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Current News March 21


*Scott Attebery DiscipleGuide Exec. Director, Resigns (pg. 1)

Aaron Middleton – The Board of Trustees for DiscipleGuide Church Resources has announced that Dr. Scott Attebery has submitted his resignation, effective May 1, 2018. Dr. Attebery has served faithfully as our executive director for the past 5 ½ years with a deep conviction that we are to connect small churches with big resources to equip them in making disciples. Our board appreciates the creativity and vision he has brought to the department during his tenure, and we have no doubt that God will bless him in his new adventure. DiscipleGuide remains committed to resourcing the local church with innovative tools for discipleship. We are in the process of searching for a new executive director. Resumés may be submitted to DiscipleGuide Search Committee, c/o Aaron Middleton, 2709 Chaffin Ln., Magnolia, Ark. 71753.


*Why Are We Changing? (pg. 1)

Steve Crawley – With the impending retirement of Ron Chesser and his staff, Ministers Resource Services (MRS) will be undergoing a number of significant changes. Leading up to the national meeting, we will release a series of three articles addressing why we are changing, what we are changing and how we are changing. This first article addresses the “why” question. The existing 401(a) plan of the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) has served a valuable purpose and has helped establish a solid savings foundation for many. We are most grateful to Bro. Chesser and his staff for the stability they have brought to MRS over the past 18 years. Yet, we do not want to rest on our laurels and become satisfied where we are. We want to build on this foundation and take advantage of new options now available.


*God & Country Rally (pg. 1)

“A special welcome is extended to all of our churches, pastors, Christian workers and messengers to be a part of the 2018 God & Country Rally. It will be held Monday, April 16, at 7 p.m. to open the first session of the BMA of America meeting in Jackson, Miss.,” said Dr. John M. Adams, Moral Action Executive Director. “Your presence will declare our need to pray for and joy in our great nation, the United States of America.” (See program for the national meeting on page 8, and the Rally on page ???? of today’s Trumpet)


*Rainey Set to Deliver CBC Commencement Addresses (pg. 1)

Dennis Rainey, co-founder of FamilyLife, a subsidiary of Campus Crusade for Christ, will deliver Central Baptist College’s commencement addresses on Saturday, May 12 in the Burgess Auditorium. The commencement for the Professional Adult College Education (PACE) graduation will be held at 10 a.m., and the commencement for Traditional students will be at 2 p.m. Rainey’s leadership has enabled FamilyLife to grow into a dynamic and vital ministry that offers families blueprints for living godly lives, marriages and families in more than 109 countries around the world. CBC President Terry Kimbrow said, “I am thrilled to announce Dennis Rainey as CBC’s commencement speaker. Rainey is best-selling author, radio personality and a great role model for our graduates.”


*Cleaver to Receive Kellar Award (pg. 8)

On Tuesday, April 17, BMA Seminary will host it’s annual Seminary Friends Dinner in conjunction with the BMAA Meeting in Jackson, Miss. The dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Gallery of the Jackson Convention Complex. Tickets are $40 each, and are available by contacting Keri Southern at (800) 259-5673 (LORD) or Lifetime members of the Alumni and Friends Association will receive a $5 discount. We encourage our members to be there as important association business will be conducted. Tickets are limited, and orders must be completed no later than April 6. Dr. Tony Cleaver will receive the Kellar Award at the Seminary Friends Dinner. This award is named in honor of Dr. Gerald Kellar, the founding president of BMA Seminary. It recognizes a BMA Seminary alumnus for outstanding contributions in ministry typifying the legacy of Dr. Kellar. Cleaver is the 13th recipient of this award.


VBS Column to Begin (pg. 1)

We will begin running the Vacation Bible School listings in the April 25 issue of the Baptist Trumpet, and will continue until the last VBS takes place. To include your church’s VBS — as your dates are set — just send the following information to or P.O. Box 192208, Little Rock, Ark. 72219:


How to Provide Hope to Our Students (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – As those who work with students on a regular basis, how do we respond to the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Fla.? I know that when I saw the video coverage coming out of Florida, my heart broke. My daughter is a junior in high school, and I could only imagine the pain the survivors were sure to face in the days ahead. How do we give hope to our students and their families in times such as these? While I have been in ministry for a number of years, and many of those working with students, I can’t get over the increase in pain and destruction that has happened since 2013 when it comes to school shootings. Gun control, bullying, security — the issues surrounding these shootings can be divisive, and our students are often left behind as the arguments ramp up.


