Fanning Flames of Faith

By Sheila Allen

September 24, 2018

They’re dubbed the “carpetball group” – teenagers from various Northwest Baptist churches who met five years ago at Centrifuge, the annual five-day camp experience sponsored by the Northwest Baptist Convention, and count down the days until they can see each other again.


“We met playing carpetball and just clicked,” said 17-year-old Isabell Nadler, who attended Centrifuge with her youth group from Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Goldendale, WA. The game is a longstanding feature of Aldersgate Camp in Turner, OR, where Centrifuge has been held for several years. “We keep in touch through social media during the year, but talk a lot more as ‘Fuge gets closer. It is so exciting that we count down the days until we see each other again.”


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Servant Leadership Hallmark of Enduring Ministry

By Sheila Allen

September 24, 2018

Bill Wells

At 50 years and counting at one church locale, Bill Wells stands as an example of steadfast leadership in ministry at First Baptist Church of Longview, WA. Through the decades, Wells has served alongside five senior pastors while serving in various roles.


Born in Texas and raised on a farm near Abilene, Wells sensed a call for ministry as a teenager. After two years in the Marine Corps, he returned to San Angelo for junior college and began his first role as a volunteer music director. After two more years of schooling at Hardin Simmons University, Wells earned a degree in religious education and Bible.

A strong association with Northwest Baptist icons Bill Crews and Ted Cotten was established during those years.


It was during his first Sunday in his next ministry assignment leading choir practice that Wells met his cherished wife, Cherrie, who’s stood by his side for over six decades.


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Northwest Hearts Beat for East Asia

By Sheila Allen

September 24, 2018

Volunteers from 10 Northwest churches traveled to EastAsia to support those who seek to spread the gospel.

Northwest Baptists once again showed commitment to international missions as a crew of 48 people traveled to support International Mission Board personnel in East Asia. The team comprised volunteers from 10 churches and included those from young teenagers to senior adults.


With a strong formal partnership formed in 2014 between the IMB’s East Asia affinity group and the Northwest Baptist Convention, volunteers remain committed to making a difference for the sake of the gospel in that region of the world.

Northwest volunteers provided programming for 200 children from birth to 18 years old for a six-day conference that allowed leaders from the East Asia affinity to meet, plan, pray and be encouraged in their enormous task to spread the name of Jesus among multiple people groups in various nations.


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Foster Kids Treated Royally at Camp

By Sheila Allen

September 24, 2018

Children attending a Royal Family Kids Camp in Cowlitz County, WA, celebrate at a dress-up dinner to signify their worth.

With a desire to confront abuse and change lives, Jess McCloud was a force to be reckoned with as she sought to start a Royal Family Kids Camp in her new hometown of Longview, WA.


With no children of her own, a movie about the experiences of some in the international RFK organization prompted her to explore starting a camp for children in the foster system of Cowlitz County, WA.


“We moved here from Houston three years ago after Hurricane Ike devastated our home and we refurbished it while living in a FEMA trailer,” said McCloud. “We soon became involved at Valley Christian Fellowship and I approached our former pastor, Lance Caddel, about the possibility of sponsoring a Royal Family Kids Camp and he encouraged me to go for it.”


Developed for foster children ages 7-11, RFK seeks to create life changing moments for children who come from difficult backgrounds. McCloud set about forming a leadership team and began connecting with the foster system and network of caregivers in Cowlitz County. She and other leaders then attended a week-long director camp in Nebraska, also the site of an RFK camp, which now ministers in over 40 states and many countries.


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IMB Encourages Laity to Participate

By Stephen Floyd

September 24, 2018

For centuries, laypeople were excluded from the international mission field. Not that they were unwelcome, but technology travel at the time made it difficult for all but professional missionaries to go abroad.


Today, this is far from the case and churches in all communities are able to send short-term mission teams overseas.


To help enable Northwest Baptist churches to train and send volunteers, D. Ray Davis, of the International Mission Board, met with local pastors Aug. 14 at Pathway Church, in Gresham Ore., to discuss what he sees as a major shift in Baptist missions.


