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 www.nafwb.org.
THE LEADER AND HIS FAMILY
2006 FWB LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
NASHVILLE, TN The 2006 Free Will Baptist Leadership Conference could be summed up in a word—encouragement. Leaders from 23 states gathered at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel, December 4-5, to address the conference theme, “The Leader and His Family.”
Keynote speaker Dr. H.B. London (pictured above) is vice president of Pastoral Ministries at Focus on the Family, a position he describes as “pastor to pastors.” His years of experience combined with his current administrative role brought a unique perspective to the meeting. His messages were down-to-earth, packed with nuggets of wisdom. According to Roy Harris, conference coordinator, “Today’s leaders and their families face tremendous challenges. This year’s meeting provided real help for those in attendance—sending them home with practical suggestions that will make a significant difference in their personal lives and ministries.”
“God leads His dear children along…”
The melody of the old, gospel song echoed across the auditorium on Monday evening as the Free Will Baptist Bible College Choir led the congregation into worship. Dr. London spoke pointedly to the audience, encouraging every Christian leader to guard his priorities, comparing them to gauges on a car dashboard. The message ended with a sobering reminder, “What makes the ‘check engine’ light go on? When we fail to answer the mandate of our call; when we don’t spend enough time with the Lord; when we allow sexually explicit content into our lives; when we don’t care for our spouses and our families; when our business dealings are unethical; when we allow ourselves to be jealous because a brother’s church grows more quickly than our own. I don’t know what makes your ‘check engine’ light go on. But I do know you need to stop immediately and find the source of the problem.”
Photo: (Jacob Frady, with other members of the Free Will Baptist Bible College Choir)
(More Than) Basic Training
On Tuesday morning a variety of speakers conducted seminars, including H.B. London (CO), Edward E. Moody (NC), Robert E. Picirilli (TN), Jeff Nichols (TN), J. Matthew Pinson (TN), Rick Rusaw (CO), Jill Milligan (NC), and Kyle Idleman (CA). Sessions addressed family concerns, caring for church leaders, and practical evangelism among other topics. Free time during the afternoon gave attendees an opportunity to enjoy sights, sounds, and shopping around Nashville.
Denominational leaders handled a lengthy slate of business during the conference. The Nominating Committee of the National Association of Free Will Baptists met Tuesday afternoon to recommend nominees for board and commission vacancies to be filled at the 2007 convention in Little Rock, AR. Tim Eaton (OK) chairs the seven-person committee. Other national boards and committees met in conjunction with the conference including the Executive Committee, Home Missions Board, International Missions Board, the Board of the Free Will Baptist Foundation, the Board of Retirement and Insurance, Randall House Publications Board, and the boards of Master’s Men and Women Nationally Active for Christ. In a significant move, members of the Free Will Baptist Foundation Board elected David Brown to replace long-time General Director, William (Bill) Evans (pictured, right) when he retires in July, 2007.
Wrap It Up
Lights dimmed as the final service of the conference began. Attendees watched a video promoting Impact Little Rock, an evangelistic campaign scheduled for July 14, 2007, the Saturday preceding the national convention. Cornerstone quartet from Free Will Baptist Bible College sang “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” before H.B. London took the platform. His humorous testimony about his own family life produced waves of laughter before his message turned serious. He led spellbound listeners on a journey through his life, pointing out lessons that he (and his wife) learned along the way. His concluding thoughts encouraged listeners not to leave people saying, “‘He was a great preacher,’ but ‘He was a great husband, father, and preacher.’”
Keith Burden, executive secretary of the National Association, summed up the conference by saying, “H.B. London is a straight-shooter—from the shoulder and from the heart. Our folks sensed a kindred spirit in him and gave the conference high marks on their evaluations.”
RETIREMENT AND ASSISTED LIVING CENTER OPENS
GREENVILLE, TN Free Will Baptist Family Ministries in Greeneville, TN, recently celebrated the completion of the first FWB retirement and assisted living facility. The Laurels, which opened in December 2006, will provide a thriving community for senior adults who need help with the challenges of daily living.
According to director, Dr. James Kilgore, “In James 1:27, God’s Word instructs us that ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction….’ Since 1939, Free Will Baptist Family Ministries has been doing a great job of caring for hurting children and families. Several years ago, we became burdened about providing ministry to senior citizens. It would have been easy to ignore God’s call and His leading in this direction. But this area of service has been long neglected, and we have accepted the challenge of meeting this great need.”
The Laurels will provide a place for seniors to retire with dignity while giving them opportunities to share the gospel with unsaved residents.
“The Laurels is a physical testament to the truth of our mission—a beautiful, welcoming, secure, fun place our seniors will be proud to call home.”
To find out more about The Laurels and FWB Family ministries, call (877) 4-children or visit their website at www.fwbfm.com.
SOCCER TEAM WINS TOURNAMENT
MOORE, OK After only two seasons of play, the Hillsdale Saints Soccer Team won the NCCAA Southwest Regional Tournament in 2006 and placed 7th at the National Championship held in Florida, November 1-3.
COLLEGE EXTENDS INVITATION TO HIGH SCHOOLERS
MOORE, OK High School juniors and seniors are invited to On-campus Days at Hillsdale Free Will College, February 22-24, 2006. Students will be given opportunities to to visit with current students, staff members, and professors and ask questions about financial aid. Visit the Hillsdale website at www.hc.edu to reserve a spot for this event.