Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Heartland participants heard updates from partner field personnel and member churches and saw Associate Coordinator Jeff Langford recognized for 10 years of service during a regional meeting held in conjunction with the national Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly June 15-19 in Dallas.
Field Personnel Ralph and Tammy Stocks, who work with the Roma people in Romania, and Karen Sherin who, with husband Kenny, works as an advisor with CBF’s Together For Hope rural poverty initiative in South Dakota, gave brief updates on their ministries.
Ralph Stocks referenced the involvement of CBF Heartland and volunteers in the Gypsy Smith School for local pastors, normally offered in January each year.
He described a variation of the ministry they call Gypsy Smith Mobile, which will involve teams of two leaders visiting Roma churches and conducting one-day seminars. Each team will visit four church sites and participate in a church service at one on Sunday, he said of the weeklong trips.
Tammy Stocks reported that her appeal a year ago to the Heartland group for quilters to reach out to women in Romania is coming to fruition. A team is scheduled to arrive in Romania in August to begin quilting classes, she said.
Sherin and sons Matthew and Caleb shared photos of their involvement in several South Dakota communities to support ministries in the impoverished reservation among the Lakota (Sioux), including the Lakota Immersion Day Care.
A testament to the impact of ministries — some of which date back 25 years — is that a tribal council came to leaders and requested they come in and assist their community, she said.
Her sons spread a table with photographs illustrating the various facets of the work in South Dakota.
Jordan Dollar, pastor of ESIC Baptist Church in Edwardsville, Ill., noted that his small church had discovered the value of utilizing interns from Truett Baptist Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas, each of the past two years.
This year, he said, the congregation recruited one of its own, University of Illinois student Daniel Gregory. “We couldn’t be more pleased than to get Danny,” Dollar said.
Gregory is gaining experience preaching, teaching, making hospital visits and engaging in weekly planning meetings with Dollar, he said.
“This program has helped us,” he said. He also thanked Coordinator Harold Phillips and CBF for their support in undergirding the congregation, especially when its future was uncertain.
Gregory also expressed his appreciation for the intern experience.
Attenders also heard brief reports from Central Baptist Theological Seminary student Kristin Woolridge and from the national leadership of CBF’s student.go program.
Moderator Michael Olmsted made a presentation to Langford, noting his valuable service in his 10 years as associate coordinator of CBF Heartland.