,” as an effort to revitalize Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., where he served as pastor in 1995. Crocker’s motivation for writing the book is “to provide this extremely effective model of local community ministry to as many churches as possible,” he said. The book presents a model for community involvement and has stories of congregations that have implemented Operation Inasmuch. The book includes a step-by-step process of how churches can plan and conduct their own Operation Inasmuch, as well as a DVD of the Operation Inasmuch experience in Knoxville, Tenn., a PowerPoint presentation and other downloadable materials. LEARN – Order from The CBF Store at (888) 801-4223 or www. thefellowship.info. By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications


Alabama church leaves imprint through missional commitment


niversity Baptist Church achieves the Fellowship’s vision of being the presence of Christ in the world by connecting to the

community in Montevallo, Ala.

Rick, in northern Thailand, has been the beneficiary of chickens and pigs for their Upland Holistic Development Project. The church is making preparations to send a team to Thailand in February of 2007 to bring eyeglasses to the Palaung hilltribe people through a partnership with the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s School of Optometry. “I think this is quite an impressive list for a congregation of only 60 active

local Presbyterian church to offer program “Being a missional church is finding for students. More than 30 individuals where God is at work in our world. We working in ministry today have come then join God in God’s mission as God’s through UBC. partners — something UBC had done from “It says we’re doing something the beginning without realizing it,” said right, following the example of Jesus,” Robin Norsworthy, pastor of the 34-yearold congregation. UBC works for racial equality and provides vital resources for the underprivileged in Montevallo, a small college town that is home to Montevallo University. For more than 30 years, UBC has operated a daycare center to provide essential childcare while providing internship experience for university and Upward Bound students. The church is also a full participant in community efforts through the United Way and Habitat for Humanity, whose offices were housed at the church for several years. Currently in development at UBC are a single parent ministry and a tutoring program for children in the Kim Parker, center, delivers the children’s sermon as UBC Minister to Students Candice Griffin, right, also listens. community who are at-risk families, and I think this is the essence of Norsworthy said. “These people are academically. The list of UBC’s missional being missional,” Norsworthy said. going out and following the example enterprises is long. The congregation has been a leader in of Jesus.” “We’ve provided garden space for the recognizing the leadership and ministry UBC’s missional reach has extended community to plant vegetable gardens, gifts of women. UBC has had women around the world. The church has been our basketball court is used daily by deacons since its inception, and in calling actively participating in the AlabamaCBF community youth, we’ve tutored school Norsworthy as its pastor two years ago, the ministry in Perry County, Ala., called students and participated in ecumenical congregation fulfilled its commitment to Sowing Seeds of Hope, a component of Lenten services, community VBS, hire based on God’s leading and the merits the Fellowship’s national rural poverty Thanksgiving services and Easter sunrise of the candidate. initiative. And the agricultural ministry services,” Norsworthy said. “It was not about being radical or cutting of former UBC member, Ellen Burnette, To better minister to Montevallo’s edge,” said Mimi Lawley, University’s one of the CBF’s Global Missions field college students, UBC partners with a deacon chair. “The congregation went personnel working with her husband, looking for the right person to be our How to Respond pastor, and that was Robin.” UBC is a special church, proving that LEARN – To being missional is not about being big. learn more about the “I look forward to church every Sunday, Fellowship’s Missional leading a congregation that genuinely Church Initiative, visit cares about the world,” Norsworthy said. www.thefellowship.info/ “Being missional is the whole mindset of CL/FF/MC/Home.icm or www.thefellowship. our church, from the beginning. They do info/itstime, or call CBF things because they need to be done in Congregational Life at the community, and not because they are (770) 220-1631. “It’s trying to add members. They didn’t even Time: A Journey Toward know they were missional until I started Missional Faithfulness” pointing it out.” f! can be ordered from Courtesy University Baptist

CBF offers new books

The CBF Store at www. thefellowship.info or (888) 801-4223 for $49.95.

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By contributing writer Deb Walters of Atlanta and Lance Wallace of CBF Communications

Missional Approach in Alabama Church


CBF Offers New Books



Homeless center provides church with ecumenical opportunities


hen something works, stick with it. Ten years ago, Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., found an

ecumenical local missions project for the whole congregation at the I.M. Sulzbacher Center, a downtown Jacksonville homeless center.

Courtesy Hendricks Avenue

“We believe in community involvement. “Some people buy [food], some people We’re ecumenical. It is part of who we are,” fix it, and some people serve it,” said church said church member Malcolm Hanson. member Sylvia McQuaig. The church members involved range in age from an older adult Sunday school class that might buy or prepare the food to the youth group that serves the food. Even after 10 years, church involvement hasn’t waned, according to church member Joyce Hanson. “We’ll have a waiting list of people wanting to go … from the teenagers to our very old- Youth from Hendricks Avenue serve at the I.M. Sulzbacher Center. est members,” she said. Hendricks Avenue was the first church In addition to being intergenerational, to be involved with the Sulzbacher Center the project is an ecumenical and commuwhen it opened 10 years ago, with many nity effort with many other churches, civic youth also going another night a month to organizations and local businesses sharing read to and play with children at the homethe feeding responsibilities.

less shelter. Some youth are very faithful, finding spiritual nourishment in the act of service with others, said Brett Foster, the church’s youth minister. “It’s had a big impact on [the youth]. I have more kids who show up for a Monday feeding than a Friday night bowling event,” he said. “The I.M. Sulzbacher was not simply a place for me to shine goodwill on others but a place to meet in communion and share in people’s journey and struggle,” said youth group member Davis Greene. Sharing in the journey of people is perhaps what has kept the church involved. Since 1999, the Sulzbacher Center has held an annual “Transformations” event, where people who were restored through the center’s programs share their stories of getting back on their feet. For Joyce Hanson, the event puts perspective on the church’s involvement. “It’s more than just feeding people. It’s restoring people to useful life,” she said. f! LEARN – To learn more about the Fellowship’s Missional Church Initiative, visit www.thefellowship.info/CL/FF/MC/Home.icm.

