Monday, June 17, 2024
Monday, June 17, 2024
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Old Friends and New Friends

     I was just thinking about the gospel song Bill and Gloria Gaither co-wrote titled, “Old Friends.” I share with you some of those lyrics: “Old friends, after all these years — just old friends. Through laughter and tears, old friends. What a priceless treasure; old friends.”

     The Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas will convene on the campus of Central Baptist College in Conway, Thursday and Friday, Nov. 3-4. While there will be committee meetings and breakout sessions during the day, the first session will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Burgess Auditorium Thursday evening.

     A time of worship will be led by the Music Department of CBC. That will be followed by the annual message to be preached by Hershel Conley, pastor of The Bridge Church in Mountain Home. The alternate for the message is Jimmy Brock, ABS director from Southern Ark. University in Magnolia.

     Of course, the primary purpose of the two-day meeting is to conduct the business of the association of churches.

There’s Much More

      So why did I provide those lyrics? Because after being involved in the BMA of Arkansas for 58 years, I have learned that, for me, it has become a gathering of old friends.

     It is a joy to see messengers and guests greet each other with broad smiles, strong handshakes and often friendly hugs. It’s fun to see grandparents introduce their grandchildren to old friends.

     Seeing old friends is wonderful. But still there is more… much more. New friends are to be made as well. I wrote about Trailblazers of the Association for several weeks in this column. When I was a young, wet-behind-the-ears preacher boy, it was those older men and women who made me feel welcome. They taught me that being a part of the association was not only important, but also extremely rewarding. As the years passed by, many of us became old friends. That should continue — so that new friends in the years ahead become old friends.

Let’s Gather at CBC

      Churches, please send your pastor, messengers and others from your congregation to represent you as the business is conducted. Every church should want to be represented — because every church should be!

     For years now, I have written about the entities that depend on the churches for monthly support. It is at the meeting of the association that the churches learn how those ministries are functioning, how they are touching the lives of others and how they are united in carrying out the Great Commission throughout our state and around the world. Central Baptist College, BMA of Arkansas Missions, the BMA of Arkansas Youth Department and the paper you are now reading, the Baptist Trumpet, belong to the association of churches.

     Please pray for the president of the association, Michael Battenfield, as he moderates the meetings. But also pray for the other officers, the department directors and the college president as they prepare and present their reports and as they continue to serve the churches.

     Let’s gather at CBC — old friends and new friends, God’s people. What priceless treasures!