Wooden Leg Religion (pg. 2)

David Tidwell – Is your religion like a wooden leg? For many it is so. E.C. McKenzie said, “Some people’s religion is like a wooden leg. There is neither life nor warmth in it; although it helps them to hobble along, it never becomes a part of them, but has to be strapped on every morning.” Religion is “recognition and belief in a superhuman power to whom obedience, reverence and worship is due.” The Christian religion is centered in the person of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. He is co-equal with God the Father, co-eternal and co-existent with God. He rose from the dead and lives today in Heaven and in the hearts of believers. His power in our lives will make a difference in how we live and our relationships with others.



Systems for Accountability (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – In the book MultiChurch, the authors speak of the danger of the “Cult of Personality.” This is really nothing new to the church because Paul addresses it in I Cor. 1:12 (HCSB): What I am saying is this: Each of you says, “I’m with Paul,” or “I’m with Apollos,” or “I’m with Cephas,” or “I’m with Christ.” In verse 13 Paul goes further in saying, “Is Christ divided? Was it Paul who was crucified for you? Or were you baptized in Paul’s name?” There have always been those who have their favorites, just as we line up behind certain men today. In Revelation 1, we have John’s vision of the Lord given to us standing among seven churches. In His right hand are seven stars, which appear to be the pastors and/or elders of these churches. The picture here of being in His right hand is not about safety or protection, as it often is when the Scriptures speak about His hands. Instead, the picture being described here is one of control. He is the Shepherd of His churches and pastors/elders are the under shepherds. Paul made this clear by saying, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”


Jon Dodson/Lifeword (pg. 3)

Jon Dodson believes that “If Paul were alive today, he would use the digital realm to distribute his message.” He has been interested in ministry-focused digital marketing and online communication the majority of his life. “It all started with my parents,” he said. “I don’t remember a day when my parents didn’t talk about faith, prayer and sharing Jesus with people.” Being raised in a living legacy of ministry prepared him for his professional career. He accepted Christ at age 10, and attended churches in Cabot and Sherwood. After graduating from North Pulaski High School in Jacksonville, he studied at University of Central Arkansas (UCA) on a music scholarship (playing trumpet) and majoring in early childhood education. During this time, he met Robyn Smith at the Association of Baptist Students (ABS) house at UCA. She was a CBC student who transferred to UCA for a media specialist degree, and later a master’s degree in library science. Jon and Robyn attended Antioch Baptist Church in Conway, where they were married in 1994.


Harper’s Hope Foundation (pg. 4)

Ed Stephenson – It was early 2014 when Harper Stephenson’s parents, Chad and Jai, along with her grandparents, were informed that she had a large mass on her right lung. While our granddaughter was being a two-year-old in the doctor’s office, the adults were fighting back the tears. How could this be? What would be the outcome? Where do we go from here? How do you ever explain this to a two-year-old? So many questions and so few answers! A biopsy would be performed at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, and would not provide a clear answer. Harper and her parents would then make a trip to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. After more tests and biopsies, Harper was diagnosed with Isolated Myofibroblastic Neoplasm (IMT). This rare tumor most commonly appears in children and young people.


Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)

A.G. Rejects Casino Amendment; Miss. Law Bans Abortions After 15 Weeks; UA Library to Put Bulk of Books into Storage


Missionary Personality Profile (pg. 5)

Larry Wood, Ukraine


Otto Hillis, Jonesboro Minister, Dies (pg. 5)

Word was received Tuesday morning, March 20, that Otto Hillis, 99 of Jonesboro, had died following a fall. He would’ve been 100 on April 5. Funeral arrangements were incomplete at the time we went to press, but will be handled by Farmers Union Funeral Home in Jonesboro ( Bro. Hillis surrendered to preach in 1945, and was ordained June 16, 1946. He was a 1950 graduate of Jacksonville College, and had been in the ministry for 13 years when he enrolled at BMA Seminary in 1959. During the four years he was a student there, he worked diligently toward a degree while also pastoring Antioch Baptist Church at Palestine, Texas. Then God called him to serve as a state missionary in Albuquerque, N.M., and his dream was “put on hold” — just 12 hours away from a degree. During the ensuing years, he went on to serve as a missionary and to pastor churches in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. In 1993, he began to lose his eyesight due to macular degeneration. “But that didn’t stop him, because he memorized most of the New Testament and kept right on preaching,” said his former pastor, Don Seat. He was awarded a Master of Arts in Church Ministry degree by BMA Seminary, and was presented his certificate at a special service Oct. 14, 2011 (see Oct. 19, 2011 Baptist Trumpet Archives at


