Current News – 08/11/21

From the President (pg. 1)

Justin Rhodes – The 72nd annual meeting of the BMA of America is now history. We had a great meeting at Farley Street Baptist Church in Waxahachie, Texas. Pastor Richard Smith, as well as their church staff and members, are to be commended for a job well done. They were such gracious hosts, and we thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful facilities.

BMAA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Think Globally, Act Locally (pg.1)

Jeff Swart – As I have traveled the world, I have noticed that the soft drink Coca-Cola seems to be everywhere. On their website, Coca Cola states that their products are available in “more than 200 countries.” A close examination reveals that some of the “countries” listed by the Coca Cola corporation are not really countries at all. However, according to that know-it-all “Alexa,” Coca-Cola products are available everywhere in the world except North Korea and Cuba. So how did this soft drink get into virtually every country in the world? The company motto that is posted in the world headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. may answer this question: “Think Globally, But Act Locally.”

Fall Arkansas District Meeting Schedule (pg. 1)

The following is a list of this year’s fall annual Arkansas district meetings. The list includes the name of the association, the date, time and location of the meeting and the name of the moderator (if available). After running here, they will appear in future issues in the District Calendar column with any updates or additional information that becomes available.

JUST THINKING: The BMAA Annual Meeting (pg.1)

Tom Mitchell – Karen and I have been home only a couple of days, but I was just thinking about the great annual session of the BMA of America that took place in Waxahachie, Texas. I have thought about various comparatives and superlatives, but all seem to fall short of expressing just how wonderful the meeting was.

CENTRAL BAPTIST COLLEGE: Last Chance for Enrollment (pg. 2)

Terry Kimbrow – For traditional high school and college transfer students, now is the last opportunity to apply for the fall 2021 semester! Scholarships are still available, so visit to start the application process today. Complete the easy application process and our counselors will work with you to complete the enrollment process. The registration deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 18. Contact Admissions at or (501) 329-6873 with any questions.

STUDENT MINISTRY MATTERS: A Return to Basics (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – As we enter a new school year, there are still a number of questions surrounding what this fall will look like. Will COVID-19 and the Delta Variant impact how our students attend school? Will it change how we do ministry? I know that at our church we have had to make some adjustments to how we are approaching ministry and put a halt to some things that we had hoped to jump into this fall. It is frustrating, to say the least. Do we give up? No. We keep going. We keep moving forward with the gospel.

HEATHY CHURCH SOLUTIONS: Are We in an Ice Age? (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – The last 18 months have certainly dragged on and challenged us. We have seen five storms rise up on the horizon to then move in and engulf us. We must be careful to not over-dramatize our situation, but we must also be honest about our struggles. Barnabas and Paul make us aware of this in Acts 14:22,

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant (pg. 3)

Stan Scroggins – In 1992, Donna and I made our first trip to the Philippines (see photo to the right). Don and Linda Newsom hosted us and created in us a love for and desire to serve Filipinos. Arriving in the Philippines in 1978, Don Newsom is considered a “pioneer missionary”, and he had a pioneering church planting spirit. With over 30 churches planted, along with several ministries to help Filipino people, Don’s influence has and will endure for generations.

SPOTLIGHT ON MISSIONS: Gavin and Haley Roberts (page 3)

June and July have proven to be busy months! We are thankful for an action-packed summer. A VSM team from two of our partnering churches, Antioch Baptist Church in Conway and First Baptist Church in Magnolia, joined us for a week in mid-June. They were a great encouragement to our families and the families of our plant!

JOURNEY WITH JEFF: What An Exciting Time (pg. 4)

Jeff Herring – Allan and I really enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones while we were at the national meeting last week in Waxahachie. We were able to visit with many people that stopped by our table to learn about the customer portal that is available to all subscribers and church plan managers, to help them subscribe or renew their subscription and to learn about how to start a church plan trial.

Trumpet Notes (page 4)

Legacy Missionary Awards (pg. 5)

Jeff HerringNew to the national meeting this year was a recognition of Legacy Missionaries. According to Executive Director of Missions Dr. John David Smith, the Legacy Award is primarily for those who serve for at least 30 years with faithfulness and integrity, show faithfulness to the beliefs and values of our association, take risks for the sake of the gospel work, are focused on others and maintain accountability as they serve.

EIM: Just Load the Wagon (pg. 9)

Fonda Norris – “Don’t worry about the mule, just load the wagon.” I’m not sure if any of you have ever heard that old saying before, but I have it on good authority that it originated in Alabama. Since Rocky Goodwin was born and spent his childhood in Alabama, and he’s the one that I heard that from, I’ll have to say it’s true at least from my perspective. You may ask, “What does that have to do with a praise report from EIM’s Shepherd’s Bag Ministry?” That phrase sums up my feelings this year more than any other that I can think of when laboring to get a shipment together in the middle of a pandemic.

Owen Little, BMA Pastor, Dies (pg. 9)

Owen Lee Little, 83 of Corning, passed away July 18. He loved fishing, gardening and his family, but his passion in life was serving God and leading others to Christ. He was a Baptist minister for over 50 years, pastoring churches in Missouri and also in Oregon, where he served as a missionary for several years. His Arkansas pastorates include True Light at McDougal and Blooming Grove in Rector, where he was serving at the time of his death.

Seminary to Offer Free Online Class (pg. 9)

The BMA Theological Seminary is offering a free online course in the Fall 2021. The course will be eight weeks long and includes various assignments and opportunities to interact with fellow students. Students who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion.

Ten Characteristics of Churches That Keep Young Adults (pg. 10)

Aaron Earls – A Lifeway Research study of young adults raised in the church discovered certain characteristics can have an impact on the likelihood they drop out of church. The good news for small churches is that neither the size of the church or the size of the student ministry has any influence on drop-out rates. The most important characteristics are ones that every church can strive to embrace.

Weddington to Celebrate 150 years (pg. 10)

Doug Brown – Weddington Baptist Church is excited to celebrate its 150 year anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 19. Our theme verse is, “Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set” (Prov. 22:28), and our theme hymn is “How Firm A Foundation.” The church was organized as Weddington Gap Baptist Church on March 20, 1871. The first pastor was C. Williams. In early 1900, the church was renamed Weddington Baptist Church.

*STATE MISSIONS: Organizational Meeting (pg. 11)

Paul White – August 28 has been set aside as the date that the BMA of Arkansas State Missions Department’s work in Brookland, Connection Point Mission, will organize into a local autonomous church. I personally want to thank Pastor Chad White for his faithful dedication to this work. We want to invite all to be a part of this once in a lifetime meeting for Connection Point. The service will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28. Come and celebrate with us!

STATE MISSIONS: From Our Missionaries (pg. 11)

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.

FROM THE MAILBOX: Missionary on Furlough (pg. 12)

Dear Editor: I will be visiting the US on a short furlough from Sept. 7-Oct. 5 and will be available to visit our churches and share about the work in the Middle East and the continuing challenges and difficulties in Lebanon. If any of our churches would like me to visit, please let me know ASAP by contacting me at I am looking forward to seeing our BMAA folks and visiting with our pastors. — Charlie Costa, BMAA Middle East Missions Coordinator (

Dwarfs or Disciples? (pg. 12)

Kerry Stitch – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has always been a children’s favorite. The characteristics modeled by Dopey, Doc, Bashful, Grumpy, Happy, Sneezy and Sleepy are easy for us to identify by their actions and words. You might be surprised to know that “Blabby, Dumpy, and Hotsy” didn’t make the published list. (Well played for sure.)

National Senior Adult Conference (pg. 12)

Nick Jacobsen – It’s back! The National Senior Adult conference is back. Easily the best conference offered by the BMA, the National Senior Adult is what some call a BMA Homecoming. Every year, this conference is the highlight of many hundreds of people, and this year will be no exception.

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