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March/April 2006

Faith in 3D ecumenical youth conference draws more than 2,200


ore than 2,200 Christian teenagers

Melissa Yohn of First Baptist Church, Auburn, Ala., the — Baptists, Episcopalians and opportunity to serve during that service was meaningful. Presbyterians — explored the “It was a great experience,” Yohn said. “I think that’s when dimensions of their faith during the first ever Faith in I got the point of the whole 3D conference, Jan. 13-16, at the Disney World Resort conference.” Immediately following in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. worship on Sunday, participants visited the World singer/songwriter Kyle With high energy worship Showcase at Disney’s Epcot Matthews. Sunday’s worship and intentionally diverse small Center for a program called times in the morning and groups, youth were exposed “Faith Around to three expresthe World” in sions of Chriswhich they tianity while learned about enjoying and other cultures learning in the and the missions Disney theme work ongoing parks. Produced in the countries by Cooperative represented at Baptist FellowEpcot. ship partner CBF Global Passport Inc., Missions staff, Faith in 3D was along with cursponsored by rent and former the Fellowship, field personPresbyterian nel, helped lead Church USA “Faith Around and the Episcothe World” and pal Church. several parThe conferFaith in 3D participants played in Disney theme parks, learned in special educational tracks and worshipped ticipated as small ence also raised in three traditions at the first of its kind youth conference in January. group leaders. more than The conference ended on with a person from each evening were led by the $11,500 through a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day, denomination represented Episcopal Church and offering that will be divided with an emphasis on “Faith assisting. For 17-year-old Mary featured a full celebration of between Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and an awareness campaign called Watering Malawi that provides funds to organizations such as CBFpartner World Vision for deep CHURCH by church, family well pumps and irrigation by family and life by life, a coprojects. alition of diverse Baptist orga“The most memorable monizations is assisting Hurricane ment I’ll take away from this Katrina victims as they rebuild event was on Friday night their lives. when the youth drama team Organized in October as was up there saying this is Baptist Builders, five national what we’re proud of as EpisBaptist bodies — Progressive copalians and Presbyterians National Baptist Convention, and Baptists,” said David BurAmerican Baptist Churches roughs, founder and president USA and its National of Passport Inc., and the Faith Ministries, the Fellowship, in 3D chief organizer. “For the District of Columbia Baptist Baptist Builders program coordinator Elmo Winters with Katrina evacuee Leola Nero in front of the apartment Baptist Builders found for her. first time maybe in their entire Convention and the Alliance lives, they were able to stand and Rita. churches and pastors, employof Baptists — have provided and cheer for who they are as “I believe that Jesus Christ ment location and other ways, assistance to more than 70 Baptists.” could not see the hurt of Baptist Builders has respondevacuees and their families Saturday night’s worship people and not do anything. ed to needs of evacuees, many living in the Baton Rouge, was sponsored by the We can’t talk about the probof whom are forever changed La., area. Fellowship and featured lem, we have to do something,” because of Hurricanes Katrina Through housing, grants to Lance Wallace photo

the Episcopal Eucharist with an explanation of each step in the liturgy. Altragracia Perez, rector of the Holy Faith Episcopal Church in Inglewood, Calif., delivered the morning’s sermon on the theme “Faith Meets World” — a stiff challenge to the audience to fight injustice wherever it appears. The Eucharist was served at stations around the room,

Meets 3-Denominations” led by J. Herbert Nelson, pastor of the Presbyterian congregation, Liberation Community Church in Memphis, Tenn. His message from Jeremiah cited the example of Martin Luther King Jr. and called for the teens to engage in a “revolution of values.” The conference was born out of discussions at the National Council of Church’s annual ecumenical youth staff gathering. More than 30 Fellowship churches participated. “We’ve talked seriously and agreed that this was good and we should do it again,” Burroughs said. “We’ve heard from a couple of other denominations who would like to participate next time around. But whatever happens, I hope the seeds have been planted for a national CBF youth conference.” f! LEARN – For more from the conference, visit www. faithin3d.icm, or www. or

By Lance Wallace, CBF Communications

Carla Wynn photo

Baptist Builders helps Katrina victims rebuild lives said Baptist Builders’ Baton Rouge-based program coordinator Elmo Winters. “There’s so much that can be done. It doesn’t all have to be done on some major scale.” Hurricane Katrina’s strength is undeniable, but the widespread flooding in New Orleans worsened the storm’s impact, resulting in the displacement of millions of residents. Katrina stretched the capacity of both governmental and nonprofit relief organizations, leaving many victims without timely or sufficient assistance. “The blame is on all of our shoulders,” said Gus Spurlock, a Baton Rouge pastor who — Continued on page 10



Emory’s Candler Baptist Studies Program celebrates 15-year anniversary


ocusing on the past, present and future of the Baptist landscape, the Baptist Studies Program at Emory University’s Candler

School of Theology will celebrate its 15th anniversary on March 8.

Class Notes: News from partner schools ■ Baptist Seminary of Kentucky.

Brandy H. Albritton recently became the assistant director in admissions and student recruitment at the seminary. Albritton completed an M. Div. from Baptist Seminary of Kentucky in December 2005. ■ Baptist Theological Seminary at

Richmond. BTSR received a $300,000 three-year grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The grant will support the development of The School of Christian Ministry, which offers non-credit theological education opportunities for

about “the rich heritage of our denomination; our traditions and polity; and the new opportunities being created by David Key to explore the Baptist theology and how we contextually express our theology.” Among Key’s tasks as director of the program, he recruits students to Candler and to the Baptist Studies Program, acts as a co-advisor to Baptist students alongside their academic adviser, places students in their contextual education sites, and aids students with church placements both during and after their seminary careers. “I try to help open doors for them to achieve the vision God has given them,” Key said. Mary Catherine Cole and Jeremy Lewis, recent graduates of the Baptist Studies Program at Emory University’s Candler School of Key said he enjoys his Theology, socialize during a barbecue event for students. work with the program at Candler both because of the “stimulating Candler 15 years ago because “it was time intellectual environment focused on both for new models of theological education church and academics” and the “constant for Baptists,” she said. “It was important reminder as I’m with our students of the to place the Baptist vision alongside potential for a bright Baptist future.” others in an ecumenical environment As the program continues to grow and to have it tested and strengthened by and develop, “we will continue to focus interaction in a university context.” on contextual education as the context “The Baptist Studies Program at CanCourtesy Candler School of Theology

With approximately 70 Baptist students enrolled at Candler, the Baptist Studies Program is open to students from all Baptist backgrounds seeking to enrich their ministries through theological learning. “Baptist students are coming to Candler for their ecumenical outlook and intellectually stimulating choices,” said David Key, director of the Baptist Studies Program. Baptist student Allison Gilmore said she chose to study at Candler because the program gives her the opportunity to learn

ministers find themselves serving in is rapidly changing,” Key said. To celebrate the program’s 15th anniversary this year, two of its past leaders will return to campus to participate in the day’s festivities: Nancy Ammerman and Scott Hudgins. Ammerman originally spearheaded the idea of a Baptist Studies Program at

dler has been an important partner since our beginnings,” said Terry Hamrick, CBF coordinator for leadership development. “The establishing of this program was very influential in ensuring that CBF placed a high value on theological education. We are grateful for this long partnership and especially for the congregational leaders that have been nurtured.” Ammerman, currently professor and director of graduate studies in the sociology department at Boston University, will speak on the present state of American Christianity and Baptist life at the 11 a.m. Chapel worship service on March 8. After the service, there will be a luncheon and Scott Hudgins, former program director now at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will speak on “The Future of Baptist Life” followed by a panel discussion. f! LEARN – For lunch reservations after the Chapel service on March 8, contact David Key at (404) 727-6350 or For more about CBF partner schools, visit Life/ Leadership Development/Theological Education/Theology Schools.icm.

By contributing writer Amy Walker, Atlanta

laity and ministers at all stages of their ministerial lives. Gifts and pledges already received for the campaign total $8.4 million toward a base goal of $15 million and a challenge goal of $19 million. Between now and July 31, 2007, monetary gifts for up to $3 million made to BTSR will be matched by Louise and Harwood Cochrane of Richmond. The matching plan will contribute to the renovation of the former student nurses’ dormitory of Richmond Memorial Hospital and the project will increase the availability of affordable housing for single students.

Vol. 16, No. 2 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 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


Conference to promote, encourage collegiate ministry among moderate Baptists CBF, IN CONJUNCTION with CBF of Georgia and The Center for Baptist Studies at Mercer University, will host a conference, “The University Campus: Tomorrow’s Moderate Baptists,” May 4-5 at First Baptist Church, Decatur, Ga. “This is an event to try and raise moderate Baptist awareness of the need for collegiate ministry,” said Bruce Gourley, associate director of The Center for Baptist Studies at Mercer University. “College years for our Baptist students are a significant time for shaping who they are, what their call is and what they will do with their call.” Conference coordinators — Gourley, CBF Leadership Development Coordinator Terry Hamrick, CBF of Georgia Coordinator Frank Broome, CBF of Georgia Associate Coordinator for Congregational Life Devita Parnell, and The Center for Baptist Studies Executive Director Walter B. Shurden — recognized a need for a greater CBF presence in college communities and on college campuses. “We’re trying to develop leaders,” Broome said. “We’ve got to start where

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high school and college students are. This is about the future of local congregations and the future of CBF.” The conference is targeted toward moderate Baptist leaders throughout the nation. Organizers hope the conference will serve as a catalyst for collegiate ministry and encourage concrete actions at the local church level. “It is my belief that if moderate Baptists are truly going to be effective in developing campus ministry, the local church must get involved,” Gourley said. The event includes state and regional CBF coordinators, CBF church leaders, as well as educators from Campbell University, Baylor University, CarsonNewman College and others. “It really is a way to bring this issue to the forefront and then to lift up various models that we can all learn from and adapt to each of our situations,” Parnell said. Topics for panel discussions include “Mission Field or Stumbling Block for Moderate Baptists?,” “Empowering Local Churches for Collegiate Missions,” and

C a n d l e r C e l e b r a t e s 1 5 Ye a r s


“Discovering, Developing and Nurturing Leaders.” Panel speakers include Daniel Vestal, CBF national coordinator; Tim Willis, minister of students and singles at First Baptist Church of Clemson, S.C.; John Upton, executive director of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board; Ruth Perkins Lee, minister of college students and youth at First Baptist Church of Auburn, Ala., and many others. “The relationships between colleges, denominations and congregations continue to change,” Hamrick said. “This event is an opportunity for the moderate Baptist movement to focus on the critical need of ministering to and with college students. I hope that we can find new energy and new strategies for impacting the college campus and the college student.” f! LEARN – The conference is free and registration is by e-mail only. For more information and to register, visit www.centerforbaptiststudies. org/conferences/index.htm.

By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications

Conference Promotes College Ministry


Class Notes



Operation Iraqi Freedom: Chaplains meet ministry needs in western Iraq EDITOR’S NOTE: A Marine Corps base in western Iraq seems like an odd place for two CBF chaplains — one in the Army and the other in the Navy — to meet, but that’s exactly what happened to Major Scott Jensen and Lieutenant Commander Terry Eddinger. Both were deployed to Al Asad Air Base in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where they provided ministry on a base containing more than 6,000 military and civilian personnel. Following is their story.

Chaplain Scott Jensen

We found ourselves ministering to soldiers who faced the daily threat of injury or death. On top of that concern, they worried about family back home. This deployment afforded an opportunity for spiritual, professional and personal growth that I would never have known

Major, U.S. Army

Photos courtesy Chaplain Eddinger

I have been serving in the U.S. Army Reserve since I was commissioned in February 1990. This tour with the U.S. Army was my first overseas deployment. I served in Iraq for 11 months. As a civilian, I serve as a chaplain with Hands of Hope Hospice in Saint Joseph, Mo. Knowing that I had a supportive employer, supervisor and coworkers made this deployment much less stressful. This military adventure began Aug. 2, 2004, when I reported to serve as the chaplain for the 561st Corps Support group in Omaha, Neb., and spent the While serving in Iraq, Chaplain Terry Eddinger, above, baptizes Capt. Michael Wallace, while Chaplain Scott Jensen, right, next 10 weeks in training. We leads a Communion service. arrived in Iraq in early November. Our unit’s mission was to apart from this experience. Much of what establish a general support logistical hub we read in the Old Testament took place in western Iraq bringing fuel and supplies in what is now modern Iraq. To live in from Jordan. that part of the Middle East for nearly a My assistant, Sergeant First Class year and experience all that a desert enviTimothy Goettsch, and I supported and ronment has to offer played a major role supervised two subordinate battalion Unit in spiritual growth for many of us. I had Ministry Teams (UMT) consisting of a the privilege of leading a number of small chaplain and assistant in each UMT. We group studies. We witnessed God changing traveled regularly to provide support to lives for the better both with the military our fellow UMTs. personnel we served and their families My assistant and I traveled throughback home. Many of us turned this crisis out Iraq providing support and ministry into an opportunity. to soldiers. We often traveled by Marine Chaplain Terry Eddinger helicopter or Army airplane, though occaLieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy sionally we did travel by convoy. We faced many challenges including the harsh I have been serving in the U.S. Navy Reenvironment, constant threat of enemy serve for about 10 years. This tour with the actions, coordinating transportation in a U.S. Marine Corps was my third deployment combat zone and trying to connect with in six years. As a civilian, I am an associate soldiers who were constantly moving on professor of Old Testament and vice presimissions. Many of our soldiers provided dent of administration at Carolina Evangelicombat escort for supply convoys. Three cal Divinity School located in High Point, of our soldiers were killed in action and N.C. Fortunately, I have a very supportive several more were wounded in action. school. In January 2005, I reported for duty

with the Second Marine Aircraft Wing who then assigned me to Marine Aircraft Group 26 (MAG 26), a unit deploying to Iraq composed of about 3,500 personnel. I was a department head, supervising one chaplain and two religious program specialists (enlisted chaplain’s assistants). I found myself at Al Asad, Iraq, shortly thereafter. I knew the real challenge would be providing a ministry of presence to so many people scattered over a 25-square mile base and out at forward operating bases. My religious program specialist RP1 Glen Christman and I met this challenge by making regular visits to the squadron spaces. During Operation

from a combat zone to life at home. Our two main projects were a toy collection for Iraqi kids and a United Through Reading program for the Marines and sailors. We collected toys, school supplies, toiletries, candy, clothes, etc. for distribution to children in western Iraq. Churches, schools, civic organizations, businesses and individuals sent more than 12,500 items. The United Through Reading program consisted of us making a videotape of a Marine reading a children’s book. The service members sent the tapes and books to their family for them to enjoy. We made 64 tapes. The most difficult days involved ministering to wounded Marines and praying for the families of our dead. On several occasions, all of the chaplains responded to an influx of mass casualties to the base hospital. I talked and prayed with the wounded and their comrades who had witnessed the event. I think the most moving part was their calmness in the midst of calamity, their acceptance of my presence while they suffered in pain, and their eagerness to rejoin their fellow Marines to finish the mission. I’m proud to have served with these brave souls.

Working Together:

Chaplains Jensen, Eddinger

Matador, we visited our Marines near Al Qaim. We were not on the battle line, but within a few miles of it. Times like these are when the ministry of presence is essential. Also, we made a special effort to visit with persons who received Red Cross messages from home. These messages usually were a notification of a hardship or death. We averaged about two messages per day, but sometimes received as many as seven. Counseling was a major ministry we provided for our military members. I conducted 153 counseling sessions with our sailors and Marines while in Iraq. I led a traditional Protestant worship service every Sunday and taught an introduction to the Old Testament study on Monday nights. I conducted warrior transition briefs to help Marines transition

We often worked in conjunction with other chaplains, meeting together weekly, praying for our collective ministry, and sharing ideas on how to minister to the needs of all base personnel effectively. Chaplains and their assistants provided joint ministry through various services and studies offered throughout the base. On special occasions, we worked together to provide ecumenical services. We even organized and conducted a joint revival and a joint baptism service. Despite denominational differences, these chaplains united around their common faith in Christ to show God’s love to those stationed on an air base in the Syrian Desert of western Iraq. We considered it an honor to be a part of such a group. We want to thank all CBF members for your prayer support and your ongoing support for service members and civilians continuing to work for peace in the Middle East. Without your prayers, success in ministry would not be possible. f!

How to Respond SERVE – For more about CBF chaplaincy and pastoral counseling, visit Life/ Chaplains PC/Endorsees.icm or contact George Pickle at (770) 220-1617 or

A dust storm looms over the air base in Iraq.

Chaplains Meet Ministr y Needs in Iraq

PRAY – To view a birthday prayer guide, visit life/chaplains pc/prayer calendar.icm.

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THE FELLOWSHIP’S Congregational Life Initiative will pay half of the registration cost for CBF congregational leaders to participate in online seminars offered by The Wayne E. Oates Institute through July 2006. Non-member seminar registration is $60, but CBF participants will pay $30. The Fellowship’s association with the Institute is a way of encouraging the local church to actively equip their lay leaders — especially those who are exposed to situations requiring pastoral response — for ministry, said Rick Bennett, CBF associate coordinator for faith formation. Online seminars provide access to educational opportunities that people might otherwise have to travel many miles to attend, while allowing participants to experience the material at their own pace, Bennett added. “CBF Congregational Life believes this resource to be an effective and cutting edge way to equip local church lay leadership for ministry,” Bennett emphasized. Online seminar topics include ministry to families with mental illness, end of life care, substance abuse and the family, developing congregational health ministries, art and healing, and nurturing silence and Sabbath. “There is a growing need for educational opportunities that do not require the time and expense of travel or significant time away from work,” said Vicki L. Hollon, executive director of The Wayne E. Oates Institute. The Oates Institute offers 30 to 40 online seminars each year utilizing an approach to lifelong learning developed by the Institute called Connected Learning. “Unlike ‘Distance Learning,’ this collaborative learning process utilizes cyberspace to connect learners with other learners, teachers, mentors, facilitators, and learning resources while transcending the need for participants to share the same time or space,” Hollon explained. Most of the Institute’s online seminars last three weeks. Participants interact weekly around a featured presentation using e-mail discussion. Online seminars are composed of eight to 12 participants. LEARN – For more information about the online seminars, visit When completing your registration form, identify CBF as your affiliation in order to receive the discount. By Lisa M. Jones, CBF Communications, & The Wayne E. Oates Institute Communications


Grants to help congregations engage in missional ministries


BF will offer grants to encourage Fellowship churches to begin missional ministries in their own communities.