“Missions is not for professionals, only,” said Davis. “We do need professionals, let me underscore that ... but if that’s all we ever send, then we’re missing a huge opportunity.”


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NWBC Celebrating Mission

By Cameron Crabtree

September 28, 2018

A key emphasis for messengers attending the Northwest Baptist Convention annual meeting Nov. 13-14 will be celebrating what God has already done among the convention’s 480+ churches and the need for an even stronger sense of stewardship for God’s mission in the region.


This year’s meeting theme – “This is Our Day” – comes from Hebrews 11 and the first portions of Hebrews 12. The lengthy passage will be highlighted in various sermons, testimonies, readings and presentations throughout the gathering.


The two-day meeting, along with its auxiliary meetings on Monday, Nov. 12, will be at the Great Wolf Lodge in Centralia, WA. In a change from annual meetings in prior years, the event will conclude at noon on Wednesday. However, convention participants will have access to the Lodge’s water park until 4 p.m. that last day.


Featured speakers for the annual meeting are Dallas Stringer, pastor of Eastmont Baptist Church in East Wenatchee, WA; Dustin Hall, pastor of Kennewick (WA) Baptist Church and NWBC president; Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention; and Randy Adams, NWBC executive director.


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Initiating Spiritual Conversations

By Cameron Crabtree

September 28, 2018

Northwest Baptist Convention evangelism leaders hope over the next several months to help churches “activate God space” by training members to initiative spiritual conversations more naturally with people.


Activating God Space is the title of training material the NWBC will provide to participating churches. “We will provide this resource at no cost to NWBC churches using it to train their people to share their faith,” said Joe Flegal, NWBC director of church health and evangelism.


The resource – the work of Doug Pollock, evangelism trainer for Athletes in Action – will be introduced at the convention’s annual meeting in November. Pollock will be a featured speaker the Northwest Baptists’ Pastor-Layman Conference November 12. He will also go over the material during two breakout sessions at the NWBC annual meeting the next day.


Pollock uses the term “God space” for where spiritual conversations happen naturally.


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Oregon Church, Cowboy Ministry Team Up

Adapted for the Witness

September 28, 2018

During a Rodeo Bible Camp earlier this summer, Living Hope Church of Medford, OR, helped lead three people to faith in Christ and has continued to follow up on opportunities to share more about God’s love with about 100 families.


“This year, we saw the Lord work in tremendous ways,” said Shawn Snyder, pastor of the Northwest Baptist Convention church.  “We saw members of our church step up and the community lean in to this specific event.”


The church teamed up with Cowboy Life Ministry and other local churches for the three-day event at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. The CLM staff offers training experiences such as riding, roping and racing to draw people. 


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NWBC Staff Member Resigns

Richard Kirk, an evangelism/church health strategist for the Northwest Baptist Convention the past six years, submitted his immediate resignation September 27 due to “moral failures that transgressed his marital covenant,” according to Randy Adams, NWBC executive director.


Accepting and reporting the resignation “with great sadness,” Adams urged Northwest Baptists to pray for Kirk and his family members, many of whom have been involved extensively in NWBC ministries over the years.


Before working with the convention, Kirk served for about 35 years on the staffs of several Northwest Baptist churches.


Adams and Joe Flegal, NWBC director of evangelism and church health, are developing an interim plan for carrying out assignments Kirk had in Region 5 -- which consists of eastern Washington, north Idaho and northeastern Oregon. Garry Benfield, an NWBC church planting catalyst, is currently the convention’s only other staff member living in and serving churches in the region. He will be able to serve churches needing help in areas of evangelism and church health, said Adams.


Flegal will “work with other evangelism and church health team members to cover other needs that arise in Region 5,” he added. Those staff members are Lance Caddel, David Gass and Bruce Sloan.


For now, churches in Region 5 needing assistance with evangelism or church health resources and consultation can make initial contact with Flegal at or call (360) 882-2121.

Complete September-October 2018 Issue

2018 September-October.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [12.3 MB]