By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

Baptist Joint Committee celebrates 70th anniversary

Courtesy BJC

“Baptists’ insistence on separation of “CONGRESS SHALL make no law church and state predates by more than respecting an establishment of religion, a century the 1780s when it became enor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The above words from the First sconced in the First Amendment,” Walker Amendment are key to the mission of the said. “Even though those words are not in Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, an education and advocacy organization serving CBF and 13 other Baptist bodies. In 2006, the BJC will celebrate its 70th anniversary of working to promote religious liberty and uphold the separation of church and state. Begun in 1936 by the Southern Baptist Convention as the Committee on Public Relations, Baptist Joint Committee Executive Director J. Brent Walker speaks the group did not open their during a conference sponsored by the First Freedoms Project. offices in Washington, D.C., or name a director, J.M. Dawson, until 1946. the First Amendment literally, the principle “Over the past 60 years, we have tackled surely is. Religious liberty is best ensured most every church/state issue that’s come when government does not take sides in down the pike in Congress or before the matters of religion.” Supreme Court,” said current Executive To mark its 70th anniversary, the BJC Director J. Brent Walker. launched a campaign in October 2005 to The BJC files amicus curiae (friend raise $5 million to fund a Center for Reliof the court) briefs in lawsuits involving gious Liberty on Capitol Hill. According religious liberty or church/state issues, to Walker, the center will not only house explained Jeff Huett, BJC director of comthe BJC offices, but also provide space for coalition partners and serve as a state-ofmunications. The BJC also holds briefings the-art training center for youth, seminary for Congressional staff on issues such as students and pastors to prepare them to the Faith-Based Initiative. Walker and BJC better advocate for religious liberty. General Counsel Hollyn Hollman are often Other events will include the BJC’s invited to testify before Congress.

Ecumenical Missions Project


hosting and co-sponsoring the June 2006 meeting of the Baptist Heritage and History Society in Washington, D.C. In June 2007, the BJC will also be involved in the overlapping meetings of the CBF General Assembly and the biennial meeting of the American Baptist Churches USA in D.C. In 1991, the Southern Baptist Convention withdrew its financial support of the BJC. CBF, newly created, stepped in to provide their support. “Had it not been for funding from the CBF over the years, and particularly those first few years after half our budget was taken away, we very likely would not have made it,” Walker said. Over the summer, the BJC joined with Associated Baptist Press, “Baptists Today” news journal and participating Baptist congregations to promote the First Freedoms Project. The project focuses on celebrating the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans in the First Amendment, with an emphasis on religious liberty and freedom of the press. Several Fellowship churches have participated. Walker encouraged churches to contact the BJC for assistance if they are interested in dedicating a worship service to celebrating religious freedom or sponsoring a forum on church and state. f! LEARN – For more information, visit www. bjcpa.org or call (202) 544-4226.

By contributing writer Traci Rylands, Atlanta

B J C C e l e b r a t e s A n n i v e r s a r y | Tr u e S u r v i v o r C o n f e r e n c e

CBF to sponsor ‘True Survivor VI’ CBF WILL HOST the sixth annual True Survivor conference for Christian educators on March 6-8. The conference will be hosted by Providence Baptist Church, located on Daniel Island, just across the river from Charleston, S.C. Although the conference features survival tools for future ministry, it does not mimic the competitive games and voting people off the island from the popular CBS reality show, “Survivor,” said Bo Prosser, CBF coordinator for congregational life. “True Survivor started six years ago as a continuing education opportunity for Christian educators,” Prosser said. “This is a quality event both for retreat and refreshment, as well as learning and retooling.” The conference will feature Ivy Beckwith, author of “Postmodern Children’s Ministry: Ministry to Children in the 21st Century Church,” and David Odom, president of the Center for Congregational Health. “Dave has good insights into personal relationships, leadership and discerning God’s call and how that plays into leadership,” Prosser said. “Ivy understands the dynamics of a postmodern family. Many of us as Christian educators are either using old models for family ministry or we need more knowledge for how to minister to today’s family.” The cost of the True Survivor VI conference is $50. This year the Children’s Ministry Network Retreat will be held at the same location directly after the True Survivor VI retreat. The cost of the Children’s Ministry Network Retreat is $25. LEARN – To register, contact Toni Draper at (800) 352-8741 or tdraper@thefellowship.info. Online registration is available at www.thefellowship.info/CL/FF/ TrainingEvents/Registration.icm. By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications

‘Theologians Under Hitler’ documentary BAPTIST CENTER for Ethics is sponsoring a screening of the “Theologians Under Hitler” documentary at the CBF General Assembly in June. This documentary from Vital Visuals and producer-director Steven D. Martin examines how three of the most prominent German theologians in the 1930s capitulated to and helped promote Nazi ideology. BCE formed a partnership co-sponsoring screenings of the documentary at Immanuel Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., in September 2005 and with CBF of Georgia and Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists in November. A review of the documentary and an interview with the filmmaker are available at www.ethicsdaily.com.

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CBF continues hurricane response

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Months after Hurricane Katrina, the Fellowship is continuing its response in coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. More than $1.1 million has been contributed to the Fellowship’s hurricane response fund, which is being used for reconstruction and transformational development projects. In Lacombe, La., a small community about 25 miles from New Orleans on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, numerous volunteer teams, including several from Canada, have helped clean out homes that experienced flooding. “We’re trying to give them hope that life can get better,” said Reid Doster, disaster response coordinator for CBF of Louisiana. Rotary International has partnered with the Fellowship in the Lacombe restoration effort through a $50,000 grant. Land in Lacombe, a predominantly poor, African-American community, has been passed down for as many as 10 generations. Doster’s long-term vision includes raising some of the houses above the flood plain so that Lacombe residents don’t have to worry about flooding again. Through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Doster hopes to provide homes for four families whose houses are beyond repair. At Starlight Missionary Baptist Church in nearby Slidell, La., volunteers helped restore the church’s fellowship hall, enabling this predominantly African-American congregation to return home. In Pearlington, Miss., a community of 2,500 that had been largely overlooked because of destruction in other areas, Fellowship volunteers have cleaned out flooded houses, putting residents one step closer to returning to their houses. “It’s a place where there’s a lot of need,” said Greg Wolfe, disaster response coordinator for CBF of

By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications


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Mississippi. Wolfe hopes to build five or six houses for Pearlington residents who couldn’t otherwise afford rebuilding. Through a partnership with Volunteers of America Southeast, AlabamaCBF has channeled Fellowship volunteers to Bayou La Batre, Ala., where some uninhabitable houses forced residents to live in FEMA travel trailers parked next to their damaged house. Volunteer efforts have allowed some families to return home. “CBF churches, more so than any other, have stepped up to the plate and delivered in the initial stages with food, water, personal items, baby diapers, cleaning supplies, money and personnel. They have been and continue to make an impact,” said Henry “Digger” Creel of Volunteers of America Southeast.


