NWBC 'Walks' Through East Asia on Virtual Tour

By Cameron Crabtree

March 25, 2021

Organizers of the Northwest Baptist Convention’s partnership with Southern Baptist workers in various East Asia countries estimated more than 200 people from NWBC churches traveled virtually in mid-February to pray and learn more advancing the gospel message in the region

 

“We are very thankful for this East Asia virtual missions event,” said Jeff “Wally” Waligora of the IMB’s East Asia Peoples Affinity Group. “We’re hoping it inspired and encouraged the NWBC churches.

 

Over the last six years of the formal partnership, teams of volunteers from multiple NWBC churches have served IMB workers abroad in various large events and other outreach projects. A number of congregations have established local partnerships among different people groups in Asia.

 

February’s online “tour” allowed about two dozen International Mission Board workers, along with local partners, to talk about their work and share requests for help in four countries – Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Mongolia. While many people viewed the event individually on personal devices, other churches hosted “watch parties” with larger groups.

 

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Local Gatherings Offer Pastors Support

By Sheila Allen

March 25, 2021

A health pandemic, political strife, racial unrest and natural disasters roared in over the past year like an unrelenting storm, the likes of which many Northwest pastors had never experienced.

 

Events left many of them feeling emotionally bruised while trying to lead others and stay the course in their ministries, according to Lance Caddel, a church health and evangelism strategist for the Northwest Baptist Convention.

 

To help strengthen the church leaders despite uncertainties moving forward, Caddel helped organize Shepherd to Shepherd, geographic gatherings that allow participating NWBC pastors to talk through the emotional tolls of ministering amid such harsh and uncertain circumstances.

 

“I am very impressed with the men who serve as pastors and leaders in the Northwest,” said Caddel. “They are godly men who long to please their heavenly father and fulfil his calling for the churches they serve. However, events of the last year have made leading the church and their community very confusing with people firmed falling on both sides of several events. These unprecedented times have led pastors to feel frustrated and unsure how to move forward.”

 

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Northwest Mission Trip Leads to New Seattle Church

By Brandon Elrod, NAMB

March 25, 2021

Kevin and Rebecca Gibbs and their son

Kevin Gibbs was a minister to college students at a church in Arlington, TX, the first time he traveled to Seattle. He had connected with Southern Baptists’ North American Mission Board to lead a Generation Send mission trip that focused on several church plants in the city.

 

The last week of his summer-long trip, Gibbs spoke with a mentor who asked a question that initiated a major transition for him and his family.

 

“He asked me, ‘Where would you be if money and resources were not an option?’” Gibbs said. “I lost it and told him it would be Seattle.”

 

Gibbs grew up in Austin, TX, and Seattle’s unique culture reminded him of his hometown. When Gibbs called his wife Rebecca to let her know that he felt like God might be leading them to make a cross-country move, she said that God had confirmed the same thing to her.

 

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Training Urges Pulpit Priority

By Sheila Allen

March 25, 2021

Rick Blackwood

More than music or children’s ministry, statistics show more than 80 percent of church attenders choose a church based on the quality of the preaching, according to Rick Blackwood, who recently led Northwest pastors through a two-day workshop on high-impact expository preaching.

 

A surprising revelation to Blackwood upon extensive investigation was the scant classroom requirements for preaching at seminaries across the country, something he suggested results in turning pastors into more theologian than preacher.

 

Blackwood served as lead pastor of Christ Fellowship in Miami, FL, a congregation of over 10,000, for 23 years and continues as teaching pastor, but is passionate about passing on skills to empower others to lead well from their pulpit.

 

“Often there is a gap between what we want for our church and the skill to get there,” Blackwood said. “With 1,500 pastors leaving the ministry from burnout each month, I want to help people to develop the skills to lead their church in growth through their preaching.”

 

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Church Prioritizes CP Missions

By Karen Willoughby

March 25, 2021

Highland Baptist Church in Redmond, OR, shifted easily last March to an online worship service because a year earlier, church leaders included $30,000 in the church’s capital fundraising campaign for technology upgrades.

 

When pandemic restrictions hit the central Oregon town last spring, the church had the money to purchase two remote-controlled Panasonic cameras as well as a new video switcher and sound board. More recently, Highland Baptist added a full-time technology director to its vocational staff.

 

“What’s important is reaching people with the gospel,” said Pastor Barry Campbell. He’s led for 11 years the church where pre-pandemic, more than 850 people participated in Sunday worship services.

 

“As we reach people, meet their needs and help them grow in Jesus, we complete the circle by encouraging them to live out their faith,” Campbell said. “Giving to missions through the Cooperative Program is an important way to do that.”

 

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Pastor Strong After Brush With Death

By Karen Willoughby

March 25, 2021

Barry and Marci Campbell

Physicians told Pastor Barry Campbell most people who suffered his medical nightmare in December would either be dead or severely cognitively impaired, yet he is alive, well and back to preaching three messages on Sundays.

