Lord, Give Us Your Passion for Lostness

Thank you for making our 65th Annual Homecoming a great success! We had a wonderful celebration of what God is doing in our Jerusalem, our Judea, our Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth.

A special “Thank You” to Philippi Baptist Church for hosting our homecoming this year. Pastor Sammy Hooker and the Philippi staff were wonderful hosts and provided a nice lunch for us between sessions. It was estimated we had about 400 in attendance for our evening session! The evening’s music was a special treat with the combined Philippi and Elkmont choirs. Jason Hooker of Philippi led us in congregational singing. Meagan Jolley and Charity Baggett provided us with special singing. It was truly a great celebration!

Revitalization of churches is an important mission of the Bradley Baptist Association. Over this next year and hopefully several years, I will be dedicating time to conducting “Thrive Summits” in our BBA churches. These summits will be conducted with a “Church Dream Team,” coaching church leaders, and church members participating in a self-analysis process. The process is simple, yet effective. When properly utilized, it will enable a church to break out of a static, fixed routine. I have just finished a Thrive Summit with Michigan Ave Baptist and am currently working with Hopewell and West Cleveland Baptist Churches. Your ministry evangelism director, Randy Bonner and a panel of pastors that included Pastor Todd Collins (White Oak), Pastor Alan Lovelace (Waterville), Pastor Daniel Malone (Big Spring) and Matt Dillard (Elkmont), shared about how the recent Love Cleveland ministry initiative has affected our churches and community. There is such an excitement now about doing random acts of kindness and servant evangelism outside of the four walls of our churches. The wonderful results from Love Cleveland keep pouring in. Just recently, Pastor Boggess of Beacon Baptist, shared he has baptized 18 individuals who have come to know Christ as a direct result of Love Cleveland! Praise God!

We now are seeking direction to participate in a new partnership in Washington, DC. Going forward, it is our desire to continue to strengthen and develop partnerships that not only continue to support our goals of establishing new congregations, strengthening existing ones here in Cleveland/Bradley County but, more and more, challenging the churches of BBA to go beyond their local area into the world. We will be doing a DC mission trip during spring break week next year, March 21-28, 2015. For more information, please contact the BBA at 476-5493 or attend the information meeting on Thursday, November 6th at 7PM at the association.

It is my desire to see ALL BBA churches involved personally in reaching out locally, in our nation and overseas, in addition to the support that BBA churches give to the Cooperative Program. One day soon, I envision BBA as a body adopting an area or group of people to work with. This should not be at the expense of what is already being done, but in addition to.

Finally, please remember that “The Summit,” also known as the TN Baptist Convention, will be held November 10-12 at Brentwood Baptist in Brentwood, TN. This includes the Pastors Conference and the annual meeting. For more information, please visit tbcsummit.org.