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Florida Fellowship News A publication of The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida Fourth Quarter - Volume 22, Number 4

Welcoming the Stranger By Rachel Gunter Shapard with CBF Field Personnel Marc and Kim Wyatt and Nell Green Marc and Kim Wyatt, CBF Field Personnel in Ottawa, Canada, work daily with a population of people who are in desperate need of good news. Each year thousands of immigrants and refugees arrive in Canada. In 2009 Canada welcomed more than 20,000 refugees seeking a safe haven. Many immigrants arrive with very little to call their own and struggle tremendously due to the language barrier. The CBF Offering for Global Missions provides funding for the Wyatts and the ministries of more than 135 CBF field personnel. For some, the offering is their sole source of funding. This offering enables the sending and sustaining of field personnel on mission fields around the world. This year the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Offering for Global Missions spotlights the following ministries: 1) The art of being Christ’s presence in Bali, featuring Jonathan and Tina Bailey, 2) Building hope and changing lives in Indonesia, featuring Cindy and Eddy Ruble, 3) Welcoming refugees to God’s family in Ottawa, featuring Marc and Kim Wyatt. Commissioned in 1996, Marc and Kim Wyatt have learned to stay open to God’s direction in meeting the considerable needs of the refugee population in Canada. From 2007 to 2010, an unprecedented number of undocumented Haitians sought asylum in Canada. Most had no sponsorship through the United Nations and therefore ended up homeless. Churches across Canada were overrun by the sheer number of people in need.

Marc and Kim Wyatt are CBF Field Personnel in Ottawa

In Ottawa, the Wyatts and their partners responded to the emergency call for help issued by the Christian Church. The Wyatts worked to establish two initiatives to address the needs created through the Haitian immigration crisis: Matthew House Ottawa (, and Furniture Bank of Ottawa ( To date, Matthew House has grown to include three shelters that assist up to 15 refugee claimants and has served over 70 people since its inception. The Furniture Bank serves 20 families per week, supplying refugees with all their furnishing needs at no cost. Over 10,000 people have received assistance since the beginning of the Haitian immigration crisis.

Marc and Kim Wyatt study the Bible along with a gathering of Haitian refugees.

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida has made an impact on the Wyatts’ ministry through the work of a very dedicated group of people from College Park Baptist Church in Orlando.

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“I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35

Welcoming the Stranger

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Quilters on Mission began almost a decade ago, when through the encouragement of CBF field personnel Butch and Nell Green, they began making quilts to send to refugees in Belgium. The current group consists of seventeen women who minister to those in need, both in their local community and abroad. The Quilters on Mission are “dedicated to using [their] talents and passion for beautiful fabrics and designs to bring honor and glory to God.” Charter member of Quilters on Mission, Merilyn Atkins, says that, “It gives us great joy to know that we have a part in ministering to those with such great needs.” She continued, “We pray that our quilts will be a tangible demonstration of God's love for them.”


“Thanks to the ministry of the Quilters on Mission,” said Marc and Kim Wyatt, “refugees staying at Matthew House in Ottawa are warm. The quilts provide both a practical and loving way to encourage and bless hurting people. This gracious act of kindness, given freely by friends far away, makes all the difference for people wanting to experience GOOD NEWS.”

___________________ The Story of the Matthew House Movement in Canada Joey Clifton

Would you like to learn more about refugees? Marc and Kim Wyatt, CBF Field Personnel in Ottawa, Canada, published a book describing their work with refugee shelters over the past 14 years. It was featured at the General Assembly in Ft. Worth with a book signing and has sold over 1000 copies since. “The Matthew House Story is a beautiful account of how God works through ordinary people to perform extraordinary ministry. It’s a compelling book that tells how communities of individuals, churches and organizations have worked together to create holistic, sustainable ministries to refugees. I was inspired and challenged.” Daniel Vestal To purchase copies of The Above Ground Railroad Email the Wyatts at or call them at 613-521-4918. Proceeds from the purchase of this book directly benefit the ministry at Matthew House.

