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‘Christ Followers’ to be theme of WMU’s missions celebration


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)–Firsthand missions experiences and testimonies from the missions field will be part of the Missions Celebration of Woman’s Missionary Union June 19-20 in Nashville, Tenn.

The WMU gathering, at First Baptist Church in Nashville, precedes the Southern Baptist Convention’s June 21-22 annual meeting in the Tennessee capital city.

As WMU continues its 2004–06 emphasis of “Christ Followers” during the missions celebration, attendees will be challenged to consider the passion God has placed in their heart and how to share that passion with others.

“As we gather in a worshipful church setting, this year’s celebration promises to encourage, equip and motivate us all as we continue to explore the key attributes of a true follower of Christ,” said Wanda S. Lee, WMU’s executive director-treasurer. “Together we will discover how God is working — in our hearts, in the inner cities of our nation and around the world — through committed Christians who have a passion for God and a desire to serve others in His name. That’s the heart of missions and the heart of WMU.”

During five plenary sessions, leaders of the WMU event will address a passion for God, a passion for the city, a passion for our nation, a passion for the world and a passion for service. In addition, breakout sessions will offer a variety of choices, including an opportunity to visit Nashville-area ministries and to meet with international and North American missionaries.

Fisher Humphreys, professor of divinity at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala., and author of the WMU emphasis book for 2005 titled, “I Have Called You Friends: New Testament Images That Challenge Us to Live as Christ Followers,” will lead in Bible study.

Other leaders will include Frank Lewis, senior pastor of First Baptist in Nashville and a frequent conference speaker; Mark Edwards, First Baptist’s minister of music; Judith Chambers, president of the North American Baptist Women’s Union; Wanda Lee; Janet Hoffman, WMU national president; 2005 Acteens panelists; and a host of field personnel representing the SBC’s International Mission Board and North American Missions Board.

Featured personnel from the International Mission Board will include Gordon Fort, vice president for overseas operations, and Rebekah Naylor, who serves in India at the Bangalore Baptist Hospital where she has been a surgeon for more than 30 years.

Representatives from the North American Mission Board include Debbie Cannada, who serves with her husband, Norman, as church planters in Charleston, W.Va., and Diana Lewis, who serves as group coordinator of the Church to Community Ministries for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

Sessions will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 19, and conclude Monday evening. No pre-registration is required; the event is open to the public free of charge.
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For additional information regarding the 2005 WMU Missions Celebration, visit www.wmu.com.