By Vicki Brown, Word&Way Associate Editor
Atlanta — Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Missouri celebrated ministry and missions at its state meeting June 22.
CBFMO met in conjunction with the national CBF General Assembly June 21-24 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. An estimated 90 Missourians attended the event.
About 50 Missouri CBF members gathered to celebrate Mary-Katherine Williams' appointment as a CBF Global Missions affiliate missionary.
A native of Kentucky, Williams garnered support and encouragement from Missourians as a member of Third Baptist Church, St. Louis, while serving at the Christian Activity Center in East St. Louis. She considers Missouri her "adopted state," she said.
"I found myself" while working in East St. Louis, she added. Third Baptist members nurtured her calling as an urban missionary.
Three years ago, CBF appointed Williams as a Global Service Corps missionary in the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn, N.Y. As her three-year stint drew to a close, she realized God wanted her to remain in the area where she works with Greater Restoration Baptist Church to reach people living in Albany Homes, a New York City Housing Authority apartment complex.
CBFMO has contributed funds for that work.
Williams will continue ministering in the area through the AsYouGo Affiliate program. CBF appointed her to serve as pastor of community partnerships. As an affiliate, she will pay her own way or raise funds to cover her salary and expenses.
Central Seminary update
Central Baptist Theological Seminary president Molly Marshall updated those present about the institution's move to a new location in the Kansas City area.
Centrals' board of directors voted May 12 to purchase 10 acres and a facility used by Westside Family Church on the eastern edge of Shawnee, Kan.
Mission to AIDS orphans
Missouri CBFers were encouraged to participate in Kids Heart Africa. CBF is partnering with Buckner Orphan Care International to minister to AIDS orphans and other children in Kenya.
CBFMO is looking for 30 churches, groups or individuals to contribute $1,000 per year in a three-year commitment to build a child development center and provide programs.
The Missouri organization plans to make project visits in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
'Light for the Path'
Missourians celebrated Cynthia Jerrold's participation in developing "Light for the Path," a guide to spiritual formation resources.
Jerrold and others worked for six months on the project through CBF's congregational health division.
The guide provides an introduction to the concept of spiritual formation and includes lists of books, curriculum and other resources helpful to churches and individuals.
'Practicing Community Development' out soon
Members also celebrated the expected mid-summer release of "Practicing Community Development," written by Doris Littrell and her late husband, Don.
After the pair retired from the University of Missouri, where Don had taught development issues for 32 years, they prayed for God to use them. Two weeks later, they received the national CBF newsletter that promoted a plan to help eliminate poverty in 20 of America's poorest counties. The Littrells became active participants in the Partners in Hope program (now called Together for Hope).
In addition, Missouri CBF members heard an update from Bruce Gentry on Baptist Student Center activities at Southeast Missouri University.
Midwest CBF network
Members were introduced to pastor Tim Deatrick and chairman of deacons Scott Oswald from Ashworth Road Baptist Church, Des Moines, Iowa.
The church will help create a CBF Midwest network to include Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. A meeting is set for Oct. 7 in Des Moines for information and inspiration. CBF national coordinator Daniel Vestal is expected to attend.
The youth choir from Kirkwood Baptist Church, St. Louis, sang for the Missourians.
Kirkwood youth led worship as one of several breakout sessions during the CBF General Assembly.
Verlyn Bergen of Jefferson City, co-founder of MinistryConnect, led a workshop on LayShape, a plan for involving laity in church ministry. Jeanie McGowan, pastor of equipping at First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, was one of two ministers who led a preaching workshop. (06-29-06)