By Tony Hopkins
Greenwood First Baptist Church has partnered with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship from the very beginning. This partnership has strengthened our church in manifold ways.
We pray — and trust — that we have also strengthened CBF.
When the 2012 Task Force asked churches to formalize their connection to CBF, it gave our church the opportunity to articulate (1) why we value CBF and (2) our commitment to a continuing partnership. Here is part of that letter.
To Our Sisters and Brothers at CBF and CBF of SC:
We are writing to express the desire of Greenwood First Baptist Church to formally affiliate with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina. We have both enjoyed and benefited from our partnership with Cooperative Baptists, and we happily embrace the opportunity to formalize this partnership.
We embrace the CBF community for a variety of reasons, some of which include:
the many ways that CBF evidences God’s great love in Jesus Christ;
CBF’s devotion to missions, especially among the poorest and the least evangelized;
CBF’s preservation of historic Baptist principles, like the autonomy of the local church and the priesthood of all believers;
CBF’s affirmation that women can hold any leadership role in the church or culture;
the value which CBF places upon both the Great Commission and the Great Commandments;
the gifted people and meaningful relationships we have experienced within CBF life;
the valuable resources we have discovered through national CBF, CBF of SC, and our sister churches throughout the CBF community;
our sense that CBF is our spiritual home.
For these and many other reasons, Greenwood First Baptist Church gladly and formally declares our affiliation and partnership with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina.
As part of this partnership, Greenwood First Baptist Church pledges to:
affirm the identity, mission, vision, and values of CBF and CBF of SC;
make public and visible our partnership with CBF and CBF of SC;
encourage our members to serve and lead in our state and national organizations;
pray for the Fellowship community throughout our state, nation, and world;
continue to include CBF and CBF of SC in our church budget;
promote and receive the offering for Global Missions;
promote and participate in regional and national CBF events.
On the occasion of CBF’s 25th birthday, we happily renew our commitment to CBF and its work.
On Wednesday night, we will watch the wonderful video about the 25th Anniversary Campaign. In our worship Sunday, we will offer thanks for the opportunity to be a Sustainer Church; that is, a church which has pledged to give at least one percent of our budget to CBF for the next three years. We will corporately pray for Global Missions, healthy churches and young Baptists, the emphases which the campaign will support. We will distribute to everyone present the prayer cards which CBF has made available, so that each person can reflect on her or his prayers for our Fellowship.
With all of our hearts, we thank God for the partnership we have with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and we look forward to watching it grow!
Tony Hopkins serves as the pastor of First Baptist Church in Greenwood, S.C. Join First Baptist and other churches and individuals from across the Fellowship in celebrating 25 years of CBF October 16-23. During this week, Fellowship churches and individuals will set aside intentional times of celebration to honor CBF’s 25th Anniversary. Through special worship services, mission projects, Bible studies, state and regional gatherings and other special events, this CBF Celebration Week will be an opportunity for Cooperative Baptists across the country and around the world to thank God for the past 25 years and look forward to our future as a Fellowship. Resources are available at www.cbf.net/cbf25.