The Importance of Gathering

         Over the past two years, I have been privileged to reach out to the pastors and churches of the BMA of Arkansas via articles in the Baptist Trumpet under the heading “Just Thinking.” This week, I will conclude my second year as president of the association of churches. It has been an honor to serve the churches in

this capacity. This will be my last article in this capacity. The messengers will elect a new president on Thursday evening of this week.

As we prepare for a gathering of messengers and guests on the campus of Central Baptist College, I want to share some final thoughts. However, you will not be rid of me and my ramblings… Baptist Trumpet Executive Editor Jeff Herring has asked me to continue my column, but just not in the position of associational president. So, I say thank you to our fine editors, but also to the many who have texted, emailed or called responding to the articles of the past two years. Your comments and compliments have been much appreciated.

The 72nd Annual Session of the BMA of Arkansas

         I cannot stress enough the importance of the churches sending messengers and guests to the meeting Thursday & Friday, Nov. 4-5. While many do not realize their churches are members of this body, they need to know, and they need to know they have a voice in the work of the four ministry departments of this association, so please send messengers. Each church is allowed three voting messengers. Each church is also to be represented by a missionary committeeman who votes regarding recommendations from the Missionary Committee.

         Additionally, the State WMA and State Brotherhood have wonderful programs for women and men respectively. The auxiliary ministries are immensely helpful to the spread of the gospel and the support of the entities of the BMA of Arkansas.

         Times for worship will begin first at 3 p.m. in the Burgess Auditorium of the Cooper Complex Thursday with a concert of praise by a trio of men, Legacy of Praise. Blessings for the hearts are in store for those who attend, and the free concert is open to the public — that includes students, faculty and administration of CBC.

         The first session will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening, also in Burgess Auditorium. Worship will be the focus of the evening. Come expecting a blessing as the CBC Band, CBC Singers and CBC Choir lead the attendees in a wonderful worship experience. Worship continues as the annual message is preached by Wade Allen,  pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Rogers. The alternate is Wynndel King, pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Jonesboro.

The Business of the Churches

         Following worship, the first session of business will begin. This year we will welcome at least one new church into the association. The election of officers, election of annual speaker and hearing of proposed constitutional amendments will also take place. Those proposed amendments must be presented Thursday and voted on Friday morning. The Publications Committee (the Baptist Trumpet) will be the first ministry department to report. After that, representatives from our national departments will briefly give updates on what God is doing in our national work.

Friday Morning

         CBC will host an Appreciation Breakfast at 7 a.m. in the community room of the Mabee Student Services Complex. This is not for pastors only, but for all staff and anyone else who might want to attend. If you are receiving this before Wednesday (Nov. 3) and would like to attend, please RSVP to Duffy Guyton at (501) 269-6784 or

         The annual session will resume at 9 a.m. Friday with a devotional, followed by the reports of the associational committees, auxiliaries and the other three associational departments. Plans are to adjourn the meeting at noon on Friday.

Other Pertinent Information

         I remind the churches that the CBC Dining Services will offer their always delicious meals in the dining hall, with lunch on Thursday at noon, breakfast Friday morning, and lunch again after the meeting adjourns on Friday.

         Parking for messengers and guests will be on the campus in available parking spots. The students will be parking off campus Thursday and Friday during the meeting.

         Display tables will be throughout the Harold E. Cooper Complex during the meeting. Attendees will be able to visit the tables anytime the meeting is not in session.

         CBC is not under any COVID restrictions. Masks are optional, but certainly not required. A small section of the auditorium will be reserved for those who desire to wear masks and prefer distancing from others who do not wear masks.

The Schedule is In This Week’s Issue

         A complete schedule of the meeting is on page 8 of this issue or you can CLICK HERE to view it now. Please refer to it for times and locations of the various committee and auxiliary meetings.

My Final Thoughts

         I was just thinking as I have been writing this article… it has been an honor to serve the churches of the BMA of Arkansas. This is my seventh and final time to preside over the annual sessions of the association — two of those were as a vice president and five as president. I love the Lord, His churches and their pastors; and I love those who serve the association in the various capacities. I pledge to continue to support and pray for them.

         “God is Able” will be the theme of this year’s meeting. I know you know that He is able to do more than any of us humans can think or imagine. He tells us we should pray, asking for His grace, guidance, help and assurance as we attempt to serve Him while living in these earth suits. Please pray for His blessings on the 72nd Annual Session of the BMA of Arkansas and for the messengers and guests as they travel.

         May God bless the pastors, staffs, servants and churches of the Baptist Missionary Association. I look forward to seeing many of you Thursday and Friday at CBC!

         “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (II Cor. 9:8 NIV).

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