Two Sheroes of the Faith Called Home (pg. 5)

Lillian (Campbell) Owens, 94 of Little Rock, passed away March 9. She was a member of South City (formerly Temple Baptist) Church, and was married to her high school sweetheart, William (Buddy) Owens for 68 years until his death in 2011. Mrs. Owens did instructional writing for the BMA of America and authored a book, Through the Valley, in 1986. She was very active in Women’s and Young Ladies’ Ministry at Temple Baptist Church, starting in the early 1950s. Funeral services were held March 14 and interment was at Forest Hills Memorial Park. Janus Ellene (Ingram) Reynolds, 82 of Conway, died March 11. Mrs. Reynolds attended Central Baptist College, was a member of Central Baptist Church and was married to BMA Minister G. David Reynolds for 57 years, until his death in 2012. She worked in real estate; at Lifeword Media Ministry; established and operated a food pantry near Enola, furnishing food and clothes to anyone in need; and traveled extensively throughout the world with her husband supporting Wycliffe Bible Translators and the BMA of America. Funeral services were held March 14, and interment was at Marcus Hill Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Lifeword Media Ministries, P.O. Box 6, Conway, Ark. 72033.


Mrs. Cora Turns 102 (pg. 5)

Trenton Baptist Church in Trenton celebrated the birthday of their oldest member on Saturday, March 10. Mrs. Cora Mae Blair was 102 on March 12. This lady has seen many things in her lifetime. She was the second of 12 children born into a Christian home, and talks about sitting around her Popa’s chair as he read from the Bible at night by an old lantern. Mrs. Cora and her family attended a church in King Town (near Trenton) as a child. She excepted Christ into her life as a young girl, and was baptized in Big Creek. After the death of her husband in 1985, she rededicated her life to Christ. When she joined Trenton Baptist Church in 2012, she was quoted as saying “It’s good to be home again.” Mrs. Cora gave birth to four children, but raised many others, including her younger brothers and sisters after the death of their Popa. Her three youngest siblings are still alive. She resides in the nursing home in Helena, and is visited by her family daily.


Spotlight on Missions (pg. 6)

Jesse & Rebecca Hales, Dominican Republic; Tommy & Sara Rose, Mexico


Pastor, O Pastor! (pg. 6)

Tony Cleaver – “You must distinguish between the holy and the common, and the clean and the unclean…” (Lev. 10:10). Pastor, oh pastor! Here is a job that is yours and yours alone. By the very fact of your ordination, you swore before your assembly and before God that you would be the servant of God. The distinguishing work to tell the people about the holy and the common and the clean and the unclean falls to you. There is a great difference between the clean and unclean in life, just as there is a difference in left and right and up and down. There is disparity in the two — holy and common.


Are You a Good Friend? (pg. 6)

Travis Plumlee – (John 15:12-13) These verses tell us the principle basis of friendship — we are commanded to love each other just like Jesus Christ loved us. Wow, what an enormous job! A job of this magnitude will require more than what a human could come up with for sure. It sounds like we are going to have to rely on the Holy Spirit for our guidance, and the strength of the Lord to perform it in us. I have come across many people who don’t know how to be a “good friend” to someone else. It is very important that we develop meaningful, Christ-centered friendships. Some people tell me they have many friends, but when I ask them if they have even a single friend they can confide in and pour out their deepest feelings to, they answer “no.” In today’s drifting society, many people have superficial friendships, but few people enjoy deep, meaningful friendships. These are some characteristics of a Christian friend.


Getting a Grip (pg. 7)

Paul White – The fifth help for overcoming worry is to always be aware of God’s presence. Once, flying out of Detroit, I was reminded that while at times God’s presence may not be felt, never the less, He is always near. In fact, He promised that He would never leave or forsake us. It was a cloudy, rainy, gloomy morning when we taxied down the runway. It was somewhat depressing; but shortly after our takeoff, we burst out above the clouds and into the awesome light of the sun. It dawned on me at that moment that what I was seeing was a lot like life. Even in those situations when we can neither feel or see God, He is present with us all the time.



Assistant Editor

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