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SBC DIGEST: Executive Committee adds CP catalysts; Lockman Foundation president dies; Knox leaves Baptist Standard for CBF post

Executive Committee enlists Cooperative Program catalysts

NASHVILLE (BP) — Four Southern Baptist pastors will be casting vision for the Cooperative Program in different regions of the country as part of the “young leaders” initiative of the SBC Executive Committee.

The pastors who will be telling the CP story and promoting its vision for the next generation of pastors and leaders are Nathan Millican of Foothills Baptist Church in Phoenix; Chad Keck of First Baptist Church in Kettering, Ohio; Curtis Cook of Hope Fellowship Church in Cambridge, Mass.; and Matt Crawford of First Baptist Church in Sebring, Fla.

Much of their effort in the West, Midwest, Northeast and South, respectively, will focus on online engagement through social media and other channels, said Ashley Clayton, vice president for Cooperative Program and stewardship with the Executive Committee.

The catalysts also will arrange meetings geared for young pastors during major events that Southern Baptist pastors already attend, such as the SBC annual meeting, SEND conferences and state Baptist convention meetings. The four catalysts will continue serving full-time at their respective churches.

Frank S. Page, the Executive Committee’s president, noted, “In ways that have probably never happened before, at least that I am aware of, we are aggressively and intentionally making efforts to engage the SBC’s young leaders. A person might ask, ‘Why is the Executive Committee doing this?’ Simple: We are doing this to continue our legacy of cooperation for the Great Commission.

“If you’re a young pastor, the EC wants you to know that we value your voice. We are grateful for your engagement through the Cooperative Program and in the SBC,” Page said. “We want to support you in your ministry, and we want to continue to partner with you to glorify God by making disciples of all nations.”

The four CP catalysts, in comments to SBC LIFE, journal of the SBC Executive Committee, underscored the value of cooperative missions and ministries.

Millican emphasized how churches across America are “better together” as they collaborate through the Cooperative Program.

“Imagine your church attempting to fully fund a missionary in Central Asia to reach Muslims. The financial burden would be great, and the burden would be compounded as you think through the pervasive lostness in Central Asia,” Millican said. “But imagine the joy and impact of a myriad of men and women rallying together to equip, resource and fund a couple to go to Central Asia.

“The Cooperative Program continues to be effective and impactful in taking the Gospel across the street, across our state and across the globe so people will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ,” Millican said. “Sure, things could always be better, more efficient; but let’s keep our hand to the plow and, by God’s grace and the work of the Spirit, lead our congregations to exude and pursue the value that we are truly better together.”

Keck, who served as second vice president of the SBC in 2015–2016, explained how he had personally benefited from the Cooperative Program as a student at Oklahoma Baptist University and then Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Keck said he also has had “the privilege of serving alongside numerous International Mission Board missionaries on short-term trips and North American Mission Board church planters through church partnerships to see how giving through CP impacts lostness.”

Cook said Hope Fellowship Church is delighted to pay forward for others the partnership that helped their congregation launch and grow strong.

“Working to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Northeast is both an exhilarating opportunity and a daunting challenge,” Cook said. “Over the past 13 years in Boston, we have experienced firsthand the blessing of Kingdom partnership through the Cooperative Program.

“When we started our church, we were blessed by the sacrificial partnership that played a key role in helping this new work begin,” Cook said. “In the early years of our church, we found great joy in being able to partner with other churches through CP to help support missionaries around the world when we could never do that by ourselves. And now we experience partnership in new ways as we are able to help plant churches in partnership with others and have seen members of our church go and serve among the nations.”

Matt Crawford, who, like Keck, is a product of Southern Baptist cooperative missions, noted, “As a lifelong Florida Baptist blessed through the educational opportunities provided by the Cooperative Program, I am so grateful for the opportunity to broaden the CP conversation with my generation of Southern Baptist pastors.

“There is no greater cause for us to work together to support, as we seek to glorify our Savior through completing the Great Commission. We’ve got to continue to tell the story of CP and cast a compelling vision for our cooperation around what is most important,” Crawford said.

Earlier this year, the Executive Committee appointed a Young Leader Advisory Council, chaired by Jordan Easley, senior pastor of Inglewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn. In March, the EC advisory council announced a 21-question survey at TalkCP.com to assess the attitudes and overall engagement of young leaders across the SBC.

