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Colo. staffer elected head of Hawaii Pacific convention

HONOLULU (BP)–A man who has more than 20 years of Christian service in the Aloha State is coming back to head the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention.

Veryl F. Henderson, 60, was unanimously elected executive director-treasurer of the state convention April 19 by the convention’s executive board. He succeeds O.W. Efurd, who officially retired March 31.

Henderson, who will begin his new duties in mid-June, currently serves as director of the church planting division for the Colorado Baptist General Convention.

Henderson is no stranger to Hawaii. He served as pastoral missionary at Lahaina Baptist Church, Kihei Baptist Mission and West Maui Resort Missions from 1969-78; as state director of resort missions with the Hawaii Baptist Convention from 1979-83; and as state director of missions with the HBC from 1983-95.

“Whatever it takes” is his motto, he said.

“Everybody ought to know who Jesus is,” Henderson said. “Everybody ought to be worshiping the Most High God. We are preparing ourselves to be instruments in the hands of a loving God who wants everyone … to worship Him. Our goal is a spiritual awakening that will transform businesses, recreation sites, education and the social order.”

At the Hawaii executive board meeting, Henderson pledged to meet with every pastor in Hawaii during the summer months in order to reacquaint himself with what has been happening in the churches since he left Hawaii.

He also told the board he believes leadership training is essential.

“It is a key to helping new believers develop as Christians,” he said, adding that he would like to see the education and equipping of lay leaders with ministry skills be a priority.

Referring to his experience in Colorado in leadership training, Henderson said, “Many ethnic leaders in Colorado received a certificate for the first time in their lives this past year after completing a basic skills training event for church leadership. Forty-seven percent of the pastors serving in Colorado are bivocational, so providing educational opportunities is a key factor in building leadership skills. We need to expand the traditional methods of pastoral education. We need to find and resource new ways to reach and teach those who are led by God to preach the Gospel.”

Prayer also will be a priority, he said.

“Resources may not be available at the time we think they are needed, but through prayer, God can accomplish great things,” he said. “Prayer is the only way God’s plan is going to work.”

Henderson said he hopes to implement a daily prayer time with the HPBC staff and bring a prayer focus into every facet of Hawaii Pacific Baptist life.

While at Lahaina Baptist Church in the 1970s, he hosted worship services at four hotels. As a resort missionary in Honolulu, he began Bible studies in coffee shops, office buildings, apartment buildings and other places where he could meet people.

In Honolulu he also started a bimonthly Christian sunset cruise ministry that took passengers out to sea for two hours for a nighttime view of the Waikiki coastline. The cruise was popular with local people and tourists as an alternative to the secular Waikiki tourist attractions.

As HBC state director of missions under executive directors Dan Kong and O.W. Efurd, Henderson was instrumental in hosting supervision workshops as a tool for training leaders. He emphasized starting ethnic congregations and providing learning opportunities specifically geared to people in their languages and cultures.

When Hurricane Iniki hit the island of Kauai in 1992, Henderson implemented emergency disaster relief training and coordinated volunteers so Southern Baptists of Hawaii could assist with the cleanup and food preparations in cooperation with the American Red Cross.

Since leaving Hawaii in 1995 to work with for Colorado Baptists, he has given leadership in starting new ministries and new churches in Colorado. Beginning in 2003, under Henderson’s leadership the Colorado convention’s church planting division launched a major undertaking of mapping the state geographically, identifying people who are not worshiping in any church and seeking to determine what it would take to get them into a worship service. Congregations were asked to adopt a people group and saturate the area with prayer and abundant Gospel seed-sowing.

Henderson and his wife, Cheryl, have two adult children and four grandchildren.

Henderson holds a bachelor of arts degree in religion from Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, Texas; a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; and a doctor of ministries degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

He is a certified presenter on basic training and mentoring and facilitator on the “Next Level Leadership Network” with the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board. He has served as adjunct professor at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s Rocky Mountain campus in Denver, teaching a course on an “Introduction to Missions.”
Based on reporting by Faith McFatridge. (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: HENDERSON BACK TO HAWAII.

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