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Cover 35


March 2011


Lives on Loan:
The Importance of Christian Stewardship


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news about the denomination

The following news items apply to (or affect) the Free Will Baptist denomination scattered across the nation and around the world.To read more about Free Will Baptists and the various departments that make up the national organization, visit

Read a brief history of Free Will Baptists in the United States.



2010 Leadership Conference Meets in Nashville

Nashville, TN—Free Will Baptist leaders from 21 states and two Canadian provinces gathered at Nashville Airport Marriott Hotel December 6-7 for the 2010 Free Will Baptist Leadership Conference. The annual event, which provides a meeting venue for denominational boards and agencies, is open to any Free Will Baptist minister or leader. The two-day meeting featured nightly worship services, a full slate of workshops, and free time for fellowship and networking.


2011 Leadership Conference


“I always look forward to this,” said one attendee. “I am challenged during the services and workshops and encouraged by the time I spend with friends and colleagues.”

The 2010 conference addressed the theme, “Helping the Hurting,” and featured North Carolina pastors Dr. Edward J. Moody, Jr. and Dr. Danny Dwyer. Moody pastors Tippett’s Chapel FWB Church and is a state and nationally certified counselor. Dwyer has pastored churches in five states and currently serves at Cramerton FWB Church. He is a member of the Randall House Board.

On both Monday and Tuesday, Moody provided practical suggestions for caregivers and church leaders, drawing from the experiences of Elijah in 1 Kings 17-22. Dwyer took an in-depth look at the tragedy experienced by Job and what his life teaches about self, God, and others.

Other conference speakers included Tim Campbell (AR), Neil Gilliland (TN), William Smith (GA), and Wendell Walley (CA). These men led workshops addressing a variety of related topics from “Helping Hurting Pastors” to “Helping Those Hurting From Loss.” The workshops were well received, according to Conference Director Ryan Lewis. “In today’s society,” Lewis said, “people are desperate, with nowhere to turn. One of the best ways today’s church can minister to our culture is to meet people at the point of their need. This year’s conference prepared us to do this more effectively.”

Nightly services featured music provided by Free Will Baptist Bible College, including performances by the College Choir and Rejoice, under the direction of Dr. James Stevens. Jan Clay of Indianapolis (IN) led congregational singing.

In addition to worship services and seminars, denominational officers and board members handled a lengthy slate of business. The Nominating Committee of the National Association of Free Will Baptists met to make recommendations for board and commission vacancies to be filled at the 2011 convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Todd Smith (SC) chairs the seven-person committee.  

Other national boards and committees met in conjunction with the conference, including the Executive Committee, Board of Retirement, Home Missions Board, International Missions Board, Free Will Baptist Bible College Board of Trustees, Board of the Free Will Baptist Foundation, Randall House Publications Board, and the Executive Committee of Women Nationally Active for Christ.

The 2011 Leadership Conference will meet December 5-6, at the Nashville Marriott Airport Hotel. The forum-styled conference will address the findings of a committee recently appointed to the task of promoting unity and cooperation across the denomination by helping churches respond to the cultural shifts that affect their congregations.


Introducing Nominees for Standing Boards and Commissions

Antioch, TN—The following are being nominated for board and commission positions to be filled in 2011 at the National Association of Free Will Baptists in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to Todd Smith, Nominating Committee chairman:

Home Missions - 2017
Bob Lewis (TN) -  (eligible for re-election)
Robert Thebeau (MO) - (eligible for re-election)
Randy Wright (AL) - (eligible for re-election)

Board of Retirement - 2017
James Beasley (SC) to replace Ron Barber (ineligible for re-election)

James W. Beasley is owner and president of St. James Properties, president of BHG Development, Sunbelt Investments, and Prime Properties, Inc. He and his wife Mary own two travel centers in Memphis, Tennessee, and previously owned four skilled-care nursing homes that they later sold to Clarendon Memorial Hospital in Manning, South Carolina. The 60-year-old South Carolina native serves on the National Headache Foundation Board and the Financial and Investment Committee of the Dr. Seymour Diamond Foundation. He is chairman of the Trustee Board of Horse Branch FWB Church in Turbeville, South Carolina.

Tim Hall (KY) - (eligible for re-election)

Danny Baer (NC) to replace Milburn Wilson (ineligible for re-election)

Danny Baer has been a member of the staff and faculty at Southeastern FWB College since 1989. During his 21-year tenure, he has served as business manager, Bible and education professor, registrar, and most recently, academic dean. The Ohio native received a B.S. in Math Education from Ohio State University in 1975, a degree in Bible and Pastoral Training from Free Will Baptist College in 1977, an M.S. in Education Administration from Pensacola Christian College in 1994, and post-graduate degrees in Computer Technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University, culminating in a Ph.D. in 2004. Baer has pastored seven churches in Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia, and served three years as principal and teacher at Gateway Christian School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He and his wife Debra are members of White Oak FWB Church in Bailey, North Carolina

Free Will Baptist Foundation - 2017
Waymon Fields (AL) - (eligible for re-election)
Mark Price (OH) - (eligible for re-election)
Melvin Worthington (NC) - (eligible for re-election)
Commission for Theological Integrity - 2016
Paul Harrison (TN) - (eligible for re-election)
Historical Commission - 2016
Jeff Cockrell (SC) - (eligible for re-election)

Media Commission - 2016
Monte McKenzie (GA) - (eligible for re-election)

Music Commission - 2016
Donnie Burke (CO) - (eligible for re-election).

Master’s Men - 2017
Tom Harmon (IL) to replace Mike Mounts (ineligible for re-election)

Tommy G. Harmon has been a member of the Rescue FWB Church for 50 years, and has served as a deacon at the church for more than 40 years. The Illinois native and veteran of the Vietnam War retired from the Illinois Department of Transportation. In addition to serving 16 years on the board of his local grade school, Harmon has served 15 years as a member of the Illinois Camp Board, five as its chairman. He is the chairman of the Illinois Master’s Men Board and a member of the Illinois Executive Board. He has participated in various national Master’s Men projects including four years on the Ridge Church project, two Build-a-House projects, and mission trips to Alaska, Hawaii, and Russia. Harmon was named Layman of the Year in 2009. He and his wife Jane live in Ewing, Illinois.

Cliff Donoho (TN) to replace Ernie Taylor (ineligible for re-election)

Clifford D. Donoho pastors Rejoice FWB Church in Nashville, Tennessee, one of three home missions churches (Illinois, Iowa, and Tennessee) he has planted during more than 30 years in pastoral ministry. The Illinois native received a B.A. degree in Pre-Law from Western Illinois University in 1975, a B.A. degree in Pastoral Studies from Patriot University in 2000, and a M.A. in Evangelism and Missions from Patriot University in 2002. He served six years on the Illinois Home Missions Board, seven years on the Illinois Executive Board and was elected to the Tennessee State Mission Board in 2008. Donoho has been a member of the Master’s Men Board since 2000 and was elected chairman in 2002. He currently serves as moderator of the Southern Cumberland District of the Tennessee State Association of Free Will Baptists. He and his wife Kathy live in Antioch, Tennessee.

General Officers
Moderator - Tim York (TN)
Assistant Moderator - William Smith (GA)
Clerk - Randy Bryant (AL)
Assistant Clerk - Ernie Lewis (IL)




©2009 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists