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SBC DIGEST: IMB’s next 100 years; NAMB launches racial reconciliation resource

IMB’s oldest living missionary emeritus discusses vision for next 100 years

By IMB Staff

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — Shirley Clark and her husband, Charles, served as missionaries in Venezuela for more than 30 years. They were appointed in 1951, studied the Spanish language in Costa Rica for one year, then moved to Venezuela as church planters. For more than three decades, they served among the Venezuelans.

Charles served in many roles, including pastor, executive director of the Venezuela Baptist Convention and professor at the Venezuela Baptist Seminary. Both Charles and Shirley served during different terms as treasurer for the missionaries in Venezuela, and Shirley was instrumental in starting the Venezuela Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union in the early 1950s. Faithful in missions even after their retirement, the Clarks left a long legacy of believers, healthy churches, and missions-minded disciples.

In this video, Shirley, age 100 and IMB’s oldest living missionary emeritus, talks with her son Charles, who was also a missionary in the Americas with his wife Karen, about her hopes and prayers for the next 100 years in missions. Charles currently serves as vice president of mobilization for the IMB. Shirley lives in Houston.

NAMB launches new racial reconciliation resource for churches

By NAMB Staff

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) — The North American Mission Board (NAMB) launched a free resource Thursday (Aug. 20) designed to assist church leaders and their congregations as they navigate conversations about race. The resource, Undivided: More than a Hashtag, is a follow-up to the initial resource titled Undivided: Your Church and Racial Reconciliation.

Dhati Lewis, vice president of the North American Mission Board’s church planting arm, Send Network, interacts with other leaders during the filming of Undvided: More than a Hashtag. The resource is a series of five video sessions with dialogue between churches leaders about racial reconciliation. NAMB photo.

“If we want to make disciples in North America, we must address the issues of race,” said Dhati Lewis, vice president over Send Network, NAMB’s church planting arm. “Racial divisions run deep in the history of our nation and our churches. If we are going to engage in healthy, holistic evangelism and discipleship, we must run to this tension with a heart for reconciliation.”

Undivided: More than a Hashtag provides a model, context and curriculum to help church leaders have candid conversations about race within their churches in a way that is gracious and productive. It brings Gospel-centered, biblically based answers at a time when churches and individual believers face tough questions about race, unity and how the church and society can move forward.

The new resource looks through the lens of Galatians 2 to help churches find what they need to see racial and ethnic unity among their people. The video series includes five sessions with input from Christian leaders such as Lewis, Derwin Gray, founding and lead pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, S.C.; J.D. Greear, lead pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Vance Pitman, lead pastor of Hope Church in Las Vegas; and several others.

“If the Church is going to live undivided across the ethnic and racial lines that can separate us, we need more than a social movement, hashtags and formal statements,” NAMB president Kevin Ezell said. “Unity in the church is one of the greatest witnesses to a lost and dying world. So we created this resource in an effort to help churches become a living picture of the peaceful unity found through Christ.”

To learn more about Undivided and to download the resource, visit undivided.net.

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  • BP Staff