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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.



National Departments Reorganize Office Space

Antioch, TN—The month of September found several national departments in transition as they relocated office space. Master’s Men and Women Nationally Active for Christ agreed to share an office suite on the lower level of the National Office Building. While the departments will continue to operate independently, sharing space will enable them to save money. Phyllis York, part-time office assistant for Master’s Men since 2005, will serve both offices in a full-time role, dividing her time between the departments.


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“It is just good stewardship,” said Ken Akers, director of Master’s Men. “Sharing space will not change the way either department operates, but it will save us both a lot of money that we can put back into our ministries.”

The Board of Retirement moved to the office space previously occupied by Master’s Men, while the Free Will Baptist Foundation retained the area previously shared with Board of Retirement. The two departments had occupied the joint space since July 2005, when the Foundation became a separate entity.

“We have enjoyed our time with the Board of Retirement,” said Richard Davis, accounting director for the Foundation, “but the two departments have two specific and separate ministries and sharing offices had created some confusion. It will be good for both departments to have space of their own.”

Although the physical locations of the various departments have changed, phone and FAX information will remain the same.


Executive Committee Initiates Efforts to Promote Unity and Cooperation

Antioch, TN—Nine men gathered in the Executive Office Boardroom October 20 to discuss denominational unity as it relates to the cultural issues confronting Free Will Baptist churches today. The informal committee assembled at the request of the Executive Committee of the National Association and included representatives from the Commission for Theological Integrity, the Executive Committee, and pastors from various regions of the country.

Participants included Keith Burden (TN), Leroy Forlines (TN), Will Harmon (AR), Paul Harrison (TN), Glen Johnson (VA), Matt Pinson (TN), Karl Sexton (VA), Craig Shaw (OK), and Tim York (TN). Committee members Steve Ashby (OK) and David Potete (IL) were unable to attend the meeting.

“We met to identify the ways our churches have been and continue to be impacted by today’s culture,” said Executive Secretary Keith Burden. “We want to help churches know how to respond to the cultural shifts taking place that affect their congregations.”
During the meeting, the committee defined four specific goals to pursue over the next five years:

  1. To bring greater understanding between ministers from various regions of the denomination.

  2. To create a forum for constructive discussion about issues that are sometimes controversial and divisive.

  3. To develop a greater understanding of and appreciation for the value of the denomination.

  4. To equip pastors and churches to address the cultural issues confronting them.

The committee scheduled a second meeting with state leaders at the 2011 convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition, the subjects raised by both meetings will be addressed at the 2011 Leadership Conference scheduled for December 5-6, at the Airport Marriott Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.


Theological Symposium Features 10 Papers

NASHVILLE, TN—More than 90 people registered for the 2010 Theological Symposium, which met October 18-19 at Free Will Baptist Bible College. The annual two-day event sponsored by the Commission for Theological Integrity featured 10 presenters from a variety of backgrounds, including pastors, missionaries, college professors and administrators, and graduate students.

The presentations featured a wide range of topics such as “Do We Dare to Discipline?” by Barry Raper, “Would a ‘Simple Christian’ Ever be a Calvinist?” by Bobby Poole, and “A Primer on Denominational Unity” by Glen Johnson, among others.

The symposium closed Tuesday evening with a stimulating, two-hour panel discussion featuring Leroy Forlines, Robert Picirilli, Paul Harrison, Craig Shaw, and Matt Pinson. Symposium papers have been spiral-bound and may be ordered for $20 from:

Commission for Theological Integrity
Attention: Matt Pinson
3606 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37205
(Please make the check out to Commission for Theological Integrity.)

The 2011 Theological Symposium will meet October 17-18 on the campus of Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College in Moore, Oklahoma.


©2009 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists