RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Nathan and Aimee Pressley* are not easily deterred. After the International Service Corps program was suspended by the IMB in 2010, the husband-wife applicants relocated from their home in Kentucky to a city in the Midwest.
Photo by Paul W. Lee/IMB
Their goal: to live in the United States among the unreached people group they wanted to serve overseas.
The Pressleys are two of 50 new missionaries appointed Aug. 27 at The Heights Baptist Church in Colonial Heights, Va. They join 4,842 IMB missionaries now serving around the world.
The appointment service capped several days of meetings near Richmond, Va., when IMB trustees elected David Platt, 36, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., as president of the 169-year-old mission board. Platt succeeds former pastor and Southern Baptist Convention president Tom Elliff, 70, who has served as IMB president since 2011. Elliff asked IMB's trustees earlier this year to begin an active search for his successor.
Platt preached from Romans 9 before a nearly packed auditorium, including two new missionaries from his church. "Every saved person this side of heaven," he said, "owes the Gospel to every lost person this side of hell.
"What else can we give our lives to that is more important than this?" Platt asked. "We've been invited by God to be part of making His salvation known among people that He loves, and we know that when we share this Gospel, people are going to be saved ... somebody from every tribe, nation and people group.
"They are going to be around the throne that day," Platt continued to a responsive audience, "which means if we go to the hardest, most resistant, most rebellious people group and preach this Gospel, somebody is coming out!"
God promises such an outcome, Platt asserted, "for their salvation, His glorification and our satisfaction."
Dependent, determined, undeterred
Nathan Pressley, as a seminary student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky, began researching where he and his wife might serve internationally.
"We identified an African unreached people group with whom we wanted to share the Gospel," Pressley said. "Then we moved our family to a city in the United States that has tens of thousands of refugees from this people group." Read More