The Executive Committee and the North American Mission Board also are launching a young leader initiative to engage pastors between the ages of 25 and 45 more effectively. NAMB has enlisted Jonathan Akin, former pastor of Fairview Church in Lebanon, Tenn., and cofounder of the B21 blog and annual meeting panel discussions, to lead the effort to engage those who are disconnected or minimally involved in Southern Baptist life.


Lockman Foundation president Robert Lambeth dies

SANTA ANNA, Calif. (BP) — Robert “Bob” Lambeth, president for 38 years of the Lockman Foundation, publisher of the New American Standard Bible, died July 11 at age 81.

Lambeth served as the third president of the Lockman Foundation, a nonprofit, interdenominational ministry dedicated to the translation, publication and distribution of the New American Standard Bible (NASB), Amplified Bible and other biblical resources. He served as the foundation’s president from 1979 until his death, having been connected with the ministry since the 1950s through his relationship with founders Dewey and Minna Lockman.

“We mourn this giant’s passing,” said Malcolm Yarnell, research professor of systematic theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary who worked with Lambeth as part of the translation team for the updated version of the Amplified Bible.

Yarnell said the NASB “established the standard for more literal yet readable English translations in the past” and will continue to be “the standard for future orthodox translations.”

The Lockman Foundation began giving a leather-bound NASB to each graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1992 while Paige Patterson, the current president of Southwestern, was president there. The following semester, the foundation began a tradition of presenting Bibles to graduates of several SBC seminaries that has spanned 20-plus years.

When Patterson came to Southwestern, Lambeth developed a special interest in the seminary and its graduates. He and his wife Phoebe created the Phoebe Nan Wiley Lambeth Women’s Auxiliary Scholarship and contributed funds to, among other things, Southwestern’s Horner Homemaking House, the school of preaching, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible exhibition and the construction of MacGorman Chapel, in addition to supporting the Bibelseminar Bonn seminary in Germany.

David Allen, dean of Southwestern’s school of preaching who also worked on the Amplified Bible, said, “I know of no man who loved the Word of God, who longed to see it faithfully translated, and who labored to bring the NASB to bless the church more than Bob Lambeth. But I think I can hear Bob saying, as he echoes the words of Martin Luther, another Bible translator, ‘I did nothing; the Word did it all.'”

Yarnell said Lambeth “never wavered on the truth and never allowed the NASB to be caught up with faddish peculiarities. His wife Phoebe was an integral part of his ministry, has spent countless hours in tedious editing work at her husband’s side, and is one of the most precious human beings who has ever blessed us. We mourn with Phoebe and her sons, and we trust that Phoebe and [their son] Pike will continue to shepherd the NASB revision and the Amplified Bible….”

In addition to his wife and son Pike, Lambeth is survived by his son Todd and five grandchildren. The memorial service will be held at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana, Calif., on July 29.


Marv Knox to leave Baptist Standard for CBF role

DALLAS (BP) — Marv Knox will become coordinator of Fellowship Southwest, a new Cooperative Baptist Fellowship regional network, on Aug. 1, leaving the Baptist Standard, newsjournal of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, where he has been editor the past 19 years.

Knox, 60, served on the Baptist Standard staff a total of 22 years, including four years as associate editor, during four decades in Baptist journalism.

He also was editor of the Western Recorder of the Kentucky Baptist Convention from 1990-1998; features editor of Baptist Press, 1986-1990; associate editor of the Baptist Message of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, 1984-1986; news and information director at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1981-84; and assistant news editor of the former SBC Home Mission Board, 1979-1981.

Under Knox, the Baptist Standard was the first state Baptist paper to transition from a print edition to solely a digital platform, according to a Baptist Standard article in April of this year.

Knox earned a master of divinity degree from Southern Seminary in 1971 and an undergraduate degree from Hardin-Simmons University in Texas in 1979. He is a native of Fort Worth, Texas, who grew up as the son of a preacher “in small churches mostly in small towns,” he said, according to the Standard.

In his work with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, according to the Standard, Knox “will work with CBF churches and with state and regional organizations — namely CBF of Texas, CBF of Oklahoma and CBF West.”

The CBF was founded in 1991 as a fellowship of churches that objected to the ideology and methods of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Conservative Resurgence.

    About the Author

  • SBC LIFE, SWBTS, Baptist Standard & BP Staff

    Compiled by Baptist Press senior editor Art Toalston from reporting by freelance writer Mark Kelly for SBC LIFE; Alex Sibley of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Ken Camp of the Baptist Standard.

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