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A publication of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship •



SUZII PAYNTER is Executive Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Follow her on Twitter at @SuziiSYP.

The Particularity of Disaster Relief DISASTER. It can touch any life. It can touch thousands of lives. Have you ever noticed how the word is used? Disaster relief, disaster recovery, disaster movies, disaster workers and disaster mobilization to name a few. The word “disaster” is used for assessment and impact. It is used regionally and generically. “Disaster” is a word used mostly by leaders and helpers to organize when many are affected. It is rare, however, for the person or persons affected to say, “I’ve had a disaster.” No, there is much more particularity when you are on the receiving end. “My house was hit by a tornado.” “My house was burned by a wildfire.” “My street was flooded in the dark of the night.” “My roof was blown away by the storm.” The suffering is particular, and the verbs and objects used are always explicit and strong. My first brush with disaster came April 3, 1974, in Louisville, Ky. How about you? Maybe you are one of many who remember the horrific tornado that tore through Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and uprooted the lives of many friends and colleagues. I remember being surrounded by total chaos, mud and shock. Our car was crushed, and the trees, which had just a few hours prior shaded our street with a green canopy were now a jumble of logs, branches and roots blocking every door, window and walkway. The National Guard helicopters were the only things hovering above our street. As the day turned to night, rain poured in the tornado’s aftermath and, although I could hear their voices, I could not see even my closest neighbors for days to come. Thank goodness for disaster workers who knew what to do. Suffering is particular and so is recovery. But it is rare that a person recovers alone. We are put back together one life and one family at a time. We need the corporate efforts of disaster recovery specialists to handle issues that are far beyond our control — lack of water and electricity, debris removal,

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WE SERVE IN A VERY PARTICULAR CHRIST-LIKE WAY. WE HONOR EACH INDIVIDUAL TRAGEDY AND WORK TO FILL IN THE GAPS THAT INEVITABLY HAPPEN AS EACH PERSON TAKES STEPS ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY. sanitation, security and protection concerns. But we are not yet recovered until we are restored one particular roof, one particular wall and one particular home at a time. This is not so different from being the body of Christ and functioning as a church. We have seen disaster this summer, and we have seen the cooperative efforts of CBF of Louisiana, CBF of Mississippi, CBF U.S. Disaster Response Director Alan Williams, CBF Associate Coordinator Ron Fairley, Broadmoor Baptist Church and University Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, as well as numerous other churches from across the Fellowship. We serve in a very particular Christ-like way. We honor each individual tragedy and work to fill in the gaps that inevitably happen as each person takes steps on the road to recovery. If you have received this amazing assistance, like families in Baton Rouge, then you have experienced a gratitude and the overflow of the blessing of unmerited grace. If you have been a part of a team that has lifted a hand, a shovel or hammer to put things just a little closer to right for someone in need, then you have experienced the satisfaction and the humble rest that come from being the well-expended body of Christ. Before they left the driveway of our house, the disaster recovery team — sweaty and exhausted — stopped to pray. The form of the simple prayer was generic, but the blessing and restoration it reflected were particular and beautiful and bonding.

We choose ministry together, and we celebrate the simple acts that become living prayer and healing acts of faith. Cooperative Baptists in Fellowship — this is not just our name but our practice. It forms us corporately and particularly.

A publication of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Volume 26, Number 5

October/November 2016

Fellowship! is published 6 times a year in Feb./March, April/May, June/July, Aug./Sept., Oct./Nov., Dec./Jan. by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Inc., 160 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 500, Decatur, GA 30030. Periodicals postage paid at Decatur, GA, and additional offices. USPS #015-625. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Fellowship! Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 160 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 500 Decatur, GA 30030. EXECUTIVE COORDINATOR Suzii Paynter ASSOCIATE COORDINATOR, FELLOWSHIP ADVANCEMENT Jeff Huett EDITOR Aaron Weaver GRAPHIC DESIGNER Travis Peterson ASSOCIATE EDITOR Carrie McGuffin ASSISTANT EDITOR Candice Young E-MAIL PHONE (770) 220-1600


MODERATOR PROFILE Meet 2016-2017 CBF Moderator Doug Dortch By Carrie McGuffin

FROM THE EDITORS In his popular book Celebration of Discipline, theologian Richard Foster wrote that “celebration is central to all the spiritual disciplines” because celebration brings us joy, and “joy makes us strong.” At the 2016 General Assembly in Greensboro, the workshop titled “Celebration as a Spiritual Discipline” reminded us that moments of celebration are a strategic opportunity in the life of a church to build community and energize the saints for the work of ministry. Workshop leaders taught that celebration should be the frequent spiritual practice of intentionally and joyfully honoring where God has been at work in our midst. This year, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is honoring where God has been at work in our midst over the past 25 years and how Christ’s love has compelled us to sustain global missions, form healthy churches and nurture young Baptists. Many CBF churches, partners and individuals across the Fellowship are setting aside an intentional time of celebration to honor CBF’s 25th Anniversary during the week of October 16-23, 2016. Through special worship services, mission projects, Bible studies, state and regional gatherings and other special events, this CBF Celebration Week will be an opportunity for Cooperative Baptists across the country to thank God for the past 25 years and look forward to our future as a Fellowship. Such celebrations bring joy, and this joy makes us strong. Learn more about the CBF 25th Anniversary celebration and campaign at and join us as we celebrate October 16-23.


BREAKING THE CYCLE CBF field personnel bears witness to Jesus Christ in Southern Kentucky By Blake Tommey


A PLACE TO BE. A PLACE TO SERVE. Chattanooga congregation serves community with tangible resources By Emily Holladay


TURNING LIFE INTO MISSION CBF field personnel creates intentional community in Danville By Ashleigh Bugg

5 GENEROUS FELLOWSHIP By Jeff Huett Christ’s love is the driving force: Small Georgia congregation gives big


Learn about CBF’s 25th Anniversary Campaign and CBF Celebration Week


AARON WEAVER is the Editor of fellowship! Connect with him at

16 2016 SELAH VIE By Michelle Ballard View highlights from CBF’s end-of-summer retreat for young Baptists

30 AFFECT: OCTOBER 2016 CARRIE MCGUFFIN is the Associate Editor of fellowship! Connect with her at

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty


Community Ministry in Chattanooga OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016

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prayerspeople of the

Praying Philippians 4:8 By Bo Prosser


inally beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (NRSV) I find myself often wrestling with my demons — greed, bias, ego, negativity, cynicism and more. If I’m not careful, I can quickly slip into a depression and begin to see the world from the darker side of life. I’ve dealt with depression through the years — physical, emotional, spiritual. My counselors have helped me to reorient myself so that I can push through the darkness and intentionally embrace goodness and hope. Paul’s admonishment to the Philippian church has become a critical prayer in my intentional embrace of goodness and hope. I have developed a running list of “worthy of praise” items that keep me out of darkness. Pictures of my family keep me focused. Friends in my “Circle of Ten” keep me grounded and intentional. Special memories of when I’ve known God was especially close, notes of affirmation and memorabilia are helpful. What about you? What are your “worthy of praise” items? During these next few weeks of prayer, focus on a picture or a memory and thank God for that moment. Pray that God will keep you intentionally focused on goodness and hope. Think about Philippians 4:8 and then pray thankfully about the good things in your life. Then, as you need to, move to petitions and worries. Fill your heart and mind first with those things that are worthy of praise. As you move from critic and worrier to “excellence pray-er,” you’ll find that the negativity has less influence on you. Now, add one more step. Pray for one or more of the persons on the prayer list here. Ask God to be with this person or persons and give them the gift of goodness and hope. Even as you are praying for your own “worthy of praise” items, pray for the name or names you’ve chosen. God is already at work, amazing work! Think on these things.

BO PROSSER is the CBF Coordinator of Organizational Relationships. Follow him on Twitter at @BoProsser.