Prosser, the Fellowship’s congregational life In an effort to administer the grants, coordinator. “Suzanah brings a great enthuCBF Congregational Life has hired Suzasiasm for the local church and missional nah Raffield as the grants project manager. ministries. She will be a wonderful asset.” Raffield assists those churches who have Raffield helps churches engaged in the study, “It’s “We are excited determine the next steps Time: A Journey Toward for their congregations Missional Faithfulness,” in about the ability to after completing “It’s discovering and initiating help churches move Time!” She consults with missional opportunities. from just studying churches on possible “It’s Time: A Journey Toward Missional Faithfulabout being missional missional expressions and helps allocate grants ness,” a total church study to embracing these to those churches who towards becoming more concepts in local engage in missional missional, debuted at the ministries.” ministries. CBF General Assembly last “It is exciting to June. The “It’s Time!” mate– Suzanah Raffield encourage churches to be rial includes eight weeks of all that they can be as the body of Christ, study material, sample sermons, small-group ministering communally and globally,” studies and personal devotional material. Raffield said. “These resources are offered to help “We are learning as the project grows,” Christians and churches focus on being the Raffield added. “We are excited about the Presence of Christ in the world,” said Bo ability to help churches move from just studying about being missional to embracing these concepts in local ministries.” LEARN – For more information on Prosser said he can’t “It’s Time: A Journey Toward Missional wait to see the creative Faithfulness,” visit expressions of minisitstime or call (800) 352-8741. The resource can be ordered from The CBF Store at tries that Fellowship or (888) 801-4223 churches discover. for $49.95. “The ‘It’s Time!’ For more information on It’s Time! resources grants, contact Suzanah Raffield at encourage Applications churches for It’s Time! grants are available online at to look for the needs in

their community and develop intentional ministries around those needs,” he added. To apply for a CBF It’s Time! grant, a congregation must have completed the “It’s Time!” study. Applications are available online at grant.icm. “Any CBF partnering congregation can apply for grant money to be used where they feel God leading them,” Raffield said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for churches to consider the needs around them and minister accordingly.” As a founding board member of Global Women, Raffield gained experience on missions and ministries. She is currently studying contextual missiology at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, Czech Republic, with a focus on maternal health and the Church’s response. f! By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications Suzanah Raffield, right, pictured with Lucia Duran, is the new grants project manager for CBF congregational life.

How to Respond

Photo courtesy Suzanah Raffield

Online seminars discount available

CBF churches use ‘Narnia’ movie to engage discussion WITH THE RECENT popularity of C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” many Fellowship churches around the country have focused attention on studying the spiritual connections between the text and the gospel. St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., has incorporated C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien literature in their church services for the last four years. This year during the Advent season, children at St. Matthews were challenged to read “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” in order to better understand the spiritual topics in the text and to receive a gift certificate to see the movie. Pastor Leslie Hollon also engaged the children during Sunday service with movie clips that connected the gospel message to issues of good versus evil. Wednesday Bible studies and Sunday morning services were also centered on the spiritual

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connections between Lewis, Tolkien and the gospel. First Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, N.C., spent five months incorporating Lewis into church activities. To work on building bridges, Kingdom Tales was developed by worship and arts ministry director David Williamson and a team. The church hosted guest speakers on Wednesday evenings covering topics like knowing what type of fantasy is appropriate for children to read. “Having an understanding of the writings helped our congregation understand the books better and gave members some tools for discussion starters with friends that are not followers of Christ,” said Brian Greene, minister of spiritual growth at First Baptist Winston-Salem. Rickey Letson, minister to adults at Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Ga., was instrumental in gathering contributors and submissions for the Fellowship’s Narnia

Missional Church Grants


resource. Each lesson provides a summary of a particular book in the series, a description of Christian imagery, discussion questions for groups or individuals, and a suggestion for how to answer the questions. There are also suggestions for how to discuss the texts with children. Johns Creek also fashioned activities around “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Executive Pastor Michael McCullar compiled a seminar study on “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” that is available for families to use. The church hosted a Narnia seminar during Sunday school for all ages and hosted two book club discussions geared toward adults. f! LEARN – A free comprehensive study on “The Chronicles of Narnia” is available for downloading at documents/narnia.pdf.

By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications

C h u r c h e s E n g a g e ‘ N a r n i a’


Online Seminars



Pittman named one of nation’s best cartoonists for third time


or Jack Pittman, whose magazine cover art earned his third Reuben award last year from the National Cartoonists Society,

his illustrious career began with a sketch. National awards are just affirmation that Pittman made the right choice to sketch cartoons instead of house plans. He earned

Jack Pittman illustration

As a second-grader in the hospital with a broken leg, Pittman got a get-well message from another patient down the hall. The man’s sketch of “Chilly Willy” — a penguin character from Woody Woodpecker — would encourage Pittman to more than just a speedy recovery. As the man left the hospital, he gave Pittman a sketch pad of drawings. With inspiration in hand, Pittman began drawing in a sketch pad of his own. “It was like the bug really bit me,” he said. Two years later, Pittman’s fourth-grade teacher gave him a book about cartooning. It’s a book he still treasures today. In the seventh grade, Pittman’s parents paid for him to take a correspondence school cartooning course. Within a year, Pittman started sending his cartoons to magazines, ready for his work to be published and checks to start coming in the mail. What did come in the mail were rejection slips, which Pittman used to wallpaper his bedroom. “They were like badges of honor. It was such a thrill for me just to have a reply,” he said. “Carolina Country,” the first magazine to send a rejection, would years later run Pittman’s cover illustration that helped him earn a Reuben award — the cartoon industry’s highest honor — for magazine illustration. In 1995 and 1998, Pittman won for advertising illustration.

Jack Pittman self-portrait

a bachelor’s degree in architecture from North Carolina State University because a school guidance counselor said his drawing interests would find a niche in architecture. “My idea was I’d be designing houses by day and sending cartoons into magazines by night,” he said. After a brief stint as an illustrator at Raleigh’s “The News and Observer,” Pittman began working solely as a free-lancer, with clientele over the years including American

Express, ESPN, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Reader’s Digest, Gatorade and The National Geographic Society. Pittman also taught at Raleigh’s Meredith College as an adjunct art professor. Although teaching isn’t quite the same as cartooning, it’s a similar art form, said Pittman, who has been teaching at Forest Hills Baptist Church, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner church, since he became a member there more than 15 years ago. “I think teaching is very similar to illustrating in that we communicate the heart of a message verbally and visually by both disciplines,” Pittman said. “Jack is a fabulous missional Christian,” said CBF Congregational Life Coordinator Bo Prosser, who was minister of education at Forest Hills. “He lives out his passion in his art and his teaching. He touches people with his art and his faith.” Even though his talent propelled him into the cartooning business, Pittman said his successful career wasn’t made by his hand alone. “It’s so easy to see God as the master artist putting all those elements together as only He can to make a work of art out of our life,” he said. f! LEARN – “Klesis: God’s Call and the Journey of Faith,” more than a spiritual gifts study, leads participants to a more holistic consideration of their unique call. Order from The CBF Store at or (888) 801-4223 for $14.95.

By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

Pastors retreat emphasizes Sabbath, silence THE FIRST OF FOUR CBF sponsored regional spiritual formation retreats for senior pastors was held Jan. 23-25 at the Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, N.C. Seventeen pastors attended the retreat led by CBF Associate Coordinator for Faith Formation Rick Bennett, CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal, CBF Congregational Life Coordinator Bo Prosser and Gary Furr, pastor of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. “It was excellent,” said Mark Ashworth, pastor of Union Cross Baptist Church in Kernersville, N.C. “It was a good time for connecting with others, and it was helpful, inspiring and encouraging.” Furr explored the value of Sabbath and tried to reconnect those attending to the Sabbath. Prosser addressed the topic of spiritual formation in the midst of pain. Specifically, he addressed emotional pain in ministry and how that forms and shapes ministers spiritually. Vestal discussed various spiritual disciplines and practices. During the fourth session, led by Bennett, participants shared “best practices” for

C a r t o o n i s t O n e o f N a t i o n’s B e s t


spiritual formation to explore helpful ideas for congregations. It was clear that pastors who attended were in search of retreat and Sabbath, Bennett said. Organizers tried to create a “sacred space and place,” he noted. “There was this incredible sense of community that developed in less than 24 hours,” Bennett added. “I think it provided plenty of rest, time for reading and prayer,” said Brian Brewer, pastor of Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss. “It was a good balance between time alone and time together.” Similar retreats for pastors will be held in Houston, Texas, April 3-5; Crestwood, Ky., Sept. 11-13; and Atlanta, Jan. 8-10, 2007. Each retreat can accommodate up to 20 pastors. “Each of these retreats is going to be a unique movement of the Spirit,” Bennett said. “We may not even address the same topics. We are always discerning what topics will need to be explored.” These four retreats were initiated by the CBF Spiritual Formation Network.