How can churches across the Sunshine State and the Caribbean Islands get involved in ministering to refugees? Butch and Nell Green, CBF Field Personnel who served at Touching Miami with Love in its early years, now live in Houston, Texas, where they equip North American churches to care for immigrants and refugees in their own communities. “Opportunities are available to everyone,” says Nell Green. “Look for a local YMCA that offers English classes and offer to teach internationals English as a second language. Volunteer to facilitate citizenship classes with a local agency. Find out if there is a refugee resettlement office in your area, and if so, adopt a family and help them adjust. Collect furniture and school supplies and deliver them to a refugee agency in a nearby city if you do not have one in your hometown.” After contemplating a ministry to local refugees, consider partnering with CBF Field Personnel in their global efforts to “welcome the stranger.” The Wyatts and other missionaries who minister daily to refugees would gladly welcome the support of individuals and churches who feel called to embrace the stranger at home and abroad.

Followers of Christ seek to minister to the least of these: to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to welcome the stranger. CBF churches across the state are providing assistance both to those in need locally and looking for ways to minister globally to the “least of these.” Your gifts to CBF’s Offering for Global Missions support the work of CBF field personnel Kim and Marc Wyatt as they minister among refugees and immigrants in Ottawa, Canada. To learn more about this year’s Offering, go to: To stay updated on CBF’s continuing work with internationals and refugees, become a member of the Communities Site for Internationals Ministries at:

Members of College Park’s Quilters on Mission

Make use of the educational and worship resources in this newsletter that highlight and enrich a church’s missions emphasis. Check out the material in the above sidebar; use the hymn on the top of page 3, “Outcast Stranger” (music by Ken Medema and words by Hendricks Avenue’s Tommy Shapard). For more information on CBF’s global missions, visit the CBF website at Missions. Browse through Communities Site for International Ministries from your computer at OR from your smart phone, scan the adjacent tag with Microsoft Tag Reader.

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Florida Fellowship News

Outcast Stranger CALIFORNIA Written to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Ken Medema is available for leadership in worship services, concerts and workshops. Visit Ken’s website at For use of the entire hymn, contact Beverly at

Small .

. . Medium . . . Large: Doing Missions in a Small Church The first of 3 articles on missions and church size By Rachel Gunter Shapard

Is it possible for a small church to participate in big ways in the Missio Dei (Latin for “Mission of God”)? Talk with anyone in the new church, The Well at Springfield in downtown Jacksonville, or drop in for worship one Sunday morning, and you’ll soon discover that size doesn’t matter.

So how does a smaller church connect with their community? For starters, the members of The Well garden. They work a plot in the community garden, and while sweating alongside their neighbors, they embrace all those they encounter. The church also partners with the Azalea Project, a local program which supports women of childbearing age who have a history of addiction. Once a month, church members take lunch to these women. Members of The Well also taught a 3-week class on the importance of loving one’s self.

Each week, those assembled for worship at The Well recite the following words: “We are a community of faith seeking to practice the way of Jesus together by loving our neighbor and loving our city.” It’s in the practicing that the members of The Well engage the Missio Dei. They have no difficulty in “getting their hands dirty” as they join with the Divine in mission.

The Well is also planning to host a house party for Rethreaded, a local non-profit agency whose mission is to create jobs and security for women who have escaped a life in sex trafficking so that they might “sew a new story.”

Here’s how The Well is currently living Members of The Well work together in the into the Missio Dei. This faith community garden in Springfield community may be modest in number — averaging 30-35 in worship each Sunday — but when it These are just a few ways that The Well has been acting out comes to missions, they are determined to make a big their call to missions this fall. The church desires to build difference in the world around them. relationships with their neighbors through meeting needs, As a new church start with limited resources, members of The Well decided to place their initial focus upon local missions. Pastor Susan Rogers stated, “We don’t see mission as a category or a project. For us, mission is part of the overall rhythm of the life of the church; it is built into our life together.” Florida Fellowship News

sharing life and being present with them over the long haul. If you ask the Springfield community, they’ll tell you church size doesn’t matter! NOTE: Look for the first newsletter of 2013 for the second article in this series, being missional in a medium-sized church.