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Hurricane Response



CBF church planter fulfills military obligations, affirms church leadership


or years, Jorge Zayasbazan’s mission has been starting churches.

John Evans Hudson photo

Thomas Delany Jr. photo, The News Sun staff photographer

preaching on a regular basis, will continue to be counted on to fill the pulpit in ZayasBut now, as his National Guard unit heads to Iraq, he has an bazan’s absence. In 2005, Grace Chapel became one of entirely different mission. the youngest churches to host a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship regional meeting, church, and they have said to me, ‘Don’t Zayasbazan, pastor of Grace Chapel hosting the North Central region. Zayasbaworry about us.’ They understand that I in Round Lake Beach, Ill., will soon zan is the moderator-elect for that region. have a mission and a duty.” be deployed to Iraq, where he will be “Jorge’s effective leadership is evistationed for a year in support of dent in his ability to call on someone Operation Iraqi Freedom. While within his church’s current leaderhe is gone, his church will rely ship to supply for him while he fulon its associate pastor and lay fills his military obligation,” said Phil leadership to fill his role. Hester, CBF’s associate coordinator “The most important thing I for church starts. “I will continue have to face this next year is my to pray for Jorge, his family and the mission in the war zone,” Zayaschurch’s interim leadership.” bazan said. Zayasbazan, who has started five “I’ll have one mission — to churches in the Round Lake area, keep myself alive and to keep said that Grace Chapel is unique alive the people who are countbecause of its diversity. ing on me,” he said. “The church “This church has surprised wants that to be my focus. There Jorge Zayasbazan, dressed in his National Guard uniform, watches as his me in its range of ages and races,” are many retired military in the daughter Carmen, center, tells a secret to her brother, Dylan. Zayasbazan said. “Part of that reflects the community. Part of that may be helped Since its start four years ago, one of the by the fact that I am Cuban-born. We also goals of Grace Chapel has been to create a try to be intentionally multi-cultural. I church that is self-sufficient within its own LEARN – For more information on the don’t know if I’ve ever seen this in a church leadership, meaning that if the pastor left, Fellowship’s new church starts ministry, before. It’s a blessing for me to see.” f! the leadership would continue on. Zayascontact Phil Hester at (770) 220-1651 bazan described it as a teaching church, a or phester@thefellowship.info or visit www. By contributing writer Patricia Heys, place that trains the leaders of tomorrow. thefellowship.info/CL/ChurchStarts. Atlanta Those leaders, five of whom have been

How to Respond

Partnerships strengthen Hispanic church start

Church Planter Heads to Iraq

Courtesy of David D’Amico

Carla Wynn photo

opportunities for undergraduate and the Memorial task force headed up by Don THE RESOURCES for the first Fellowship graduate students. and Joanna Bradley pushed the idea, the piecHispanic church start in North Carolina “Domingo and Maria were out visiting es were there just waiting to be put together. had been developing for years before the the second day they got here,” D’Amico said. First Baptist Wilson provided housing, first service took place. “They were very eager to work, very creative.” local transportation, medical care and Last summer, it took only a few weeks The Nicolases brought not only their lansome funding while Memorial provided for CBF and its partners with Student.Go; guage skills and formal training First Baptist Church of Wilson, N.C.; in theology from BUA, but a deep Memorial Baptist Church in Greencultural understanding. ville, N.C.; and Baptist University “There are two kinds of Hispanof the Américas to come together ics in Greenville,” Nicolas explained, to share the gospel with Greenville’s “the migrant workers and the settled large Spanish-speaking population. immigrants who have good jobs By November, the Hispanic and have settled. I’d been both.” fellowship at Memorial Baptist was The young couple prayed for averaging 47 and growing. seven families to be the core of a “Memorial set up a mission task Bible study and by the time they force that wanted to reach the rapleft, two months later, there were idly-growing Hispanic population of 30 prospect families. Last fall, a their city,” said David D’Amico, CBF festival sponsored by Memorial’s Global Missions liaison for Hispanic Domingo Nicolas, far right, prays with some of the core group of a church plant he and his wife, Maria, put together during summer 2005. middle schoolers attracted 75 to advocacy in North Carolina. D’Amico the church. contacted Gilberto Barbosa, pastor of Abdias Mora, who heads up the South facilities, workers and additional funding. the Hispanic mission of First Baptist WilRoanoke Baptist Association’s Hispanic Student.Go trained the Nicolases along son, who suggested Domingo Nicolas. work, is now the pastor of the group. f! with other students, got them to and from Meanwhile, Nicolas and his wife, Maria North Carolina and paid a small stipend. — students at BUA — had been praying LEARN – For more about the Hispanic D’Amico was their field supervisor. about a definite call to spend the summer Initiative, contact Bernie Moraga at Student.Go is a joint venture of CBF planting a Hispanic church. Turns out Barbmoraga@thefellowship.info. Global Missions and Passport Inc. that bosa and his congregation had been praying provides summer and semester missions about the same thing for two years. So when By contributing writer Craig Bird, San Antonio


Hispanic Church Star t


Native American Partnership

Partnership helps launch Native American church in Oklahoma IN THE SMALL Oklahoma community of Canton, the presence of a Native American church has been restored thanks to a partnership between the Watonga Indian Baptist Church in Watonga, the Cooperating Baptist Fellowship of Oklahoma and the American Baptist Churches of the Central Region. This town of 600 people hasn’t had a church geared for its Native American population in more than 15 years, when a former Baptist church disbanded. Called the Native American Ministry Center, the church meets in a Canton house that was converted by volunteers into ministry space. In April, Richard Kahoe, a former pastor at the Watonga church and current pastor of a small Mennonite congregation outside of Canton, purchased the house for the Native American church to make its home. Kahoe helps lead the Canton church’s Sunday afternoon service with co-pastor John David White Eagle. A former painter in Oklahoma City, White Eagle recently entered ministry after experiencing injury complications from two shattered leg bones. After meeting Kahoe, White Eagle started attending the Mennonite church. Soon after, the Native American Ministry Center was born. Last summer, six CBF partner churches in the area volunteered at the new center, remodeling the house into useable ministry space and building a playground. Through hosting backyard Bible clubs and a block party, volunteers also helped start relationships within the community, according to T Thomas, CBFO coordinator. “It’s really helped this Native American church feel like they have some sister churches who care about them,” Thomas said. The partnership approach of the Canton church gives greater potential for the church’s success. “Sole proprietorship fails 300 times more than partnership. We strategize to put together partnership starts rather than the old method of sole proprietorship,” said Phil Hester, the Fellowship’s associate coordinator for church starts. The church has gotten off to a good start, having 53 adults and children at its Easter service. White Eagle is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in social work, which will equip him for the holistic ministry he desires to offer the Canton community. “Help people and later on commitments to God will happen,” he said. “The main thing is to get people with God.” By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