Pastors Retreat

“At its June 2005 meeting, the Spiritual Formation Network Steering Team felt led to reach out to pastors, to offer them a gift of Sabbath through a spiritual formation retreat,” Bennett said. For the retreat, pastors are only financially responsible for their transportation. “I expect nothing but quality from the rest of the retreats,” Prosser said. “We are providing a place of rest and retreat for pastor-leaders who are seeking best how to lead the spiritual formation of their congregations in the midst of expectations for budgets and buildings and people in seats. We are offering a time for the pastor to pray, to think, to listen, and to experience.” f! LEARN – Pastors have already reserved some spaces for the April and September retreats. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Register online at www. Registration.icm. For more information, contact Rick Bennett at (770) 220-1605 or

Fellowship to offer new spiritual formation guide, convene partner faculty THE FELLOWSHIP’S Spiritual Formation Network Steering Team announced it will release a new resource and convene a meeting of spiritual formation faculty from CBF partner schools at the 2006 General Assembly in Atlanta. The Network steering team, which meets twice a year to direct the development of the Network, held its most recent meeting Jan. 26-28. “The purpose of this group is to discern together, in community, the direction that God is leading CBF in spiritual formation,” said Rick Bennett, CBF associate coordinator for faith formation. “Spiritual formation is what fuels the missional church.” In June 2004, the Fellowship announced the development of a Spiritual Formation Network to help support the growing interest in spiritual formation among Fellowship constituents. A guide for spiritual formation is one of the Network’s first projects. The guide includes four sections. The first offers a basic explanation of spiritual formation and explains how Baptists fit into the history of spiritual formation. Personal resources for spiritual formation are included in the second section. Lists of books, retreat centers, the importance of spiritual guides or directors and new information about labyrinths as a spiritual practice are provided. The third section contains congregational resources, which offer opportunities for members to grow in spiritual formation. The last section has a bibliography of Christian devotional classics. The Steering Team is also finishing plans for spiritual formation breakout sessions at the CBF General Assembly. A dinner for spiritual formation faculty at CBF partnering schools is also being finalized. “We really want to be a group that is discerning God’s desires for CBF concerning spiritual formation,” said team member Amy Jennings. To aid in the process of discernment, the team asked Val Isenhower from Water in the Desert Ministries in New Mexico to lead. Isenhower is co-author of “Living the Answers: A Guide to Personal Spiritual Discernment.” The Spiritual Formation Network Steering Team will meet again June 20-21 at General Assembly. LEARN – For more information about the Spiritual Formation Network, contact Rick Bennett at (770) 220-1605 or By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications

By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications

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

General Assembly sessions to feature global perspective, engaging worship


uring General Sessions of this year’s CBF General Assembly, Fellowship Baptists will hear from their Californian moderator and a South African minister, listen to music from the Assembly’s “artist in

residence,” and experience worship through drama. franchised, and he is deeply spiritual.” Hudson also will lead a special workshop for pastors and share in several Bible study workshops, Prosser said. The Assembly’s “artist in residence” is 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. “He has studied music and worship styles all around the world and will bring his insights to our General Session worship moments,” Prosser said. “Michael will expose us to worship practices from around the world and down the street. We will experience worship in creative and traditional ways.”

Trevor Hudson, of South Africa, will be the keynote speaker during the Assembly’s opening night session. Hudson, a member of the pastoral team at Northfield Methodist Church in Benoni, has spent most of his more than 30 years in Methodist ministry in South Africa. One of the seven books Hudson has authored, “Journey of the Spirit,” was named South Africa’s best Christian book in 2003. “Trevor Hudson has lived through the injustices of South Africa,” said Bo Prosser, the Fellowship’s congregational life coordinator. “As a local pastor, he was heavily involved in working with his congregation and the government to ensure social and economic equality. Trevor is a champion for the disen-

Joy Yee featured speaker, moderator

Trevor Hudson featured speaker

Al Staggs worship leader

Al Staggs will serve as the Assembly worship leader. His dramatic presentations of the gospel will be interpreted through the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian executed for his stand against Adolf Hitler, and Clarence Jordan, who challenged poverty and racial injustice through founding the Koinonia farm community in Georgia. Staggs will also present during two Assembly workshops.

C. Michael Hawn artist in residence

Alicia Walker worship planner

Alicia Walker, minister of music at Atlanta’s Peachtree Baptist Church, is the worship planner. “She has a heart for the diversity of worship styles and a sensitivity to the worship participant,” Prosser said. “She will make sure that the rich diversity of our Fellowship is highlighted.” f! By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

What to see and do in Atlanta High Museum of Art, which features more than 11,000 pieces in its permanent collection, and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, one of the nation’s largest natural history museums. The museum has a skeleton of the largest dinosaur ever discovered, as well as an IMAX movie theater. Other historical attractions include the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, which draws half a million visitors a year to the civil rights leader’s

WHILE IN ATLANTA for the Assembly, attendees are close to a number of attractions, as well as recreation and entertainment options. The Assembly will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. The host hotel, the Omni Hotel at the CNN Center, and Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel are nearby. Within a few blocks of the World Congress Center is the newly-opened Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium with 8 million gallons of water and more than 100,000 animals. The nearby CNN Center features a behind-the-scenes studio tour of the largest 24-hour news network, including history and exhibits. Within walking distance, the World of Coca-Cola features exhibits, history and tours related to the famous soft drink, which was created in an Atlanta pharmacy in 1886.

Buckhead/Underground Atlanta Buckhead, a concentration of shopping, galleries and restaurants, is less than a 10-mile drive from the World Congress Center. Additional shopping is available at Underground Atlanta, an underground shopping mall within walking distance of the General Assembly site.

Museums/Historical Sites Several museums are in the downtown area, including the recently upgraded


Courtesy Georgia Aquarium

World Congress Center Area

Georgia Aquarium

memorial site, former home and church. The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum is also conveniently located to the World Congress Center.

Attractions Neighboring the World Congress Center is Centennial Olympic Park, a 21-acre park with features including a daily fountain show. Nearby 185-acre Piedmont Park offers jogging and walking paths, picnic areas, sports fields and access to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Just east of the city is Stone Mountain Park, featuring the world’s largest mass of exposed granite,

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hiking trails and activities for children. Six Flags over Georgia, an amusement park with high-speed roller coasters and other family-friendly rides, is 10 miles west of Atlanta. Zoo Atlanta, one of the nation’s oldest zoos, is within three miles of the World Congress Center.

Sports Atlanta is also home to five major sports teams. At nearby Turner Field, Major League Baseball fans can watch the Atlanta Braves play the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:35 p.m. June 20-21, the two nights prior to the Assembly. “It’s always great when Fellowship people get together,” said Jim Ross, chairman of the General Assembly steering committee. “If you can, come a few days early or stay a few days extra, or both. There’s a lot to see and do in Atlanta and the surrounding area. We want to welcome you.” f! LEARN – For more information on Atlanta area attractions, visit the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.atlanta. net.

By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

Schedule of Events Wednesday, June 21

Auxiliary Events

9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Invitation to Sabbath: A Clergy Day

1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Theological Education Banquet

Apart (off-site)

Thursday, June 22 7:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Auxiliary Events

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Resource Fair Open

9:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.


10:30 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.

General Session I

11: 45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Lunch & Auxiliary Events

2:00 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Workshops (includes Business Breakouts)

3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

State/Regional Meetings

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Dinner & Auxiliary Events

6:45 p.m.

Pre-Worship Gathering

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

General Session II

8:30 p.m.

Resource Fair Event

Friday, June 23 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Auxiliary Events

8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Resource Fair Open

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

General Session III

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Fellowship Time

11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Lunch & Auxiliary Events

2:00 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.


3:30 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.


5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Dinner & Auxiliary Events

6:45 p.m.

Pre-Worship Gathering

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

General Session IV

8:30 p.m.

Resource Fair Event

Saturday, June 24

Auxiliary Events

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Companions in Christ Training (off-site)

General Assembly


A sampling of

Workshops Experiencing Guided Prayer and Meditation Loyd Allen

Participants will practice the presence of God through a guided prayer and meditation experience followed by a dialogue about this experience. Living Long and Loving It Dan Bagby and panel

A workshop for anyone who works with senior adults in the local church or has an interest in that experience. The State of Women in Baptist Life Eileen Campbell-Reed and Pam Durso

Commissioned by Baptist Women in Ministry’s leadership team, this report surveys the situation of women across a broad spectrum of Baptist institutions and agencies during 2005 including top news stories, statistics and analysis. Non-traditional Approaches and Settings in Missions Panel of CBF Global Missions field personnel

By working in fields such as medicine, agriculture and education on equal terms with evangelism, CBF Global Missions field personnel strive to bring the whole gospel to the whole person — physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and socially. Living Positively: Initiating a Caring Response Related to HIV/AIDS John Derrick and panel

This is the culminating session of the

Auxiliary Events Fellowship and Training Event for Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors This event is a new opportunity for chaplains, pastoral counselors, retirees, those who are interested in pastoral care ministry in CBF, and spouses if applicable. Date: Wednesday, June 21 Time: 9 a.m.-noon Location: The Omni Hotel, Atlanta Resource Person: Molly Marshall, president, professor of theology and spiritual formation, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Kan. Continuing Education Unit: The Association of Professional Chaplains

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

General Assembly

HIV/AIDS Summit that looks at resources and ideas related to formulating an individual and organizational response. Crazy Families of the Bible: A Resource for Bible Study and Family Ministry Diana and David Garland

There are many “crazy families” in the Bible whom God used for great things. We can learn about our own families and find God working through us as we look at the stories of biblical families. How to Partner with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Karen Gilbert and Laura Cadena

Learn how your church or organization can partner with CBF to be the presence of Christ. This workshop will discuss changes as a result of the PartnerKaren Gilbert ship Study and include an overview of current partnerships. Feeding Hungry Souls: Training Layleaders in China Jonnie Hill

The Church in China is growing so rapidly that there are not enough leaders to disciple new believers. This workshop investigates how Christians can undergird the work of our Chinese brother and sisters.

Captive to Conscience: Congregational Foundations of Baptist Dissent Bill Leonard

This session explores early Baptist responses to dissent for “conscience’s sake” as grounded in the idea of a believers’ church. These foundational concepts may inform contemporary responses of Baptist congregations and individuals to controversies in the church and in the public square. The Shiloh Network: Congregation as Cultures of Call Discover how a network of churches have covenanted together to encourage the development of congregations as “cultures of calling.” This is a focused effort at calling the next generation to serve our churches as ministers. Finding Meaning in Dying, Death and Grief Candace McKibben

Explore ways of navigating the journey through dying and death that allows dignity and grace for all involved. Discover ways to reframe relationships with those who have died that allows for grief and healing by retaining a new connection. Mining for Gold: Lessons from Job Jeanie Miley

William E. Hull

Using her new book, “Sitting Strong: Wrestling with the Ornery God,” Jeanie Miley gleans wisdom from the book of Job for dealing with long-term suffering.

This workshop equips participants to find meaning in life’s tragedies and traumas. Way of the Pilgrim: Spiritual Formation for Young Adults Kara Lassen Oliver

Come learn about the latest resource for spiritual formation from The Upper Room. This workshop will be an experiential hour of spiritual disciplines, reflection and strategies for sharing this journey with older youth and young adults. Building Cross-Cultural Relationships

George Mason and Jack Glasgow

The Marks of a Missional Church Learn about the core characteristics of missional churches in their biblical expression with application to congregational ministry in our day.


Albert Reyes

This workshop will answer the question, how can I communicate and build a relationship with people from different cultures, different countries or who Albert Reyes speak a different language? How can I share Christ with them? This year’s selections also include during each workshop session: • an ongoing Bible study • “The Art and Craft of Preaching” and • worship samplers.

OFFICIAL HOTEL I N F O R M AT I O N To reserve your hotel online, go to GeneralAssembly/reg.icm 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 “This experience will enable our CBF chaplains and pastoral counselors to have increased interaction with each other, discussion about the CBF chaplaincy and pastoral counseling ministry, and continuing education for development,” said George Pickle, CBF associate coordinator for chaplaincy and pastoral counseling. “I am extremely pleased that Dr. Molly Marshall will be our resource person.” Make reservations by contacting Jennifer Van Camp at (770) 220-1645 or “Living Positively: An HIV/AIDS Summit” Date: Wednesday and Thursday, June 21-22 Time: 1-5:30 p.m., June 21; 8-10 a.m., June 22 Features: Keynote speaker at 1 p.m. Wednesday, three breakouts featuring panels and a concert at 5:30 p.m. Thursday morning will begin with a breakfast and then finish with an interactive time to generate responses by individuals, churches and CBF. Theological Education Banquet Date: Wednesday, June 21 Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m. John Tiede will be the keynote speaker. His subject will be “Theological Educa-

tion as Leader Education.” Tiede is recently retired as president of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and is the past president of the Association of Theological Schools. Invitation to Sabbath: A Clergy Day Apart Date: Wednesday, June 21 Time: 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Location: Wieuca Road Baptist Church, 362 Peachtree Road, Atlanta Anyone seeking Sabbath is invited to attend a day to be “with” God sponsored by Advent Spirituality Center, a ministry that calls all to a growing life in God. Facilitating the day will be Fil Anderson, author of “Running on Empty: Contemplative Spirituality for Overachievers,” and Paula Dempsey, pastor and director of the Advent Center. Registration fee, which includes lunch and breaks, is $50. To register, send a check to Advent Center, PO Box 191, Mars Hill, NC 28754, or write

Omni at CNN Center, Single/Double/Triple/ Quad – $109.00 plus tax (Current room tax 15%) The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Single/Double/Triple/ Quad – $105.00 plus tax (Current room tax 15%)

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

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

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Fellowship field personnel bring ‘Bread of Life’ to New York City residents


hen Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Greater Restoration Baptist Church (GRBC) outreach leader Mary-Katherine Williams talks to teens that attend the church’s after-school program No Limitz, she often hears

stories that give her pause.

Lance Wallace photo

to provide a haven for young people in the “They told us about how on the day neighborhood, located in the Hell’s Kitchthey were taking their standardized tests to en area. According to field personnel Jesse determine if they would move to the next grade, every student was searched for guns,” Williams recalled. “It can be a dangerous, stressful environment for our kids.” Williams is one of three CBF Global Missions field personnel serving in New York City as part of CBF’s Global Missions Urban Team. She works closely with residents of Albany Homes, a Jesse Loper leads a small group at the first Faith in 3D youth housing project of more than conference. a thousand apartments. Loper, RMM director of youth and ESOL The urban ministries in New York City (English for Speakers of Other Languages) are highlighted as part of MissionConprograms, the center has been a success. nect, the Offering for Global Mission’s “I think of the center as a work in progspring emphasis, which encourages personal missions involvement. This year’s Offering theme, based on John 6:35, is “Famished Lands … The Bread of Life.” The Offering goal is $6.32 million. LEARN – For more about the Offering In December 2005, GRBC hosted its anfor Global Missions free resources, visit nual Christmas Store and also gave gifts to Missions/OGM/. 45 children at Albany Homes. The store enPRAY – Mary-Katherine Williams asks for abled 18 families from the community to pay prayer for Albany Homes residents, especially a greatly reduced price for gifts such as electhe teens who attend GRBC’s after-school programs. Prayer is also needed for the two tronics, board games and educational toys. upcoming summer camps. The store is dependent on donations, many • Jesse Loper requests prayer for the teen of which come from Fellowship churches. center and that the young people who need it This summer, GRBC will be holding most would be reached. two camps with an expanded schedule, • Ronnie Adams seeks prayer for RMM’s including one at Albany Homes. ability to continue their ministry to people in Over in midtown Manhattan, crisis, especially for their emotional and spiritual Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries (RMM) support. opened a teen center in September 2005

ress,” he said. “We’re providing consistency for our youth, a safe place to come. We’ve developed a core group of teens who come on a daily basis. And we’re impacting the neighborhood we live in and work in.” Younger youth attend “the time,” a weekly gathering that includes games, activities and Bible study. Older teens take part in Wednesdays on West Fortieth by having Bible study and discussions. RMM also continues to reach out to the homeless community and to residents living with HIV/AIDS. Program consultant and field personnel Ronnie Adams partners with RMM, which operates a winter clothes closet. “We’ve had several shipments come

from CBF churches, which have been of great assistance to us,” he said. RMM’s AIDS Christmas Cheer Program was a success, Adams said. “We handed out 75 packets this year that included Metro [transit] cards, a movie ticket and a devotional guidebook,” he said. “It was well received and the people were very appreciative. A church from Virginia donated phone cards so that folks could call their families during the holidays.” Adams pointed out that while there are medications available to treat HIV/AIDS, there is still no cure. “Here in our city, the biggest issue is apathy,” he said. “We’re always sharing that it is still a life-threatening disease. People of faith should be very much involved in this issue.” f! By contributing writer Traci Rylands, Atlanta

How to Respond GIVE – To give to the Offering, please use the contribution envelope in this issue and mark your check “Offering for Global Missions.” Or visit Williams, Loper and Adams also updated GRBC and RMM’s current and upcoming needs: • Clothes Closet. Coats, especially larger sizes. • Toiletry Kits. Gallon-size plastic bags containing travel-size items such as toothpaste, soap, a comb, a washcloth, shampoo and lotion are always needed for the homeless. Groups can send multiples of one item or fully-assembled kits. • Teen Center. The center has only one computer, more are needed. • Summer Camps. GRBC is seeking funds to

hire local staff to run the two upcoming summer camps. Sports equipment such as basketballs, soccer balls and jump ropes are needed. Sponsors are needed to provide scholarships for children to attend PASSPORT camp. Items or donations may be sent to: Metro Baptist Church Attn: Rauschenbusch Center 410 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018 or Greater Restoration Baptist Church Attn: Mary-Katherine Williams 1156 St. John’s Place Brooklyn, NY 11213

Rural poverty initiative gets new name, Web site


“‘Hope’ remains the key. ‘For’ is more proactive and challenging. ‘Together’ is more inviting and less formal than ‘partner,’” Prevost said. The 20 poorest counties are located in five main regions — Appalachia; the Black Belt of Alabama, so named because of its rich, dark soil; Mississippi River Delta; the High Plains; and Rio Grande River Valley. The focal counties are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota and Texas. f! LEARN – The rural poverty initiative also has a new Web site, which can be accessed

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at TFH. The Web site holds additional information about TFH, as well as reports

from the ministry’s various locations.

