The Ministries Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is meeting today and tomorrow at First Baptist Church, Decatur, Ga. More than 30 CBF partners are represented at this meeting of the Ministries Council.
Partners represented include Associated Baptist Press, Baptist Center for Ethics, Baptist Women in Ministry, Baylor University School of Social Work, Passport Inc., Baptist History & Heritage Society, Upper Room Ministries, The Columbia Partnership, North American Baptist Fellowship, Center for Congregational Health, McAfee School of Theology, Duke Divinity School, Pinnacle Leadership Associates, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Baptists Today, FaithLab, Preaching Practicum at Wilshire Baptist Church, Children’s Ministry Network, Current, CBF Council on Endorsement of Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors, Smyth & Helwys Publishing Inc., and many others.
Michael Cheuk, chair of the Ministries Council and senior minister at University Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Va., is leading the meeting. Here’s a snippet from Cheuk’s opening remarks, welcoming partner representatives and introducing the meeting:
We are at a new and crucial time in the Fellowship—new leadership, new offices and this is the time where we have the opportunity to move forward to minister, to partner with one another in a new day, in a new age and in a new way.
And we value your presence, your input and we hope that this will be a time where we as the Ministries Council and CBF staff will take up a listening posture so that we together can discern where this may be leading all of us.
We won’t have answers today, but I trust that we will work together to clarify what the issues are, to find out areas of commonality, to look at and map the resources that we can bring to the table, so that we can collaborate, so that we can cooperate.
We would like to hear from you in terms of the partnership that you have had with CBF. What are things that have worked in past? What are challenges that you have faced and are facing? What CBF national can do to nurture, working relationships so that we can then leverage our strengths, so we can do the work better than if we just did it ourselves.
It’s a time for us to learn, time for us to clarify, so we can take the next step.
Ministries Council member Emily Hull-McGee, associate pastor at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., offered a brief statement to the group:
CBF is in our DNA. In turn, we are the DNA of CBF. CBF is the larger body that holds us all together and we are the many parts of it.
In our work on the Ministries Council, we dream that this group becomes like great systems of our body that gives life, that gives connection to one another….With the new dream of the Ministries Council, we hope that CBF is not some location that sends us a box that we all latch on to…but rather we become those networks, those self-sustaining networks that give life to the whole network.
Other members of the Ministries Council include Terry Ellis, pastor of Broadmoor Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La.; Christy McMillin-Goodwin, associate minister at Oakland Baptist Church in Rock Hill, S.C.; Steve Sheely, pastor of Rolling Hills Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Ark.; and Leta Tillman of Hardin-Simmons University.
The CBF Missions Council is also meeting today at FBC Decatur. Members of the Missions Council include Mimi Walker, senior pastor of Druid Hills Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga.; Steven Porter, lecturer at G.W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas; Mike Oliver, Mike Oliver, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Madison, Ala., Alan Sherouse, pastor of First Baptist Church, Greensboro, N.C., and Alice Mull, a retired layperson in Kentucky.
The Missions Council is meeting with CBF Global Missions staff. Check out the pictures below: