The 72nd annual BMA of Arkansas meeting was held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 4-5, at Central Baptist College. The theme, chosen by President Tom Mitchell, was “God is Able” based on II Cor. 9:8.
Thursday morning included meetings of the WMA and Brotherhood. Following the Missionary Committee meeting, Legacy of Praise led in a concert in the Burgess auditorium that was open to the public.
The first general session kicked-off at 6:30 p.m. and began with worship led by the CBC band and singers and followed by a welcome by CBC President Terry Kimbrow. The CBC choir then continued leading in worship before the annual message presented by Wade Allan, pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Rogers.
Ron Fields, pastor of Senior Adults and Care Ministries at Temple, Rogers, introduced the speaker. Bro. Wade shared a sermon titled “Journey of a Spiritual Man,” based on Heb. 10:19-25.
Following the annual message, the business meeting was called to order and the messengers were seated, along with two new petitionary churches: Connection Point, Brookland and El Faro, Little Rock. The messengers elected Michael Battenfield (pastor of First, Cave Springs) as president; Tony Crocker (pastor of Immauel, Greenbrier) as first vice president; and Daniel Williams (pastor of First, Damascus) as second vice president. Wes Hulvey (pastor of Springdale, Springdale) was elected to replace Randy Shepherd as a recording clerk. Don Embry (pastor of Central, Ashdown) will serve the second year of a two-year term as recording clerk. You can see a listing of the various committees and committee members and a collage of photos from the meeting are on page 8 of today’s Trumpet.
The reports from the four departmental directors — Terry Kimbrow, Paul White, Dan Carson and Jeff Herring — appear on pages 4-5 of today’s Trumpet. These reports were printed in the Combined Reports booklet that was distributed at the meeting. All of the recommendations from the various committees and directors were approved.
Baptist Trumpet — The report included an overview of the financial situation and deficit that is currently the reality for the Trumpet. A plan was introduced to work toward being in the black for the coming year. For more information, see the Baptist Trumpet report on page 5. A plaque was presented to Hershel Conley for completing three years of service on the Publications Committee. Doug Brown was also recognized for his three years of service, but he was not able to attend the meeting.
Youth Department — Director Dan Carson was unable to attend the meeting in person due to a conflict with his doctoral studies, but he did share his report via video. The report highlighted the work of the Youth Department to equip youth workers across the state from the volunteer to the full-time worker. Updates were shared about the success of the Student Ministry Matters podcast, conference and the upcoming 222 Leadership cohort.
Central Baptist College — President Terry Kimbrow encouraged all churches and pastors to host a “CBC Day” in their church. He stated that the support from churches is critical in order for CBC to fulfill their mission of “transforming lives through education that integrates Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment.” Highlights of his report were a 3.5% increase in traditional student population and a 23% increase in students living on campus.
State Missions — Executive Director of Missions Paul White shared how the missions program has continued to move forward despite COVID-19, with the organization of one church, another one scheduled to organize within a month and one looking to set a date in the next few months. He also reminded those in attendance that it is churches that send missionaries and asked for pastors to prayerfully seek out men that could serve as new missionaries for the association.
Special Reports from Guests
Baptist Publishing House — Assistant to the Executive Director Jordan Tew shared about the success of the Baptist Expositor and the inductive Bible study method that it utilizes. He also shared about a new children’s curriculum that it is in the process of production.
BMA Theological Seminary — Jordan Tew also shared an update from Dr. Holmes about the seminary.
Lifeword — Director of Programming Luis Ortega shared the statistics of how the lifeword.org cloud is allowing to reach more people with the gospel. The goal is to have 200 languages by 2025.
Soaring Wings Ranch — Executive Director Andrew Watson shared about the 14 years of ministry they have had serving children that need help when their parents face difficult circumstances. The goal is to help the children and help the parents with the goal of restoring the family.
Brotherhood — A brotherhood was not shared even though they did meet during the meeting.
WMA — First Vice President Kelly Williams reported that approximately $7,400 had been raised for the Evangelistic International Ministry (EIM) Shepherd Bag Ministry. Alternate Arkansas Miss GMA Rylee Johnson brought the devotional in the WMA meeting on Thursday.
The final Enrollment Committee report indicated there were 91 churches represented at the meeting (46 by messenger and 45 by letter) with 86 messengers and 29 visitors for a total of 115 registered in attendance. Total money received for the Minute Fund was $5,265. There were two petitionary letters, as noted above.
The 2022 annual meeting of the BMA of Arkansas is set for Nov. 3-4 at Central Baptist College. Hershel Conley (pastor of The Bridge Church at Mountain Home) was elected to bring the annual message, with Jimmy Brock (director of ABS in Magnolia) as the alternate.