By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

Together for Hope Omar Chavarria, left, and Guillermo Escobar give blankets to a family living in a South Texas colonia in January. Chavarria is a CBF-funded intern working with Buckner Border Ministries and Escobar and his wife, Maura, are interns from the Baptist University of the Américas. The internship program — along with Together for Hope, CBF’s rural poverty initiative — bring together CBF, BUA and Buckner Children and Family Services. The ministry among colonias is highlighted in CBF’s missions education resources for March 2006. The April resources focus on CBF’s work among immigrants to Europe.

Field Personnel in NYC

Photo by Scott Collins, Buckner Benevolences

THE FELLOWSHIP’S rural poverty initiative is moving into its fifth year with a new name — Together for Hope. Formerly called Partners in Hope, Together for Hope (TFH) is the Fellowship’s 20-year commitment to community development in 20 of the nation’s poorest counties. The ministry’s growth over the past five years created the need for a new and distinctive name, according to TFH national coordinator Tom Prevost. Together for Hope also better reflects the ministry’s objectives and methods.


Rural Pover ty Initiative



N.C. couple meets needs of Slavic immigrants through AsYouGo service


uring her two years as a missionary in Hong Kong, Fran

Courtesy Fran and Mike Graham

varying capacities. Many come from the Grahams’ church, First Baptist Church in Graham best remembers the hospitality shown to her. The Asheville. Some volunteers help with annual events or at holidays like Thanksgivlocals shared their culture, fostered a friendship and became Fran’s ing, when Fran invites Slavic people into American homes to experience the holiday home away from home. Thirty years later, Fran and her husband, tradition. In Asheville, the Slavics have their Mike, are following that example of hospitality among Slavic own churches — nine, in fact — that offer worship services in their native language. immigrants in their own town of Asheville, N.C. The Grahams’ ministry among the by a local food bank. Nearby churches “God put on my heart to work with Slavics started humbly. Fran began volhave donated anything from coats to immigrants and welcome them to Amerunteering and before long Mike was ica — I always feel like it’s so important helping, too. More to share, ‘We’re glad you’re here’ because volunteering led to they aren’t going to be welcomed by evgreater awareness of eryone,” Fran said. community needs. As Cooperative Baptist Fellowship But, “never in a milAsYouGo affiliates, the Grahams are helplion years did we ing to meet needs among the approximately dream it would grow 7,000 Slavic immigrants residing in Asheinto this,” Fran said. ville. Many Slavics — people whose native “It’s so wonderful. We tongue is Belorussian, Bulgarian, Czech, just accept them, love Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene, Russian, or them and hope that Ukrainian — arrive with no more than two God uses everything bags of belongings and the clothes they’re we do.” wearing. Often they stay initially with relaEveryday ministry tives in a crowded apartment that might ranges from deliverFran Graham distributes coats to Slavic children new to the U.S. already house up to 15 people. ing necessary items computers. The Grahams also distribute The Grahams see themselves as a resuch as mattresses or just developing donations of services, such as the dentists source ministry to meet individual and friendships with new people in the comwho spent a week last May providing dencommunity needs. They connect Slavic munity. But the ministry can’t happen families with less-crowded housing optal services at a nominal fee for the largely until the Grahams leave their day jobs at a uninsured Slavic community. tions, food, clothes and furniture donalocal facility for troubled youth. In its three years, the Slavic ministry tions. In April 2002, Fran began delivering “It is helpful to me that most of the Slavhas involved more than 250 volunteers in groceries once a week that were provided ic people stay up late at night!” Fran said.

AsYouGo allows individuals being sent to do missions work to affiliate with CBF Global Missions, even if they are funded by churches, have full-time employment, or some combination of both. “Skilled people from all walks of life are asking themselves, ‘What does it mean to be a Christian and live out faith in service?,’” said Matt Norman, associate coordinator for career and affiliate selection. “The AsYouGo program invites people to answer this question by using their vocational skills and passions to be the presence of Christ among the most neglected.” As the Grahams seek the resources necessary to support this growing ministry, the affiliate program has given the extra credibility necessary to seek support from other churches. As affiliates, the Grahams have also been able to embrace a call to missions that allows them to maintain their current employment. “This has given us a way to do a little bit more than being on a committee at church. I never felt called to be a pastor or serve on a church staff, so it’s fulfilling to be able to do things that are ministry and missions related without being on a church staff,” Mike said. f! LEARN – For more information about AsYouGo, contact Matt Norman at (770) 220-1609 or visit destinationmissions.

By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications

CBF Global Missions unveils new missions education resources CBF GLOBAL MISSIONS hopes to form, spark, ignite and affect missions involvement through new missions education resources for all ages. “For several years, we have provided solid missions education material for use by our partnering churches,” said Jack Snell, interim Global Missions coordinator, “but the new curriculum makes a quantum leap in providing material that is attractive, userfriendly and theologically and missiologically sound, and that will enable users to become familiar with the work CBF Global Missions is doing around the world.” The curriculum is geared to the needs of local congregations and their missions leaders, said Tamara Tillman, CBF associate coordinator for missions education. As part of a yearlong process, CBF Global Missions surveyed more than 300 missions leaders, held listening sessions and enlisted the help of an advisory group that “charted what they felt we must do to respond to our users,” Tillman explained. New products include: • Form™, the preschool resource, designed to help form preschoolers’ ideas

about God, others and themselves. Preschoolers will learn through experiences such as blocks, art, music, nature, puzzles, books, group time and CBF Global Missions field personnel stories. A quarterly publication with weekly sessions, Form™ can be adapted for younger and older preschoolers and includes color resources. • Spark™, the children’s resource, intended to spark children’s interest in missions. Spark™ lessons will offer children and leaders many choices, covering six areas of interest — field personnel profiles, food, the arts, games, cultural experiences and the Bible. A quarterly publication with weekly sessions, Spark™ can be modified for use by younger and older children or a large or small group. • Ignite™, the youth resource, a 12-month plan to fuel teenagers’ passion for missions. This resource — divided into 12, self-contained chapters — includes missions studies, Bible studies,

Affiliates Minister Among Slav ic Immigrants


project ideas and worship ideas and can be used in a retreat format or as a weekly study guide. • Affect™, the adult resource, which will encourage a missional lifestyle among adults by giving them missions insight and opportunities to respond. Affect™ participants will receive a monthly, magazine-like product with a feature story, devotional reflection, book group suggestions, prayer calendar and a call to action — accompanied by a leader’s guide for using the materials in missions study groups, Bible studies and worship services. “These resources will help churches become more missional,” said CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal. “They are biblical in foundation, global in scope and relevant to today’s world. The face of missions is changing daily, but the mandate of our Lord remains the same. It is encouraging to me that CBF missions is practical and personal while being strategic. These resources will inform and form all who use it.” Advisory group member Beverly Greer of Belton, S.C., agreed, saying the resources

New Missions Education Resources

“will more effectively resource our churches as they strive to be the presence of Christ.” “We were conscious of the need to keep prices affordable for subscribers and were amazed with what we were able to produce with the slightest increase … annual prices actually decreased!” Tillman said. f! LEARN – The resources will be released in June at the CBF General Assembly in conjunction with the Fellowship’s 15th anniversary. Tamara Tillman will lead a General Assembly workshop titled, “Inspiring Your Church through Missions Education.” Training events specific to each new resource will also be held at the Assembly. Sample lessons can be downloaded this May from Pricing information will also be available online. The resources can be ordered in May through The CBF Store at www.thefellowship. info or (888) 801-4223. For more information, contact Tillman at (770) 220-1619 or

By contributing writer Melanie Kieve, Alabaster, Ala.

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Age 36, president of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Foundation Education: M.Div. at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, B.A. at Gardner-Webb University Experience: Development director for United Methodist Family Services, Don Durham vice president for foundation development at the Albright Care Foundation, and assistant to the president and director of gift planning at Gardner-Webb University So what’s your job? I’m responsible for running the CBF Foundation. CBFF exists to help individuals who have a passion for the ministries CBF is involved in and want to provide permanent financial support for that work. By helping individuals set up endowment funds, we provide a growing permanent source of funding for CBF ministries and partners. We also provide endowment management and promotion services for other CBF-related ministry organizations, churches and partners. What are ways I can give to CBF Foundation? All of CBFF’s fundraising efforts are focused on creating endowments, which are permanent funds that are invested for long-term growth and income. A fund’s yearly growth, not the fund’s principal, supports CBF ministry. Of course, folks can always write checks. Most donors are also aware they can give stock, mutual funds or real estate. Through life income gifts like charitable trusts or gift annuities, donors both give to CBF and receive a portion of the investment profits as income. I also hear people say they like the convenience of using the Foundation to make a one-gift arrangement that eventually benefits several CBF ministries, partners or even their own church. What services does CBF Foundation offer churches? We function like a community foundation for CBF. We offer excellent investment and fund management services for endowment funds of any kind — cemetery funds, scholarship funds, or even short-term operating reserves. In the long run, what really makes a difference in the dramatic growth of an endowment fund is how well it is promoted. We’re developing a good record of working with our clients to train their teams and help them implement an appropriate plan for educating their members about the church’s endowment fund as a tool for helping the church fulfill its God-given mission. What are your hobbies? Scuba diving, surfing, sailing, swimming and playing guitar LEARN – For more information, contact Durham at (770) 220-1663 or Or visit CBF/Foundation/Foundation.icm. By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications


journey As We

By CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal

A glance (not a gaze) backwards THIS YEAR the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship celebrates its 15th anniversary. The following reflection is a brief recounting of some significant milestones in our brief history. 1990 The Consultation for Concerned Baptists was where 3,000 of us gathered for conversation and renewal. 1990 The Baptist Cooperative Missions Program was established as an alternative funding mechanism for disenfranchised Southern Baptists. 1991 At this first General Assembly, we adopted “An Address to the Public,” a document crafted by Cecil Sherman and Walter Shurden, that is the preamble to our Constitution. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship was formed and named.