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Catching the Missions Bug by Ray Johnson I love missions. I love it when local churches “catch the bug,” begin to see how God is at work in creation, and decide to join the Creator’s redemptive work. I love it when individual followers of Jesus step out in faith and discover how God uses them to serve the world and to be the presence of Jesus. I love partnering with friends in new and different places. And, I love seeing the work of God in transforming human lives. This issue focuses on Cooperative Baptists and missions. You’ll read how CBF field personnel (aka “missionaries”) are working to create places and spaces for God’s grace. The work is happening in Ottawa, Canada, an incredibly diverse city, where Kim and Marc Wyatt serve the burgeoning population of immigrants who come to Ottawa each year.

church size does not matter when it comes to missions. You’ll also read about Missy Ward, newly commissioned field personnel from Florida, who is completing her studies at McAfee School of Theology this fall. She’ll be headed to Uganda in 2013 as soon as she raises the support she needs. I want you to know that age does not matter when it comes to missions. All of these stories, and more, are possible because field personnel catch the bug and because Cooperative Baptists give generously both to CBF National’s Offering for Global Missions and to CBF of Florida’s Annual Missions Offering. Everything that is given to these offerings goes to support the work of Cooperative Baptist missions, both here in North America, in the Caribbean, and around the world.

There are more stories to tell. You can read them online. And you can give to support the work of CBF’s mission personnel at, or If you’d like to find out how to connect more deeply to God’s mission in the You’ll read the first of three articles on CBF Florida churches that world, just give me a call. I love it when people catch the are doing missions. This first installment focuses on the work of missions bug. a “small” congregation doing missions, The Well at Springfield, where Susan Rogers is the pastor. I hope you will discover that

CBF Florida Moderators serve faithfully Greg Magruder, who pastors Parkview Baptist Church in Gainesville, concludes his year of service on December 31, 2012, as the 22nd Moderator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida.

most recently they became new grandparents. So, I deeply appreciate Greg’s leadership and support when he had a lot of other important matters to tend as well.” Christi Matteson will begin serving as Moderator on January 1, 2013. Matteson has served CBF Florida well over the years, having served two terms as a member of the Representative Assembly from District 2 (the northeastern quarter of Florida).

Magruder has been a long-time advocate of CBF of Florida. He and members of his congregation have served many years on the state’s Representative Assembly. During his tenure as moderator, he was a key figure in planning and leading CBF Florida’s 2012 Spring Celebration, which was held in Gainesville at the First Baptist Church. Magruder has worked with Ray Johnson, CBF Florida’s Coordinator, to plan strategically, to lead Representative Assembly meetings, and to tackle the always difficult task of preparing budgets. During Magruder’s time as Moderator, CBF Florida hired Rachel Gunter Shapard as Associate Coordinator, and Rachel Jeyaseelan as the new Director of Stetson University’s Cooperative Collegiate Fellowship. “Greg provided leadership and support in a very busy year for him,” Johnson commented. “Besides pastoring his congregation, he and his wife took a sabbatical leave and then Page 4

Before being elected as the Moderator-Elect, Matteson served as the Recording Secretary. An active member of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church for over twenty years, she served HAB as Chairperson of the Diaconate, Director of the Special Education Department, Personnel Committee Chairperson, and member of the church’s Coordinating Council. She and her husband, John, have three children, one of whom (Robbie) is a second-year student and a CBF Florida scholarship recipient at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary. The entire staff and leadership of CBF Florida is grateful for Christi’s commitment to the organization and appreciative of her willingness to share her time, energy and talents.

