June 12, 2018
By Carrie McGuffin and Aaron Weaver
DALLAS — The 2018 CBF General Assembly kicked off today at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas with meetings of the Governing Board, Ministries Council, Missions Council and Nominating Committee as Cooperative Baptists gather June 13-15 to celebrate women in leadership and explore the theme “Global Church. Local Church.”
CBF Moderator Shauw Chin Capps thanked the Governing Board and reflected on the past year, highlighting successes and challenges across the Fellowship.
“I just want to say how much I appreciate you for doing this hard and important work,” Capps said. “We keep the wellbeing of CBF as a priority, and in the midst of focus on the Illumination Project there is much good work that has happened in the last year.”
Capps emphasized efforts including the successful implementation of the new Global Missions funding plan, the addition of a full-time Latino network coordinator, disaster responses to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and the creation of Fellowship Southwest.
She also pointed to the work of the Clergy Sexual Misconduct Task Force, launched two years ago by CBF and Baptist Women in Ministry to educate and resource churches about clergy sexual misconduct. The task force will preview an educational video and church policy guideline resource titled “Safe Churches and Ministers” at a June 14 workshop during the General Assembly.
CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter offered words of encouragement as the board continues its work and focuses on the future.
“We have created a context for authenticity in faith outreach for this century and this time, not just here but around the world,” said Paynter, as she introduced staff members to offer updates on their work over the past year.
“I want you to carry these images away with you as inspiration and a way of expanding your own visions,” she said.
The board heard reports on global missions, advocacy, finance and accounting, communications and development. Harry Rowland, CBF associate coordinator of congregations and leadership, introduced the board to Texas pastor Kyle Tubbs, who begins his duties overseeing the Fellowship’s church starting initiative in a newly created full-time position. Tubbs shared his vision to deepen the ongoing work of church starting and widen the initiatives reach new communities.
CBF Latino Field Coordinator Rubén Ortiz shared with the board about the work of “Familia”—CBF’s Latino network, highlighting the work of the network’s advisory body and its focus on outreach, communications and theological education with an emphasis on spiritual formation. Kasey Jones, CBF associate coordinator of strategic operations and outreach, shared about racial justice efforts through the Dr. Emmanuel McCall Racial Justice & Leadership Initiative launched in February.
The 2018 General Assembly continues Wednesday with several afternoon sessions including the Leadership Institute with Jerusha Neal, assistant professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School, and Reimagining Evangelism with Steven Porter, coordinator of CBF Global Missions. Attendees will worship Wednesday with a special service of music and testimonies from Cooperative Baptists from the Fellowship Southwest region.
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.