News Articles

NAMB retirees share wisdom with new US/C-2 missionaries

ATLANTA (BP)–Retiring North American Mission Board missionaries were able to pass on the mantle of ministry Aug. 21, taking the occasion of a recognition dinner to share their accumulated wisdom with a group of young US/C-2 missionaries being commissioned the same weekend.
At the close of his remarks, NAMB President Robert E. “Bob” Reccord gave retirees an opportunity to share their best encouragement for the young missionaries — each of whom will serve a two-year commitment in a variety of positions throughout the United States and Canada.
“I was really in awe of the amount of experience that was here, and … how different that advice would be from the advice I would have given with my minimal experience,” said Christie McGregor, who will serve two years as director of the Gano Baptist Center in Houston.
She cited missionary Delano Humphreys’ admonishment to “be compassionate” and Dale Holloway’s wisdom on how “boulders that seem to fall on you” can become “stepping stones” in God’s sovereign plan.
Humphreys, a missionary of 25 years, served as director of the Baptist Center in Dayton, Ohio, while Holloway served as a national missionary for church planting working with bivocational ministries. Holloway’s wife, Patricia, was not able to join him at the banquet because she recently became incapacitated by arthritis after a bout with Lyme disease — one of the couple’s personal “stepping stones.”
“Those things to me were more realistic life values that we could take with us,” McGregor said. “I probably would have said something like ‘work for Jesus’ or ‘read and pray more,’ almost like it is an artificial thing that we are supposed to do.” Their advice, she said, “got me thinking about what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it.”
Jason Schmidt, who will serve as a campus minister for colleges in Toronto, Canada, said a comment by Freddie Mae Bason particularly struck him. “You are filling the unexpired term of Jesus Christ,” said Bason, a missionary of 40 years who directed the Memorial Drive Baptist Center in Atlanta.
“That’s inspirational as an example that she has that attitude, but also it is really like a commissioning for us,” Schmidt said. “That’s what it’s about for each Christian, to be a continuing part of the ministry of Christ.”
For Courtney Johnson, who will serve as minister of children and youth at East Seventh Street “Graffiti” Baptist Center in New York City, some of the best wisdom was not even directly related to ministry. Charles Cobb’s advice to missionaries was to “use every ounce of energy they can in selecting a life partner to walk this pilgrimage.” Cobb was an associational missionary in Ohio for 10 years.
“Just the affection that the husbands still showed their wives after all these years was just incredibly encouraging,” Johnson said “It’s not something you see too much of these days.”
The US/C-2 missionaries will serve for two years in a variety of positions, including collegiate ministry, resort ministry, volunteer coordination, resort ministry, assisting with Strategic Focus Cities evangelistic and church-starting efforts, recreation ministries and coordinating church and community ministry efforts.
A total of 31 NAMB missionaries were honored at the event, including seven who were not able to attend. The missionaries also were recognized with a standing ovation during a commissioning service for the 17 US/C-2 missionaries Aug. 22 at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga.
New Hope pastor John Avant challenged the congregation during the service to consider their role in reaching America with the gospel, becoming a part of a great move of God across the nation.
During a 1991 visit to Yale University, Avant said he found a chapel named for Timothy Dwight, the president of the institution during the late 1700s who sparked revival on the campus and later the Second Great Awakening with his powerful defense of the faith.
When Avant asked around campus, none of the students knew anything about Dwight. But when he opened the door of the historic chapel, he heard a young Korean man singing the simple chorus “Alleluia” by himself in the chapel. The student told Avant he had been unable to find any Christians at Yale, so he began to study the great revivals of history and how they took hold in the nation.
“He said, ‘I come here every day to pray that God would once again bring revival in the United States of America,’” Avant said.
“Could it be that our Lord is once again ready to answer the prayer of that young Korean missionary?” he continued. “Could it be that God is calling us to consecrate ourselves? Could it be that we are the ones who are ready to say, ‘Lord, here am I. Send me.’?”
For more information on US/C-2 or career missions opportunities, visit the www.namb.net Internet site or contact NAMB’s missionary personnel unit at (770) 410-6171.

    About the Author

  • James Dotson