CBF Ministries Prayer Calendar CH = Chaplain FP = Field Personnel FPC = Child of Field Personnel GMP = Global Missions Partner PC = Pastoral Counselor CST = Church Starter S = CBF Staff

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OCTOBER 2016 1 Tina Bailey, Southeast Asia (FP) Ron Craddock, Evans, GA (CH) 2 Maha Boulos, Lebanon (FP) Keith Holmes, Netherlands (FP) 3 Jonathan Bailey, Southeast Asia (FP) Greg Long, Elgin, TX (CST) Matt Norman, Spain (FP) 4 Matthew Eddleman, Travelers Rest, SC (CH) Michael Metcalf, Evans, GA (CH) 5 Kate Blackshear, Austin, TX (CH) Jo Ann Hopper, Emeritus (FP) Gregory Thompson, Oakwood, GA (CH)

Christopher Towles, Pfafftown, NC (CH) David White, Murfreesboro, TN (CH) 6 Gerald Richards, Apex, NC (CH) 7 Daniel Brockhan, Cheektowaga, NY (CH) 8 Lucas Dorian (S-Alabama) Lisa Jeffcoat, Charlotte, NC (CH) Robb Small, Geismar, LA (CH) 10 Larry Aaron, Danville, VA (CH) Joseph Boone, Cold Spring, KY (CH) Beth Duke, Smithville, TN (CH) Amber Hipps, Gadsden, AL (CH) Jay Martin, Woodland Park, CO (PC) Tina Woody, Spartanburg, SC (CH) 11 Michael McGrath, Little Rock, AR (CH) Laura Senter, Everett, WA (CH) Sing Yue, Bakersfield, CA (CH) 12 Ben Newell, San Antonio, TX (FP) Terry Newell, Zebulon, NC (PC) Greg Sink, Kileen, TX (CH) 13 Lloyd Blevins, Fayetteville, NC (CH) Bob Newell, Emeritus (FP) John Painter, Charleston, SC (CH) Fran Turner, Emeritus (FP) Gretchen Watson, Louisville, KY (PC) 14 Janel Miller-Evans, St. Petersburg, FL (FP) 15 Bruce Guile, Mexico, MO (CH) 16 Karen Black, Fort Worth, TX (CH) Betty Drayton, Sumter, SC (CH) Greg Greason, Kansas City, MO (CH) Monty Self, Little Rock, AR (CH) 17 Frank Broome (S-Georgia) Bob Cheatheam, Abilene, TX (CST) David Fambrough, Greenville, NC (CH) 18 Hank Demous, Opelika, AL (CH) Danny Garnett, Irmo, SC (PC) 19 Mike Hutchinson, Togo (FP) 20 Carl Brinkley, Fayetteville, NC (CST) Chuck Hawkins, Pearland, TX (CH) Luke Langston, Durham, NC (CH) 22 Keith Cooper, Lubbock, TX (CH) Paul Robertson, Sugar Land, TX (CH) Missy Ward-Angalla, Uganda (FP) 23 Adele Henderson, Roanoke, VA (CH) John Lassitter, Martindale, TX (CH) Carl Price, Lebanon, TN (CH) John Roberts, Louisville, KY (CH) Michael Weaver, Beaumont, TX (CH) 24 Ben Collins, Deland, FL (CST) Charles Lumpkin, Greensboro, NC (CH) Wes Monfalcone, Casselberry, FL (CH) Robert Powell, Birmingham, AL (CH) Rick Ruano, North Miami Beach, FL (CH) 25 Doug Cobb, McGregor, TX (CH) Suzie, Thailand (FP) 26 Dean Dickens, Emeritus (FP) 27 Robert Carter, Virginia Beach, VA (CH) Kathy Hope, Albuquerque, NM (CH) Terrell Moye, Palm Beach Gardens, FL (CH) 29 Sam Scaggs, Dublin, GA (CH) Troy Todd, Sneads Ferry, NC (CH) 30 Richard Brown, Troutville, VA (CH) Hazel Thomas, Houston, TX (CH) 31 Phyllis Boozer (S-Northeast)

NOVEMBER 2016 1 Lynne Mouchet, Johns Creek, GA (CH) 2 Karen Alford, East Africa (FP) Mark Elder, Spartanburg, SC (CH) Jesse Hunt, Fort Drum, NY (CH) Mickie Norman, Leland, NC (CH/CST) Suzii Paynter (S-Decatur) Ryan Yaun, Wetumpka, AL (CH) 3 Michael McCawley, Carthage, NY (CH) David Reid, Boise, ID (CH) Jeffrey Ross, Virginia Beach, VA (CH) 4 Cyndi Abbe, Waco, TX (CST) Mary Stinson, Berea, KY (CH) Mark Westebbe, Waynesboro, VA (CH) 5 ________, North Africa (FP) Cameron Gunnin, San Antonio, TX (CH) 6 Emerson Byrd, Fort Bliss, TX (CH) Jeff Lee, Macedonia (FP) Meghan McSwain, Winston-Salem, NC (CH) 7 Craig Butler, Sugar Land, TX (CH) Pat Coley, Sugar Grove, WV (CH) Darrell Hudson, Georgetown, TX (CH) Roland Kuhl, Round Lake Beach, IL (CST)

Zachary Morrow, 1995, Aledo, TX (FPC) 8 Jay Kieve (S-South Carolina) Mark Weiler, Greeley, CO (CH) 9 Debby Bradley, Owensboro, KY (CH) Charles Seligman, San Antonio, TX (CH) Audrey Wilson, Durham, NC (CH) 10 Brooke, Southeast Asia (FP) Kevin Crowder, Fredericksburg, VA (CH) Angela Lowe, Lawrence, KS (CH) Ralph Mikels, Jr., Seymour, TN (CH) Jim Smith, Atlanta, GA (S-Decatur) 11 Phoebe Angel, 2010, Belgium (FPC) Scott Blair, San Antonio, TX (CH) Dana Durham, Sacramento, CA (CH) Victor Perez, Knoxville, TN (CST) Troy Petty, Palmyra, VA (PC) Bert Sanders III, Winston-Salem, NC (CH) Steve Sweatt, Birmingham, AL (PC) 12 Michael Cox, Elizabethtown, KY (CH) John Lepper, Crestwood, KY (PC) Harry Rowland (S-Decatur) 13 Shelia Earl, Emeritus (FP) Earl Martin, Emeritus (FP) Devita Parnell (S-Decatur) Gail Smith, Hillsborough, NC (CH) Cindy Wallace, Carpentersville, IL (CH) 14 Katie Anderson, Louisville, KY (CH) 15 Cris Avila, Newnan, GA (CST) Marcia McQueen, Eden, NC (CH) David Simmons, Harrisburg, PA (CH) Eric Whitfield, Round Rock, TX (CH) 16 Anita Snell Daniels, Emeritus (FP) Edwin Hollis, Odenville, AL (CH) 17 Chuck Strong, Olive Branch, MS (CST) Elizabeth Thompson, Littleton, CO (PC) Cade Whitley, 2004, France (FPC) Dylan Whitley, 2004, France (FPC) 18 Elaine Greer, Frankfort, KY (CH) Kristin Long, Richmond, VA (PC) 19 Will Kinnaird, Keller, TX (CH) T. Nancy Cox, Georgetown, KY (CH) Deenie Grubbs (S-Mississippi) 20 Chuck Christie, Loganville, GA (CH) Kevin Park, Bellingham, WA (CH) Steven Porter (S–Decatur) Dean Vonfeldt, Marietta, GA (CH) 21 _______, Turkey (FP) Fred Madren, Indianapolis, IN (CH) 22 Becky Smith, Atlanta, GA (FP) 23 Dihanne Moore (S–Decatur) Julie Walton, Richmond, VA (CH) 24 Will Barnes, Savannah, GA (CH) Carol Lynn Brinkley, Fayetteville, NC (CST) Peggy Gold, Durham, NC (CH) Will Manley, Johnson City, TN (CH) David Posey, Medina, TN (CH) Ruth Santos-Ortíz (CH) 25 Gary Batchelor, Rome, GA (CH) Tony Biles, Richfield, NC (CH) Robert Cooke, Selma, NC (PC) Ed Farris, Topeka, KS (CH) Brad Hood, Knoxville, TN (CH) Chan Shaver, Jamestown, NC (CH) Sue Smith, Fredericksburg, VA (FP) Lee Weems, Pineville, LA (CH) Cassandra Wilson, Gahanna, OH (CH) 26 Carol Fletcher, Athens, GA (CH) Blake Hart (S-South Carolina) Michael O’Rourke, Alexandria, VA (CH) Charles Reynolds, Vicenza, Italy (CH) 27 Macarena Aldape, Spain (FP) Posey Branscome, Charlotte, NC (CH) Saul Burleson, Weaverville, NC (CH) Joshua James, Salisbury, MD (CST) 28 Ronald King, Midland, GA (PC) Abigail Parks, 2004, Slovakia (FPC) Mark Tidsworth, Chapin, SC (PC) Joel Whitley, France (FP) 29 Paul Mullen, Clemmons, NC (CH) 30 Rick McClatchy (S-Texas) Lucas Pittman, 2003, Miami, FL (FPC)


ellowship ‘CHRIST’S LOVE IS THE DRIVING FORCE’ Small Georgia congregation gives big

Christ Church, a small fellowship of Baptists in Cairo, Ga., led by CBF church starter Ron McCaskill, is helping to sustain CBF’s missions and ministries into the future through supporting the 25th Anniversary Campaign.