Baptist Builders help Katrina victims rebuild — Continued from page 1

1991 The Baptist Fellowship of Florida became the CBF of Florida. This was the first of 18 state and regional CBF organizations. 1992 Cecil Sherman became the founding coordinator. 1992 CBF became a mission-sending and supporting organization by welcoming John David and JoAnn Hopper and T and Kathy Thomas as its first four missioners. 1992 Keith Parks became the founding coordinator of Global Missions. 1994 The CBF Foundation was established. 1995 A mission statement was adopted that identified us as “a Fellowship of Baptist Christians and Churches who share a passion for the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice.” 1998 We became an endorsing body for chaplains, pastoral counselors and ministers in specialized settings.

with Katrina evacuees, often struggling to find the financial resources and staff to care for a quadrupled patient load, said Tammie Gross, M&T’s director. coordinates Baptist Builders’ support “It takes money to take care of these for displaced pastors. “But the burden people and to keep them off the streets,” of restoration is on the shoulders of the Gross said. “The need is so overwhelming, church.” and the funding resources are so limited.” Seeing the church as a mechanism of In the case of Katrina evacurenewal, Baptist Builders ees, time might not heal all has provided 13 displaced wounds. Frustration and tenNew Orleans pastors sion levels have continued to with $500 grants to help rise as Gulf Coast residents cope get back on their feet. with the loss of life as they once More than 30 additional knew it. displaced pastors have “It’s really sinking in that they been located and will also don’t have a place to go and that receive the grant. For 11 everything is gone,” Gross said. Baton Rouge area churches Many evacuees will regain that offered shelter or their financial footing, but for offered various services for those whose financial situation evacuees, Baptist Builders was bleak before Katrina, the provided reimbursement future is uncertain. For that grants at $2,000 or Gus Spurlock, a Baton Rouge pastor and coordinator of Baptist Builders’ assistance population, Baptist Builders $1,000, respectively. The for displaced pastors, talks with a New Orleans rental home owner about renovataims to continue providing asreimbursement helped ing properties flooded during Katrina. sistance and advocacy, particurelieve some of the larly through the avenue of churches. lies also received Christmas clothes, toys unbudgeted expenses incurred by churches “We are convinced that as we bring and shoes through Baptist Builders. like New Light Missionary Baptist Church, churches back together, they will help to “Thank God for Baptist Builders,” said which spent $28,000 to feed and house up rebuild and restructure some families. And Leola Nero, whose apartment was located to 150 evacuees for three months. ultimately we’re talking about rebuilding by Baptist Builders. As time passes, frustrations will rise lives,” Winters said. f! Baptist Builders is also providing asamong Katrina victims, many of whom live in sistance for evacuees with mental illness cramped travel trailers provided by the Federal LEARN – For more information on Baptist or substance abuse problems. Through a Emergency Management Agency. The trailers Builders, visit or partnership with M&T Outpatient Rehaare supposed to be a rent-free, temporary contact Baton Rouge program coordinator bilitation, Baptist Builders has provided option, which helps residents save money for Elmo Winters at (225) 775-2053 or info@ financial support for seven individuals to a place of their own. But many New Orleans live in specialized housing. Mental service houses flooded. For evacuees who were organizations like M&T are overwhelmed impoverished before Katrina, affording a By Carla Wynn, CBF Communications housing alternative is difficult. “The people who suffer the most are the poor — the ones who have no one to fight for them,” Winters said. Baptist Builders has helped connect 13 families with affordable housing, often paying the security deposit and helping some with rental payments. Some of these fami-

Carla Wynn photo

Leadership Profile: Don Durham

1999 A strategic plan was adopted that set forth a new mission statement, four priorities and 14 initiatives. 2000 The Church Benefits Board began in partnership with American Baptist Churches USA. 2001 The coordinating council adopted a funding and hiring policy regarding homosexuality causing grief for some, encouragement for others and pain for everyone. 2002 The first of several large anonymous gifts for global missions was received, increasing confidence and helping financial planning for the future. 2003 The Baptist World Alliance voted to admit CBF as a member body. 2005 The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Offering for Religious Liberty and Human Rights was inaugurated. 2005 New definitions, guidelines and policies were adopted that clarified CBF’s relationship with partnering organizations. Many other decisions and developments, too numerous to mention here, have formed us through the years. CBF exists today because divine Providence works through courageous and convictional Baptists who have dreamed, sacrificed, loved and prayed. Some are well-known. Most are little known, except to God. f!

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‘A s W e J o u r n e y ’


Baptist Builders


Leadership Profile



Fellowship Roundup: News from CBF’s states, regions and national offices CBF of Arkansas Spring Conference is April 21-22 at Second Baptist Church in downtown Little Rock. Tony Campolo will speak Friday night and Saturday morning. Musical artist Kate Campbell will perform in both worship events. • Discovering New Directions for Traditional Churches with guest speaker Mike Tutterow, pastor of Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta, will be held May 15-16, at Second Baptist Church, Little Rock. This conference is for pastors with their pastoral team members and lay leaders. Facilitators for the noon to noon conference are Dave Odom, Center for Congregational Health, and Bill Bruster, recently retired CBF Networking coordinator. The conference is open to teams from Arkansas’ neighboring states. For more information, contact CBF of Arkansas at (501) 223-8586 or

■ Florida First Baptist Church of Cocoa welcomed Ronda Cole as its new minister to students in December. The church ordained Cole in the gospel ministry on Jan. 15 upon the unanimous recommendation of the ordination council. CBF-endorsed Chaplain Ann Taylor Owen preached the message. Cole is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and Campbell University. Prior to accepting the position with First Baptist Cocoa, she served as a chaplain intern at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. CBF Florida welcomes Cole to Florida.

■ Georgia Bo Prosser, national CBF coordinator for congregational life, conducted a conference on the missional church on Feb. 6 at the CBF/ GA office in Macon. The conference was attended by pastors, staff members and laity. • The 2006 General Assembly of CBF/GA will be held at First Baptist Church of Athens from March 3 at noon through March 4 at noon. This year’s theme is “All Cracked Up.” Jim Dant, pastor of Highland Hills Baptist Church of Macon, will speak Friday evening and Saturday morning. Participants will experience

Coming Attractions JUNE 21-24 CBF General Assembly Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga. Info: www.thefellowship. info/CL/GeneralAssembly/ 2006.icm LEARN – For a list of other events, go to www. CBF/ Calendar.

Fellowship Roundup

the presence of God not only through worship, but also through ministry networks, fellowship and a total of 22 workshops. • Baptist Women in Ministry of Georgia will hold its spring meeting at New Heights Baptist Church in Macon, April 22. A luncheon, business meeting and awards presentation will follow the worship service at 10:30 a.m. For additional information, e-mail Karen Pennings at or call (478) 714-0380 or (478) 6331527. • Touching Taliaferro With Love Day Camp will be June 11-16 and June 18-23. Touching Taliaferro With Love Baseball Camp will be June 26-30. For additional information, contact Jimmy Lewis at

■ Kentucky “Experience Independence: Youth Mission Weekend” will be held March 24-26 in Independence. Kentucky Baptist Fellowship and Miami Baptist Association (Cincinnati) will co-sponsor the event for youth which will combine education, missions and church planting. Leaders for the event will be church planters Johnny Lewis and Jonathan Eskridge. • “Tools for the Journey: Equipping the Saints for the Work of Ministry” is the theme for the 2006 Spring Gathering for KBF to be held April 28-29 at First Baptist, Shepherdsville. Bo Prosser will conduct a leadership seminar called “The Missional Church Tool Box.” Kevin Cosby will be the keynote speaker. • Craig Cantrall, administrative assistant for KBF, has taken a position as a chaplain in Springfield, Ill. Cantrall is endorsed by CBF.

■ Missouri CBF of Missouri will hold its annual General Assembly meeting at Kirkwood Baptist Church in St. Louis, April 28-29. Assembly events include a Leadership Seminar on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on “The Practicing Congregation” led by Diana Butler Bass. Bass is the author of four critically acclaimed books, including “The Practicing Congregation: Imagining a New Old Church.” This seminar is for laity and clergy alike and will be based on Bass’ “Practicing Congregation” book. Pianist Joseph Martin will provide Friday evening entertainment. Emmanuel McCall will be the featured speaker on Saturday. McCall currently serves as the moderator-elect of CBF. • Opportunities exist for dentists, dental assistants and hygienists to serve on one of four Native American reservations as part of Delta Dental in South Dakota the weeks of June 5, 12, and 19 and July 24. For more information, contact CBFMO at (816) 415-0009.

