FROM THE STATES: Miss., N.M. & La. evangelism/missions news
Today's From the States features items from:
The Baptist Record (Mississippi)
Baptist New Mexican
Louisiana Baptist Message
Miss. Baptist youth gather
to hear Gospel challenge
By William H. Perkins Jr.
CLINTON, Miss. (The Baptist Record) -- More than 1,200 Mississippi Baptist youth thrilled to the high wire act of The Flying Wallendas aerial performance troupe and evangelists Gary Permenter and Bryant Bush taught from the Word at the Youth Evangelism Challenge Dec. 27-28 in A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton.
Bethany Barr Phillips of Tuscaloosa and her band provided music and worship for the annual event, which is sponsored by the Evangelism Department of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB) through the Mississippi Cooperative Program.
"We were pleased with the attendance -- there was a good crowd in the coliseum -- and the result was at least 37 professions of faith and a number of other decisions," said Don Lum, MBCB evangelism director.
Permenter is president of Gary Permenter Ministries, Inc., in Columbus, Miss. Bryant Bush is an evangelist and Christian musician based in Montgomery, Ala.
"The greatest mission fields in America today are junior high and senior high campuses," Lum said. "The focal points of this year's YEC were to equip Christian students to reach their peers and to train them to use the new evangelism material produced by the MBCB Youth Evangelism Committee.
"We want Mississippi Baptist churches to bring their students each year to hear the Gospel and to learn how to reach out to their friends and schoolmates who may not be believers. It's called 'Youth Evangelism Challenge' because we want to challenge students to share the Gospel with as many unsaved people as possible when they return home."
Lum thanked the staff and administration of Mississippi College for hosting YEC. Mississippi College is affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
"The school has hosted the event for many years, and we are awed each year by their openness and their willingness to be a part of this soul-saving effort," Lum said.
The 2013 Youth Evangelism Conference will be Dec. 30-31 in A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton. For more information, contact Lum at P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530. Telephone: (601) 292-3278 or toll-free outside Jackson (800) 748-1651, ext. 278. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: www.mbcb.org.
This article appeared in The Baptist Record (mbcb.org), newsjournal of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. William H. Perkins Jr. is editor of The Baptist Record.
Hobbs church rises to
new heights in missions giving
HOBBS, N.M. (Baptist New Mexican) -- Taylor Memorial Baptist Church in Hobbs, N.M., increased its missions giving for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions by more than 400 percent compared to last year, with plans to raise more.
"In the past, the church has raised between $10,000 and $23,000 for Lottie Moon," said Dale Shook, the church's executive pastor. This year, the total is over $82,000, an all-time record for the church.
Taylor Memorial has always been a strong supporter of missions, with ties to several IMB missionaries, but this year wanted to do more. Earlier this fall, the church voted unanimously to give away the entire morning offering in all three worship services on Dec. 9 to the Lottie Moon Offering. In addition, Andrew Hebert, the church's lead pastor since last July, cast a vision to raise at least $50,000 for missions, which would be the highest offering of any kind ever taken on a Sunday at the church.
Church members eagerly got behind the vision and started raising money in innovative ways.
"Several ladies in our Spanish service got the idea to sell tamales to raise money," Hebert said. "A week later, one of the kids in our children's ministry came up with the idea of having a kids' art auction.
"At about the same time, several runners in our church asked if we could put on a 5k Fun Run to raise money," Hebert continued.
"It has been amazing to see the creativity of God's people unleashed for the sake of the gospel. Even though designating our morning offering to IMB and setting a higher goal than normal was a step of faith for us, God really ignited a passion in our hearts for the nations, and we knew he would provide for our needs," Hebert said.
"The need of the nations is too great for us not to take the most sacrificial steps possible to get the gospel to the world," he concluded.