By Jeff Huett


here’s a little orange flame dotting the “i” in the logo for a small, yet vibrant congregation in the southwest Georgia town of Cairo near the Florida border. It’s a symbol of a passion for the love of Christ accepted and expressed by the 16 members of Christ Church. It’s a symbol of the dedication of the church’s members to live out the teachings of Jesus. And it’s a symbol of a rise from the ashes of a split from another Cairo-area congregation years ago. Christ Church’s pastor, Ron McCaskill, was senior pastor of the other Cairo-area church before many members, out of a love for Baptist principles, scattered to attend other congregations. He left, too, choosing to lead another church for the same reason. But after nine years, at the urging of a group of families that wanted to find a church home together, he returned to Cairo to lead Christ Church. “These families still had a strong love for what Baptists stand for. They wanted a fellowship that promoted Baptist principles,” McCaskill said. “The driving force of our congregation is the love of Christ,” said McCaskill, who was commissioned in June as a CBF church starter. “We want to show Jesus to our community and show that following Jesus isn’t about being in lock-step with a series of principles as much as showing the love of Christ.” The love of Christ also compelled the congregation to support CBF’s 25th Anniversary Campaign with a $2,500 gift to help sustain the Fellowship’s missions and ministries into the future. Christ Church’s gift, which is part of CBF’s $12-million endowment campaign, will help sustain the long-term presence of field personnel, nurture young Baptists and form healthy congregations. These three focus areas of the campaign align well with the church’s own vision to re-claim Baptist principles, including soul

freedom and local church autonomy, while reaching young adults who are unchurched and providing financially to the work of CBF around the world. “We believe in what CBF is doing — it’s long-term plan and funding for the presence of missionaries,” McCaskill said. “We wanted to be a part of what CBF is doing globally. It’s a stroke of genius to fund the cost of missionaries to be on the field so that they can focus on their ministries rather than raising funding for those costs.” Christ Church is engaged in the life of the Fellowship, with members attending CBF’s annual General Assembly and in an intentional process led by CBF, called Dawnings. Dawnings enables congregations to see the world and their ministry within it with fresh clarity and purpose through processes of visioning, forming and engaging. Dawnings includes a suite of resources and spiritual practices that leads churches, in a new way, to seek their identity and purpose in God’s calling and in God’s work. And while McCaskill looks to important years ahead at Christ Church Cairo, he appreciates the important years ahead for CBF as well. At the 2016 General Assembly in Greensboro, N.C., McCaskill was impressed by long-term focus of the CBF movement and of the youth of so many attendees. “There is an authentic youth movement in CBF in participation and in leadership,” he said. “I was blown away by the young people at General Assembly.”

JEFF HUETT is the CBF Associate Coordinator of Communications and Advancement. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffHuett.

For more information on how your congregation can be a part of CBF’s 25th Anniversary Campaign, including creative ways your church can be recognized for its leadership in the campaign, contact Jeff Huett at 770-220-6200 or OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016

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“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all.” 2 CORINTHIANS 5:14

OCTOBER 16-23: JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE OUR FOUNDING AND OUR FUTURE! In 1991, Christ’s love compelled a group of courageous women and men who supported Baptist principles to found the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. It is that love that continues to compel CBF to live into our vision to be a beloved community, bearing witness to the Gospel in partnership with Christians and churches across the nation and around the world. Twenty-five years later, we celebrate this founding and our bright future together.

During the week of October 16-23, churches, partners and Cooperative Baptists around the world will celebrate CBF’s 25th Anniversary through special worship services and events. You and your church are invited to join us.

Visit to download videos, Bible studies, prayers of blessing, a litany of celebration and other resources to help you or your church plan a special service or event.

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Compelled by God’s love to seek spiritual and social transformation through Jesus Christ, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has launched a $12-million fundraising campaign to honor our foundations by sustaining ministry into the future. At the 2016 General Assembly, CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter publicly announced the 25th Anniversary Campaign that focuses on endowment and block grants to CBF state and regional organizations.

YOUR INVESTMENT IN THIS CAMPAIGN WILL SUPPORT: Kirk and Suzie are a case-in-point for the impact that the long-term presence of CBF field personnel can have in a community. For 18 years, they have lived and worked among a minority hill tribe in Southeast Asia that was resistant to outsiders and Christianity, and they have recently finished translating the New Testament into the tribe’s heart language. Our goal is to increase the Global Missions Endowment to support the long-term presence of field personnel like Kirk and Suzie and reinstate a two-year mission apprenticeship program. We will impact the poorest counties in the U.S. through Together for Hope, CBF’s rural poverty initiative.

In the Highland neighborhood of Shreveport, Louisiana, a CBF church start spent considerable time deciding on a name. “We didn’t want to just be ‘of ’ the Highlands,” pastor John Henson said, “but ‘for’ — for the people, the organizations, schools, businesses and well-being of our neighborhood.” We will endow CBF initiatives and programs such as congregational renewal processes, advocacy and church starting that help form healthy churches like Church for the Highlands. We will also address economic challenges facing pastoral leaders through financial literacy education.

Working as a server pulling long night shifts to help his single mom make ends meet when he was a teenager, CBF Leadership Scholar Jeffrey Howard was angry and discouraged when the love of God softened his heart: “I was a former gang member, and Christ loved me enough to save me. Now I have the unique opportunity to serve a loving God who wants to use me to show people the love of God.” Our goal is to increase CBF’s endowment supporting ministry to young Baptists like Jeffrey through theological education, internships and ministry experiences.









By Carrie McGuffin Doug Dortch, senior minister of Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, is serving as CBF Moderator for 2016-17 as the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship celebrates 25 years and looks toward its next 25 years together. Dortch is a gifted minister, having served churches in Kentucky, Florida and Alabama, and has a deep network of Baptists of every flavor from his time serving in churches and serving on the Representative Assembly of CBF of Florida and the CBF Coordinating Council before joining the CBF Governing Board. Recently I had the chance to connect with Dortch and learn more about his calling and hopes as we enter this year of celebration as a Fellowship.

Tell me about your background. Where did you grow up? I am a native Alabamian, converted through the ministry of a large Baptist church in Mobile, Alabama, which afforded me the opportunity to grow up with every program available to young Baptists. My family later moved to a small town in West Alabama, where in the York Baptist Church I was fortunate to be nurtured more closely by church and community leaders who took faith and everyday life extremely seriously. I’ve been blessed to have both large and small church experiences, and to see the strengths and challenges of each.

Who were important influences in your development as a leader and pastor? I hesitate to list specific influences, because there have been so many that I fear leaving some out, but at the top of any list has to be my Baptist Student Union campus minister, Bob Ford, at my alma mater, the University of Montevallo. He saw gifts in me that he encouraged me to apply to ministry settings, such as my first ministry position as

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the summer youth worker at the First Baptist Church of Vernon, Ala. The pastor of that church, Buddy McGohon, was a superb model of patience, kindness and steadfastness. In particular, he taught me how to manage the highs and lows of pastoral ministry, and to focus on being faithful in the process. When I returned to campus that fall, I began to pay even more attention to my college pastor, Dub Steincross, who modeled a combination of courage and compassion in his pastoral ministry that I have not seen in many other pastors, even to this day. During the next three summers in my college years, I worked as the student associate in the Department of Evangelism for the Alabama Baptist State Convention, where the director, Otis Williams, assigned me to all kinds and sizes of churches throughout the state, and I learned to appreciate the rich diversity in Baptist life. From there it was on to Southern Seminary, where each of my professors influenced my ministerial development, and especially my supervisor in the Ph.D. program, Bill Tuck, who helped me to understand even more fully the “two-sided coin” of preaching in terms of its joys and its burdens. As far as leadership, I can’t think of a more influential model in my life than my father, a merchant, who will always be my foremost example of the need to be a person of integrity, treating everyone with equal respect. I will always be grateful to him for supporting my call to pastoral ministry, even when his desire was for me one day to take over the family business. I think he found great comfort from the many times I told him that nothing could have prepared me for church work better than those years I spent working in his store.

Could you share about your calling to pastoral ministry? I honestly can’t remember ever sensing a desire to do anything else. From an early age, I felt a tug toward pastoral ministry,

which I attribute to the strong ministries of the churches in which I grew up. I came along at a time when young people were challenged at every retreat and revival to give serious consideration to “full-time Christian ministry.” Without question, it was a different day, and I benefitted from coming along at a time when pastoral ministry was considered to be a much more respected profession than I sense it is today. That’s not to say that I consider my calling more special than anyone else’s. It’s simply what I sensed God calling me to do, and I feel most privileged to have been able to spend these almost 40 years in what I honestly do consider to be the most wonderful work in the world.

How did you connect with CBF? I was a part of CBF from the very beginning. As a young pastor, I participated at all levels of state convention life, and was always in attendance at the SBC annual meetings. When the Fellowship formed in 1991, I was on board with my support. In those early years, I served on the Theological Education Ministry Group of the CBF Coordinating Council, and was active in Florida CBF life when I was serving in that state.