■ National The Fellowship is partnering with the China Christian Council to bring

“A Lamp to my Feet, a Light to my Path -- China Bible Ministry Exhibition” to the United States this spring. The exhibition showcases how Chinese Christians love God’s Word, how the good news in the Bible has been spread in China, and how Christ’s body has been built up under the consistent guidance of the Word. The dates and cities for the exhibition are: April 28-May 4, Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, Calif.; May 20-24, SecondPonce de Leon Baptist Church, Atlanta; and June 6-15, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City. • CBF employees marking 10-year employment anniversaries include Steve Johnson and Michele Deriso.

■ North Carolina The Coordinating Council of the CBF of North Carolina has called Linda Marie Jones as missions coordinator. Jones has served on the staff of Winter Park Baptist Church in Wilmington since 1996, Linda Jones most recently as associate pastor of missions and outreach. Jones and her husband, Joseph, will move to the WinstonSalem area to begin her new ministry around March 1. • CBFNC hosted its first ever Youth Ski Retreat in January with more than 300 in attendance. Kyle Matthews was the worship leader for the event. • The 2006 Youth Ministers' Retreat for Rest & Renewal was held in February at Beach Cove Resort in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. The retreat featured worship led by John Hendrix and a variety of seminars. • The 13th Annual General Assembly of CBFNC will be held March 17-18 at Ardmore Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. With the theme of "Living Water in a Starbucks®™ World,” the Assembly will include workshops, worship style samples, exhibits and a traditional Moravian chicken pie fellowship meal. Daniel Vestal will preach during the Friday evening worship, with featured musician Ernie Rushing. Larry Hovis will preach at the Saturday morning communion service with music by The Baptist Fellowship Choir of North Carolina. • Cecil E. Sherman, the first national coordinator for CBF, will receive the sixth annual Judson-Rice Award at an April 21 dinner at First Baptist Church of Asheville, N.C. The event is sponsored by the board of directors of Baptists Today and is open to the public. Sherman will give an address following dinner and a tribute by James H. Slatton, pastor emeritus of River Road Church, Baptist in Richmond. Reservations for the dinner may be made by calling toll-free at (877) 752-5658. Cost is $20 per person.

• In mid-December, Wake Forest Baptist Student Union sent 13 students to Pearlington, Miss., to work with the CBF Disaster Response Team. The team prepared houses for rebuilding and helped remove debris.

■ Tennessee

recent seminary or divinity school graduates to Wilshire for two years of practical training before going to pastorates of their own. Wilshire began its pastoral residency program in 2002 with an $800,000 Lilly grant and already has produced three graduates — Jay Hogewood, Ann Bell Worley

The 2006 Tennessee CBF General and Jake Hall. Current pastoral Assembly will try a one-day, familyresidents are Sean Allen, Andrew friendly format this year. The annual Daugherty, Amy Grizzle and David meeting will be held Saturday, April 22, King. For more information, visit at First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro. or contact Mark The theme of the meeting is Wingfield at (214) 452-3128. “Breathe.” Worship leaders will be Molly Marshall, president of Central ■ Virginia Seminary, and Kyle Matthews, CBF of Virginia missionaries Greg Christian artist from Nashville. Special and Sue Smith have built their 2-yeartracks will be offered for preschoolers, old ministry among Hispanics on a children, youth and young adults as principle that has served the Fellowship well as emphases on family/parenting, well — partnership. After serving for missions and the arts. 12 years in Costa Rica, the Smiths • The TCBF staff is currently wanted to continue ministry with the assisting with three new church Hispanic population. During their first starts. First Baptist Church of Knoxville is starting a new Hispanic church, and TCBF is providing a financial grant to aid this work. Olive Branch Fellowship in Olive Branch, Miss., is a cooperative effort of the state CBF organizations Greg Smith, foreground, Heather Gomez, Kyle Smith and Victor in Mississippi Gomez serve Mexican “ponche” and tamales during the 2004 and Tennessee Posada hosted by LUCHA Ministries in a predominantly Hispanic as well as three neighborhood of Fredericksburg. Memphis churches — Trinity Baptist, Cordova; First year of serving in Fredericksburg, the Baptist, Memphis; and Second Baptist, Smiths assessed how to work with Memphis. TCBF is also working Hispanic issues in the state and met with Trinity Baptist Church, a new Heather and Victor Gomez. After church sponsored by First Baptist brainstorming, the couples helped Murfreesboro. develop two organizations. LUCHA • A team from Tennessee (Latinos United through Christ in celebrated with Croatian Baptists Brotherhood and Support) Ministries, from Nov. 11-13. Mike Young, TCBF a Christian community-based missions coordinator, and Jerry outreach ministry among Latinos in Mantooth, pastor of Monte Vista Fredericksburg, is sponsored by the Baptist in Maryville represented TCBF CBF of Virginia and Fredericksburg at the celebration. Greg Reed, United Methodist Church. For more Matthew Evans, Jud Reasons and information, visit www.luchaministries. Pastor Bill Shiell represented First org. The Latino Network is a statewide Baptist Knoxville. They attended a partnership among established Baptist national meeting with 500 Croatian organizations in Virginia that combines pastors, youth and lay leaders at the resources from the CBF of Virginia, Pastoral Center in Cakovek. Team Baptist General Association of Virginia, members also met with Zeljko Mraz, Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia, general secretary of the Baptist Union Baptist Theological Seminary at of Croatia, and Thoma Magda, Richmond and the John Leland Center president of the Union. A team of for Theological Studies. The network 24 from First Baptist will be finishing primarily focuses on strengthening 16 dorm rooms, youth rooms, Hispanic ministers. The Latino Network landscaping, and providing training to offers an annual gathering for pastors. pastors and laity in the Cakovec area The “Tercer Encuentro de Pastores y as part of a missions trip April 20-29. Líderes” (Third Gathering of Pastors and Leaders) will be April 28-29 in ■ Texas Fredericksburg. The second “Retiro The Lilly Endowment has awarded de Pastores y Familias” (Pastors Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas a and Families Retreat) will be held at second round of funding for its unique CrossRoads Camp and Conference pastoral residency program. The Center on Aug. 17-19. $850,000 grant will fund another five years of the program that brings Courtesy of LUCHA Ministries

■ Arkansas

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Courtesy FBC


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Elkin community — including Baptists, THE MISSIONAL JOURNEY started Presbyterians and Methodists — have by First Baptist Church in Elkin, N.C., partnered with First Baptist Elkin to paris impacting Elkin and Moldova. This ticipate in the project. journey has impacted the church, the First Baptist Elkin works in conjunction people, and the community as residents with Little Samaritan Mission, a non-profit reach out beyond themselves. organization that has worked in Moldova, Each year, First Baptist Elkin joins with Siberia and Romania since the early 1980s. Little Samaritan Missions’ Face of a Child project to pack hundreds of bags for orphans in Moldova. Volunteers have packed and sent various clothing and school supply items to an orphanage in Falesti, Moldova, since adopting this project in 1999. Most years, church members travel to Moldova to help deliver the bags to orphanages. Ben and Liz Mastin first introduced Suzanne Puckett to the idea. Now Puckett coordinates the Face of a Bags fill the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Elkin, N.C., awaiting Child project. delivery to orphans in Moldova. “It’s amazing to be able to go,” More than 30 state orphanages depend on Puckett said. “To pack this bag for the child LSM to provide clothing, shoes, medicine, and actually hand it to that child.” coal for heating, food items, hot water heatMany church members request to buy ers, mattresses and electrical generators. items and pack bags for the same child each The church also participates in other year. Puckett receives photographs of each missional projects. First Baptist Elkin child which provide a visual for church memmembers donate food and volunteer time bers as they purchase and pack each bag. to Tri-Country Christian Crisis Ministry, “We just feel like we know that these a volunteer-based organization that assists kids are taken care of,” Puckett said. “We’ve families. The church’s Baptist Men group grown to love these kids.” engages in annual projects, particularly In many cases, orphanages in Molrepair work at Caswell Campus and Condova are full of children who have living ference Center. The Women’s Missionary parents who are unable to care for the Union informs the church about missions children. In the winter, as the cost of living projects and participates in local projects. rises, many new children fill the orphan“We are a very mission-minded church, in ages. As summer arrives, children often go our community and overseas,” Puckett said. f! back to their homes to work for their parents on farms or in other capacities. LEARN – For more information on the “They are just so amazed with the gifts Face of a Child project, call (336) 835that we bring to them and that we continue 1998. For more about becoming a missional to do it every year,” Puckett said. “They church, visit have hope because they can count on us.” A multitude of other churches in the By Courtney Hodges, CBF Communications

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(800) 352-8741

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

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

N.C. church engages community to help orphans in Moldova — Continued

Lance Wallace photo

Candler’s Baptist Studies celebrates 15 years




‘It’s Time’ missional church grants available


General Assembly preview


Personnel bring ‘Bread of Life’ to NYC


During celebration of Communion at the Faith in 3D conference, representatives from the groups of Baptists, Episcopalians and Presbyterians helped serve at stations throughout the hall.

Story on page 1

A glance back at CBF’s history

Youth explore faith during ecumenical conference

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


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f fellowship!


March/April 2006 fellowship!  
March/April 2006 fellowship!