June 2013

Through CP, church’s committed to going ‘above & beyond’ for Christ

When pastor Gevan Spinney (second from left) heard then-IMB President Jerry Rankin state it is not the church’s responsibility, not the International Mission Board’s, to fulfill the Great Commission, he led First Baptist Church in Haughton to embrace an unreached people group in East Asia.

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

HAUGHTON – Within the past five years, First Baptist Church in Haughton has made a commitment to go the second mile.

This can be seen in its partnerships with Southern Baptist missions and ministries in East Asia, northern Mexico, Wisconsin, central Louisiana, a nearby prison and metro Shreveport.


New births emerge from Crossover 2013 witness

Pablo Rodriguez, a volunteer at Bethel Baptist Church’s block party in Houston, prays with Fred Luter, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, June 8 at the church. Luter visited several churches holding evangelistic outreaches as part of Crossover 2013. More than 200 families from the neighborhood attended the evangelistic event.

By Staff, Baptist Press

HOUSTON (BP) – As Southern Baptists gathered in Houston to conduct the business of the convention, the power of believers working together to intentionally share the Gospel was being felt in the SBC host city, with 582 reported professions of faith in Christ.

The evangelistic outreach is held on the weekend prior to the convention.


Pastors' Conference speakers exhort faithfulness

Rodney Woo, pastor of the International Baptist Church in Singapore, speaks during the second morning of the two-day 2013 Pastors' Conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

By Staff, Baptist Press

HOUSTON (BP) -- Pastors received encouragement and challenge to remain strong in ministry and to champion the Gospel during the Southern Baptist Pastors' Conference June 9-10 in Houston.

SBPC President Gregg Matte, pastor of Houston's First Baptist Church, invited speakers serving in churches from coast to coast and internationally. The annual two-day event concluded with a message from former Arkansas governor and current Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee. (See separate Baptist Press story).





Be 'Totally His,' Elliff urges Baptists

Tom Elliff, IMB president, challenged Southern Baptists to commit to being "Totally His" for international missions and to cooperate together for the Gospel in IMB's presentation during the SBC Annual Meeting June 11-12 in Houston.

By Laura Fielding, IMB Communications

HOUSTON (BP) -- International Mission Board President Tom Elliff challenged Southern Baptists to commit to being "Totally His" and cooperate for the sake of the Gospel during the mission board's report at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Houston.


Ezell: More missionaries, church planters needed

North American Mission Board president Kevin Ezell addresses messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Houston. Ezell said NAMB's mission is to penetrate lostness in North America and its strategy to accomplish the task is Send North America.

By Joe Conway, Baptist Press

HOUSTON (BP) -- North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell, during his report to the SBC annual meeting, called on Southern Baptists to dramatically increase the number of missionaries and church planters being sent to the North American mission field.

"This year we have 600 student missionaries," Ezell told messengers June 11 in Houston. "In a convention with 45,000 churches and 16 million members, that is not bad, that is pathetic. We must have 6,000 student missionaries every year."


Resolutions cover BSA policy, children, victims

Steve Lemke, provost for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and chair of the Committee on Resolutions, presents the resolutions during the morning session of the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting June 12 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Messengers voted on resolutions presented that morning.

By Tom Strode, Baptist Press

HOUSTON (BP) -- Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention dealt, as expected, with the hot-button issue of the Boy Scouts' new membership policy, but also passed a series of resolutions expressing compassion for the victimized and vulnerable.


WMU celebrates 125 years of missions

Wanda Lee, executive director of the Woman's Missionary Union, speaks about the legacy of developing women leaders during the organization's 125th anniversary celebration.

By Shannon Baker & Laura Fielding

HOUSTON (BP) -- Missions stories from Africa, Asia and the Americas highlighted the 125th anniversary celebration of the national Woman's Missionary Union during their 2013 Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting, June 9-10 at the Hilton Americas in Houston.

In addition, 2013-14 marks the 100th anniversary of missions education for girls (Girls' Auxiliary, Girls in Action and Acteens) as well as the 25th anniversary of WMU's Second Century Fund, which was birthed at WMU's centennial to fund leadership training for women worldwide.


Luter leads slate in mostly quiet election

Newly elected officers of the SBC include (clockwise from bottom left): Bart Barber, first vice president, pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas; John Yeats, re-elected recording secretary, executive director of Missouri Baptist Convention; Jim Wells, re-elected registration secretary, strategic partners team leader for the Missouri Baptist Convention; Jared Moore, second vice president, pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, Ky.; and Fred Luter, re-elected president, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans.

By John Evans, Baptist Press

HOUSTON (BP) -- Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, was elected without opposition to a second term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, leading a slate of candidates who ran mostly unopposed.

Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas, was elected first vice president, while Jared Moore, pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, Ky., won a term as second vice president.


Over-representation on SBC boards addressed

Executive Committee members elected the following officers by acclamation for the coming year on June 10, 2013 (from back to front: Frank Page as president and CEO; John Yeats, convention recording secretary; Chris Osborne as chairman of the business and finance committee; Rodney Autry, front left, as chairman of the Cooperative Program committee; Mike Routt, pastor of Circle Drive Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., vice chairman; Ernest Easley, pastor of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., chairman; Carol Yarber, secretary.

By Erin Roach, Baptist Press

HOUSTON (BP) -- During the Executive Committee report June 11, messengers adopted a recommendation to designate the District of Columbia, Maryland and Delaware as a "defined territory" to determine eligibility for representation on SBC committees and entity boards.

The recommendation stems from expressed concerns that representatives on SBC entities and committees from the District of Columbia are being drawn from too few churches.


NAAF hires Jay Wells as exec. director

Terry Turner Sr., pastor of Mesquite Fellowship Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas, speaks at the annual worship service of the National African American Fellowship June 9 at Fallbrook Church in Houston in conjunction with the two-day Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

By Diana Chandler

HOUSTON (BP) -- The National African American Fellowship named Elgia "Jay" Wells as executive director during its business meeting Monday (June 10), creating the paid position as one of several steps to make the group more responsive to its members.