What do you bring to the table as CBF Moderator? I’ve been blessed to have served in ministry long enough to know a good number of people in Baptist life through the leadership opportunities I’ve been privileged to enjoy in both CBF and SBC circles. Since most CBF churches are actually dually aligned, as is the one in which I presently serve, I can appreciate the tension that many pastors in those churches have to manage. At the same time, I have always worked for constructive change in every church and denominational body of which I’ve been a part, so I understand how such change

can best take place, without leaving the majority of people behind or compromising the heritage of which they are a part. Working for that sort of change is always a tricky undertaking, but for me it’s what makes ministry most fulfilling.

How do you think the role of CBF Moderator will differ in this unique year as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary? Anniversaries such as this are important markers for launching into the good future God has for us to know. While we’re never bound by our past, we certainly would do well to learn from it so that we might use it as a springboard for the years to come. I see the Moderator’s role in this signal year as one of keeping before the body the many ways we have managed to advance the cause of Christ by being his presence in transforming ways, and to remind us that regardless of what challenges we will face in the future, his grace has provided us with sufficient resources (in every sense of that word) to overcome the challenges and do even more to bring God’s kingdom purposes to pass here on earth.

I see the key to realizing this vision as maintaining our commitment to Global Missions, which is the glue that has held us together from the very beginning of CBF life. As the center of Christianity shifts from the first world to the third world, CBF is in a position through the solid contacts we’ve established with partners around the world to support the spread of the Gospel so that as their work becomes stronger, so does ours in the process.

What prayers would you ask of Cooperative Baptists — for you and the Governing Board — during your term as Moderator? I would ask that people pray for the Governing Board and me to have wisdom and courage in this present hour. Leadership is not easy in any setting, and certainly not in one as diverse as ours. I would ask also that people pray for us in leadership to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prodding and to be able to articulate that nudging to others in CBF life, so that even if they disagree with a decision we make, they will know that it came from a pure heart, one that desires nothing more than to see God move more mightily in our midst.

What is your vision for the future of CBF? I envision CBF as the model for cooperative ministry, not only for Baptists but for other denominations and religious bodies as well. The values that make up our life together — soul freedom, Bible freedom, church freedom and religious freedom — resonate with people today perhaps more than ever.


CBF Moderator appoints ad hoc committee to guide work of Illumination Project By Aaron Weaver

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Moderator Doug Dortch appointed a five-member ad hoc committee on July 21 to oversee implementation of the Illumination Project, an initiative adopted by the CBF Governing Board at the 2016 General Assembly in Greensboro, N.C., to build and strengthen unity through cooperation across the Fellowship. The Illumination Project is a process of discernment and accompaniment involving CBF congregational leaders to illuminate the qualities that have built unity in CBF and, through discernment, identify intentional efforts by which the Fellowship can maintain and grow unity through cooperation. Designed to create models of dialogue and decision-making for a cooperative body, the Illumination Project aims to provide “more light and less heat” in situations where the Fellowship finds itself in conflict or has varying convictions, furthering CBF’s commitment to seek intentional community in spite of differences. With a commitment to Scripture and reliance on foundational faith tenets as well as lessons from history, the Governing Board believes that the project can be used to enable new clarity regarding the process of cooperative Christian community in our current cultural context. Dortch said that after much prayerful consideration and in consultation with CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter he fulfilled the Governing Board’s directive to name members of the ad hoc committee and had selected Charlie Fuller, minister for congregational life at Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark., to serve as the committee’s chair. “As a former dean of the School of Fine Arts at Ouachita Baptist University, Charlie knows how to manage diverse viewpoints and


personalities,” Dortch said. “As a church staff member, he understands how conversations on potentially controversial topics have a bearing on local congregations. As a valued Governing Board member, he has made many valuable contributions to our work together. He is, without question, the right person for this responsibility.” The five-member committee includes four current CBF Governing Board members as well as a former CBF Moderator:

CHARLIE FULLER (CHAIR) Minister for Congregational Life Second Baptist Church Little Rock, Ark.


Senior Pastor First Baptist Church, Athens, Ga.


Senior Pastor National Baptist Memorial Church Washington, D.C. (CBF Moderator, 2014-2015)


Pastor South Main Baptist Church Houston, Texas


Attorney Watkins & Eager, Jackson, Miss.

Dortch said that that the committee’s charge is to facilitate implementation of the Illumination Project “as a means by which to build and strengthen CBF unity through cooperation in light of our current cultural context.” “I have asked that the committee proceed with this charge through a process that is broad-based and transparent; deliberate and intentional; and without any predetermined outcome, other than the desire to encourage CBF unity through cooperation,” Dortch said. “Knowing the caliber of people we have on this committee, I have no doubt that they will be able to fulfill this charge most effectively.” Fuller added that the ad hoc committee is “committed to implementing a process that models what we claim to be: Cooperative Baptists.” “Our objective is to listen and truly hear the voices from CBF stakeholders across the rich and diverse breadth of our Fellowship,” Fuller said. “A process that seeks to discern the voice of God can’t have a predetermined outcome or a predetermined timeline. We must wait until we’ve heard God speak through the Fellowship itself. We will work together to determine what issues of human sexuality mean for us as a cooperating

network of Baptists. We will work diligently and be as transparent as possible throughout the length of our work. Most importantly, we covet your prayers for us as we discern the voice of God, who speaks to all of us in our ‘Big Tent’ Fellowship.” The ad hoc committee held its first conference call July 13, and will hold a twoday retreat Sept. 19-20 in Decatur, Ga., and convene again Sept. 29-30 during the fall meeting of the Governing Board. Dortch asked for Cooperative Baptists to pray for the committee and be prepared to participate in future conversations. “I encourage everyone in the Fellowship to be in prayer for this committee and the important work they will undertake. Be ready also to join your voice to the conversation, and let us be hopeful that we will come to a place where we have the necessary clarity to forge forward as a unified Fellowship in addressing issues that come before us.”

To learn more about the Illumination Project, visit Contact Charlie Fuller with any questions or comments at


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Breaking the



Holly McAdams was stuck in a cycle of debt and was without a home when she came to Somerset, Ky., after fleeing her abusive husband. With assistance from CBF field personnel Scarlette Jasper and others, McAdams is breaking out of the cycle and is now settled into a home of her own.

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CBF field personnel Scarlette Jasper ministers throughout a 10-county region in Southern Kentucky alongside diverse partners, including nonprofit organizations and government agencies, focused on fighting rural poverty. Through a partnership with the Housing Authority of Somerset, Jasper provides families with opportunities for financial counseling, home ownership, nutrition education and ways to combat the debt trap of predatory lending.

“When You’re Poor, You’re Prey.” The night Holly McAdams took her daughter and fled her home in Ohio, it cost her a house to live in. After years of forfeiting her own pain medication to her pill-addicted husband, it cost her own health. When she reported her violent husband and neighbors to the state police, it cost her safety. Because she had been without a car for many years, her newly-acquired Chevy Malibu cost one of the highest interest rates on the market for car insurance. When she landed in Somerset, Kentucky, it eventually cost her marriage. And when she took out a $1,000 loan from Castle Payday, it cost $8,640 in interest payments — an interest rate of 864 percent. “It’s a vicious cycle and you can’t get out of it,” McAdams explained. “When you’re poor, you’re prey. You get your paycheck, you pay your bills, you buy groceries and then you have nothing left. If something goes wrong with your car, you’re stuck. So you get one of these loans and you pay to fix it, and you’re stuck. And it’s legal, perfectly legal! If the banks are geared for the rich and their interest rates are low, and payday loans are geared for the poor and their interest rates are high, how does that make a bit of sense? It’s hypocrisy at its finest.” In Southern Kentucky where poverty means prey, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel Scarlette Jasper is partnering in renewing God’s world with support from the CBF Offering for Global Missions. Through education, housing assistance and developing the assets of local residents, Jasper is bearing witness to Jesus Christ and working to repair lives broken by rural poverty — including McAdams’. McAdams had connected with Jasper through Bethany House, a domestic violence shelter in Somerset and one of Jasper’s many partners in the region. They met for a warm meal and an even warmer offer on a place to live. Jasper connected McAdams with an affordable apartment, even contributing to the security deposit, and assisted her daughter, Alice, to get plugged into a local school. Jasper also

arranged for workers at Potentials Inc., another assistance partner, to drive McAdams to her medical appointments and help her apply for disability benefits. McAdams says her journey through poverty has taken a lot from her, but her faith and her friends have given her the strength to stand. Alice, now 18-years-old, is attending college and McAdams is working with a credit counselor to clear the disabling interest. Though there is no easy solution for the cycle of poverty, Jasper says combatting predation means bearing witness to the transforming love of Christ in the lives of others. “God’s call to us in light of global poverty is to help each other,” Jasper said. “The solution to persistent poverty is not a handout; it’s a hand up; it means doing what Jesus did — feeding the poor, clothing those who need clothing, taking care of the sick, but also helping them make sustainable changes that move them into community and opportunities to help their neighbor. It means forming partnerships that will help engage communities in transformational development together.” For Jasper, partnership means impacting more lives than she ever could alone. At her commissioning in 2014 at the CBF General Assembly, Jasper brought with her more than 20 years of partnerships around fighting rural poverty in southern Kentucky, including with Potentials Inc., a nonprofit that assists families with medical crises, and with Mountain Moms, an organization that provides support and self-care education for women fleeing domestic violence. In addition, Jasper’s long-term partnership with the Housing Authority of Somerset yields numerous development opportunities for families living in poverty, including a bi-annual financial counseling series, workshops on predatory lending and home ownership and nutrition education for elderly and disabled housing communities. With support from local and other partners as well as the CBF Offering for Global Missions, Jasper attends to the 10-county region surrounding her home in Somerset. McCreary County, home to many of the families and individuals with whom Jasper works, has a median OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016

