Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeAll The NewsBMA of Arkansas Meets

BMA of Arkansas Meets

      The 74th annual BMA of Arkansas meeting was held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 2-3, at Central Baptist College. The theme, chosen by President Michael Battenfield, was “Remembering Our First Love: The Christ of the Gospel” based on Rev. 2:1-7.

      The final Enrollment Committee report indicated that there were 111 messengers enrolled, with 100 churches represented at the meeting (57 by messenger and 43 by letter only) and 16 visitors, for a total of 127 registered. Total money received for the Minute Fund was $5,420.

      Thursday morning included meetings of the WMA and Brotherhood. In place of the breakout sessions this year was the Pastors and Laymen’s Conference. Those that attended the conference heard from Travis Sellers as he shared about gospel-centered worship, Russell Threet as he gave practical advice on sharing the gospel with those with special needs and Dr. Philip Attebery and Jordan Tew, who discussed gospel-centered evangelism.

      The Missionary Committee meeting was well attended, and at the conclusion of Executive Director Paul White’s report, there was a time for questions. After some discussion, the meeting concluded with the election of officers for 2023-2024: David Inzer, moderator; Tony Crocker, assistant moderator; Randy Shepherd, clerk; and Wes Hulvey, assistant clerk.

      The Thursday evening session was opened by the CBC band under the direction of Donna Bradley. After a welcome by CBC President Terry Kimbrow, the CBC Women’s Chorus and CBC Choir continued leading in worship. Chris Vines, family and youth pastor at Garrett Memorial Baptist Church in Hope, introduced his pastor and mentor, Dr. Clif Johnson to bring the annual message. Bro. Johnson shared a message entitled, “Knowing Nothing But Christ” from I Cor. 2:1-5.

      At the conclusion of the annual message, the business session was called to order and the messengers were seated, along with messengers from two petitionary churches — Iglesia Bautista Gran Comisión in Alexander with Pastor Guilmar Juárez and The Table Church in Fayetteville with Pastor Drew Whitton. The messengers elected the following officers for 2023-2024:

      President Tony Crocker, First Vice President Daniel Williams, Second Vice President Derrick Bremer, Clerk Wes Hulvey and Clerk Danny Paul. You can see a listing of the various committees and committee members, along with a collage of photos from the meeting on page 12 of today’s Trumpet.

      The reports from the four departmental directors ¾ Terry Kimbrow, Paul White, Dan Carson and Jeff Herring ¾ appear on pages 4-5 of today’s Trumpet. These reports were made available in the Combined Reports booklet that was available at the meeting. The meeting was also livestreamed. The session videos along with the Combined Reports booklet, are available at BaptistTrumpet.com/BMAArk2023.

Constitutional Changes

      Proposed constitutional changes were presented from Springdale Baptist Church in Springdale and Pastor Wes Hulvey. They were discussed in the first session and approved in the Thursday morning session. The three changes are as follows:

         • Article III, Section 3 — adding the phrase for churches that are petitioning in, that petitions are due “by Sept. 10 of the calendar year. The First Vice President will work with the Credentials Committee to make direct contact with each petitioning church for verification. The petitioning church will state that she” has in conference duly adopted the Statement of Principles of Cooperation “and as the Doctrinal Statement of the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas.”

         • Article XVIII — add to Section 2: The Credentials Committee shall “assist to verify each petitionary church and” as thoroughly investigating challenges.

         • Update Article III — remove words “20 and 21” and replace with “Article IX.”

         • Amend Doctrinal Statement — Add to Article III, Section D. Marriage — “God created marriage (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:23-24). Jesus Christ declared the creator’s intention for marriage to be the inseparable and exclusive union between a man and a woman (natural man and natural woman) (Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9). Marriage testifies of the union between Christ and the church (Eph. 5:31-32; Rom. 1:25-27).

Department Reports

         Central Baptist College ¾ The highlight of the business session on Thursday night was the CBC report from President Terry Kimbrow as he gave answers about the current enrollment and other “most-asked questions” from pastors. The fall enrollment is 550 students (holding steady from last year after the cyberattack) with 40+ majors, 16 athletic teams and 22 international students from 16 countries represented. With 70% student-athletes, Bro. Kimbrow shared that “this is not the CBC some of you attended” but it is a great mission field where students hear the gospel and lives are being transformed as they meet Jesus.

      He further shared about the importance of the new BMA Promise scholarship that is intended to increase the number of BMA students on campus. There are currently only 9% who identify as being from a “BMA” church.

      It was also shared that churches responded to the great need caused by the cybersecurity attack from last year and 107 donors gave $705,000 to help in the recovery.

      Other highlights of the report included:

      • Announcing the 2024 Gala with the theme “Enduring Faith,” on March 1, 2024. It will be held at Antioch Baptist Church in Conway.

