Getting the Word Out
By Diane & Jeff
Because of COVID-19 and the fact that both of us have a family member who is compromised, we made the very hard decision not to attend this year’s Fall District Meetings in person. In addition, several meetings have already been canceled or will be rescheduled because of the pandemic. So, in order to “get the word out” about the ministry of the Baptist Trumpet, we are sharing the following annual report that we had “planned” to give in person.
Nick Jacobsen at Lifeword also prepared a video of the presentation, and it can be seen at www.baptisttrumpet.com/2020report.
2020 Baptist Trumpet Editor’s Report
By Diane Spriggs
I’ve heard it said that “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans!” And that has never been more true than it has in 2020 — my last year as your editor!
It has been a joy and an encouragement to visit with everyone at these meetings each year since I became your editor in 2005, and I really wanted to tell you “goodbye” in person this year, hug a few necks and thank you for your love and support through the years and tell you how much I’m going to miss all of you. Since that just isn’t possible, this is the next best thing.
Most of this report will be from Assistant Editor Jeff Herring, who will be the Publications Committee’s nominee to replace me. (By the way, if you elect him as editor, Jeff has already said he wants to attend these meetings each year, too. I’ve been bragging on y’all!)
Many of you already know Jeff and you know that he is a really nice guy. He has a heart for the Lord and for the ministry of the Baptist Trumpet.
Jeff was “born and raised” BMA, the son of a pastor. He is an ordained minister and a graduate of Central Baptist College and BMA Seminary. On top of that, he is a computer whiz!
We have perfected our “Timothy and Paulette” relationship this year, so he is fully trained to step into this position. I know he’ll do a great job if you elect him.
Before I get out of the way and let Jeff speak, may I ask you to do one last thing for me? Will you please pray for Jeff? I know he will appreciate it, and so will I — believe me, he’s going to need it!
Thank you for everything, including exceeding our Special Emphasis goal this year. (take that, COVID-19!) I love you all, and I’m asking the Lord to bless each and every one of you “real good” for being such a blessing to me.
2020 Baptist Trumpet Assistant Editor’s Report
By Jeff Herring
Let me start by saying, “Thank you,” to Diane for over 40 years of faithful service to the Lord and to the Baptist Trumpet, and especially for her service as editor for the last 15 years. I know that the Trumpet will be ready to take on future ministry opportunities because of her leadership and contribution during her time here.
I hope you can understand how difficult the decision was for us to not attend the local association meetings in person this year due to the current pandemic. Let me assure you that it is not currently nor will it ever be our desire to make this the norm.
As servants of the churches, we want to get out and visit with you as much as possible to share what God is doing through this ministry, and how you can join with us to bring honor and glory to Him. As always, I would love to come and share at any time throughout the year about how God is working through the ministry of the Baptist Trumpet.
My Family & Our Church
My family and I live in Maumelle where my wife, Kristin, teaches at Maumelle High School. I have two daughters who both attend Central Baptist College. Abigail is a senior Marketing major and Autumn is a sophomore health science major. My son, Austin, is a 7th grader at Baptist Prep in Little Rock.
My family and I are active members of Antioch Baptist Church in Conway. Kristin and I volunteer with the high school ministry, and Abby and Autumn volunteer in the middle school & children’s ministries. Kristin is also a part of the GMA ministry. God has given me the opportunity to lead a Connect group and occasionally teach our Sunday School class and preach. I also enjoy getting to take part in discipling young men through the Galilean ministry.
Honored to Serve
I can honestly tell you, just as I have told Diane, that being a part of the ministry of the Baptist Trumpet was not something that I aspired to do. I served for over 20 years in ministry as an associate pastor, and I still have a heart for the local church, for preaching God’s Word and for teaching and training God’s people.
Even though the ministry of the Trumpet is not something that I sought out, I am convinced that it is one that God brought me to, and a place where He has asked me to serve. My heart’s desire from the time God called me into the ministry has been to be faithful to serve in whatever capacity the Lord asks me to serve, and I have done my best to do just that. I am honored to serve in the ministry of the Baptist Trumpet and, Lord willing, I will continue to serve Him through the Trumpet for as long as He asks me to do so.
The Need for the Baptist Trumpet
Many people have questioned whether there is still a need for the Baptist Trumpet. Some believe that all print publications are past their time and are no longer needed. It is interesting and maybe a little ironic that the week I started at the Baptist Trumpet is the same week that the largest print newspaper in Arkansas announced their decision to move to an all-digital format except for the Sunday paper.
Does this confirm that print publications are dead? I believe no one can argue that the move to digital is coming down the road, and there will come a time when it will not be feasible to continue to print the Baptist Trumpet because it will become too costly to produce a printed product to mail to our subscribers. While we can acknowledge this fact, we are not there yet.
The Baptist Trumpet currently has over 7,500 subscribers that receive a weekly paper in their mailbox. We also have over 500 that receive the E-Trumpet each week. As long as it is feasible to do so, we plan to continue printing the Trumpet and getting it to the most important person in our churches — the person in the pew.
Why the Baptist Trumpet?
If you were interested in knowing why the Baptist Trumpet began, you could find the answer by visiting the Trumpet Archives hosted on our website. There you can get a glimpse into what was going on all the way back to 1939 when the paper began as the Temple Trumpet. You would see that it began as a way to keep the people in each of the individual churches informed about what was going on with the association that they belonged to and to share what other churches were doing.
The question for us today would be, “Is there still a need for the ministry of the Baptist Trumpet?” Is there still a need to keep the “person in the pew” informed about what is going on throughout all levels of the association to which they belong? My prayer is that more people would understand that the answer to that question is “Yes!”
We Are Better Together
The idea of being a part of an association of churches is that we can do more together than we can as individual churches. The information that we share in the Baptist Trumpet each week helps the members of our churches to know not just what is going on across the association, but also how they can be a part of and pray for BMA ministries on the district, state, national and international levels.
Preparing for the Future
One thing we have been working on diligently for the last year is finding a new way to manage our subscribers. The reason for this is that we understand that we must prepare for the future ministry of the Baptist Trumpet.
Our current system has been in place for over ten years, and not only are some things not working smoothly, it also does not give us the ability to take advantage of future ministry opportunities and methods. Our goal is to have the new system up and running within a few months.
Our prayer is that this new system will not only do a better job of meeting our current needs, but it will also give us the tools we need to implement any changes that come about as we move forward with the ministry of the Trumpet. Let me say here that this new system does bring with it an increase in expenses, but we are confident that if God leads, then He will provide.
Thank you for your support!
We are beyond grateful at how God provided through our Special Emphasis offerings this year, and how you were faithful to give above and beyond our goal.
We don’t know what the future holds or what the future of the Baptist Trumpet will look like, but we do know that with the Lord’s leadership, we want to do our best to be ready to take advantage of any future ministry opportunities and to be good stewards of the ministry we have before us.
Our mission is to get news and information to every “person in the pew” so that they can be well informed and inspired to live their life as a Christian and as a BMA Baptist. Each week we include updates and information from each of our BMA of Arkansas departments (Central Baptist College, State Missions and the Youth Department). We also highlight things that are happening with missions on every level of our work. Many of our national BMA leaders also share updates and important information regularly through the Trumpet.
To the best of our ability, and for the glory of God, we will continue to carry out this mission until He returns!
Thank you for your faithful support of this ministry, and I look forward to meeting more of you in person in the coming months and years. I ask you to continue to pray for us as we seek God’s guidance for the future of the Baptist Trumpet. May God bless each of you and your ministries.