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Churches experience sub-Saharan Africa with field personnel

Carter Offering — Continued from page 1

13, 1985. There is hope that those who entered after that will also have opportunities to register in the future. “Among the Palaung and Kachin, we have identified 247 persons who are eligible to receive assistance from this fund so as to secure legal registration,” Rick said. After determining who is eligible, the group is screened by their communities and if they are considered in good standing in the community, they can benefit from the fund, and thus obtain legal registration. They are expected to pay back what they have borrowed, with interest, over time, thus creating a sustainable fund. “This fund eliminates a lot of uncertainty,” Rick said. “It (legal registration) gives them rights to reside in Thailand, to access various benefits, including healthcare and education.” Legal registration provides a first step for the Palaung and Kachin peoples toward realizing the religious liberty guaranteed in the Thai constitution. Rick said the group hopes the Palaung and Kachin peoples will be able to access the sustainable fund in the future for other applications related to land rights and forest rights. About $45,000 was collected at the 2005 CBF General Assembly for the first-ever Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Offering for Religious Liberty and Human Rights, to be shared by the Fellowship and the Baptist World Alliance. The remainder of the CBF portion will be used to fund projects with Fellowship partner churches ministering in areas where religious liberty issues exist. The offering will be collected again at the 2006 General Assembly in Atlanta. f!


wo churches that partner in the mission immersion program of

Stocks said partnership with the Harrells has made “missions come alive” Melody and Sam Harrell, CBF Global Missions field personnel who at Rosalind Hills with response seen “in overall involvement in church activities, work to impact the lives of the poor and marginalized in sub-Saharan involvement in local mission efforts, Africa, have found their experiences overflowing in opportunities for increased giving to mission offerings, in realignment in materialistic thinking ministry as well as spiritual growth. patterns, and willingness to share those Baptist Church in experiences with others.” Knollwood Baptist Roanoke, Va., involves The most obvious effect is “an increased Church in Winstonseveral aspects, understanding of CBF missions on the Salem, N.C., began according to Pastor field from a practical and philosophical financial support of Tom Stocks. standpoint,” he said. the Harrells in 2001. “First and foremost At Knollwood, Chapman believes his In November 2004, it has offered ‘MIE’ (Mission Immersion church is gaining much more than it is Pastor Chris Chapman led a group on giving through a 10-day trip to the partnership. Kenya. “We gain a “The number larger underone goal for standing of the this first trip world, both the was immersion, richness of other learning what cultures and the we could about needs that exceed the richness our capacity to and wisdom of grasp,” Chapman African culture, said. “We gain a people and land, means of living as well as the out our faith, not tremendous just in terms of needs created by being able to help poverty,” Chapothers in need, but man said. “We Volunteers from Knollwood Baptist Church, above, play a Maasai version of “duck, duck, goose.” Dr. Tom Ginn, left, does a wellness checkup at the Kids to Kids ministry being challenged were able to do in Nairobi. Pastor Chris Chapman, below, tells the story of Jacob and Esau to children to rethink how we wellness checks at Kids to Kids during Bible School. live in this culture. with children in … Most of all, several settings, we have gained a begin a drip irwhole new set of rigation project friends — in a Maasai vilthe Harrells lage, lead a Bible School experience and the people in two settings, interact with the with whom they wonderful Kenyan people and bework.” f! gin to assess with the Harrells how we might partner in the long term LEARN – to strengthen their work.” The Fellowship, The Harrells’ ongoing Buckner Orphan partnership with Rosalind Hills Care International Courtesy of Knollwood Baptist

LEARN – For more about the Burnettes’ ministry, visit www.uhdp. org/uh/.

By contributing writer Alison Wingfield, Dallas

How to Respond LEARN – The following free promotional

For more information, call (770) 220-1630 or e-mail

resources are available to help promote


MissionConnect, the Offering for Global Mission’s

• The Offering for Global Missions Web site:

spring emphasis. To order items, contact The CBF

www.thefellowship.info/Global Missions/OGM/

Store at (888) 801-4223 or www.thefellowship.info.

GIVE – Churches and individuals can partner

• MissionConnect Poster A complement to the Offering for Global Missions

with the Harrells by providing the following tools:

poster designed to highlight MissionConnect.

• DEWALT DW818 4-1/2” small angle grinder

• MissionConnect Bulletin Insert

• DEWALT DW4701 4-1/2” heavy duty 18-volt

Contains stories from CBF Global Missions field

cordless rotary laser kit

personnel who live and work in urban settings. The

• DEWALT DC9096-2 18-volt XRP 2-battery

insert includes direct contact information for field

combo pack


• DEWALT DW051K-2 heavy duty 3/8” 12-volt

• Face2Face Promotional Brochure

cordless compact impact wrench kit

Included in this guide is the process by which

For delivery information, contact Melody or

churches and individuals can connect with CBF to

Sam Harrell at harrell@africaexchange.org.

secure someone to share their ministry story as well as to listen to the needs of their congregation.


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Experiences) to act as an educational/ experiential conduit for our folks,” Stocks said. “Sam does an awesome job of creating an experience that offers each person the chance to engage all of their senses in grasping a portion of African culture.” “We also pray for Sam and Melody and have helped with certain financial needs as they have arisen,” he added. The Harrells’ ministry in Kenya is highlighted as part of MissionConnect, the Offering for Global Mission’s spring emphasis, which encourages personal missions involvement. Based on John 6:35, this year’s Offering theme is “Famished Lands … The Bread of Life.” The Offering goal is $6.32 million.

and the All Africa Baptist Fellowship have a ministry partnership that includes “KidsHeart Africa,” an initiative designed to meet the critical needs of orphans and vulnerable children under the age of 6 years. In Kenya, these objectives are met through the construction and operation of Integrated Child Development Centers. These centers are located among marginalized, rural communities and provide education and development opportunities that impact nursery school aged children. Contact the Harrells at Harrell@africaexchange.org to learn more about how to be involved in this initiative.

