news around the world
Free Will Baptist International Missions serves churches, pastors, and people by helping them fulfill their role in establishing churches beyond North America
so unreached peoples can know the joy of a
relationship with the living God.
To find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist International Missions, visit www.fwbgo.com.
Delegates Vote to Endorse Mission Funding Plan
Antioch, TN—Delegates to the National Association of Free Will Baptists in Charleston, West Virginia overwhelmingly endorsed the International Missions board’s restructure plan for funding missions. “I move we receive the report, refer the budget, and endorse the funding plan.” With these words, Danny Williams International Missions Board chairman asked the delegates to give their support to a historical change in denominational missions funding.
In his presentation to convention delegates, the General Director shared a timeline of events that led to this decision. He recounted the most important steps including a pivotal strategic planning session with all mission leaders in December of 2005 and the many regional meetings in 2008 to listen to state leaders and pastors. “As a result of over ten years of work, tens of thousands of miles, and hundreds of meetings, the board was ready to vote on April 29, 2008, at 1:46 in the afternoon. The vote was unanimous. The excitement was palpable,” he told hundreds of delegates.
Following the report, delegates asked questions and expressed their opinions about the plan. The debate was described by many as civil and a good representation of the way issues should be handled. In the end, the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of endorsing the new plan.
Following the session, senior missionary Bobby Poole said “We were very pleased.” Speaking for himself and his wife Geneva, Bro. Poole continued “We believe this is a major step in the right direction. I am thrilled that missionaries will no longer have to ask for money for themselves only, but will be able to tell Free Will Baptist people about the entire missions team.”
Debbie Griffin, Missionary to Japan shared the following: “I was relieved when the funding restructure was passed. Ever since I joined the mission we have talked about the need for changes in the funding system. The home office has worked so hard to come up with a good plan and I was glad that it passed. I hope that all of our people will get behind the new plan and I am excited to see how well it will work.”
Kristi Johnson, Missionary to Spain had this to say, “As I sat in the business meeting at the National, I was overcome with emotions watching the delegates vote for the restructure of the funding plan for International Missions. I actually cried as I realized they were standing in support of missions and missionaries around the world. I was proud to be a part of our denomination and honored to be one of the front-line workers they were so overwhelmingly supporting.”
The plan will be implemented in January of 2010. Mark McPeak, Deputy Director of Stateside Operations explains, “We will be consistently communicating details and instructions to our churches and people in the transition period over the next 18 months. Changing from a system that has been in place for a generation will present some challenges. But the early feedback has been excellent and our people seem eager to cooperate.”
In closing his remarks at the convention, General Director Forlines reminded delegates that the board is not in place simply to make decisions about funding or to be commended for their leadership. Speaking of that great day in heaven before the throne of God, Forlines said “As we join our voices in singing the new song Lobi will be one of the languages we will hear.” Before our first missionaries went to Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) 50 years ago, there were no churches among this lost people. Forlines reminded us – this is why we exist as a mission.
The speech to the delegates (in its entirety) and other information on the new funding plan are available at www.fwbgo.com.
Couple Approved for Short-term Service
Antioch, TN—The Board of Free Will Baptist International Missions met July 22, 2008, in Charleston, West Virginia, during the National Association of Free Will Baptists. They approved the candidate committee’s recommendation that Jimmy and Kelly Hunter be appointed as limited status, professional servants for a two-year term in Bulgaria.
The couple will work with Tim and Lydia Awtrey, using their professional gifts and individual talents to build bridges between the community and the church in Svishtov, Bulgaria.
The Hunters are from Northport, Alabama, where they are active in their local Free Will Baptist church. A software engineer by profession, Jimmy has served as missions emphasis leader, assistant Sunday school teacher, choir member, and soloist. Kelly, a medical doctor, has worked in children’s ministries, played piano, and sung in the choir. Both have participated in Evangelism Explosion and FAITH evangelistic programs over the last 12 years.
Jimmy graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.S. in electrical engineering technology in 1990. Kelly received her medical training at the University of Mississippi, graduating in 1992 with her M.D.
The couple has a 10-year-old son, Daniel.
Tokyo, Japan—Mr. E began attending the Kamifukuoka Christ Church in February, was saved in April, and was baptized on Sunday, June 29. This man shared a moving testimony of his realization of the power of God’s love and his strong desire to serve Him.
Svishtov, Bulgaria—Several new families attended a children’s party on June 1 hosted by the Good News FWB Church in Svishtov. This event gave opportunities for the Awtrey family to reach out to the community and make contacts for the church.
São José, Brazil—Fifteen people were baptized at a special Sunday evening service at the São José FWB Church on June 22. Those baptized included people from the São José church, Ouro Verde Mission, and the Nova América Mission. Each church’s pastor participated in the baptism ceremony.
Central Spain—The churches in Villalba, Alpedrete, Colmenar Viejo, and Alcalá gathered at a reservoir on June 29, for a time of fellowship, worship, and the baptism of four believers. Pastor-in-training Jhon Fredy, Pastor Juan Carlos, and Pastor José Manuel baptized the converts from their congregations.
Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire—After six-years, Pastor George has regained possession of the Bouaké church. The construction of the church in Bouaké was started before 2002, but was destroyed by rebels during the height of the civil war. Eleven people were present for the first church service in the building on Sunday, July 20.
Creative Access—Dale and Allysa Harvey have participated in several different summer camps. During a camp at the beginning of July they traveled south with a group of 13 Americans where they were greeted by 54 energetic children. Communication was difficult at times since most of the children spoke their ethnic language instead of Russian. Although communicating mostly through actions, the Lord moved and about 20 children accepted Christ as Savior.
