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First-ever meeting of Myanmar Baptist churches one of many Asian summer gatherings

Prashant Joseph, right, a member of the First Southern Baptist Church of Anaheim, worships during the 2022 Asian Collective Kick-Off Gathering June 12 in Anaheim. BP file photo

NEW ORLEANS – The first-ever annual meeting of the Myanmar Baptist Churches USA fellowship is to take place Monday, June 12, in connection with the 2023 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention at the New Orleans Convention Center.

On the other hand, diverting from its usual schedule for logistical reasons, the 42nd annual meeting of the Council of Korean Baptist Churches in America will not meet as usual in the host city of the SBC annual meeting, but rather will gather June 13-16 at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina.

“Several Asian Baptist churches are affiliating with SBC primarily because of our Confession of Faith and Great Commission cooperation,” Peter Yanes told Baptist Press. Yanes is the associate vice president of Asian relations and mobilization at the SBC Executive Committee.

South Asian Southern Baptist churches are beginning to come together under the SBC umbrella, which already includes Burmese, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Vietnamese and several more.

“The Asian Collective, comprised of more than 2,000 churches and representing 27 nationalities, brings new hope of enthusiasm in fulfilling the Great Commission as they’re committed to reaching the fast-growing Asian population with the Gospel,” Yanes said. “So many were recipients of the Gospel and now are leading the way in engaging our culture as partners and practitioners of the Gospel.

“Asian churches are engaging in the SBC life and ministry more than ever in planting new churches with NAMB and state Baptist conventions,” Yanes continued. “They’re sending students to our seminaries for ministry training and getting involved in foreign missions with IMB.”

The Myanmar Fellowship’s National Coordinator, Hre Mang of Indianapolis, Ind., told Baptist Press when he has attended previous SBC annual meetings, he “used to be so lonely among the crowd.

“But now, we have fellowship and it excites me that we will be given a space and time for our fellowship, which I believe will encourage other SBC member churches to engage more with our brethren in Christ for His glory,” he said.

Asian Collective

The Asian Collective Kick-Off Gathering is set for 3-5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 11, in Rooms 208-210 of the New Orleans Convention Center. Register for this gathering of Asian pastors, leaders and ministry partners here.

This gathering is to kick off the 2023 SBC Pastor’s Conference and Annual Meeting, Yanes said. 

“The Asian Collective celebrates Gospel partnership among diverse Asian national network leaders across the SBC in partnership with NAMB, IMB, GuideStone, state conventions, and all other entity ministry partners,” Yanes explained.

Special guests at the Asian Collective Kick-Off are to include Jamie Dew, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Willie McLaurin, interim president/CEO of the SBC Executive Committee.

The Asian Collective’s NextGen Luncheon for pastors and their wives is set for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 12, in Rooms 211-213 at the New Orleans Convention Center, coordinated by Terrence Shay and Hyung Lee of the Asian NextGen Pastors Network.

This lunch is to feature a talk from Deepak Reju, co-author of The Pastor and Counseling, as well as a panel featuring NOBTS adjunct professor DeAron Washington and alumna Carianne Pritchett. 

“They will address the topic of counseling in the church and how it can be used in Asian contexts to encourage, equip and empower God’s people,” Yanes said.

Other Asian Collective upcoming ministry partnerships: 

The IMB on May 2-4 is hosting the Asian National Leaders Summit in celebration of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month, and the Asian NextGen Leaders Summit on September 5-7. Ezra Bae, IMB Asian National Mobilizer, is to coordinate both Summits, which are to take place in Richmond, Virginia.

GuideStone Financial Resources’ Asian NextGen Summit is set for Oct. 2-3 inDallas in partnership with Asian Collective NextGen Pastors Network to promote information on products, services, and resources made for ministry.

“Asian pastors and ministry leaders are eager to participate in the SBC’s annual meeting in New Orleans as they are aware of the challenges we face as a convention of churches,” Yanes said. “But they are hopeful and prayerful that the gathering will resolve to focus more on how we reach this generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They believe the spirit of Great Commission cooperation will outweigh all the momentary concerns.”

Other Asian gatherings


The Cambodian Southern Baptist Fellowship’s 39th annual conference is set for June 28 through July 1.


New Orleans Chinese Baptist Church plans to serve dinner hosted by the Chinese Baptist Fellowship at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, at the church, 3413 Continental Drive in Kenner.