Florida Fellowship News

2012 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida Scholarship Recipients* Christina Cataldo

Claire Kermitz

Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology Atlanta, GA

Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology Atlanta, GA

Leah Crowley

Missy Ward

Gardner-Webb University’s School of Divinity Boiling Springs, NC

Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology Atlanta, GA

Holly Johnson Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology Atlanta, GA

Douglas Jewett

Robert Matteson

Grand Canyon University Phoenix, AZ

Baylor University’s Truett Divinity School Waco, TX

*CBF Florida’s ministry scholarships are possible because of The Lucy Smith Educational Endowment, named in memory of Lucille A. Smith, of Clermont, Florida, whose generosity established the endowment through her estate gift to CBF of Florida.

Meet Missy Ward A conversation with a young Baptist leader Why Cooperative Baptists? I was drawn to become a part of CBF because they are a community of believers who take seriously Christ’s mandate to be the hands and feet of Christ to the most marginalized and neglected in our world. Who was instrumental in your being called into Christian ministry? My mentor, Edisa, a Panamanian woman in her early sixties. Edisa has a deeply profound faith in God and has always been someone filled with joy and love, even in the most difficult experiences. God brought Edisa into my life shortly after I felt the call to missions and she has continued to partner with me and encourage me every step along the way. The best part about seminary for you is . . . being a part of a supportive and diverse community of believers. What are your plans for ministry when you finish your degree? I was commissioned as partner funded field personnel with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in June, 2012. In January of 2013, I will move to Kampala, Uganda to serve as the Refugee Women’s Advocacy Coordinator with Refuge and Hope International, a Christian ministry assisting people affected by war and conflict in East Africa. For more information on Missy’s ministry in Uganda, visit Florida Fellowship News

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February is Martha Stearns Marshall Month of Preaching Beginning in 2007, Baptist Women in Ministry named February the Martha Stearns Marshall Month of Preaching. Named after the 18th century preacher, the Martha Stearns Marshall Month of Preaching gives churches an opportunity to hear the Gospel proclaimed through the life experiences and insights of some of Baptists’ most gifted women. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida has a host of women preachers who can be recommended to any church that would like to participate in the Month of Preaching (or at any other time!) Call the Lakeland office or contact Ray Johnson (rjohnson01@ or Rachel Shapard ( for assistance or for more information. To learn more about the Martha Stearns Marshall Month of Preaching, visit Baptist Women in Marnie Fisher-Ingram, MSM Ministry’s website,, or use Microsoft tag reader and scan the tag to the right. Preacher at College Park Make plans now to participate each February in the Martha Stearns Marshall Month of Preaching. Baptist Church in 2012.

Welcome Rachel Jeyaseelan! Stetson’s Cooperative Collegiate Fellowship’s New Director Rachel Jeyaseelan was born in Daytona Beach to two loving missionary parents. She grew up serving in her local community and also traveling with her family abroad for mission trips. When studying at Stetson University, she double majored in Economics and Finance while participating in Stetson’s BCM (Baptist Campus Ministry). Currently, she is working towards getting her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification. This is her first term as director for Stetson’s Cooperative Collegiate Fellowship. THANK YOU FOR THE GIFTS!


A gift to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida, Touching Miami with Love, from Lurline Wilson, in memory of Larry Wynn and in honor of Laquita Wynn.

A gift to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida from Nancy Lynette, in memory of Evelyn Whipple.

A gift to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida from Harry and Sarah Handlin, in memory of Evelyn Whipple.

A gift to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida from Laura Cason, in memory of Evelyn Whipple.

A gift to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida from Jim and Carolyn Steinhouse, in memory of Evelyn Whipple.

A gift to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida from Norma Harrell, in memory of Evelyn Whipple.

A gift to Cooperative Baptist fellowship of Florida from Sharon Johnson, in memory of Evelyn Whipple.

