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Asian Americans to honor SBC execs for ethnic inclusion

DALLAS (BP) — The National Asian American (NAA) Fellowship will honor two Southern Baptist Convention executives for speeding progress in ethnic diversity during its annual meeting June 11 in Dallas.

“We have united together much, much more,” Paul Kim, Asian American relations consultant of the SBC Executive Committee (EC), told Baptist Press.

The NAA, encompassing pastors and leaders of eight Asian Southern Baptist fellowships, will recognize Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, EC vice president for convention communications and relations, and Ken Weathersby, EC vice president for convention advancement.

“Without them … we would not have an ethnic fellowship like we have,” Kim said. “I want to show appreciation to them on behalf of our fellowship.”

The NAA will meet at 7 p.m. in Rooms A122-A123 on the first level of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and will include members of the 2nd Generation Asian American Fellowship which grew out of the NAA to involve Asian Americans born in the U.S. and not necessarily fluent in their parents’ native tongues.

Thomas Wong, president of the 2nd Generation fellowship, will present the group’s annual report. The NAA will hear the annual report of its president, W. Tra Xiong, who also leads the Hmong Baptist National Association based in Oakdale, Minn.

Minwood Jang, coordinator of the East Asia Leadership Initiative of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, will speak on entity sharing. Jang is one of only two Asian Americans in leadership positions at SBC entities, according to the NAA’s website asianbaptists.org.

In other business, the NAA will announce new officers. As Xiong rotates off as president, current vice president Paul Tai Cao, pastor of Vietnamese Baptist Church in Jamestown, N.C., will be named president; and current general secretary Masashi Sugita, pastor of Dublin Baptist Church in Dublin, Ohio, will be the new vice president.

Carter Tan, pastor of Grace Chinese Baptist Church of Richmond, Va., will join the slate of NAA officers as general secretary, Kim said.

The NAA Fellowship offers an avenue of cooperation among pastors and leaders of the eight Asian fellowships in the SBC: Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian and Vietnamese.

Many of the Asian American Fellowships hold separate annual meetings in addition to gatherings surrounding the SBC annual meeting. Among meetings announced this year:

— The Cambodian Fellowship will meet June 27-30 at Blessing Field retreat center in Macon, Ga., with the theme “Set Apart,” based on 1 Peter 2:9.

— The Chinese Baptist Fellowship of the United States and Canada will hold its 20th Biennial Conference Sept. 24-28 on a cruise aboard the Carnival Inspiration, sailing from Long Beach, Calif., to Ensenada, Mexico (registration available at cbfusacanada.org).

— The Vietnamese Baptist Fellowship of North America will meet July 5–8 at the Marriott Hotel in Santa Clara, Calif., with the theme, “God’s Kingdom First,” based on Matthew 6:33.

The SBC offers “Meet Southern Baptists” informational brochures in various native Asian languages at sbc.net/aboutus/. Asian language brochures are listed on the right side of the page.