      • Plans are still underway for a new baseball field to be built on currently owned property near the campus, and pledges of $575,000 have been received to date. The total cost for the field is projected to be $1.9 million. (See the full report from CBC on page 4 of this issue.)

         Youth Department ¾ Director Dan Carson shared about the importance of investing in those who work with students. The BMA of Ark. Youth Department (Student Ministry Matters) offers support, encouragement and answers to the challenges faced in student ministry. (See the full report from the Youth Department on page 4 of this issue.)

         Baptist Trumpet ¾ The report was a reminder that we should have a desire to be “in the know” about what is going on with our BMA family. That is the mission that we seek to accomplish with every issue that is produced. (See the full report from the Baptist Trumpet on page 4 of this issue.)

         State Missions ¾ Executive Director of Missions Paul White shared his 13th report to the body and allowed all current missionaries to share a brief report. He reported that one mission had organized in the past year and one missionary had been added. He also recognized Administrative Assistant Donna Webb for completing 10 years of faithful service to Arkansas State Missions. (See the full report from the Missions Department on page 4 of this issue.)

BMAA Department Reports

         • Lifeword ¾ Director of Operations Luis Ortega shared a quote from Lifeword Founder Harold Morris from 1965 that was very appropriate for our time as well concerning the need of making Jesus known in America. The mission of Lifeword is to “Share Jesus. Make disciples. Everywhere.” Lifeword has increased the gospel presentation to 157 different languages. They are still on target for 200 languages by 2027 or before, and 25 million people have either read, seen or heard the gospel via lifeword.org in 2023. The new FOLLOW disciple portal is expected to launch before the end of the year in order to connect those that hear the gospel with someone to disciple them one-on-one through the local church.

         • Baptist Publishing House (BPH) ¾ Executive Director Jordan Tew shared that BPH assets have quadrupled over the last couple of years and that enables them to do some exciting things. The DiscipleKids curriculum is doing well and the second book is in production now. Gospel tracts are available now as well as the BMA’s DiscipleWay materials.

      • BMA Financial ¾ Executive Director of BMA Financial Dr. Steve Crawley shared how the new structure can help “fill the gaps” for your church or ministry. They want to help you “manage God’s resources, God’s way, for God’s glory.” You can contact them at MRS@bmaamerica.org or (844) 262-8637.

         • BMA Global Missions ¾ Vice President for Church Strategy and Training Larry Barker shared about the work of BMAA Missions around the world, including some updates from around the world. He shared that the 170 churches of the BMA of the Philippines are currently planting over 400 churches. Also, from the Middle East, Charlie Costa is working with believers in south Lebanon to evacuate people to the north side of Lebanon away from the danger. He also reminded everyone about the Jerry Kidd Missions Offering for 2024.

         • Daniel Springs Baptist Camp ¾ Executive Director Jason Prewitt shared that in 2023 there were over 1,100 campers with over 40 professions of faith.

         • BMA Theological Seminary ¾ Dean Dr. Philip Attebery shared that all degrees can now be earned online from anywhere in the world. He talked about the new Master of Arts in Disciplemaking degree for anyone with a bachelor’s degree. This degree is for both ministers and laypeople. There is also a capital campaign currently underway for campus improvements if anyone would like to help.

Other Reports

         • WMA Report ¾ President Kelly Williams shared they had raised approximately $9,665 for this year’s project (CBC Cyberattack). The National WMA project for the year was Daniel Springs Camp, and the Texas WMA challenged to the Arkansas WMA to see who could raise the most funds for the project. The Texas WMA raised $11,000, but the Arkansas WMA raised $17,000 for the project. The Arkansas WMA project for 2024 is Mickael and Sharon Quillman in Zambia. The goal is raising money to purchase Bibles for the people in Zambia.

         • Brotherhood ¾ Vice President James Laminack shared the report on behalf of President Robbie Staton, who could not be in attendance. He encouraged all men to make it a point to attend next year’s meeting at 10 a.m. on Nov. 7, 2024.

         • Master’s Builders ¾ Eddie Sikes shared that this was his 43rd report to the body, as a state missionary for 31 years and as the representative of the Master’s Builders for 13 years. They have completed six projects this year and have a seventh scheduled over the next few weeks. Two more are already scheduled for next year.

         • Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Report ¾ Paul White shared the report from the RLF. He noted that the total funds available are $1,084,477.05, with loans totaling $1,166,128.21, making the total funds $2,250,605.26.

      The 2024 annual meeting of the BMA of Arkansas is set for Nov. 7-8 at Central Baptist College. CBC President Terry Kimbrow was elected to bring the annual message, with Tony Crocker (pastor of Worden Baptist Church in Greenbrier) as the alternate.

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