 

Campbell, pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Redmond, OR, told the Northwest Baptist Witness he doesn’t remember much from the first seven days of his ordeal, but his wife Marci and daughter Katie fill in the blanks. They were in the hospital with him as much as they were allowed in the midst of a pandemic upsurge.

 

“We followed the ambulance to the hospital and waited outside for someone to tell us if he was alive or not,” Marci Campbell told the congregation Jan. 10, the first Sunday she and her husband were back to Highland Baptist. “It was an hour or maybe two, but just to know he was alive was enough for us at that moment.”

 

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Caring Group Meets Needs

By Sheila Allen

March 25, 2021

Volunteers offer assistance at the Boardman Food Bank which had it's beginnings at First Baptist Church of Boardman, OR.

As collateral economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic blanketed Morrow County in north central Oregon, members of First Baptist Church of Boardman rose to the occasion and began meeting basic necessities of life for local residents.

 

Positioned across the street from a health clinic, Pastor Rick Weiss fielded a call from the clinic asking about ferrying food to locals who were hurting due to loss of employment.

 

A small, but growing town of 4,500 residents, Boardman joins other towns in meeting the employment needs of several large companies including, the Port of Morrow, food processors and Amazon. But as the demand for fast food took a nose dive follow COVID restrictions, employer after employer was forced to cut hardworking employees from the payroll.

 

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NWBC Relocation Plans Proceeding

By Cameron Crabtree

March 25, 2021

Northwest Baptist Convention leaders received a full price offer of $9,438,000 for the Northwest Baptist Center located in Vancouver, WA, according to Randy Adams, NWBC executive director. Convention leaders are moving forward with plans for relocation with that offer in mind, he added.

 

The current 38,000-square feet building serves as the primary facility for multiple NWBC ministry staff, the Northwest Baptist Foundation and Gateway Seminary’s Pacific Northwest Campus. It opened in 1997 on 9 acres.

 

Last fall, the NWBC executive board voted to sell the existing facility, purchase land and build a new, smaller office building elsewhere in the area. During that meeting the board also authorized contracts with a commercial realtor and a builder, both based in Vancouver.

 

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Northwest Leader Details SBC Concerns

By George Schroeder and Jonathan Howe, Baptist Press

March 25, 2021

Randy Adams

Editor’s Note: Randy Adams, executive director of the Northwest Baptist Convention is among four men expected to be nominated to a one-year term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention when the SBC annual meeting convenes June 15 in Nashville, TN. Following is an abridged version of a Q&A session Adams did with Baptist Press in February about issues facing the SBC:

 

Baptist Press: What do you want the average Southern Baptist to know about Randy Adams?

 

Adams: I love Jesus. I love my family. I feel a sense of responsibility to our convention because of what the convention has meant to me and to our Northwest Baptist Convention. Southern Baptists have a great story with many bright spots and some dim and dark areas in our history, as well. It’s time to write a new chapter in the story and I hope to help write that new chapter, one in which we’re open and honest with each other and transparent. It would be one in which we build back our missionary effectiveness.

 

It’s the mission that’s motivated me most to do this. I feel a great burden for the way our mission effectiveness has declined. We’ve got almost 2,000 fewer international missionaries than we did a decade ago. We’ve got baptism rates at the level we had during the Great Depression. So much has gotten off course in the last decade, but it’s not inevitable that we continue down a path of decline.

 

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Author Shifts from Lifeway, SBC

By Scott Barkley, Baptist Press

March 25, 2021

Beth Moore

Popular author and Bible study leader Beth Moore recently announced she is ending her affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention and Lifeway Christian Resources, relationships stretching back more than three decades.

Moore announced the change in a March 9 interview with Religion News Service (RNS).

 

“I am still a Baptist, but I can no longer identify with Southern Baptists,” she told RNS. “I love so many Southern Baptist people, so many Southern Baptist churches, but I don’t identify with some of the things in our heritage that haven’t remained in the past.”

 

Moore told RNS her perception of the SBC began changing in 2016 related to the campaign and election of Donald Trump as president. Specifically, she cited his behavior toward women as revealed in an Access Hollywood tape and a lack of condemnation from Southern Baptist leaders.

 

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IMB Presses for Diversity

By Catherine Finch, IMB

March 25, 2021

As part of a recent emphasis on racial diversity in missions, the International Mission Board hosted a panel discussion called “The Future of Missions: Why Biblical Diversity Matters” Feb. 25.

 

The conversation is vital to IMB’s vision, said Paul Chitwood, IMB president.

 

“The diversity discussion at the IMB will continue because the Word of God is clear. We need churches who reflect the people of this world,” Chitwood said. “These are not singular discussions. We are making a long-term commitment to support a more racially diverse missions force around the world.”

 

The event opened with testimonies from IMB missionaries and IMB student mobilizer, Adeola Adelere, who was born in Nigeria and grew up in South Carolina.

 

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March-April 2021 Complete Issue
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