FROM THE STATES: Knoxville church dies to help church plant; senior adult ministry provides gifts for New Mexico Baptist Children's Home

by BP and State Convention newspaper staffs, posted Tuesday, October 15, 2019 (one month ago)

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Today's From the States features items from: the Baptist and Reflector (Tenn.) and the Baptist New Mexican (New Mexico)

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Knoxville church "dies with dignity" to help church plant

By Ashley Perham/Baptist and Reflector intern

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Hope Fellowship, Knoxville, started in 2016 as a church plant from Shoreline Church, Knoxville, with a vision to be a Christ-centered, multi-ethnic and generational church, saved by Jesus and changed by Jesus, according to Dominique Lee, pastor of Hope Fellowship.

At the same time, Centerpointe Church, Knoxville, was making the difficult decision to "die with dignity," said pastor Jim Millirons.

"One of the ways, I believe, many churches can die with dignity is to go ahead and transfer their property and their assets to a young, vibrant church that can come in and really fulfill the Great Commission," Millirons said.

For Centerpointe, that young church was Hope Fellowship.

Centerpointe sold its 40,000-square-foot building worth $4 million to Hope Fellowship for only one dollar, said Lee in an interview with KnoxTNToday.com.

Lee is excited about the permanent location for the church.

"This location is sitting right off of downtown. … If you go north, you're right in the more affluent area. You go south, you're in a more impoverished area, so we sit right in the middle of that," he said. "We're excited about being able to love and encourage those from both walks of life, to see them know Christ."

Since its inception, Hope Fellowship has been helped by the church planting support from the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

"We"ve been supported in numerous ways. We've been prayed for. They're always a phone call away for advice, for a counselor, for wisdom, and also to say, 'Hey, we need help with a project,' and they're there for us, 100 percent," said Lee, who shared the church1s story in a new Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions video. "That partnership has been really a stabilizing partnership for us, for sure."

"Over the next three to five years, we're hoping to see our congregation grow in diversity, to become truly a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural church," said Lee. "We'll hopefully see students as well as families getting baptized and saved here."


This article first appeared in the Baptist and Reflector newsjournal.

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Senior adult ministry provides gifts for New Mexico Baptist Children's Home

By Rebecca Kauk

PORTALES, N.M. (BP) -- During August, some Albuquerque senior adults surprised the New Mexico Baptist Children's Home and Family Ministries with an unexpected back-to-school gift.

Cows, chickens, goats, pigs, farm sights and farm sounds -- along with "farm-y fragrances" -- greeted the group of Prime Timers from Sandia Baptist Church, Albuquerque, at the home's Portales campus. 

The farm-like setting is more than merely an atmosphere. Each child at the home selects an animal (or several) to raise, train and show at various 4-H events. They bring home prizes and money from selling the animals. The money aids the child's future. Prime Timer, Cletus Kauk, said, "It is amazing how these kids are learning to be responsible as they care for their animals. It is encouraging to see what a great job they do as they learn good work habits."

Serenity Richard, the home's area administrator, guided the seniors on a comprehensive tour of the grounds. They learned about NMBCH's priorities: providing a typical family setting and paying attention to individual needs. Each cottage is a "normal" home for eleven or more children. It has living and dining areas, a kitchen with two refrigerators and two washer and dryer sets. Each child has a bedroom decorated as they wish and shares a bathroom with 2-3 others. Houseparents prepare and serve meals in the cottage where they eat as a family group.

NMBCH owns more than 350 acres of land. It provides plenty of room for activities. Among a gym, a meeting hall with a commercial kitchen and offices, children and houseparents live in four separate brick homes. A working farm and garden provide meat (beef, chicken and pork) and fresh vegetables. Also, to accommodate volunteers and other NMBCH friends, a small RV park borders the back of the loop road. Recently, the home added a pottery shed with donor-provided equipment. 

Over the years, NMBCH has formed relationships with individuals and community organizations. Portales-area volunteers teach children how to care for and train their animals. A local organization, United Dairy Women, reimburses the home for all dairy products purchased.


This article first appeared in the Baptist New Mexican.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: From the States, typically 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 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. Except for minor style, security, formatting and grammatical changes, the items appear in Baptist Press as originally published.

Ashley Perham recently served as a Baptist and Reflector intern. Rebecca Kauk writes for the Baptist New Mexican.
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