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WRAP-UP: NAMB trustees review new national evangelism initiative

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (BP)–North American Mission Board trustees heard plans for a new national evangelism initiative and elected Tim Patterson as their new chairman during a May 20-21 meeting in Portsmouth, Va.

In a week highlighted by the commissioning of 117 new missionaries and chaplains, NAMB trustees also toured Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest Navy base, to gain a firsthand view of the work of Southern Baptist military chaplains.

The meeting took place almost a year to the day that Geoff Hammond became NAMB’s new president in 2007. In his address to trustees, Hammond marveled at what God had accomplished during the year.

“Who would have thought that we as a team would have the privilege of launching an historic evangelism initiative for Southern Baptists,” Hammond said. He premiered a promotional video for the initiative — titled “God’s Plan for Sharing” -– to the trustees and explained that in designing the initiative NAMB has worked closely with SBC President Frank Page and several evangelism leaders from state Baptist conventions.

“Our dream is to see every Southern Baptist believer sharing the Gospel and every person in North America hearing it by 2020,” Hammond said. “Why would we want anything less?”

Hammond also showed trustees a 30-second television commercial that promotes the ministry of Southern Baptists throughout North America and the world. The ad refers viewers to a website where they can view a Gospel presentation and locate a nearby Southern Baptist church. The ad will debut in Indianapolis prior to the Southern Baptist Convention’s June 10-11 annual meeting.

In a dramatic example of the changing face of North America’s spiritual climate, Hammond ended his address to trustees by introducing a church planter who is ministering to Muslims in a large metropolitan area in the United States. His voice breaking, Hammond shared about the death threats and hardships the NAMB missionary and his family have endured while he has faithfully taken the gospel to the Muslim community.

“He has won numerous Muslims to Christ,” Hammond said, “and he desperately needs our prayers.”

Trustees also heard a report from David Wheeler, a NAMB national missionary who serves as associate director of the Church Planting Center at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Wheeler was accompanied by three Liberty students who represent the next generation of church planters who are answering the call to congregationalize the United States and Canada.

In other actions, trustees elected officers to lead the board’s governing body. Patterson, the new chairman, is pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. He had served as first vice chairman of NAMB’s board since 2006. Tim Dowdy, pastor of Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Ga., was elected as first vice chairman. He had served as second vice chairman since October 2007. Mike Palmer, pastor of Salmon Valley Baptist Church in Salmon, Idaho, was elected second vice chairman.

Outgoing trustee chairman Bill Curtis recognized several trustees whose terms have concluded, thanking them for their years of leadership and service to the board. Those recognized were Bobby Hathcock of Martin, Tenn.; Ted Ingram of Greenbrier, Tenn.; Linda Moon of Spout Spring, Va.; Doug Munton of O’Fallon, Ill.; Levi Parish of Burton, Mich.; Bob Rogers of Rincon, Ga.; Willo’deane Tenery of Mocksville, N.C.; and Ron Wilson of Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Hammond recognized Curtis, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Florence, S.C., for his service as chairman of NAMB’s trustees. “Thank you for all you have given and the leadership you have provided,” Hammond said.

Curtis challenged his fellow trustees to “continue to cooperate as like-minded laborers for the good of the convention and the good of NAMB. And, of course, that this goal we have of sharing Christ, starting churches and sending missionaries would be seen in the countless men and women all around North America who come to know our precious Lord Jesus as their Savior.”
Mike Ebert is publications coordinator for the North American Mission Board.

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  • Mike Ebert