NAAF seeks to build bridges in racially charged U.S.

by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, April 20, 2018 (2 months ago)

DALLAS (BP) -- Relationships beneficial to the Kingdom continue to flow from the National African American Fellowship nearly 25 years after its 1994 founding, NAAF president Byron Day said in advance of the group's 2018 annual meeting June 10-11 in Dallas.

The praise team from Word Church in Mesa, Ariz., leads worship during the 2017 National African American Fellowship dinner in Phoenix.
BP file photo by Jeremy Scott
"NAAF today continues to be a valuable resource to [Southern Baptist] African American churches and the convention at large," said Day, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Laurel, Md. "NAAF seeks to be a bridge-builder among our racially diverse convention, particularly during this highly charged racial climate in America.

"Most importantly," Day said, "NAAF is dedicated to strengthening our churches through partnerships with one another to do Kingdom building."

NAAF, a fellowship of about 4,000 churches, will forgo its traditional Sunday service to worship with the SBC Pastors' Conference from 6–9 p.m. June 10 in support of H.B. Charles, the conference's first African American president and pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. NAAF is pursuing plans to send representatives to Sunday morning worship at two Dallas-area churches and recommend those churches as worship sites for out-of-town annual meeting guests.

Byron Day
 
NAAF's meeting is held in conjunction with the 2018 SBC Annual Meeting June 12-13 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Day completes his presidential term in June and will deliver his presidential sermon at NAAF's annual banquet, 6:30 p.m. June 11 at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

In its 4 p.m. business meeting June 11 at the Omni, NAAF will elect new officers and regional directors.

Current vice president Marshal Ausberry, senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Fairfax Station, Va., is slated to lead NAAF as the 2018-2019 president. Expected to join him on the leadership team are Frank Williams, vice president, pastor of Wake-Eden Community Baptist Church in the Bronx, N.Y.; Bucas Sterling III, secretary, pastor of Kettering Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro, Md.; John Rollins, treasurer, pastor of Simeon Baptist Church in Antioch, Tenn.; Robert Wilson, historian, pastor of Light of the Word Baptist Church in Atlanta; and Calvin McMullen, parliamentarian, pastor of Community Life Baptist Church, Milledgeville, Ga.

Tapped as regional directors are Jerome Coleman, Eastern Region, pastor of First Baptist Church of Cresmont, Willow Grove, Pa.; Jeffery Friend, Central Region, pastor of Suburban Baptist Church, New Orleans; Garland Moore, Mountain Region, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Milan, N.M.; and Kevin James, Western Region, pastor of New Creation Bible Fellowship in Tracy, Calif. All presidents of African American Fellowships at the state level serve as NAAF vice presidents at-large.

Terry M. Turner, senior pastor of Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas, will deliver the annual business meeting devotional.

Also on NAAF's schedule is the Send North American Luncheon June 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the Omni.

NAAF, according to its bylaws, exists to work in harmony with the SBC in fulfilling the Great Commission through support of the Cooperative Program; to sensitize the SBC and its entities to the concerns of the African American community; and to help one another in evangelism, church planting and church growth.

Banquet tickets, at $65 each, may be purchased and NAAF membership contributions may be made at treasurer@naafsbc.org, t.mcbride@naafsbc.org or at NAAF's website, naafsbc.org.

Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' general assignment writer/editor. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.
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