SBC Life Articles

New Advisory Council Continues Work of Equipping, Empowering

Convention Advancement Advisory Council

Members and guests of the Convention Advancement Advisory Council in attendance at the August 12–13 meeting in Atlanta, seated left to right: Leroy Fountain, Mark Croston, Byron Day, Frank S. Page, Ken Weathersby, Dennis Mitchell, A. B. Vines, Joseph Gaston; standing left to right: Anatoly Moshkovsky, Bobby Sena, Seang Yiv, Daniel Sanchez, Benny Wong, Jimmy Sasaki, Paul Kim, Minh Ha Nguyen, Felix Cabrera, Peter Yanes Jr., Bruce Stokes, Luís Lopez, Ray Gilder, Guillermo Soriano, Ric Worshill, Oudone Thirakoune, Walter Montalvo, W Tra Xiong, James Bahn. Photo by Roger S. Oldham.

The SBC Executive Committee has named a permanent advisory group to continue to equip, inform, and empower all Southern Baptists for the spread of the Gospel.

The Convention Advancement Advisory Council (CAAC) continues the work of five three-year advisory councils appointed by EC President and CEO Frank S. Page since 2011. Each advisory council, representing a different ethnic group or subset of Southern Baptist churches, submitted a report to help the EC and SBC entity heads better understand each group’s unique perspectives and needs. The reports provide information and guidance to better incorporate their respective groups into the total fabric of SBC life, including leadership roles, and identify specific areas for improvement accompanied by suggested solutions. The CAAC will help implement those reports.

The Hispanic Advisory Council, appointed in 2011, and the African American Advisory Council, appointed in 2012, both completed their work and presented their final reports to Page in 2014. The Asian American Advisory Council, appointed in 2013, presented its report in 2015. The Multi-Ethnic Advisory Council and Bivocational and Smaller Church Advisory Council were both appointed in 2014 and presented their reports to Page at the 2016 SBC annual meeting in St. Louis.

“The advisory councils represented more than ten thousand ethnic and language churches and congregations and over thirty thousand bivocational and smaller membership congregations,” said Ken Weathersby, vice president for Convention advancement with the EC. “Therefore, it is important for the CAAC to assist in the implementation of the reports presented to Dr. Page and to our entity leaders.”

The CAAC works closely with Weathersby, assisted by Paul Kim, Asian American relations consultant to the EC, and Bobby Sena, Hispanic relations consultant to the EC.

At its first meeting August 12–13 in Atlanta, fourteen of the eighteen members of the CAAC and thirteen of eighteen other invited ethnic leaders had a chance to hear reports from the CAAC’s work so far and offer updates and suggestions related to their own ministry areas for the work of the CAAC moving forward. Fourteen leaders gave updates about their respective ministries, including representatives of Chinese, Laotian, Korean, Hmong, Vietnamese, Japanese, Filipino, Ukrainian, Haitian, African American, Messianic, bivocational/smaller church, and several Hispanic networks and fellowships.

The first year of the council will focus heavily on strengthening relationships, Weathersby said. Members will divide into smaller groups and meet with representatives from each of the SBC ministry entities to discuss how the findings of the councils’ reports relate to the ministry assignments of each entity. Three teams met with IMB, NAMB, and ERLC in the spring of 2016, and reported on the meetings to the CAAC and guests at their August meeting. The teams reported being encouraged by the entities’ willingness to meet and dialogue. More teams will meet with LifeWay and three of the SBC seminaries this fall, and with GuideStone and the other three seminaries next spring.

Weathersby challenged all the council members and ethnic fellowship representatives to have a presence at the Many Faces booth in the exhibit hall of the 2017 SBC annual meeting in Phoenix. The Many Faces booth allows fellowships to meet and connect with Southern Baptist pastors and leaders, Weathersby told the group, and provides an opportunity for ethnic fellowships and Anglo churches to form partnerships for church planting.

Convention Advancement Advisory Council

Ric Worshill, president of the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship, joined by members of several ethnic advisory councils, presents a plaque to Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, expressing appreciation for “his dedication to and love for all the people groups in our Convention,” as evidenced by using Baptist Press and SBC LIFE and “all resources under his authority” to help all Southern Baptist ministries, including ethnic churches, leaders, and fellowships “connect with the local church.” Photo by Bobby Sena.

Council members and guests discussed ways to build an enhanced infrastructure of database-driven information to assist in telling the broader story of ethnic church participation and involvement in Southern Baptist life, as well as ways in which to measure progress in participation.

Also at the meeting, the CAAC recognized Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, vice president for Convention communications and relations for the EC, expressing appreciation that Baptist Press and SBC LIFE help tell the stories of all Southern Baptists, including ethnic churches, leaders, and fellowships across the Convention. They also made presentations to Weathersby and Page.

Emphasizing that cooperation for the spread of the Gospel is at the center of the work of the CAAC, Weathersby said, “I’m optimistic that we have a large and diverse group of pastors and church leaders who want to be a resource for our churches, fellowships, associations, state conventions, and SBC entities in fulfilling the Great Commission.”


Members of the Convention Advancement Advisory Council Include:

African American Advisory Council: Mark Croston, James Dixon, Leroy Fountain, Dennis Mitchell, A. B. Vines, and K. Marshall Williams

Asian American Advisory Council: Alan Chan, Paul Kim, Minh Ha Nguyen, and Peter Yanes Jr

Bivocational and Smaller Church Advisory Council: Ray Gilder and Mark Tolbert

Hispanic Advisory Council: Elias Bracamonte, Luís Lopez, Daniel Sanchez, and Bobby Sena

Multi-Ethnic Advisory Council: Tim Chavis and Ric Worshill

Other invited leaders of ethnic fellowships and networks who were present were:

James Bahn, president, Korean Baptist Council

Felix Cabrera, president, Hispanic Baptist Pastors’ Alliance

Byron Day, president, African American Fellowship, SBC

Joseph Gaston, president, Haitian Baptist Fellowship, SBC

Walter Montalvo, president, National Hispanic Baptist Fellowship, SBC

Anatoly Moshkovsky, president, Ukrainian Baptist Fellowship

Jimmy Sasaki, pastor, Japanese International Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona

Guillermo Soriano, president, SBC Hispanic Pastors and Leaders Network

Bruce Stokes, vice president, Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship

Oudone Thirakoune, president, Lao Fellowship

Benny Wong, pastor, LA Chinese Baptist Church, Los Angeles, California

W Tra Xiong, director, Hmong Baptist Fellowship

Seang Yiv, president, Cambodian Fellowship

    About the Author

  • Rebecca Wolford