By contributing writer Gay Campbell, Nashville, Tenn.

Experiencing Africa


Offering Resources



Art therapy helps bring healing to tsunami-affected children


hen the December 2004 tsunamis swept through Southeast Asia, Jonathan and Tina Bailey wondered how they could help

children affected by the natural disaster. “We really started thinking about how can the arts play a part in this,” Tina recalled. “I’m not an art therapist, and I don’t claim to be, but I want to know more.” After e-mailing friends in the arts asking them about how to respond to children in trauma situations and talking to members of CBF’s member care/ wellness team about resources, the couple received advice on how to proceed. “Just getting children to draw is beneficial, regardless,” said Tina, who serves with Jonathan as CBF Global Missions field personnel. “We just decided on getting drawing materials in the kid’s hands and trying not to give them guidance.” The first stop in the tsunami-affected area was a camp set up in a town that had lost 2,000 people. Tina led a small team that included a local artist. Since the town still had accessible water, many displaced people from other areas came to the camp. Of the approximately 200 children that the Baileys ministered among, about 80 percent of their artwork focused on the tsunami. The children, ranging in age from 5 to 10 years old, used every piece of paper the Baileys had available to draw people, houses and cars under water or images of a big wave. When the children finished, they wanted to make sure their drawings were seen and wanted to talk about them. The artwork opened up conversations between the Baileys and the children about the trauma they had experienced. Tina recalled how one little boy drew a boat with a name on it, explaining that it was his daddy’s boat. “Is your dad OK?” Tina asked. The boy couldn’t respond. “He wanted to be asked that, but he couldn’t answer it,” Tina recalled. She steered the conversation to another topic, as the boy began the process of dealing with his loss.

Art Therapy Brings Healing


Besides being therapeutic, the artwork helped alleviate the children’s boredom from days lacking

their typical routines. The parents and other adults that were around were very curious about the art therapy. When the Baileys needed help with the art projects, the adults jumped right in.

C h i n a Vo l u n t e e r s

“In that kind of situation, some of the adults feel helpless,” Tina explained. The Baileys also did art therapy with the children at medical clinics. The art therapy helped the clinics run more smoothly as those gathered in crowds had something to keep them occupied. The Baileys also worked with children at a boarding school. Several local people helped with the art therapy. Since the Baileys knew their time with the art projects was short-term, they encouraged a local teacher to continue the projects with the children. The couple left crayons, colored pencils and drawing pads for the teacher to use. Although the Baileys brought with them sheets of drawing paper and some watercolor paints, they were able to purchase crayons and colored pencils from a storekeeper in a town near the temporary camp for tsunami survivors. The Baileys appreciated having funds available from CBF contributors to purchase supplies on site and help the local economy. “They help support us to be able to go and do this,” Tina said. “The funds helped buy the supplies which helped the children.” Along with the art therapy done through drawing, the Baileys used other art forms. Tina asked the children to teach her songs in their language. After getting over their initial giggles, the children sang willingly. “Singing songs had meaning for them,” Tina said. The adults gathered around were listening and laughing. “It helps to bring fond memories,” she added. “With so much trauma and disaster around them, singing songs familiar from their culture has a healing effect as well.” When a couple of girls shared some local dance steps, Tina showed them some ballet. “We were just loving the kids and listening to them.” So far, the Fellowship has received more than $2.56 million for tsunami relief. f! LEARN – For more information on the Fellowship’s Asian response, visit www. thefellowship.info/disaster.

Volunteers impact Chinese students Unsure of all of the steps involved in doing volunteer missions work in China, Elizabeth Lively responded to a story in a church newsletter. Her “step of faith” has resulted in four trips to China in five years, teaching English and sharing with college students at Guangxi University in Nanning, China. “I needed something to work on, and the Lord provided this opportunity,” she said. Elizabeth made two trips in 2001 and 2002 and convinced her husband, James, to accompany her in 2004 and 2005. Although Elizabeth had teaching experience, James is a physician and didn’t speak Chinese. “They want English speakers to lead these classes so the students can learn the pacing, sentence structure, emphasis, as well as social customs and morality of western culture,” James said. It is against Chinese law to preach on a street corner, or to go up to a person and share the gospel, Elizabeth explained. “But if they ask, it opens the door for us to share with them,” she said. Brenda Lisenby, one of CBF’s Global Missions field personnel, who was based in China and helped facilitate volunteer projects like the English program at Guangxi University, said the impact the Livelys have had there cannot be fully measured. “Students see that these volunteers are very educated Christians,” Lisenby said. “This is interesting to Chinese people who have been taught that educated people are not religious and religion is only for the superstitious and uneducated.” Lisenby said potential volunteers shouldn’t be overwhelmed by differences in language or culture. “Our Chinese partners make every effort to welcome our volunteers and make them comfortable, providing an interpreter to assist each team as needed,” she said. “I believe God is always at work bringing people together to serve on these volunteer teaching teams each year,” she added. LEARN – CBF’s January 2006 missions education curriculum focuses on volunteer missions. The February study highlights the Central Detroit community. Yearly subscriptions are $80 for preschool and children, and $20 for youth and adults. Order from The CBF Store at (888) 801-4223. SERVE – For more about volunteer opportunities, contact Timothy Wood at (800) 782-2451 or twood@thefellowship.info or visit www.thefellowship.info/Global Missions/Volunteer Missions. By contributing writer Bob Perkins Jr., York, Pa.

By Lisa M. Jones, CBF Communications

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AUXILIARY EVENTS before and after the 16th annual CBF General Assembly June 22-23 will give Fellowship Baptists opportunity to explore this year’s theme of “Being the Presence of Christ for a World in Need.”