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McCreary County, home to many of the families and individuals with whom Jasper works, has a median household income of $20,000 and a poverty rate of 47 percent. Many residents get caught in cycles of debt and poverty due to predatory short-term financial products like payday loans which boast quick cash but come with usurious interest rates and fees.

“What I find most joyful about following Christ is the relationships that are developed. We turn into family; it’s not just me and them. We are together. We are a Fellowship. We are a community and we work together for common goals. Your gifts allow us to minister to the most marginalized around the world. Your gifts allow me to minister in Southern Kentucky.” household income of $20,000 and a poverty rate of 47 percent. It would be easy to swoop in and tell a community like McCreary County what they need, Jasper noted, but bearing witness to Christ means identifying the assets already present in a community and building a support system to grow them. Rockie Chick, a resident of McCreary County, was homeless for a year before he met Jasper. Most days, he survived by catching squirrels or rabbits and sleeping in a box or wherever he could find shelter. Chick said he encountered Jasper and Potentials Inc. just as his despair had grown to thoughts of suicide. Through Potentials, Chick found an affordable apartment, a job as a woodworker, travel assistance to the doctor and aid drawing his social security and disability benefits. In the end, Chick said, Jasper and Potentials ensured he continue living a life he was intent on ending. “Everything was down in the dumps and I thought about committing suicide, but they helped me; they got me out of it,” Chick said. “They helped me get an apartment. They got me a job and everything. And then I started doing woodwork, which is what I did in school.”

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In one of CBF’s most dynamic partnerships, Jasper is forming together with CBF Kentucky and Together for Hope, CBF’s rural poverty initiative, to provide housing assistance to families and individuals in southern Kentucky through Extreme Build. Extreme Build engages churches, community partners and residents in building a home for a local family in only 10 days. Over the first three days, expert carpenters, plumbers and electricians install the primary structure, after which more than 50 volunteers from all over the state finish constructing the remainder of the home. Ultimately, Extreme Build not only provides homes for families living in poverty, but empowers them to purchase the home for only the cost beyond what has been donated or funded by donations. This purchase is typically made possible through low-interest loans through the USDA Rural Development. Last year, McCreary County resident Tasha Patton purchased her own Extreme Build home, complete with three bedrooms and one bath for her two children. After living in a camper with her son, Lucas, and daughter, Gracie, for two years, Patton saw the Extreme Build advertisement in the newspaper and signed up to be considered for a home. At the time, she was working two jobs to sustain her family but

still could not afford a home or apartment. Patton said she never dreamed of owning her own house, but when she qualified for Extreme Build, she experienced the biggest relief of her life. On the days of the build, Patton even joined more than 100 volunteers to help build her own home. After financial counseling with Jasper, Patton acquired a low-interest USDA loan and created a financial plan to pay off her home. Patton said a year of holidays, meals and homework in their own home has not only grown her family, but also her desire to assist others in finding renewal. “It has changed our family life completely,” Patton said. “God has helped me so much. Lucas is doing better in school, and Gracie is doing really good too. It’s really helped us a lot. But we also help others in this community. If somebody came to me and said they needed a hand, I would try to help them in any way that I could.” As Jasper and the residents of Southern Kentucky continue to form together, the CBF Offering for Global Missions is an opportunity to extend partnership across the Fellowship and the world, Jasper said. Under the new model for funding field personnel, the CBF Offering for Global Missions will secure the long-term presence of all CBF field personnel by funding their salaries, benefits and housing costs. In addition to her upcoming ordination, Jasper said, the new funding model will support and sustain her in countless ways as she bears witness to Christ in the midst of rural poverty in Kentucky. “Please partner with CBF field personnel by giving generously to the CBF Offering for Global Missions,” Jasper added. “What I find most joyful about following Christ is the relationships that are developed. We turn into family; it’s not just me and them. We are together. We are a Fellowship. We are a community and we work together for common goals. Your gifts allow us to minister to the most marginalized around the world. Your gifts allow me to minister in Southern Kentucky.”

Watch and download Offering videos at Order CBF Offering for Global Missions resources for free at CBF OGM Bulletin Insert/ Poster Combo (Packs of 20)

CBF Global Missions Discovery Booklet (Packs of 20)

CBF 2016-17 OGM Envelopes (Packs of 100)

BLAKE TOMMEY serves with the Baptist General Association of Virginia as a collegiate minister at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. Jasper works alongside community organizations providing much-needed aid such as housing and education.

CBF 2016-17 OGM DVD with video resources OFFERING FOR GLOBAL MISSIONS

CBF 2015-16 OGM Flashdrive with video resources

Leader’s Guide

2016-17 CBF OGM Bible Study Curriculum for adults, youth and children along with Worship Resources available for download. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016

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c’est la vie SELAH PAUSE

Retreat participants gathered around the Lord’s Table to conclude their week together.

By Michelle Ballard


ore than 100 college students and seminarians gathered at the Joe C. Davis Retreat Center in Nashville, Tennessee, August 3-6, to participate in an end-of-summer retreat that challenged students to pause life and take a moment of Sabbath before their fall semester began. The annual retreat serves as a debriefing opportunity for interns in CBF’s student missions and ministry initiatives, Student.Go and Student.Church, to discuss both meaningful and challenging aspects of their summer internships. In addition, the retreat offers a debriefing opportunity for students serving through the Baptist General Association of Virginia’s Impact Camp Program and Ventures Program. Selah Vie also provides young Baptists with a place to receive guidance and discern next steps for post-college or post-seminary life. This year’s theme was centered around the CBF Global Missions distinctive of “Bearing Witness to Jesus Christ,” and featured keynote speaker Kasey Jones, former CBF Moderator and senior pastor of National Baptist Memorial Church in Washington, D.C. During the retreat, Jones challenged attendees to consider how fear might hold them back from bearing witness to the Gospel message and encouraged attendees to boldly live out their faith. The worship leader for the three-day gathering was Matt Nelson, associate pastor of worship, youth and families at Central Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla. Selah Vie participants were not only challenged to think about boldly living out their calling but also had opportunities for renewal through rest, recreation and exploring Nashville. Participants were also given the opportunity to consider a gift to the CBF 25th Anniversary Campaign, responding to the challenge presented to those serving throughout the summer to set aside 25 cents each day as they served. Students and other retreat attendees contributed $1,313.17 to the 25th Anniversary Campaign. The week together closed with a worship service led by Student. Church interns Megan Purdee and Carter Benge as well as a challenge to boldly bear witness to Jesus Christ and time at the Lord’s Table in celebration and affirmation of this call to bear witness.

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While Selah Vie focused on debriefing and sharing about summer experiences, participants also had a chance to engage in fun outdoor activities. Here, Marco Jo, a Student. Church intern from Korea, enjoys a giant swing at the Joe C. Davis Retreat Center. (Photo: Carter Benge)

During the opening session, students had a chance to create a team flag to represent their small groups during the Selah Vie Olympic Games.

Student.Go interns from the Bahamas gathered together for a quick photo before the opening worship session.

Selah Vie attendees cooled down and enjoyed fellowship over snow cones during some free time.

Wanda Kidd, CBF collegiate ministries specialist, led Student.Church interns in a debriefing conversation and exercise to process their summer ministries. (Photo: Carter Benge)

Students shared testimonials and experiences of their summer with retreat attendees during a morning prayer session.

Worship leader, Matt Nelson, was joined in leading music by the Bahamian students during the Friday evening worship service.

Students who served through Impact Camp and Ventures program of the Baptist General Association of Virginia gathered as a group to share about their unique summer experiences.