Nine E-TEAMs circled the globe this summer. Following training (June 11-16) on the campus of Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, TN, 75 students deployed to nine locations where they ministered for about two weeks:
E-TEAM BRAZIL 2008—Valerie Conner, Madison Heights, MI; Brittany Echols, Northport, AL; Tracy Gilliland, Rose Bud, AR; Bryan Lamb, Owensboro, KY; Holly Petty, Beecher City, IL; Jason Provow, Fredericktown, MO; Jonathan Tolle, Homerville, GA; Chelsea Voltz, Magnolia, TX; Christian Wilson, Chapmansboro, TN. Team leaders: Tommy and Carol DuBose, Booneville, MS. Highlight: Fifteen people were baptized at the São José Church. Each person received cheers as he came out of the water. The person who was the biggest influence in the new convert’s life presented his baptismal certificate.
E-TEAM CHICAGO 2008—Rebekah Gedeon Southaven, MS; Kase Harris, Ada, OK; Nicholas Layton, Wellington, KS; Lindsey McDaniel, Sulligent, AL; Brittany Miller, Colquitt, GA; Aaron Ray, Van Buren, AR; Kristin Reed, Antioch, TN; Ariel Rowe, Axson, GA; Lindsey Smith, Washington, NC. Team leaders: Jonathan and Suzanne Owen, Nashville, TN. Highlight: Four kids accepted Christ as Savior at Veggie Tales Adventures.
E-TEAM CUBA 2008—Deana Barwick, Colquitt, GA; Chanel Bonds, Gastonia, NC; Haylee Hubbard, Hot Springs Village, AR; Shane Lester, Mt. Vernon, OH; Timothy Mott, New Boston, MI; Benjamin Osterkamp, Old Monroe, MO; Rebekah Wilson, Hamilton, AL. Team leaders: Sam and June McVay, Antioch, TN. Highlight: The night the lights went out in Cuba, we witnessed our bus driver come to Christ.
E-TEAM FRANCE 2008—Crosby Brooks, Wellington, KS; Thomas Graeter, Pinehurst, TX; Adriana Marquina, Nashville, TN; Loyd Miller, Delaware, AR; Steven Reeder, Doerun, MO; Bethany Shope, Knoxville, TN; Kacy Stone, Morehead, KY; Emily Whitworth, Pleasant View, TN; Jesse Wolf, Ada, OK. Team leaders: Josh and Alicia Crowe, Hubert, NC. Highlight: Sharing Christ’s love with five Muslim women and their children at the Children’s Festival in Nantes, France.
E-TEAM HOKKAIDO 2008—Courtney Barnes, Locust Grove, OK; Phillip Easley, Raytown, MO; Susan Griffin, Colquitt, GA; Crystal Hodges, Fresno, CA; Brooklin Holland, Nashville, TN; Sara Layton, Wellington, KS; Zachary Taylor, Owensboro, KY; Jared Wall, Knightdale, NC. Team leaders: Jonathan and Teresa Snow, Old Hickory, TN. Highlight: Our ministry opportunities brought in many new contacts for the missionaries.
E-TEAM MEXICO 2008—Ashley Duncan, Butler, GA; Katherine Fannin, Prescott Valley, AZ; Hannah Gillock, Cookeville, TN; Tyler Keeling, North Little Rock, AR; Gloria LaPere, Hazel Park, MI; Kevin Lundquist, Goldsboro, NC; Sarah Moore, Fredericktown, MO; Alana Walser, Antioch, TN. Team leaders: Billy and Sue Parson, Huntsville, OH. Highlight: When Misael, our friend in Mexico, said “If I don’t see you again, we will see you in heaven!”
E-TEAM SPAIN 2008—Lauren Bradley, Owensboro, KY; Lori Coats, Ada, OK; Daniel Coker, Iuka, MS; Avery Ketchum, Broken Arrow, OK; Hanna McCuin, Wichita, KS; Sienna Morrow, Liberal, MO; Eric Pirtle, Fredericktown, MO; Ashley Rowe, Sterling Heights, MI. Team leaders: Pete and Jane Johnson, Hermitage, TN. Highlight: As a team, we learned the non-believers of this world need a friend who LIVES his life to the Christian standard EVERY DAY.
E-TEAM ST. CROIX 2008—Dustin Allen, Statford, OK; Jamie Bolden, Arnold, MO; Emilee Carter, Springfield, MO; Hannah Collins, Harrisonburg, VA; Francine Feavel, Dewey, AZ; Autumn Fitzgerald, Braselton, GA; Dustin Long, Greeneville, TN; Dustin Moore, Foristell, MO. Team leaders: Travis and Wendy Penn, Salem, IL. Highlight: We split into four groups and were given $50 each to buy things for the local pastors. We also visited two local pastors’ houses and sang and prayed with them.
E-TEAM URUGUAY 2008—Adam Frazier, Jasper, AL; Bethany Hovis, Fredericktown, MO; Sierra Hubbard, Red Bay, AL; Thomas Judkins, Monticello, AR; Hunter Pardue, Greenville, NC; Margaret Paxton, Grabill, IN; Ben Reed, Arapaho, OK; Kailey Scott, Garner, NC; Hannah Ward, Van Buren, AR. Team leaders: Adam and Miriam James, Nashville, TN. Highlight: Our team accomplished our team goal: to love, serve, and reach the Uruguayan people.
To learn more about short-term missions opportunitites, visit www.fwbgo.com.