On Dec. 9, the church did indeed take the largest offering in its history -- $50,140.64, just above the goal that Hebert set. One week later the church took another offering, and there was an additional $26,000 designated for Lottie Moon. This, along with the money raised from the art auction and tamale sale, brought Taylor Memorial's Lottie Moon total to $82,413.64, with several weeks left for members still to give.
"God has really enlarged our faith," the pastor said. "It has been an exciting journey for our church to join him on his mission and participate in this offering. It's all about the fame of his name being made known to the ends of the earth." Taylor Memorial Baptist Church was established in 1958. Today, it continues to thrive with approximately 400 people attending its three services on Sundays.
This article appeared in the Baptist New Mexican, newsjournal of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.
Churches urged to join Louisiana/Haiti
Partnership Missions in 2013
By Jay Johnston
LOUISIANA (Louisiana Baptist Message) -- On Jan. 12 it was three years since a devastating earthquake took place in Haiti. Louisiana Baptist churches were quick to respond to the relief efforts including Buckets of Hope, Disaster Relief and Prayer for Haiti.
Two churches that were first responders to the earthquake recovery efforts were First Baptist Church in Covington and First Baptist Church in Lafayette. Since that time these two churches along with other churches from Louisiana have continued to share the love of Jesus in Haiti.
First Covington and First Lafayette took up the challenge by Wayne Sheppard of the Louisiana Baptist Convention to form a Louisiana Baptist and Haiti partnership, which currently involves work in Croix des Bouquets and Canaan in cooperation with the leadership of Haitian Pastors and the Haitian Baptist Convention.
These two churches sent teams during the first week of January 2013 to Haiti. They worked together conducting Medical Clinics and Vacation Bible Schools. They saw 565 patients in the medical clinic and led more than 300 children in Vacation Bible School.
The medical team helped individuals with physical symptoms but at the same time they were caring for spiritual needs of the patients, according to Rock Kendrick -– he is coordinating the medical teams' work.
As the pharmacy workers dispensed medicines prescribed by the doctors, they hugged on the patients, praying for them and sharing smiles as they went over the orders prescribed by the physicians.
Dustin Lee, who serves as the children's minister at First Lafayette, led the Vacation Bible School efforts. The VBS team included team members from both churches –- teenagers, college students, young, median and older adults working together to share God's Word with the children.
"Dustin provided great leadership, energy and passion to this effort and it ignited the efforts of all team members, even when the outdoor temperatures were soaring into the 90s," said Jay Johnston, associate pastor at First Covington and coordinator of the LBC/Haiti partnership. "The Gospel has been shared through these efforts and the team trusts the Lord of the Harvest to bring forth a great harvest with expectations that one day Heaven will be expanded because of the Gospel story being shared this week.
"The future of the Louisiana Baptist Haiti Partnership is bright but we need you," Johnston continued. "We need medical teams -– including High Adventure Medical Teams willing to go into the mountain region and smaller islands off the Haitian coast to conduct medical clinics. We also need VBS teams, construction teams, prayer teams, medical supply donations and financial donations to purchase land for two permanent so medical clinics can be built, along with an orphanage, school, and one home for a pastor and family who currently live in a tent behind a church."
Louisiana Baptist and Haiti partnership efforts are ongoing throughout the year, Johnston said.
This article appeared in the Louisiana Baptist Message (baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. Jay Johnston is the LBC/Haiti partnership coordinator and associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Covington.
EDITOR'S NOTE: From the States, published each Tuesday by Baptist Press, relays news and feature stories from state Baptist papers and other publications on initiatives by Baptist churches, associations and state conventions in evangelism, church planting and Great Commission outreach, including partnership missions. Reports about churches, associations and state conventions responding to the International Mission Board's call to embrace the world's 3,800 unengaged, unreached people groups also are included in From the States, along with reports about church, associational and state convention initiatives in conjunction with the North American Mission Board's call to Southern Baptist churches to broaden their efforts in starting new churches and satellite campuses. The items appear in Baptist Press as originally published.