CBF leadership development and CBF Global Missions will co-sponsor a Global Poverty/HIV/AIDS Summit on Wednesday, June 21, from noon to 5 p.m. and continuing with breakfast on Thursday morning. The event will be held in lieu of a Congregational Leadership Institute. Leadership development will also host a theological education banquet on Wednesday evening, June 21. Following the General Assembly, Companions in Christ training will be available on Saturday, June 24, at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This will include training on “Companions in Christ,” “Exploring the Way,” “The Way of the Child” and other Companions resources. When Fellowship Baptists gather at the Georgia World Congress Center for the Assembly’s opening night, author Trevor Hudson will be the keynote speaker. Hudson serves on the pastoral team at Northfield Methodist Church in Benoni, South Africa. Al Staggs will serve as the Assembly worship leader. With degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Staggs was a Baptist minister for 24 years prior to becoming a fulltime performance artist. C. Michael Hawn, professor of church music and director of the master of sacred music program at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, will be the Assembly’s “Artist in Residence.” LEARN – Online registration and hotel reservations can be made at the Fellowship’s Web site, www. thefellowship.info. See schedule on p. 11. By Lisa M. Jones, CBF Communications

Correction: In the Nov./Dec. “fellowship!” newsletter, “ABP Headlines” was incorrectly identified as a monthly e-mail newsletter. “ABP Headlines” is a free, weekly news summary distributed via e-mail by request. We regret the error.


journey As We

By CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal

Identity, vision, passion IN OUR NEARLY 15 years as a Fellowship, we have often struggled with language to describe ourselves. Others have not hesitated to use a number of adjectives to describe us, many of which are not very gracious. But to be honest, we also have searched for the best words to define our identity. We have spoken of ourselves as “moderate Baptists,” “free Baptists” and “Fellowship Baptists.” More recently, many of us have begun to use the term “missional” to define our identity. Not long after becoming coordinator, I was speaking at an event and was accosted by a hostile pastor who accused CBF of all kinds of ridiculous behavior. After he

finished his venting, he settled down and said, “Daniel, I like you and think you are a good person, but my problem with you is the people who identify with you.” It was one of those moments when I had an inspiration or an idea that to this day surprises me. I said, “You know that’s what a lot of people said about Jesus.” I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that response because it sounds like I’m claiming to be something I’m not. In fact, I am far more concerned about how I am perceived or what people think of me than I would like to admit. One of the lessons learned in CBF is that many of us are afraid of being labeled or mislabeled. We are defensive and very sensitive to being called a liberal, or a conservative, or a charismatic or something else. Why this fear? Could it be that our identity in Christ is not clear to us? Could it be that

Skeen works to provide reliable church benefits of CBF should coordinate this ministry, GARY SKEEN believes employee benefits which became a full-time responsibilwork “behind-the-scenes” to provide ity. CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal asked a secure working relationship between Skeen to continue in this role. churches and their staff. He works to The CBB, organized in August 2000, ensure that the Church Benefits Board started its operations two months later. strengthens this relationship daily. Skeen believes Skeen is president the CBB provides of the Church Benpeace of mind, which efits Board, a ministry comes with knowing of CBF which reprebenefits are availsents the first partnerable when needed ship between faith and may help those groups to provide employees focus their employee benefits to energies on the imchurches. CBB helps portant work they do. provide caring work “We tend to only environments, as well think of benefits in a as support in times crisis, which is what of crisis, to church they are designed employees. to do,” Skeen said. Prior to joining the “They do protect Benefits Board, Skeen the church and staff brought CPA experimembers, but more ence and an MBA in than that, I think finance to Southwestthey help to create ern Baptist Theologi- As president of the Church Benefits Board, Gary Skeen strives to provide churches with an environment that cal Seminary, where the best benefits options available. makes the church a he became the direcmore attractive place to work and comtor of Financial Services. municate to everyone the attitude of the “In my years in public accounting, I church.” worked with a great deal of churches and Mark Poland, minister of worship realized the need for financial and adminand administration at Sandstone Baptist istrative help,” Skeen said. Church in Sandstone, Va., had a very posiSkeen served as the Fellowship’s first tive experience with Skeen and the CBB. financial administrative coordinator from “My impression of him is that he is very 1994-2000. He became very involved with caring, very concerned about my issues, benefits after the Fellowship’s General and he runs an efficient organization,” PoAssembly asked CBF staff to research land said. “On one particular issue, Gary solutions for churches. made extra phone calls in something that It was determined that an auxiliary Stanley Leary photo

General Assembly to inform, educate

we are clinging to a “false self ” for whom perfect theology, perfect behavior or success in the eyes of others is what defines us? This is where Jesus was so radical and so amazing. He knew Himself to be the beloved Son of God. His identity and selfunderstanding were rooted in His relationship with God. Therefore He was free to love all and suffer for all. He was also free to speak truth when it wasn’t popular, to rebuke those in power, to break with social taboo, to be a friend to sinners. Isn’t this who and what we want to be as individuals, as churches and as a Fellowship? Increasingly the identity of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is being shaped by the mantra of “Being the Presence of Christ.” But this is more than a mantra. This is a deep yearning in all of our hearts that defines and shapes us. This is a commitment that more than anything else clarifies and communicates who we are and who we want to become. It is true that CBF was born out of a certain historical context. It is also true that, as Baptists, we share some core values. And of course we are engaged in mission together. But our center is in following, imitating and incarnating Christ. This is our vision. This is our passion. f!

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‘A s W e J o u r n e y ’


was not in his area, and went the extra mile. I really enjoy working with these folks.” Poland is joined by many others who appreciate Skeen’s efforts. David Burroughs, president of Passport, Inc. in Birmingham, Ala., led Passport to join the Benefits Board because of his trust in Skeen. “Our organization joined the Church Benefits Board several years ago as we moved our headquarters to Birmingham and increased our administrative staff,” Burroughs said. “We had a room full of people with diverse economic situations, all with lots of specific questions. Gary and his team helped us through the system easily, even working out special circumstances as needed.” Skeen tries to ease the difficulties that come with times of crisis among churches. Currently, he is working to raise funds to assist ministers and staff in crisis. He is keenly aware of the health care issues taking place in the United States and works to provide the best options available for churches. “Medical insurance coverage is in crisis in our country, and more people are losing coverage every day,” Skeen said. “For many of our churches, medical coverage for their staff is becoming cost-prohibitive. We must find alternative ways to at least provide major medical claims coverage.” f! LEARN – To contact Gary Skeen, call (770) 220-1621 or e-mail gskeen@churchbenefits.org. For more information on the CBB, visit www. churchbenefits.org.

