General CBF / Internationals Ministries

CBF Field Personnel Marcia and Duane Binkley and the legacy of the Judsons

Group from Central Seminary at Mount Popa in Myanmar

The group from Central Seminary at Mount Popa in Myanmar.

Recently, Central Baptist Theological Seminary completed an agreement with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and International Ministries of ABC-USA to provide a ministry platform for Duane and Marcia Binkley, jointly appointed missionaries of these two organizations.  Central is partnering with the Binkleys for leadership development.

This collaboration at Central has resulted in the FOUNDATIONS Judson Communities educational program for Karen, Chin, Kachin, and other leaders from Myanmar now living in the U.S.

Central’s commitment to this legacy also involves a yearly trip to Myanmar for students and faculty/staff.  On Feb. 2, a group of 16 pilgrims from Central Baptist Theological Seminary marked the 200th Anniversary of the sailing of Ann and Adoniram Judson to Myanmar (Burma) with a return to that destination.  This pilgrimage trip to Myanmar included President Molly T. Marshall, Vice President John Gravley, Professor Amy Harris Hartsfield, Social Media Specialist Francisco Litardo, and 10 new Central master of divinity students.

The anniversary marks a truly historic event for Baptists in America.  The oldest mission agency in America came into being as a result of the Judsons’ missional endeavors in Burma.

As part of the legacy of the Judsons, Central Baptist Theological Seminary has an historic partnership in Myanmar (Burma) with the Myanmar Institute of Theology.  For the past three years, first-year master of divinity students in the create program have traveled to Myanmar to learn about the ministry of the people there.  This opportunity has been made possible through a grant from the Luce Foundation.

The students learn about the history of Baptist Mission, experience firsthand the witness of Baptists today in the predominately Buddhist culture, and gain a greater understanding of why so many refugees from this country are ending up in Baptist churches all over America.

Students at Bethel Neighborhood Center

Central Seminary students at Kansas City-based ministry center.

The group this year had an added component to their experience.  Upon their return, in partnership with the Bethel Neighborhood Center, the students are completing 90 hours of volunteer service to assist Bethel’s ministry to the refugees from Myanmar now living in the Kansas City area.

Central is committed to serving church leaders of these refugees from Burma and helping them as they transition to new ministries in the U.S.

“In God’s providence, Central has been called to offer ministry preparation for these Baptist sisters and brothers,” Marshall said. “Because of the arduous pathway these refugees have traveled, pastoral leaders in these communities require skills in post-traumatic stress disorders, family counseling, and intercultural communication.  Central’s strong emphasis on contextual education offers constructive assistance to those who will minister to these re-settled people.  It is a privilege to accompany them as they make a new home in the U.S.”

The legacy of the Judsons has come full circle and continues to give birth to new ways of serving God all over the world.  You can read further about how the group followed in the very large footsteps of the Judsons, on the 200th Anniversary of their journey toward Myanmar (Burma), in the blogs of their experience at www.cbts.edu.

Look for “Encounter the World with Central: Asia” in the blogs listed on the home page.

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