By Staff, Baptist Message
EDITOR’S NOTE: In an effort to get to know the men who will be nominated for the position of president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, the Baptist Message continues its practice of allowing them share about themselves in a question and answer format. The Baptist Message has been apprised that Mike Walker and Waylon Bailey will be nominated at the LBC Annual Meeting and they both graciously agreed to participate in the Q & A.
[img_assist|nid=7705|title=Waylon Bailey|desc=Senior Pastor First Baptist Church Covington Covington, La.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=511]Waylon Bailey, senior pastor, First Baptist Church Covington, Covington, La.
Why have you agreed to allow
your nomination for convention president?
Over the last two years, a number of people across the state have encouraged me to do this. At first, I quickly declined but more and more I have been open to the idea. Just recently, I feel that God has “released” me for this responsibility. I love Louisiana and Louisiana Baptists. If our convention asks me to serve, I will do so gladly.
If elected, what will be your primary
focus as convention president?
I believe that churches are God’s plan. When people work together in sharing their faith, good things happen. This is what has happened in Covington over my 22 years as pastor. We have emphasized church health. Being obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit is a big part of church health. People will invite their friends where they see health and the Spirit of God at work.
I will encourage the convention to strengthen leaders and churches. We all have to know our communities and to establish Christ-honoring ministries to the community.
What are your thoughts on the issue
of declining baptisms in our convention?
How would you address the issue?
God works according to His plan, not according to my plan or anyone else’s plan. Therefore, we want to find where God is at work and get on board with Him. In our church, we find that baptisms track our Bible Study. God honors the study of His Word and obedience to His Word. When we emphasize the Word of God and invite our friends, we see lives being changed. I believe that we must emphasize the basics in church life: worship, Scripture, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, and missions.
What percentage of undesignated receipts does your church give to the Cooperative Program? How would you approach promotion and support of the CP?
FBC, Covington gives 5 percent of undesignated receipts.
I would promote what our money does. We do good things in Louisiana. We need to tell our story and let the results speak for themselves. In today’s society, we need to personalize each ministry as much as possible.
How much does your church give to what is now known as Great Commission Giving?
I hope that I am correct on what fits in this new term in Baptist life. Our total Great Commission Giving last year was $435,224 which includes the Cooperative Program, Northshore Baptist Association, Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong, and Georgia Barnette Offerings, and mission trips to Colombia, The Czech Republic, India, China, Puerto Rico, and Haiti. We also gave $42,000 for Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake.
We served our local area as well. Our local missions giving was an additional $126,000.
Offer a brief statement about your theology, including your view of the Bible.
I believe that the Bible is God-breathed and our only guide for faith and practice. I believe it to be without error, infallible, and completely trustworthy.
Jesus is the Son of God and the only way to salvation. We come to salvation by grace through faith. It is God’s work on our behalf. I believe that the church has been commissioned to take the Gospel to all the world. Apart from faith in Christ, an individual is eternally lost.
How would you describe your support
of Louisiana Baptist Convention agencies?
I served as pastor of First Baptist Church Donaldsonville from 1970-76.
During that time I saw firsthand the kingdom impact the LBC and SBC made in south Louisiana. In the early years, the church received assistance from the Georgia Barnette Offering and many people in the church were saved through the French-speaking radio broadcasts.
The church was blessed by the bus that ran down the bayou from BBI (New Orleans Seminary). For these and many other reasons, I believe strongly in the cooperative work that we do and support the LBC wholeheartedly.
What do you see as the greatest challenge
facing Louisiana Baptists at this time?
I believe in churches. Jesus established the church. As the church goes, so goes the convention, the nation, and the world.
We must establish healthy churches and we must do everything in our power to help every church carry out its commission.
One day, Jesus will present His church without spot or blemish. That means that now we are plagued with flaws. We must conform our individual lives to the image of Christ. Being conformed to Christ will make for healthier churches and a better convention.
What would you want Louisiana Baptists to know about you that hasn’t been addressed.
In recent years, I have tried to let my family and my church family know why I do what I do. At first I resisted God’s call. I was not a volunteer, but I am thankful to have been drafted to preach! When I surrendered to God’s call I received an immediate passion to preach the Gospel. That passion is greater today than it has ever been. I want to use whatever time I have to preach and teach the Good News. Our time is short.