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Reccord relays NAMB commitment to bivocational ministers’ role

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP)–Bivocational ministers will have a strategic part in reaching the goals of the new North American Mission Board.
That assurance was given to more than 100 bivocational ministers attending the 1997 National Bivocational Celebration, May 15-17 in Oklahoma City.
Tom Kinchen, president of the Florida Baptist Theological College, Graceville, Fla., brought a personal message to the bivocational ministers from Bob Reccord, the Virginia pastor who is expected to head the new North American Mission Board beginning in June. Kinchen said he was the one who nominated Reccord for the NAMB post.
“Bob asked me to tell you that he, too, has been a bivocational minister and you will not be forgotten. Bob Reccord’s heart is in bivocational ministry,” Kinchen told the gathering at Oklahoma City’s Southpark Baptist Church.
During the meeting, Dale Holloway, national missionary for bivocational ministries, noted one of the “worst cuss words I know is ‘part time.’ There’s no such thing as a part-time ministry. It’s a double-time ministry!” The Florence, Miss., missionary said the bivocational ministers are doubly blessed as they hold down other jobs while also serving churches.
Bivocational ministers, including pastors, music and youth ministers, from across the national attended the annual celebration. Among actions taken was passage of a resolution accepting an offer from Florida Baptist Theological College to provide office space, program facilities and resources and some secretarial help for the Southern Baptist Bivocational Ministers Association. The offices have been located in Florence, Miss. A five-man standing task force was named to develop working agreements between the two entities.
A highlight of the event was the honoring of six men as exemplary bivocational ministers. Included in the group were first-time awards to a minister of music and a minister of youth.
Honored as outstanding bivocational minister of music was Wendell Crittenden of the host church, who also works for a school yearbook photography firm.
Steve Johnson of Highland Baptist Church, Moore, Okla., was named the outstanding bivocational youth minister. Johnson is also projects manager for a company which builds jet engine test cells and aircraft acoustical enclosures.
Cited as the exemplary church planter was Conrad Marzuola who led an Empire, Nev., church to start a home Bible fellowship 100 miles away in Cedarville, Calif. Marzuola works in a sheetrock manufacturing plant. The Bible fellowship started with three people and is now a mission with more than 50 members. The mission has baptized 34 converts.
Robert Seymour was honored as the exemplary bivocational pastor to town and country areas. He has served at Valley View Baptist Church, Snowflake, Ariz. Seymour led in the formation of the bivocational ministers’ fellowship in Arizona and serves as president of the group. His secular job is as a deputy adult probation officer.
Honored for his service in an urban new church was Tom Fields, pastor of Community Baptist Church, Blackland, Texas. After his retirement in 1991, Fields organized the work at Blackland, which started in a 600-square-foot storefront building. It now has its own facility. Fields secular profession is in maintenance and air conditioning.
The outstanding bivocational Hispanic minister is Luis Mendoza, pastor of the Hispanic ministry of First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, Mo. Mendoza is also a maintenance worker for the Missouri Baptist Convention building in Jefferson City.
Recognized for their appointments as the second and third regional bivocational ministry consultants in the SBC were Vernon Beachem of West Virginia and Larry Orange of Kentucky. Beachem is interim pastor of Petersburg (W.Va.) Baptist Church and Orange serves as director of missions for Gasper River Baptist Association, Morgantown, Ky. Leon Wilson and his wife, Sharolyn, of the host church were the first regional bivocational ministry consultants appointed two years ago.
Next year’s bivocational ministers’ celebration will be April 30-May 2 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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  • Bob E. Mathews