Moved by Compassion: A Heart for World Missions
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.
Free Will Baptists Assist in Haiti Relief Efforts
ANTIOCH, TN—Following the January 12 earthquake that devastated the island nation of Haiti, Free Will Baptists nationwide contributed money, supplies, and volunteer labor to assist the recovery efforts in Haiti.
Ken Akers, director of Free Will Baptist Master’s Men, is managing the distribution of funds received by the National Offices through ministry partners in Haiti.
Akers has been making annual trips to Haiti since 1999, to work with Mountain Faith Mission, an independent, evangelical mission started by Lee and Molly Carroll in 1948. The well-respected organization has a long track record of service through an orphanage, trade school, bakery, school, and medical clinic. Each year, they sponsor Vacation Bible Schools for thousands of children.
“Part of the difficulty in Haitian relief work is knowing your money will be used for its intended purpose,” Ken said. “We have a long-term relationship with Mountain Faith Mission, and we can be confident they will use the funds where it will do the most good, both now and in the months to come.”
Ken recently returned from a trip to deliver medical supplies to the mission. A team of nurses and volunteers accompanied him. The group set up a temporary medical clinic in a vacant church building, began making repairs to the mission facilities, and held nightly revival services for local villagers.
A second trip to the island is scheduled for early May. Contact Ken at email@example.com for more details or to find out how you can get involved.
Free Will Baptist relief efforts continue on a regional level. An eight-member team sponsored by Gateway FWB Church (VA) arrived in Haiti not long before the earthquake struck. They were among the first American eyewitnesses to the extent of the devastation. Their photographs appeared on most major news networks, and both regional and national news agencies followed their efforts closely. Their mission objective quickly changed to include medical assistance and relief for earthquake victims.
The intense media coverage resulted in a generous outpouring of support. As a result, Dale Burden, who has been organizing mission trips to Haiti since 1999, is working to establish a full-time work on the island.
Since the earthquake, the Gateway church has shipped a container to Haiti filled with 39,000 pounds of supplies—90% food. Several team members have made plans to return for longer terms of service, and the church has hired a full-time director to oversee the efforts.
You can support the mission financially, provide supplies, or follow the progress of their work at www.gatewayfwbchurch.com.
Impulse International Mission Trips, founded by Ohio Free Will Baptist Bill Hayes, has teamed up with other mission agencies to provide relief supplies. Impulse took a team into Haiti March 1-5, via the Dominican Republic. They purchased food and medical supplies in Santa Domingo then crossed the border to deliver the supplies to the Mountain Faith Mission orphanage. Learn more about their trip and read about coming trips at www.impulsemissions.com.
Arms of Compassion (ACM) ministries in Oklahoma, founded by Free Will Baptist pastor John M. Hewett, is making long-term plans to send volunteer teams to assist quake victims. Learn more about their efforts at www.armsofcompassion.org.
Ken Akers summed up the drastic situation on the island. “On the best day, life in Haiti is difficult! After the earthquake, it became unbearable. While immediate emergency response was important, this is going to be a long-term relief effort, and I think that is where we come in. Six months from now, the need will still be great. Anything you do to help the people of Haiti will be deeply appreciated.”
Concerned individuals can contribute to the denomination’s Disaster Relief Fund to help underwrite both immediate and long-term assistance on the ravaged island. All donations will go directly to relief efforts.
Send contributions to:
National Association of Free Will Baptists
Disaster Relief Fund
PO Box 5002,
Antioch, TN 37011-5002
Clarence Lewis to Join Free Will Baptist Family Ministries
NASHVILLE, TN—Clarence Lewis, assistant director and chief operations officer of Randall House Publications, will assume similar duties at Free Will Baptist Family Ministries in Greenville, Tennessee. The Arkansas native served twice at Randall House—nine years under Roger Reeds and nearly eight years under Ron Hunter. Prior to his return to Randall House in 2002, Clarence was a partner in Lewis Letterworks, a Nashville-based printing company.
When addressing the Randall House team, Clarence said, “Sometimes we need to take inventory of our lives and get out of our comfort zones. I feel I have prepared Randall House for my departure with nearly eight years of implementing policies and procedures to carry it forward. I am not leaving Randall House. I am going to the children’s home.”
Ron Hunter, who hired Clarence soon after becoming executive director remarked, “Clarence is a valuable friend and professional colleague. We cannot stand in the way when God moves someone to a new ministry. Clarence loves challenges and has helped us solve numerous ones here. I will miss him, and so will the Randall House family.” Ron asked Clarence to provide his insight in key areas for the remainder of the year. Clarence will remain on staff until the middle of May.
When asked about the replacement plans for the position, Mr. Hunter stated, “We have asked our team of employees to stretch these past two years, and now it is time for our leadership to stretch. We plan to absorb these duties among existing leaders who are very capable. We continue to develop our leadership and believe this to be the best stewardship of funds. When someone leaves Randall House, we never assume we need to continue that position as it was; we always examine creative new ways to continue ministry.”