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SBC DIGEST: Medina to be nominated for SBC 2nd VP; OBU furthers partnership with IMB

Ramón Medina to be nominated for SBC 2nd vice president

By BP staff

NASHVILLE (BP) – Tennessee pastor Grant Gaines will nominate Texas pastor Ramón Medina for second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention at the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting in Nashville in June, Gaines announced today (March 26).

Ramón Medina

Medina has served since 2006 as lead pastor to the Spanish ministry at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston, and began this year leading Champion Forest’s Hispanic church-planting residency program in cooperation with the North American Mission Board. Gaines credits Medina with helping plant eight churches in the U.S., Latin America and Asia.

“I’m thrilled to announce my intention to nominate Pastor Ramon Medina for the position of second vice president of the SBC at our annual convention meeting this summer in Nashville,” said Gaines, senior pastor of Belle Aire Baptist Church in the Nashville suburb of Murfreesboro. “Under Ramón’s leadership, since 2006, he has seen the Spanish congregation grow from 60 members to more than 3,000 each week, directly from the result of his passion for the lost, missions, evangelism, multicultural ministries and developing strong families rooted in the Word of God.”

The SBC Annual Church Profile does not list attendance numbers for the Spanish ministry, but Champion Forest, under the leadership of senior pastor Jarrett Stephens, reported an average attendance of about 7,600 for its total congregation in 2019.

Champion Forest gave $587,500 to the Cooperative Program in 2020, amounting to 2.7 percent of its overall budget of $21,774,000, according to figures the church submitted to Baptist Press. The total amount of undesignated giving for 2020 was not available.

Gaines said Medina is active in SBC life, having served on committees at several SBC entities and groups including Lifeway Christian Resources and the Hispanic Pastoral Council. He is president of the SBC Hispanic Council, a group of Hispanic pastors working toward unity and cooperation in serving Hispanic Southern Baptists. He also has been announced as the keynote speaker for Celebración Hispana, a gathering of Hispanic Southern Baptists to be held in conjunction with the SBC annual meeting.

Medina earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of ICESI in Cali, Colombia, and worked in the banking industry before beginning in ministry. The Baptist pastor’s son soon switched to theology and, after relocating to the states, studied theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds a Master of Arts in Missiology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gaines said, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He and Nhora, his wife of 23 years, live in Spring, Texas, and are parents to two sons.

OBU degree furthers partnership with IMB, increases work among refugees

SHAWNEE, Okla. (BP) – Oklahoma Baptist University has introduced a new degree that will include a semester-long internship during the student’s junior year. The Bachelor of Arts in Global Marketplace Engagement will include the development of marketplace skills and a cross-cultural component.

The university has a long history of partnering with the International Mission Board. In addition to spring break and summer short-term trips, students pursuing the university’s new degree will join IMB missionaries around the globe during a semester-long internship. Some of these internships will plug OBU students into refugee ministries. The first cycle of students began the program in fall 2019.

“One part of our mission statement is to engage a diverse world,” said Joy Turner, the director of Global Mobilization and professor of Christian Ministry at OBU. “So I think connecting that to global outreach and study abroad and local ministry, each of those pieces fit within that [mission statement].

“We’re moving people along in their walk with Jesus while they’re here, and we see this global outreach piece as just one piece of that.”

Turner is an OBU alumna and served with the North American Mission Board in Hawaii before moving back to Oklahoma to work for OBU.

Engaging the nations has long been a part of the OBU campus experience. Students at OBU can choose to participate in short-term trips, called GO Trips, during the summer. The university also provides a January-term trip lasting three weeks and a spring break trip. Turner said OBU sends somewhere between 200 and 250 students on GO Trips each year.

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