By contributing writer Ashley Grizzle, Atlanta

Leadership Profile


General Assembly Information



Fellowship Roundup: News from CBF’s states, regions and national offices Mart Gray, coordinator of AlabamaCBF since November 1997, announced his resignation. After eight years in this full-time role of ministry, he has accepted the full-time pastorate of Covenant Community Church of Elba, a congregation he has pastored bi-professionally since its beginning in 2004. • Sowing Seeds of Hope’s executive director and health care coordinator, Frances Ford, was honored for outstanding achievement in health care in the Alabama Black Belt at a reception in Washington, D.C. U.S. Rep. ArFrances Ford tur Davis (D-Ala.) honored Ford and five others at the third Annual Celebration of Excellence reception. • April Hurst is the new administrator with Global Women, a Christian organization based in Birmingham that promotes ministry and witness among women worldwide. Hurst replaces Suzanah Raffield who resigned in June to pursue advanced studies in missions and theology. Meg Olive is the new student coordinator.

■ Florida On April 28-29, the CBF of Florida will host its annual retreat at the United Methodist Conference Center in Leesburg. The event will be preceded by a gathering for pastors on April 27. Speakers will be from Call to Renewal, the rural poverty initiative and the D.A.R.T organization, and include Tom Prevost of national CBF. Register for the retreat at www.floridacbf.org or by calling (888) 241-2233. For more

Coming Attractions FEB. 8-11 Current Retreat Cost: $110 Registration: Mary McCoy (800) 352-8741 or visit www.thefellowship.info/ current/2006retreat.icm. MARCH 6-8 True Survivor VI Providence Baptist Church, Daniel Island (Charleston), S.C. Gathering for Christian educators Cost: $50 Contact: Toni Draper, (800) 352-8741, tdraper@thefellowship.info Info: www.thefellowship. info/CL/FF/TrainingEvents/ TrueSurvivor.icm LEARN – For a complete schedule of events, go to www. thefellowship.info/Inside CBF/ Calendar.

Fellowship Roundup

information, e-mail tdeal@floridacbf.org. • Keri Gage, who just completed her term as a Global Service Corps member with CBF Global Missions, has been hired as assistant director for Touching Miami With Love. Two new, one-year interns are serving at TML. James Matchuk works in the area of homeless programs. Dalia Tobar is an intern from Student.Go whose ministry focuses on volunteers and children. • Open House Ministry called Leah Crowley to serve as associate director for youth and families. She officially joined the OHM staff in June.

■ Georgia CBF of Georgia 2005 Fall Convocation was held on Nov. 13-14 at First Baptist Church of Griffin. CBF/GA also hosted network gatherings for chaplains, children’s ministers, educators, music ministers, student ministers and pastors. A showing of the film, “Theologians Under Hitler,” was also a part of the event. • CBF/GA 2005-2006 scholarship recipients include students from the following schools : Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary: Martha Kate Berry; Emory University’s Candler School of Theology: Jeffrey Reese Davis, Michael Goodman, Beth Parlier; Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology: Ron Handlon, Jeannette Jordan, Gigi Kerr, Lanna Gail Liebman, Justin Nelson, Meg Olive, Beth Pirkle, Greg Smith and Jan Thompson. • CBF/GA, Mercer University’s Christianity Department and office of the minister to the university, The Center for Baptist Studies, Vineville Baptist Church in Macon and First Baptist Church of Christ of Macon are sponsoring a visit by Henry Mugabe Feb. 8-9. Mugabe is the president of the Baptist Theological Seminary in Zimbabwe. For additional information, contact Bruce T. Gourley at Gourley_BT@Mercer.edu or call (478) 301-5467. • The CBF of Georgia General Assembly will be March 3-4 at First Baptist Church of Athens with guest preacher Jim Dant. • March Mission Madness will be March 17-19 at First Baptist Church of Warm Springs and March 24-26 at First Baptist Church of Morrow. For additional information, e-mail Scott Ford at robertscottford@mac.com or call (770) 860-0473. • Directors of the independent news journal “Baptists Today” chose Jimmy Allen as their chair and honored outgoing chair Tommy Boland.

■ North Carolina First Baptist Church of Mebane hosted 77 participants at the 2005 CBFNC Advisory Group on Oct. 11. David Odom, president of the Center for Congregational Health, facilitated the meeting which produced input that will be used by the Coordinating and Ministry Councils.

• More than 300 Fellowship Baptists gathered in Winston-Salem Nov. 15 for the Fall Fellowship Dinner during the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Ruby Fulbright, executive director of North Carolina Woman’s Missionary Union, provided the keynote address. • Many North Carolina churches participated in “Christmas in the Bayou,” a CBFNC Hurricane Relief Christmas Ministry by collecting muchneeded supplies to restock families’ homes in Lacombe, La. Each “Bayou Box” was a brightly wrapped gift filled with necessary supplies for a kitchen or a bedroom, along with an expression of faith. The project was led by Christopher Ingram, minister of education at Ridge Road Baptist Church in Raleigh and coordinator of hurricane relief efforts for CBFNC.

■ Oklahoma BLESS INDIA, a weekend retreat for middle and high school students will take place near McAlester on Jan. 13-15. This missions event will highlight the country of India with worship, fellowship and breakout sessions led by Barbara and Paul Calmes, T Thomas and others. • CBFO is once again sponsoring the annual Oklahoma Women in Baptist Life Retreat, Feb. 24-25 at First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City. This year’s theme is “Peace Along the Journey” and explores opportunities for finding peace, making peace Grace Powell Freeman and journeying in peace on a personal level, through the church and globally with Grace Powell Freeman. • The annual CBFO general assembly will be in Stillwater at University Heights Baptist Church on April 28-29 with speakers Daniel Vestal and Phil Hester. This past fall, CBFO continued its disaster relief efforts by partnering with CBF as members of CBFO-affiliated churches volunteered along the Gulf Coast. CBFO is working toward outfitting its own disaster relief trailer and getting the necessary training to be better equipped in the face of another disaster. • His Nets partnered with Global Women and the Banjara Women Leaders conference held in Hyderabad, India, in October to provide insecticidetreated nets for each participant.