The retreat allowed students to pause life and to get up and get moving together, playing games during their free time. (Photo: Carter Benge)


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A dot can change everything. WHY STUDENT DOT? A dot can change everything. It transforms a comma into a semi-colon and affects the flow of thoughts. It affects rhythm by elongating a quarter note. And it even has the potential to alter your life’s direction! Through CBF’s Student.Go (read student dot go) and Student.Church (read student dot church), a summer or semester is punctuated with meaningful experiences allowing both graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to discover their place within God’s mission to change the world.

WHAT PROGRAMS ARE WITHIN STUDENT DOT? Student.Church – Student.Church places interns in CBF partner churches that care about calling out future ministry leaders. While being mentored by seasoned ministers, students explore the breadth of congregational ministry as they are exposed to all aspects of congregational life, including worship planning, connecting with a wide variety of people and taking time to understand the church. Student.Go – Student.Go is a missions program of CBF that provides opportunities for students to serve with our field personnel and ministry partners as they live out CBF Global Missions commitments—cultivating beloved community, bearing witness to Jesus Christ and seeking transformational development.

WHAT DOES STUDENT DOT PROVIDE? Internships are 10 weeks or the length of a semester and include orientation at the beginning of the experience as well as a debriefing at the conclusion. Students receive a stipend, with the amount varying by program. Housing and food expenses, as well as some travel costs, vary. Undergraduate students completing their first year of college and who are at least 18 years of age, as well as graduate students of any age, may apply for Student.Go or Student.Church.


Help end poverty, transform lives and share Christ’s love with the world. GIVE TO CBF TODAY. Online at Call 800.352.8741 or text “CBF” to 41444


When a crowd gathered before Jesus, he preached to them, saying, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

For decades, First Baptist Church of Chattanooga, has been dedicated to ministry among the city’s vast population of individuals experiencing homelessness. The Tennessee church offers various services to these community members, including free haircuts in an onsite salon environment.

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Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” – Matthew 24:31-40 (NRSV)


irst Baptist Church of Chattanooga, Tenn., provides a tangible example of the sheep Jesus spoke about — daily working to feed, clothe, welcome and care for their neighbors. The church’s tagline, “A place to be. A place to serve,” only scratches the surface of the compassion it offers to God’s children in their community. FBC Chattanooga is one of the only Cooperative Baptist Fellowship churches within a 30-mile radius, attracting people from multiple counties and three different states. But, despite the regional membership, FBC Chattanooga excels at responding to the many and varied needs within the community in the heart of the historic and diverse city. “We are the different church in our area — between us and Dalton, Ga.,” noted FBC Pastor Thomas Quisenberry. “Our draw and appeal is the kind of Baptist we are, worship style, family appeal. We are a church that seems to be regional but still has the neighborhood feel.” The church’s nature is not a platform or grandstand, added Quisenberry, not rallying around issues as much as the question of what the congregation can do now to make a difference in the community. For decades, FBC Chattanooga has provided ministry to the vast homeless community surrounding the church, offering a clothes closet and weekly fellowship meals. The church even boasts three hairdresser chairs installed by the local beautician school, where those affected by homelessness can come for free haircuts. A few years ago, the college ministry at FBC Chattanooga raised more than $100,000 to install showers and washers and dryers at the church. “It won’t be long before we open a tire and lube in the church parking lot,” Quisenberry joked. While the pastor’s words were in jest, FBC Chattanooga is clearly a congregation that follows the call of Jesus to respond to the needs of the most marginalized and neglected in their community. A humble community, they seek to listen to the ways God needs to use them in the church’s neighborhood. Ten years ago, Bobby Colvin, a longtime member of FBC Chattanooga, received word that a young man from the church had been taken to the local jail. Colvin’s heart broke, because this young man was a student of his in the Royal Ambassador’s program as a child, and he hated to see him fall into the wrong crowd. “My wife, Sylvia, went to see him once and she came home and told me I ought to go see him,” Colvin remembered. “I had never been to the jail, but the more I thought about it, I thought I should. Then I went back to see him again. It wasn’t long before I was going on a pretty regular basis.” The Hamilton County Jail is situated about six blocks from the church, with many of the inmates coming from within a five-mile radius of the church.

Though Colvin had not visited anyone in the jail previously, he had a friendship with the chaplain, who coordinated a separate visitation day for him. Soon, the chaplain began asking Colvin to visit other inmates who did not often have visitors or anyone to connect them to the world outside the jail. “One day my wife said, ‘Bobby, why don’t you share that blessing with other people?’” Colvin shared. “So I invited another member of FBC Chattanooga, and then another, and then another. And we’d all go down and visit inmates on Friday mornings.” Before long, the jail named these men “Program Advocates,” and asked them to help the inmates sign up for one of the numerous life skills classes offered at the jail. Eventually, the men were asked to teach some of the classes and, from there, the church’s “Beyond the Bars” ministry has grown and flourished. “We have taken it to another level now. These guys, when they’re released, don’t have jobs and they don’t have clothes. We give them clothes [from the church’s clothing closet] and a bus pass that’s good for a month,” Colvin shared. “One of the guys in the ministry is then chosen to mentor an inmate when he gets out.” Along with the mentorship program, the released inmates are also enrolled in a life skills class taught at the church. “If they want us to help them on an ongoing basis, they are required to go to that class,” Colvin noted. During the classes, they learn skills from conflict management to money management. Their mentors help them practice for interviews or develop the tools they need to succeed in the workforce. “The hardest thing for us to do is to find them housing,” Colvin explained. “Most landlords just don’t want ex-inmates to rent from them. We struggle with finding jobs for them. Most of the time, we wind up having to put them in a motel and then push them to find a job where they can become self-sustaining.” Many times, inmates are re-incarcerated because they end up back in the communities they came from and fall into the same cycles that put them in jail in the first place.

FBC Chattanooga is one of the only CBF churches within a 30-mile radius, attracting people from multiple counties and three different states.


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“A lot of these guys are having to make tough decisions because family is what got them in trouble,” Quisenberry said. “How do you look at your family and say, ‘you’re not the influence that I need?’ They’re having to make decisions that I am not faced with. “One of the most important things the men have done is build up the level of trust needed for the inmates to be able to feel like we’re not taking advantage of them. We really are invested in wanting to make their lives better. We’re trying to make the community better by trying to make some that are in the community more than they think they can be or thought they could have ever been.” With the vibrant ministries already provided by FBC Chattanooga, the Beyond the Bars ministry was able to take off seamlessly, working in tandem with preexisting groups to offer resources that otherwise wouldn’t have been available to the released inmates.

FBC CHATTANOOGA MISSION STATEMENT Everyone needs a place: a place to worship God with heart and mind; a place to give and receive compassion; a place to learn about life; a place to make a difference; a place to fit in and belong.

“We seek to feed, educate and clothe, but most importantly to show released inmates Christ-like love — to treat them as God’s children and individuals,” Quisenberry said. “We’re going to love them and tend to them as best as we can.” The church’s mission statement says: Everyone needs a place: a place to worship God with heart and mind; a place to give and receive compassion; a place to learn about life; a place to make a difference; a place to fit in and belong. Through the many ministries the church offers, and particularly the Beyond the Bars ministry, FBC Chattanooga lives deeply and widely into their shared vision as a community. As Jesus speaks about the sheep and the goats, I imagine he has the people of FBC Chattanooga in mind when he says, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” “God blesses us every day,” Colvin shared. “We can just feel God’s presence in this ministry. So many times I’ve walked out of that jail and felt like I was floating because of the Spirit with me.”

EMILY HOLLADAY is Associate Pastor of Children and Families at Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky.

Several years ago, the college ministry of FBC Chattanooga raised more than $100,000 to install showers and washers and dryers at the church so that those experiencing homelessness could use these facilities alongside the church’s clothing closet, haircut ministry and weekly fellowship meals.

