Current News – 07-14-21

*SOAR 2021 a Success (pg. 1)

Nick Jacobsen – To the churches of the BMA, “Thank you!” The SOAR conference, as you know, has been around for over 30 years; but last year, because of COVID, we weren’t able to gather together. Going forward, everything will be marked “Post COVID” as things will be forever changed. In the middle of May, SOAR 2021 had a registration of less than 100 attendees. You want to talk about panic, fear and stress — if I’m honest with you, I resigned twice, lived off a bottle of antacids and didn’t sleep much. In a period of three weeks, hundreds more registered, and the very low goal for an attendance number we set, had been reached and exceeded.

*CBC Announces SOAR Scholarship Winners (pg.1)

What an exciting week at SOAR! What fun we had visiting with over 1,000 BMAA students and Youth Ministry Workers. We continued the SOAR tradition by giving away a limited edition CBC t-shirt. Many other prizes and promotional items were also distributed. However, SOAR scholarships are the highlight giveaway each year. This year our three $10,000 scholarship award winners were: Becca Hopp from Antioch Baptist Church in Conway; Elijah Davidson from Jacob’s Well Church in Chicago, Ill.; and Skylar Haden from Spring Hill Baptist Church in Laurel, Miss.

*BMAA Annual Reports and Recommendations (pg.1)

Jerome Cooper – The BMAA Meeting and Production team has released the annual issue of the BMA Reports and Recommendations from the departments and committees of the BMAA. The Reports and Recommendations book contains the annual reports from BMA departments and committees as well as recommendations from the trustees and directors of each department. In a change from previous years the Report and Recommendations book is available as a download from the BMA website. A printed book will not be mailed out to the churches. As a result of this change the meeting fund will save about $10,000 in printing and distribution costs for the report book. The Reports and Recommendations Booklet is now online at bmaamerica.org/nationalmeeting, just click the button.

BMA Recommendations (pg. 1)

CENTRAL BAPTIST COLLEGE: CBC Announces Two New Business Degrees (pg. 2)

Terry Kimbrow – Central Baptist College has recently added two new degree emphases to their existing Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Beginning Fall of 2021, Business Information Systems and Business Analytics will be available in both Traditional and PACE programs.

STUDENT MINISTRY MATTERS: Embracing Your Tribe (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – This past week, I had the opportunity to hang out with over 1,100 students and leaders at the SOAR Conference at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. It was a great experience. I met lots of student ministry workers, had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and saw God work in big ways. I think everyone should be a part of a SOAR group at some point. One of the great things about SOAR is connecting with our BMA leaders. President Terry Kimbrow and Vice-President Ryan Johnson of Central Baptist College, Dr. John David Smith and Larry Barker of the BMAA Missions Office and Donny Parrish of Lifeword Media Ministries all make the SOAR Conference a priority. It is great to be connected to a group of churches that place such priority on impacting the next generation.

HEATHY CHURCH SOLUTIONS: Student Ministry Matters (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – This year’s SOAR conference had over 1,100 youth in attendance, with solid biblical preaching that challenged all of us to “Pause.” We set up a booth (healthychurchpodcast.com) to interview ministry and youth leaders and ask them why all of this time and effort is important. We even reached out to several youth pastors and leaders to give us some bullet points on why student ministry does matter. Here is an open disclosure, it does matter! I am so thankful for leaders who loved me and poured into my life when I was a teenager. Having been a youth pastor and having had youth pastors on my staff, my prayer has always been that youth pastors would be another layer of support to the family, parents and students. Here is how some have responded to why student ministry matters:

JUST THINKING: Be Thankful Even When It Is Difficult (pg. 3)

Tom Mitchell – I was just thinking about how life can be so difficult. I think none of us would say that we are not living in a time of difficulties. COVID continues to affect the world. Storms have ravaged various parts of our state. Illness and death are everyday occurrences which affect all families at one time or another. Businesses have closed and others are on the brink of closing. Homelessness is evident on almost every street corner. Marriages fail, children rebel and futures are in jeopardy. It seems the paths we journey are filled with crooks and turns that we find hard to navigate. So, what do we do in such difficult circumstances?

