By Emily Holladay
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a movement of churches and individuals seeking to be the presence of Christ in their communities and around the world. Representing and equipping such a diverse body of people would be impossible without the committed and innovative work of CBF’s 18 autonomous state and regional organizations.
Led by Coordinator Frank Broome, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia (CBF/GA) is one of the Fellowship’s longest standing state/regional organizations, celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year. CBF/GA partners with CBF in its “desire to network, empower and mobilize Baptist Christians and churches for effective missions and ministry in the name of Christ.”
For CBF/GA, this desire to network and empower has led to many partnerships, including work with the Baugh Center for Baptist Leadership at Mercer University to form a network of deacons to support and encourage one another. CBF/GA has also partnered with Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology for resource development and strategic initiatives for young ministers and seminarians, and cultivated a strong relationship with CBF field personnel Jen and Trey Lyon of Atlanta.
These partnerships have allowed CBF/GA to expand its reach and increase its investment within the Fellowship, particularly among the youngest generation. Each year, CBF/GA hosts multiple mission experiences for middle, high school and college students, including a mission immersion event with the Lyons in downtown Atlanta this past March. This collaboration allowed youth to come face-to-face with homelessness and poverty and brainstorm with the Lyons about ways that they can address such realities in their own communities.
CBF/GA also hosts a youth choir festival each year. Youth choirs from across the state come together to create beautiful music and fellowship with one another. The festival provides an opportunity to connect with the greater Fellowship movement. In June, the choirs will come together once again to sing at this year’s CBF General Assembly in Atlanta!
College students benefit from CBF/GA’s support of three Cooperative Student Fellowships at Mercer University, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia. These CBF/GA-sponsored fellowships exist to provide students a Christian community that is Baptist, foster authentic relationships, encourage open-minded conversation, learning and discipleship, engage the world through missions and create experiences that nurture the development of students as current and future church leaders.
In addition to developing a deeper partnership with McAfee School of Theology, CBF/GA expresses its commitment to theological education through awarding up to five scholarships each year for seminary students connected with the organization. These CBF/GA scholars become part of a network of student leaders with access to many helpful resources.
But CBF/GA does not stop investing in young Baptists after they’ve finished seminary. The organization has created networks for young ministers to learn from and collaborate with one another, including a young pastor’s network that meets annually to share resources and cultivate relationships.
CBF/GA works every day to sustain and encourage pastors, equip and resource churches and increase involvement in state missions. This dedication to developing and engaging young people within the Fellowship exemplifies these efforts.
Learn more about the ministries of CBF/GA at http://www.cbfga.org.