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Jacksonville, FL

Accommodations: Doubletree by Hilton Young Adult Caribbean Mission Immersion FEBRUARY 16-20, 2017

PIVOT BAHAMAS IS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR YOUNG ADULTS. CBF leaders will use the book Pivot: Turning Teams Toward God’s Mission Near and Far to guide our time as we spend 4.5 days of Caribbean cultural acquisition and reflection. Cost: $350 plus travel


CBF Young Baptists CBF of Florida CBF Bahamas

PASSPORT CAMPERS PUT FAITH TO ACTION ALONGSIDE CBF FIELD PERSONNEL By Carrie McGuffin and Aaron Weaver Committed to a symbiotic model of missions, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner Passport, Inc., connected with 16 local agencies and organizations alongside CBF field personnel during the summer of 2016. With camps in Danville and Lynchburg, Va.; Greensboro, N.C.; Spartanburg, S.C.; Crossville, Tenn.; Brownwood, Texas; and MissionBASE trips in Atlanta, students spent more than 28,000 hours putting their faith to action rehabbing homes, providing maintenance on churches, leading summer literacy and academic readiness programs and tending to a community garden. The MissionBASE program brought 260 participants from 15 churches to assist CBF field personnel Trey Lyon with six weeks of literacy and leadership programs at Park Avenue Baptist Church in Atlanta. “Our summer literacy programs are largely supported by MissionBASE volunteers,” Lyon said. “MissionBASE is a unique opportunity for neighborhood children in Southeast Atlanta and churches from around the country to learn from one another and love each other like Jesus loves.” Passport students also had the opportunity to work alongside members of Grace and Main, an intentional community led by CBF field personnel Jessica and Joshua Hearne in Danville, Va., tending to their community garden, clearing land for a garden expansion and organizing a furniture warehouse. “Our community’s leaders look forward to the PASSPORT weeks because of the eager, bright faces of youth who not only want to do the work of the Kingdom of God, but who are also still exploring what it looks like to follow Jesus in a changing world,” Joshua Hearne said. Along with the work of missions, campers engaged in nearly 44,000 hours of discipleship, including hours each day spent together in Bible Study groups and time spent by PASSPORTchoices campers exploring how their individual interests and passions impact their Christian identity and their role in the Kingdom. Campers also had the opportunity each week to give to support the CBF Offering for Global Missions, an opportunity that is part of the long-standing partnership between Passport, Inc. and the Fellowship. “Birthed out of the theological and missional heart of CBF, PASSPORT has a long-standing history of committed partnership,” said Colleen Burroughs, vice president of communications for Passport, Inc. “For 24 years, we have been educating and training future faith leaders, who now serve in positions as CBF leaders around the world. And over those years, we are excited to have raised more than $700,000 for CBF Global Missions.” This support is crucial to the work of CBF Global Missions and, in 2016, campers contributed $39,189 to support CBF field personnel. This partnership is an amazing example of the full body of Christ, from young to old, coming together to renew God’s world and do Kingdom work. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016

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CBF field personnel creates intentional community in Danville By Ashleigh Bugg


n various faith circles, the term “living in intentional community” is a buzz phrase akin to “being missional” or “doing life together.” But what does the practice actually entail? And are Christians called to do it? For many in the United States, the idea of living with intention in the communities they serve can be an intimidating concept. “Believe me, life together scares me too,” said Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel Joshua Hearne, who serves alongside his wife, Jessica, as part of the leadership team at Grace and Main, an “intentional and ecumenical Christian community” located in Danville, Va. “First and foremost, we are a gathering of folks who believe it is our calling to be living with and among those experiencing things like homelessness, addiction, poverty, hunger, housing insecurity and other marginalizing forces,” Hearne said. “We believe the foundation of all good work is relationships.” The community at Grace and Main began as an “accident” after Jessica and Joshua Hearne joined a Bible study to make friends

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in November 2009. “Honestly, I went because I was trying to find friends,” Hearne said. “My wife and I had been in Danville for a little over a year and had good jobs, but we needed friends. ” The group became closer, sharing meals and prayers, beginning to talk about what it would look like to “go where God was leading even if it was hard or scary — even if it meant giving up other things,” Hearne said. “God used that, baby step-by-baby step, to cultivate this baby community.” Today the community comprises a “network of hospitality houses” in Danville, a city of nearly 43,000. People who need a place to stay may live in a house for days, weeks or months at a time, depending on their situation. Neighbors knock on each other’s doors and join each other for meals, and the full community gathers a few times each week for evening prayer. The community is made up of mostly “lay people” but, according to Hearne, “there are a couple of ordained folk.” In the world of intentional community, this group is what you would call a “dispersed community,” Hearne explained.

“We are multiple houses spread over a couple of neighborhoods.” The community currently has six homes that have taken up a “commitment to hospitality,” meaning they each have one or more guest bedrooms set up as a place for someone to stay. “We are slowly turning our life into mission,” said Hearne. “Oftentimes we think of mission as something we do — we think of mission as a program. I think that, in reality, mission is a lifestyle. Often, Christians are tempted to think of mission as something they fit into the spaces of their lives, but we want to bend our lives around mission.” In the Grace and Main community, this includes opening their homes so people can have a place to stay, use the bathroom or share a meal; it also means working with local shelters, food pantries and nonprofit organizations. “It is also being in real reciprocal relationships with folks who are experiencing things like homelessness, poverty, hunger and addiction,” said Hearne, emphasizing the importance of living in the neighborhoods where he serves.

CBF field personnel Jessica and Joshua Hearne (pictured second row far left) share all parts of life together with community members of Grace and Main, from birthdays and celebrations to meals and prayers and work on an urban farm.

“Our wellness is wrapped up in each other,” he said. “It’s not just the person of means or resources caring for the person whoexperiences a lack; it’s building communities that support everyone.” The community has come a long way since its initial stages as a Bible study and prayer group. “We did that and after a while, we said: ‘What if we did all that plus invite people to come eat dinner with us?’” Hearne said. “And then it was: ‘What if we did all that, plus we had a common fund?’ So we kept a common fund where we all contributed resources to help provide for each

at a time,” Hearne said. “And eventually settling on ‘this looks a lot like one of those intentional community things.’” The group looked to different communities in the United States for guidance. We had great examples like Koinonia Farm in Georgia, the Catholic Worker


other and those with whom we were learning to share our lives — one of the first things we bought from that fund was diapers for a single mother who joined us at a meal." The small Bible study continued to grow, and every few weeks or months the group would take a new baby step until it evolved beyond just a Bible study. The group started having serious conversations about what they were creating. “We began talking about it for weeks

houses and Rutba House in Durham” Hearne said. “We had a lot of wonderful and beautiful examples, and we were astonished that all of these things were called intentional communities, but looked so different from each other.” Despite their distinctions, each place had commonalities. “We were exposed to this idea of intentional community by mindset,” Hearne said. “Principles by which we practiced

common vocation in community.” In Danville, 13 people have made a formal commitment to this way of life, but the number of people who identify with being a part of Grace and Main is much greater. Around 40 to 50 people show up with some regularity to prayers and meals. The community puts an emphasis on incorporating directly affected community members into their leadership. A significant number of people who are leaders know what it’s like to be hungry or without shelter. “One of our favorite stories is how we started offering hospitality in our homes in the first place,” Hearne said. “We would do something called the ‘roving feast,’ where we walked around asking people if they wanted to share lunch with us.” Hearne said they encouraged dignity and agency. If someone said they were not interested, they immediately backed off. “We went up to this guy and asked him if he wanted to share a meal, and he put up his hand and said, ‘you can go,’” Hearne said. The members moved on, but checked on him occasionally until one day, when the man, Roland,* told them he’d lived without housing for 18 years. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016

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Eventually Roland befriended the community, and they were able to work together so he could receive housing. After Roland’s first night of living in his own place, Hearne visited him and was surprised to find someone sleeping on his couch. Hearne was worried the person had taken advantage of Roland and asked him what happened. Roland looked at him and said, “Josh, folks need a place to stay.” This was a turning point for the group. “After experiencing homelessness for 18 years, Roland in his first night in his own home, thought it was ludicrous that he would have an empty couch when he knew there were people who didn’t have a place to stay,” Hearne said. Roland's declaration changed the way that Hearne and his community interacted with the city. “What hit me right between the eyes was I had never had that thought. Not once had I ever been moved beyond a vague bad feeling that I had an empty couch, an empty bed,” Hearne said. “That was the time when as a community, we all kind of stopped and thought, ‘Roland is right. How do we live in light of our brother’s faith?’” Hearne said community members continually share their faith with him. “When we pray the Lord’s prayer with folks, and they say, ‘give us this day our daily bread,’ there are people in that circle for

whom that is not a metaphor,” Hearne said. “That is not some devotional moment. That is a genuine and honest petition. People who every day have to put their faith into practice, who have to trust God to come through.” The community has forced Hearne to ask difficult questions and to change his lifestyle, committed to living with the full belief that God will come through and God will transform lives. The community in turn has transformed Hearne. “I don’t believe in the resurrection because I need to believe in it in order to avoid hell,” Hearne said, “but because I’ve had the privileged opportunity to see people changed.” Today, Roland is still a part of the Grace and Main community and its leader, serving as a “minister of prayer.” He blesses mission teams who visit the community. “We always try to invert this idea of ‘mission teams’ and emphasize that groups consider it a visit rather than a mission trip,” Hearne said. “You’re coming to visit and participate in the life of the community for a few days.” Some who hear about Grace and Main and its commitments to hospitality, simplicity and presence may be apprehensive. “People always say, ‘Oh well, I just think that’s so scary,’ and I say, ‘I do too, but I also find my life is distinctly blessed by these commitments.”