The dinner is for Chinese pastors and ministry partners across the Southern Baptist Convention. Officials request participants to register with Rev. Amos Lee, [email protected] so that sufficient quantities are available for everyone.

A Leadership Summit Cruise for the Chinese Baptist Fellowship is set for Sept. 18-22. It is to set sail from Long Beach, Calif. For more information contact [email protected].

The Chinese Fellowship’s 2023 biennial meeting is in the planning stage.


The annual fellowship of the Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of North America is set for 2-6 p.m. Monday, June 12, in the Rivergate Room, Level 1, at the New Orleans Convention Center. 

Under the theme of Missions to the Ends of the Earth, worship is to be led by Pastor Bill Umstetter from Filipino American Fellowship Church in Baton Rouge, La. IMB President Paul Chitwood and NAMB President Kevin Ezell are to be guest speakers.

“We asked them to encourage our pastors and leaders to keep planting churches in the country and to consider serving through the international mission work,” Dan Santiago told Baptist Press. He is the Filipino Fellowship’s executive director as well as pastor of Covenant Christian Church in Jacksonville, Fla. “The main part of meeting is to encourage our pastors and leaders to keep doing missions here and abroad. We believe we can do better in mission when we do it together.”

Officers are to be elected, replacing those who have served four years, since the pandemic of 2020-21.


The 42nd annual meeting of the Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches in America is set for June 13-16 at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, N.C.

Though usually in conjunction with and at the same time as the SBC annual meeting, the four-day event is catered by local Korean churches, in order to provide meals and snacks preferred by many first-generation Koreans. Because there were not enough Korean churches in the New Orleans area to provide the meals, Korean Council leaders opted to move the location to Ridgecrest.


The second United Lao Southern Baptist Annual Conference is set for June 9-11 at The Vines Center in Little Rock, Ark.


The first annual meeting of the Myanmar Baptist Churches USA is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, June 12, in Room 206 of the New Orleans Convention Center.

The agenda has five items: Praise and worship led by Kamlen Hoakip, pastor of Bellevue Myanmar Baptist Church in Owensboro, Kentucky; message given by the SBC Executive Committee’s Peter Yanes; approval of bylaws; election of executive director and new executive committee members; and the dedication of the executive committee.

The new fellowship’s vision statement: All MBCUSA member churches becoming missional by actively participating in sharing the gospel to fulfil the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).

Its mission statement: To evangelize the world, to edify the church, and to equip the leaders in partnering with the local churches who make disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).

Its objectives: 

  • To encourage churches in making disciples of the Myanmar community and beyond;
  • To promote home and foreign mission efforts; 
  • To foster meaningful fellowship among the larger community of Myanmar Baptist churches in the Southern Baptist Convention; and  
  • To engage and partner in any other endeavors deemed fitting and proper to advance the cause of Jesus Christ throughout the world.


The Vietnamese Baptist Union of North America’s 38th annual conference is set for June 29 through July 2 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.

“This year’s conference is focusing on equipping church leaders and believers to build up each local churches, according to Ephesians 4:11-12, which is, And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,” Christian Phan told Baptist Press. He was named the fellowship’s first-ever executive director in 2021.

See their website for more information about the Vietnamese Baptist Union of North America.

Special guests from Vietnam are to be present at the four-day conference. Speakers include Victor Chayasirisobhon, Peter Hong Le, John Duong Nguyen, Thinh Tran, David Tan and Christian Phan.

Chayasirisobhon is the first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Le, president of Vietnamese Baptist University and pastor of Faith Vietnamese Baptist Church of Dallas; Nguyen, pastor of Redeemer Vietnamese Baptist Church of Plano, Texas; Tran, pastor of Vietnamese Community Church in San Jose, Calif.; Tan, pastor of Kirkwood Church in Houston; and Phan, the Vietnamese fellowship’s executive director.

The conference also is to include an English Ministry program, organized parallel to the Vietnamese-speaking program, and a dozen workshops for all participants.

A graduation ceremony for 24 students at the Vietnamese Baptist Theological Seminary of Arlington, Texas, also is to take place during the conference. Four students are graduating with M.Div. degrees; 16 with M.A. in Christian Ministries degrees; six with B.A. degrees in Christian Ministry.

“I am so excited about this conference because of many young pastors and people joining us,” Phan told Baptist Press. “We love our Next Gen and want to pass the torch to them.”