Thank you again for the opportunity to serve alongside of each of you. This is, for me, both a privilege and a sacred trust. These are exciting days in our association of churches.
Our Spring Missions Gathering on April 7th, concluded significant months of prayer, collaboration of ideas and proposals for the future of the Bradley Baptist Association. At this gathering, your church messengers approved the recommendation of the Ad-hoc, Ministry Development and Administrative teams to change the association’s name to the CrossNet Baptist Network. Pray for us as we continue to move forward as a Network of Churches serving in ministry together.
During Spring Break week, a volunteer team of 95 Bradley Baptists shared the Gospel in Washington, DC by partnering with our DC Church Planters, Zack Randles and Zack Bekele. Ten associational churches participated. Among the highlights was an Easter party at Waterfront Church that drew 700 in attendance. Our team served the homeless of DC and distributed door hangers and business cards in DC inviting people to Easter Sunday. Waterfront Church had a record 206 in attendance Easter Sunday and 12 people signed up for the new members class. We also worshiped with Pastor Zack Bekele and the Gilgal Ethiopian church. If you are interested in going on a mission trip, we will be returning to DC during Fall Break October 8-13, 2016. Please contact Randy Bonner for details.
Now concluding its fifth year, the VITA ministry has been a great opportunity for our volunteers to share Christ and minister to people without jobs or who are in transition. This year the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) ministry has processed over 230 tax returns. One was for a missionary to Panama and several said there were going to make a donation to their church or the association with the money they saved. As far as what this saves the individual, you can estimate between $125 and $200 dollars per return. When you talk about the benefit of the program, this equals between $28,7500 and $46,000 of real dollars that taxpayers have available to put back into our community. Special Thanks to our VITA coordinator, Linda Finnell (Westwood), and her team of volunteers.
Finally, there are two special events in our state that I wanted to personally invite you and your church to attend. A “Prayer Boot Camp” prayer training will be held on April 30th in Murfreesboro, TN. The training is based on The Battle Plan for Prayer by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, developers of “War Room.” The cost is $10; for more info, call Bernie Baker at (615) 371-7925. Also a “Decision America” Prayer Rally will be held at the Capitol Legislative Plaza in Nashville on May 3rd at Noon. The event will feature Franklin Graham and prayers for our communities, state and nation during this election year. More info can be found online at decisionamericatour.com.