The Hearnes are adamant that their way of life is not required for everyone. “I want everyone to understand very clearly that not everyone is called to intentional community,” he said. “We believe the practice of joining or starting an intentional community is the calling of some people, not all people.” Although not everyone is called to intentional community, Hearne affirms that all people are called to something. “For us, it’s not so much, ‘Hey we found the solution, it’s intentional community, go out and join or start one,’” Hearne said. “For us, we found the solution, and it’s a life of careful baby step discipleship. It’s giving our lives to the will of God, whatever that may be. ” Hearne offers advice for Christians who may be considering joining or starting an intentional community: “It may be you and a few people you love or trust sitting together and reading Scripture and asking, ‘God, what do you want us to do?’ I think if we have the audacity to say to God, ‘God, what would you have me do?’ God will tell us.”

ASHLEIGH BUGG works as a community content producer at the Center for News and Design in Austin, Texas.

Families of all shapes and sizes are part of Grace and Main, sharing in fellowship and faith together through Bible study, baptism, daily prayer and meals.

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By Aaron Weaver DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is continuing its disaster relief efforts in south central Louisiana following devastating flooding in early August. Over the course of eight days, 20-plus inches of rain resulted in widespread flooding causing 13 deaths, an estimated $110 million in agricultural losses and damage to 40,000 homes. CBF Disaster Response, led by Alan Williams, has been coordinating efforts alongside CBF of Louisiana, working in partnership with two Baton Rouge congregations — Broadmoor Baptist Church and University Baptist Church — as well as other state/regional organizations including CBF of Mississippi to assess ongoing need, provide aid and receive volunteer teams. Broadmoor Baptist Church, which has served as the base of Fellowship relief efforts, has been significantly impacted by the historic floods, with 50 families whose homes were flooded. Bobby Rayburn, who serves as minister of spiritual formation at Broadmoor, said members ranging from young families with infants to seniors had seen anywhere from three to 10 feet of water in their homes. Everyone in the church’s three-parish area has had family or friends affected, Rayburn said. “We need hands and funds more than anything,” Rayburn said. “The most important thing now is people literally being the hands and feet of Christ.” Volunteer teams from CBF churches have travelled to Baton Rouge to take part in the relief work underway alongside teams from Broadmoor, including Emmanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria, La., First Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Mo., Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, The Memorial Baptist Church in Greenville, N.C., and First Baptist Church in Shreveport, La. Nearly 70 additional Cooperative Baptists spent their Labor Day weekend in Baton Rouge participating in the disaster response efforts. Eight CBF churches sent teams, including: Second Baptist

To provide financial support for CBF’s relief efforts in Louisiana, give online at, or you may mail a check payable to “CBF” with Acct. 17006 in the memo line to:

CBF Disaster Response in partnership with CBF of Louisiana and other state/ regional organizations is providing relief to victims of the historic floods in August that devastated southern Louisiana. Nearly 70 Cooperative Baptists from eight CBF churches spent their Labor Day weekend in Baton Rouge, La., cleaning out and removing debris from damaged homes. .

Church, Little Rock, Ark.; Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas; Broadway Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas; Austin Heights Baptist Church, Nacogdoches, Texas; Kirkwood Baptist Church, St. Louis; Second Baptist Church, Memphis, Tenn., Immanuel Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn.; and First Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tenn. CBF state organizations also assisted in the Labor Day relief work, including CBF Kentucky, which provided a trailer of tools, and CBF of Arkansas, which made available portable showers for the volunteer teams. Rayburn noted that the recovery process will be a long journey. “This will be a long process for many people here,” Rayburn said. “Everybody here has suffered in some way. For some it will be easy to physically replace things and dwellings, but for some they might never be able to.” Rayburn encouraged Cooperative Baptists to “be the church.” “Please pray without ceasing. Please ask people to help in any way they can. Please pray for our staff here at Broadmoor. I am blessed and grateful to work with such loving and gracious people.”

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship P.O. Box 102972 Atlanta, GA 30368-2972

For additional information on the relief efforts and how you can be involved, contact CBF U.S. Disaster Response Director Alan Williams at


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Opportunities to

October 2016

CBF field personnel Scarlette Jasper works to repair broken lives in rural Kentucky through education, housing assistance and developing the assets of local residents.


Visit for additional Opportunities to Affect, including: At Home: Around the Table In Worship: A Missions Moment

LEARN Learn more about the work of Scarlette Jasper at

PRAY Pray for Scarlette and other CBF field personnel using CBF’s prayer guide, Prayers of the People. Download the PDF at

NETWORK Information about the new CBF Global Missions funding model is available at

GIVE Your gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions secures the long-term presence of field personnel. Donate online at

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty IN SMALL GROUPS

Missions Education Resource The outline below is designed for adult mission groups, Bible study classes and other small groups. Share copies of fellowship! magazine with group members prior to the meeting and have extra copies available. These suggestions are for a 45-minute time frame. 1. Read the article on pp. 12-15 in this issue of fellowship! and gather copies for the participants. Collect resources for the Offering for Global Missions ( and payday lending ( for distribution during the session. 2. Begin with Holly McAdams’ story. Explain that Holly was connected with CBF field personnel Scarlette Jasper through Bethany House, a domestic violence shelter in Somerset, Ky. Share how Scarlette partners with various agencies to assist people like Holly. Tell how each of these agencies were involved: Potentials Inc., Mountain Moms, the Housing Authority of Somerset and a credit counselor. 3. Ask: “Why is it important for field personnel like Scarlette Jasper to partner with agencies such as those mentioned?” 5. Share information about Extreme Build and Tasha Patton’s story. 6. Ask the group to recall and name the various partnerships that Scarlette Jasper includes in her ministry. 7. Ask: “What agencies in our community help people like Holly McAdams and Tasha

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Patton? How can our congregation partner with them?” 8. Ask: “Is payday or predatory lending a problem in our community?” After brief discussion, refer to the Offering for Global Missions and payday lending materials you secured before the session. 9. Say: “Previously, Jasper was responsible for securing funding for her ministry. Under the new model for funding field personnel, the CBF Offering for Global Missions will secure the long-term presence of all field personnel by funding their salaries, benefits and housing costs.” 10. Ask: “Why is it important to give generously to the Offering for Global Missions?” Refer to the materials you ordered and ask participants to take these following the session. 11. Close with prayer for Scarlette Jasper and her ministry — and field personnel at home and abroad.

Opportunities to

November 2016

First Baptist Church of Chattanooga, Tenn., responds to the needs of the most marginalized and neglected in their community, including offering free haircuts to men and women experiencing homelessness.


Visit for additional Opportunities to Affect, including: In Small Groups At Home: Around the Table

LEARN Learn more about First Baptist Church of Chattanooga at

PRAY Pray for ministries, churches and needs around the world using CBF’s prayer guide, Prayers of the People. Download the PDF at

NETWORK Explore opportunities to join a network of support and service at

GIVE Your gifts to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship foster missional engagement in partner churches and ministries. Give online at

Community Ministry in Chattanooga AT CHURCH: CHILDREN’S SERMON Missions Education Resource

The outline below is designed for use during a children’s moment at church. 1. Read the article about First Baptist Chattanooga in this issue of fellowship!. Identify a mission challenge for the children. At the end of the children’s sermon, challenge children to participate in this mission with their families. 2. Begin by welcoming children as they arrive for the Children’s Sermon. 3. Tell a short personal story of a time when someone helped you or you witnessed someone helping. Examples could include holding a door for someone, carrying grocery bags or cooking a meal. 4. Ask: When has someone helped you? When have you helped someone else? 5. Say: Each of you do a great job helping others. In the Bible, Jesus tells us that it is important to help others. Jesus tells us to feed people who are hungry, give water to people who are thirsty, take care of people who are sick and visit people who are in jail. Jesus wants us to take care of people. There is a church in Tennessee called First Baptist Church Chattanooga. They do a lot of things that help other people. They have clothes and food for people who don’t have enough money to buy them. They help people who are homeless find houses. They help people who need jobs or need classes to learn important things. This church looks around and

finds people in its city that need help, and they help them. This church does a lot of great things. We can do great things here at our church, too. 6. Ask: What does our church do to help people? 7. Talk about some of the ways that your church helps others. 8. Say: God wants us to make sure that people are not hungry or hurting. God wants us to show love and kindness to all people and help them when they need something. 9. Challenge children to participate in the selected mission activity. 10. Say: There are lots of different ways to show God’s love. This mission activity is one way that we can show God’s love to people in need. 11. Prayer: God, thank you for loving us. Help us to love others like you love us. Help us to be kind and generous to all people. Amen.


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160 Clairemont Avenue, Suite 500 Decatur, GA 30030 (800) 352-8741



Downloading resources at Planning a special worship service highlighting your church’s partnership with CBF Using the Bible study curriculum during your Sunday school class or small group Taking a picture with an ampersand and posting it to social media using #cbf25

fellowship! magazine - October/November 2016  
fellowship! magazine - October/November 2016