It is the most rural of the three associations Lonnie Wascom, director of missions, oversees, but the impact the 20 churches in the association makes is huge.
LATANGI BAPTIST ASSOCIATION – It is the most rural of the three associations Lonnie Wascom, director of missions, oversees, but the impact the 20 churches in the association makes is huge.
Located in eastern Livingston and Tangipahoa Parishes, this small Baptist association has reached out to its two larger cousins to the east in a big way, especially during the post-Katrina era.
“They do a such great job,” Wascom said. “They have formed a tight identity with the two other associations to the East, thanks to the Katrina.
“They were probably the least affected physically after the storm because they were pretty far west of the storm’s path. But post-Katrina they have truly done a tremendous job of ministering to their brothers and sisters in the East. I suspect from listening to their testimony and from the experiences I have witnessed over the past couple of years, LaTangi didn’t always relate to the others.
“But the storm did a remarkable thing – it brought our churches together into a unified body,” Wascom said. “This is cooperation at its finest.”
Besides its giving spirit, LaTangi is proving to have “an incredibly strong WMU (Women’s Missionary Union) team,” Wascom said. “It is top shelf. The ladies on the team do such a remarkable job, and the attendance and effort is just phenomenal. As a matter of fact, not only are the WMU sponsored events – a world crafts day, a world day of prayer, an international bible study – done well, but they are well intended, and that’s not always the case in other places.”
Even the pastors from the association’s 20 churches like to attend the numerous events taking place.
Wascom, though, says the WMU’s best-attended event would have to be the group’s pastor-staff-spouse appreciation dinner. There is great food, gifts and an inspirational speaker. “It is amazing to see the participation. It is not uncommon to see 18 or 19 pastors present,” said Wascom.
The association plays a strong role in the ministering of students at the high schools … Springfield, Albany and schools in the Ponchatoula school district … through various functions at each school.
Also noteworthy is the association’s minister conferences. Besides the good fellowship, these conferences allow the pastors to focus on the attributes of God. The pastors prepare and present papers on doctrinal matters.
“I must admit these pastors do a very fine job of researching, preparing and presenting these papers,” said Wascom. “There is a lot of thought put into them. As a matter of fact, I’ve been to a number of doctrinal seminars and conferences where the papers weren’t as good as the one’s given at the LaTangi conference. It makes for a very healthy conference.”