JOURNEY WITH JEFF: SOAR 2021 (page 4)

Jeff HerringAs you will see on the front page of this issue, SOAR 2021 was held last week in Dallas, Texas. Since we did not have a paper last week due to the 4th of July holiday and the BMA of Arkansas offices were closed, I was privileged to be able to attend the conference as a sponsor for my church. It was great to spend some time investing in students while also being able to see many friends and partners in ministry. Thanks to Nick Jacobsen and Chris Vines, along with many behind the scenes people, for your willingness to invest in the students of the BMA. I am already looking forward to next year (as soon as I get rested from this year)!

Trumpet Notes (page 4)

*Statewide Safe Haven Baby Box Billboard Campaign Continues  (pg. 5)

The fifth Safe Haven Baby Box in Arkansas — and 75th in the nation — went live on July 7 at Conway’s Central Fire Station #1, 1401 Caldwell St. The Safe Haven Baby Box is a device that allows parents to surrender their newborn infants that are less than 30 days old anonymously and safely near fire stations or other first responder stations. In addition to Arkansas, Safe Haven Baby Boxes are located in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida and Arizona.

Pastor’s Widow Passes Away (pg. 5)

Oris Brandon Ferguson, 94 of Texarkana, Texas passed away on July 5. She was the widow of John Lewis Ferguson, who pastored several rural churches in Howard and Yell Counties, taught history, social studies and philosophy in four different colleges in Arkansas and Texas, was the author/co-author of three books on Arkansas historical subjects and served as the Arkansas Historian and director of the Arkansas History Commission. She was a member of Temple Baptist Church, now known as South City Church, where she passionately served as director of the Girls Missionary Auxiliary for many years.

Aldridge to Celebrate 101st Birthday (pg. 5)

Erma Vernell (Knighton) Aldridge was born on July 17, 1920 in Stamps. She was born into a large family with two brothers and six sisters and was the second oldest. She graduated from Stamps High School.

Chaplain (1LT) REyan Burchett (pg. 6)

Scott Carson – Ryan Burchett is the pastor of Walnut St. Baptist Church in Winnsboro, Texas and has served the Lord and His church in both youth and pastoral ministry for 13 years. Bro. Burchett trusted Jesus as his Lord and Savior at the age of 12 at Ferris Avenue Baptist Church in Waxahachie, Texas. He served as youth minister at Lake Ridge Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas, and pastored both Sunset Avenue Baptist Church in Littlefield, Texas and Northside Baptist Church in Garland, Texas. Ryan is also on the writing team for Baptist Publishing House. He has sensed a calling to serve in the military for quite some time, but only recently has the Lord opened the door of opportunity for service as a chaplain.

STATE MISSIONS: The Honor Is All Mine (pg. 7)

Paul White – I had the privilege of worshipping Sunday with my good friend, Jackie Manasco and the wonderful people that make up the Letona Baptist Church at Letona. Following a good song service, accented with two uplifting specials, I shared State Missions and then preached the morning message.

STATE MISSIONS: From Our Missionaries (pg. 7)

Connection Point, Brookland; The Mustard Seed, Cain; Misión Creciendo en Cristo, North Little Rock; Life Journey, Fort Smith; Ebenezer, West Little Rock; Faith Chapel, Flippin; The Table, Springdale

*A Response to Guest Editorial (pg. 8)

Don Burke  — In reading through the June 23 issue of the Baptist Trumpet, I came across the guest editorial by Joshua Sharp, highlighting his criticism of Matthew West’s “Modest is Hottest” and of associated problems he (Sharp) sees in evangelical discussions on modesty. I looked up the lyrics and read through them, but so far see nothing worthy of the “deeply problematic” label Sharp affixes to the song. But what I do find problematic is Sharp’s broad claim that evangelical discussions of modesty “often are flawed, misogynistic and not truly rooted in biblical teaching.”

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