■ South Carolina More than 225 people attended the Fall Convocation of the CBF of South Carolina Nov. 14 in Columbia. With a theme of diversity, the highlight of the session was an hour-long panel discussion that included a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew. Primary speakers for the event were Walter Edgar from the University of South Carolina’s Institute of Southern Studies and Tom Long, professor

of preaching at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta.

■ Tennessee

Guide and Study Guide on Hebrews published by Smyth & Helwys for the 2006 Annual Bible Study. The event is sponsored by TCBF, Baptist Seminary of Kentucky and Smyth & Helwys. Make reservations by calling the TCBF office at (888) 661-8223.

Central Baptist Theological Seminary will offer a second semester of master of divinity courses in Murfreesboro beginning in February. Application information is available from Steve ■ Texas Guinn at (800) 677-2287, ext. 107, or Frequent CBF volunteers Dr. C.R. sguinn@cbts.edu. Course offerings can “Dick” and Jesmarie Hurst were be found at www.cbts. awarded the Abner V. edu. A generous scholarMcCall Humanitarian ship grant is also available Award by the Baylor for qualified students. University Alumni AsAs part of the TCBF sociation. The award and Croatian Baptist is given to Baylor Union partnership, Jerry graduates who have Mantooth, pastor of exhibited a Christian Monte Vista Baptist response to situations Church in Maryville, and persons around hosted some Croatian them in ways exempliJesmarie and Dick Hurst university students last fied by the late Judge September. The students were part McCall, Baylor’s president from 1961 of a Christian band, Seekers Planet, to 1981. that came to the U.S. to tour with a Justice Anderson has written Christian band. “An Evangelical Saga: Baptists and Dalen Jackson, associate profesTheir Precursors in Latin America,” sor of biblical studies at Baptist Semiwhich chronicles the history of nary of Kentucky, will lead an overview Latin American Baptists. Anderson was study of “Hebrews: Encouragement a missionary-professor in Argentina for for a Life of Faith” on Jan. 14 at Cum17 years and also a professor of berland Baptist Church, Knoxville. Jackmissiology at Southwestern Baptist son is the author of both the Teaching Theological Seminary. Courtesy Baylor Photography

■ Alabama

2006 General Assembly Schedule Georgia World Congress Center Atlanta, Ga. • June 21-24 Wednesday, June 21 Noon – 5:00 p.m. 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Thursday, June 22 7:00 – 8:45 a.m 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 9:00 – 10:10 a.m. 10:30 – 11:40 a.m. 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. 2:00 – 3:10 p.m. 3:45 5:00 6:45 7:00 8:30

– 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. p.m. – 8:30 p.m. p.m.

Friday, June 23 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 11:00 – 11:45 a.m. 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. 2:00 – 3:10 p.m. 3:30 – 4:40 p.m. 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. 6:45 p.m. 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 24 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Auxiliary Events Global Poverty/HIV/AIDS Summit (will continue on Thursday morning) Theological Education Banquet Auxiliary Events Resource Fair Open Workshops Business Session I Lunch and Auxiliary Events Workshops (includes Business Breakouts) State/Regional Meetings Dinner and Auxiliary Events Pre-Worship Gathering Worship Resource Fair Event Auxiliary Events Resource Fair Open Business Session II Fellowship Time Lunch and Auxiliary Events Workshops Workshops Dinner and Auxiliary Events Pre-Worship Gathering Worship and Communion Resource Fair Event Auxiliary Events Companions in Christ Training (will be held off-site at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, Atlanta)

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Courtesy Calvary Baptist


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As part of Mission Lexington, volunteers CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH in Lexare turning a building into a dental clinic ington, Ky., has discovered a way to conin which dentists from Calvary Baptist and nect church members from across a broad Faith Lutheran Church have volunteered to spectrum of life by engaging members’ provide free care. passion to minister to the community. In a predominantly Hispanic section of Over the past two years, members of Lexington, the church rents an apartment in Calvary Baptist have taken lessons learned a complex called Crystal Springs and sets up on missions trips across the country and ministries there, such as English as a Second around the world and applied them in Language classes, Bible studies, Sunday school their own backyard. classes, and food On a Saturand clothing day in October distribution. 2005, more than During 300 members Mission Blitz, gathered for a church memspecial fellowbers conducted ship before emsoccer clinbarking on 27 ics, backyard different minisBible studies, a terial opportuni“non-sewing” ties. Called Missewing project, sion Blitz Day, construction/ the annual event Participants in the Pets to People ministry take their four-legged friends to visit nursing home residents. repair projects, has energized nursing home and shut-in visitation, homethe church, according to organizers. less ministry activities, even a trip to visit a “My hope for the Mission Blitz Day is that recent missions site as part of CBF’s rural we not only get out there and do some good poverty initiative. work with people in the community, but that Bo Prosser, CBF coordinator for conwe ignite people’s passion to do this work,” gregational life, said Calvary’s members said Patsey Jacobs, missions intern at Calvary. understand the call to be missional. “Hopefully, these projects will open our eyes “Calvary is empowering people to use to the things we can do on a day-in, day-out their passions to impact the community,” basis. People are beginning to see what impact Prosser said. “They are a congregation of they can have around them without having to visionary leaders, energized workers, and travel to another city or country.” empowered disciples.” Located in downtown Lexington, Calvary Calvary is planning an 8-week study on is adjacent to the campus of the University of the Fellowship’s new missional church reKentucky. On most Sundays, 50 to 60 college source, “It’s Time: A Journey Toward Misstudents attend worship. But because it is an sional Faithfulness” this year. f! older church established 130 years ago, 38 percent of the congregation is 55 or older. LEARN – Order “It’s Time: A Journey To“Our church family is all over the place,” ward Missional Faithfulness” from The CBF said Hank Ellington, associate pastor. Store at www.thefellowship.info or (888) 801“We’re not a neighborhood church in any 4223 for $49.95. sense. But we have members who are connecting around missions.” By contributing writer Bob Perkins Jr., York, Pa.

Missional approach tightens bond among members in Kentucky church

Carla Wynn photo



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

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Peer learning group mourns loss



CBF staff visit partner schools

Greg Wolfe, CBF of Mississippi’s disaster response coordinator, removes drywall and nails from a home flooded by Hurricane Katrina in Pearlington, Miss.

Story on page 6


Church planter serves in Iraq


Churches experience sub-Saharan Africa


General Assembly schedule preview

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

Fellowship Baptists help hurricane survivors rebuild lives



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f fellowship!