January - September 2012

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Florida Fellowship News




Florida's Annual Missions Offering Materials Available Materials for the 2012 CBF Florida Missions Offering, Above and Beyond, have been sent to CBF Florida's churches along with information on the ten ministries that are funded by the offering. Those ministries include four self-funded CBF field personnel from Florida, Open House Ministries, Touching Miami with Love, CBF Florida's church planting ministries, Caribbean Island missions, Stetson University’s student ministry (CCF), and the Pat and Carolyn Anderson Scholarship Fund. For more information on the Offering, to receive materials or to request a missions speaker at your church, contact the CBF Florida office in Lakeland. You can also download materials from CBF Florida's website: http://

It’s that time again, time to begin looking for interested and qualified persons to help steer the ministries and mission of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida. If you, or someone you know, would be willing to serve on the Representative Assembly, send your suggested name, along with an email address, to Ray Johnson at

Peer Learning Groups The Associate Ministers Peer Learning Group is planning to meet two times this year. The second meeting will take place during the 2013 Spring Celebration which will be held at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville. The PLG is open to any and all associate pastors who would like to be a part of a fellowship of friends who are interested in mutual support and learning together. Contact Gary McCall, the group’s facilitator, at if you're interested in joining the group or for further information. DeLand Area Peer Learning Group The DeLand Area Peer Learning Group’s meeting information is subject to change. Contact Bob Mulkey , the group’s facilitator, at if you are interested in joining the group or for further information. Pastors and clergy are invited to this time of fellowship and continuing education.

The Tampa Bay Area Peer Learning Group will hold meetings the second Thursday of the month at Newest Issue of Florida Fellowship News Online Now 6:30 p.m., location to be determined. Contact Phil Miller-Evans, You can also read this newest issue of the Florida Fellowship News online now. To read the group's facilitator, at these articles and more, simply go to the current issue of the Florida Fellowship News at and click on the “Newsletter” tab at the top of the page. Be for more information or if you are sure to check us out on our Facebook page, too. planning on being at the meeting.

Re-vision Re-imagine Re-new

2013 CBF Florida’s Spring Celebration Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church, Jacksonville Friday, April 26 – Saturday, April 27 “I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5

IMPORTANT! Thank you for helping us keep you informed about the CBF of Florida community, particularly if you relocate. If any of your life’s information has changed (address, phone number, email . . . you get the idea), please contact Marti at: Call toll-free 888-241-2233 • Or local 863-682-6802. Florida Fellowship News

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Fourth Quarter Issue

Take a look and see what’s inside . . .

Contact CBF Florida at: P. O. Box 2556 Lakeland. FL 33806-2556 217 Hillcrest Street Lakeland, FL 33815 Toll-free 888•241•2233 Email:

Welcoming the Stranger Pages 1 and 2: CBF’s Offering for Global Missions features Marc and Kim Wyatt’s Ministry with refugees in Ottawa, Canada and College Park Baptist Church’s Quilters Staff

Welcome Rachel Jeyaseelan!

Ray Johnson Coordinator Rachel Gunter Shapard Associate Coordinator Marti Edwards Administrative Assistant Newsletter Editor Pat Herold Financial Secretary

Doing Missions in a smaller church (page 3)

Meet the 2012 CBF Florida Scholarship Recipients (page 5)

CBF Florida’s 2013 Spring Celebration set for April 26-27 (See page 7)

CBF Florida’s newest addition (page 6)

Browse through our website from your computer at OR from your smart phone, scan the adjacent tag with the Microsoft Tag Reader app.

Serving and connecting churches and individuals in their calling to be the presence of Christ

Florida Fellowship News is published bi-monthly by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida, Ray Johnson, Coordinator, P. O. Box 2556, Lakeland, FL 33806-2556. Postage paid at Jacksonville, Fla. Phone (863) 682-6802; Toll free (888) 241-2233. Fax (863) 683-5797. CBF-Florida’s e-mail address is; Web address is A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE: 1-800-4357352. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

Return service requested P. O. Box 2556 · Lakeland, FL 33806-2556 217 Hillcrest Street, Lakeland, FL 33815-4720

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida

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2012 Fourth Quarter Florida Fellowship News  

2012 Fourth Quarter Floeida Fellowship News

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