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.
Former General Director Rolla D. Smith Dies
Antioch, TN—Reverend Rolla D. Smith, former general director of Free Will Baptist Foreign Missions, entered Heaven’s gates around 1:45 a.m., March 15, 2013.
The 92-year-old was hospitalized and diagnosed with pneumonia earlier this month. Brother Smith was transferred to West Meade Place, a rehab facility, where he continued to decline and died.
Smith had the unique responsibility of serving as general director two times. He was first asked to serve in 1959 and continued until 1962. Following his resignation as general director, the Missouri native was elected to the mission board where he served faithfully from August 1962 until July 1975. During those years, he also pastored churches in Missouri, Georgia, and Tennessee. The board asked him to serve a second stint as general director and Smith spent another 11 years at the helm (1975-1986) of the foreign missions department. “Uncle Rolla,” as missionary kids worldwide called him, loved missionary families and was passionate about getting the gospel to the regions beyond.
Rolla Smith's funeral was held Sunday, March 17. His first wife, Agnes (Scott) died shortly after his retirement. He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Helen Ketteman Smith; daughter, Beth (Vernon) Whaley; grandchildren, Laurie (Jeremy) Whaley Roe and Jeremy (Kenya) Whaley; great-grandchildren, Carter, Luca, and Noah; sister, Genelle Scott; step-children, Greg (Jill) Ketteman, Carol (Garnett) Reid, and Joy (Randy) Corn; 11 step-grandchildren and 5 step-great-grandchildren.
Turnboughs, McPeak Speak in Cuba
Antioch, TN—February 14-25, 2013, Mark McPeak, Lannah Thatcher Agreda (wife of Pastor Jhon Fredy Agreda of Villalba, Spain), and Jeff and Susan Turnbough visited Cuba to lead a retreat for Cuban youth workers. For three days, the foursome presented “Relationships Matter” a module of the Leadership Matters Course at a weekend retreat with 57 youth leaders from most of the local FWB churches across Cuba.
The second weekend, the Turnboughs and McPeak participated in the annual National Convention of Free Will Baptists on the campus of the Cedars of Lebanon Seminary in Pinar del Rio. They discussed with the “directiva,” the elected national executive committee, how Cuban and North American Free Will Baptists can continue to work together effectively to reach Cuba and to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Full article at fwbgo.com.
IM to Present Seminars, Hold Reception in Tampa
Antioch, TN—International Missions will present several informative and challenging seminars at the National Association in Tampa, Florida, over the course of the convention.
“What God’s Doing in China Through Education,” offered twice (Monday at 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.) will highlight the work of teaching English overseas and feature opportunities IM board and staff members witnessed during a May visit to China.
Many churches and individuals continue to explore ways to interact with internationals both overseas and in the States. “So You Want to Be Involved Overseas? Building Successful Cross-cultural Partnerships” will draw from the expertise of IM personnel and IM partner, Mission ONE, to provide clear-cut principles for fruitful cross-cultural relationships and healthy cross-cultural partnerships. The seminar will be offered three times (Monday at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.) to allow everyone an opportunity to attend.
Most participants in the 2013 World Missions Offering (WMO) have concluded their efforts. Some churches wanted to participate, but just didn’t “get started.” Others may want to do better. And some churches are just wondering what all the fuss is about. If you want to learn more about the WMO or get a jumpstart on preparing for 2014, “Stories From the World Missions Offering: Ideas for a Successful WMO” is for you. Join participants on Monday at 4:30 p.m. or Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.
On Tuesday evening, following the worship service (9:00 p.m.), the Mission will host a “WMO Thank You Reception” at the Marriott for anyone who gave to the 2013 WMO. The reception, with light refreshments, is the Mission’s way of thanking individuals for their support. Missionaries and IM leadership will be on hand to personally thank attendees.
Snapshots Around the World
Panama—Cirilo Mendoza (pictured above) was ordained February 24, 2013, in Chitré, Panama. Cirilo and his wife Katia graduated from the Chame seminary in January.
Brazil—On Sunday, April 14, 2013, at the First FWB Church of Araras, São Paulo, Brazil, Pastor Elizeu and Assistant Pastor Jeferson baptized nine people (two men, five women, and two young girls).
Panama—On Easter, March 31, 2013, Pastor Julio baptized three new believers (Manuel pictured) at the mission work in Santiago, Panama.
Uruguay—The Santa Teresa congregation dedicated their new building on April 14. The church, located in Rivera, Uruguay, has been under construction for several years. A standing-room-only crowd filled the sanctuary as the group rejoiced over the building’s completion and opportunities to better connect with the community.
France—A young Christian in the St. Sebastien youth group (whose mother is Muslim and objects to his conversion) recently led two other young men to the Lord.
France—The La Boissiere Church in Nantes witnessed the baptism of Louise (pictured above) on April 8, 2013. Louise’s family, practicing Catholics, began attending the church several years ago and several family members have come to Christ throughout the last few years.