By Katie McKown
I craned my neck to look at the man I would somehow immerse in a swimming pool at Baylor University. He was Marine, pastor and professor Levi Price. He is a kind, generous man. Because of his Life and Work of the Past class, I learned that being a pastor would be challenging and joyful, nerve-wracking and beautiful.
And it is. It is all of that.
I’m not sure who said “I’m Baptist born and Baptist bred and when I die I’ll be Baptist dead,” but that’s me. I like being Baptist. I was Baptist as a girl and I’m Baptist still today. I first identified with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship because of people like Dr. Price, who welcomed a short 24-year-old Kentucky lady to baptize him.
I first identified with CBF because of David Garland, whose love of the Lord and the Bible was infectious. Dr. Garland’s character made me want to be the kind of Baptist who focused my energy forward on kingdom tasks.
There are many others who “grew me up” as a pastor. I am grateful.
While I have always been Baptist, I first identified with CBF because its people loved the Lord, loved the Bible and believed in evangelism and missions. I’m a part of the Fellowship because CBF believed in me. CBF believed in my call. Thank you, CBF.
I identify with CBF because we believe in evangelism. We believe in speaking the good news with our mouths. We believe in serving the good news with our hands. The speaking and serving are integral. I hope we will work on this balance together.
I identify with CBF because we are passionate about missions. God’s mission is what unites our Fellowship. I hope we will continue to support field personnel all over the world.
I identify with CBF because it is my family. General Assembly is the reunion. I cherish seeing professors, colleagues, Passport pals and many more friends. I stay up way too late talking and theologizing and laughing. I return home exhausted and happy. I love our family reunion.
CBF is a good family, but like most families we have disagreements. We roll our eyes at the weird uncle, scolding grandma or the young ‘un with far out ideas. We fret because we are not the same; but we forget no families are!
The important thing is to be family when we disagree and agree. I’m no less Katie McKown when my cousin makes me mad. My family is not homogenous. Jesus’ family isn’t either.
Dr. Price’s class helped me learn that ministry would be beautiful as well as challenging. I am excited about the future of CBF. The future will be challenging and beautiful too. By focusing forward on kingdom tasks, it will be a great day for the CBF family.
Katie McKown is pastor of Scottsville Baptist Church in Scottsville, Va. She is a graduate of George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. McKown serves as a convener of a CBF Peer Learning Group. Connect with McKown at her blog, Hermeneutics in High Heels.
Why do you identify with CBF? Send your answer to this question to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will feature submissions in an upcoming fellowship voices series on the CBFblog (www.cbfblog.com).