I am so honored to be the new Executive Coordinator of CBF/GA. I am excited to walk beside you as we journey into our common future.
As we begin this new part of the journey of faith and ministry together, I (and all of CBF/GA) am indebted to Frank Broome, our retiring Executive Coordinator. Frank has ably and wonderfully served the churches of CBF/GA for the past 20 years. He has led us from our infancy through adolescence and now into early adulthood. His leadership and networking have been invaluable to us as we have staked a claim to what it means to be moderate Baptists in Georgia. I invite you to join me in wishing Frank and Susan a wonderful retirement. As we gather for our Spring General Assembly on April 6-7 at the First Baptist Church of Griffin, we will honor and celebrate Frank’s time and leadership among us. You’ll certainly want to be present for this great celebration.
In my first face-to-face interview with the Executive Coordinator Search Committee, I was asked to talk about my hopes and dreams for CBF/GA. In my conversation, I told the committee that our future depends on our embracing and truly living out our name: Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia.
We’re Cooperative in missions and ministry because we believe that our combined efforts of ministry and mission are the best way to live out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. Serving alongside brothers and sisters in Christ’s name is a way to bridge the many divides we’ve constructed amongst ourselves: theological, political, social, racial, and economic. While we may worship differently, have different theological stances on a great number of issues, and come from different parts of the state, one thing we can do together is serve God through serving and loving our neighbors.
We’re Baptist because we are freedom-loving followers of Christ who are committed to upholding traditional, historic Baptist principles such as the priesthood of all believers, local church autonomy and congregational church government, the authority of the Bible and the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the separation of church and state, and voluntary missional cooperation. These principles unify us across the state and across the theological spectrum.
We’re a Fellowship because in the New Testament, we read of the koinonia— the fellowship — of the early church, that tied believers together. CBF/GA tries its best to live up to this lofty ideal that, as partners in mission and ministry, we have more that unites us than divides. We believe that no matter where you come from, whether it’s the very heart of the Atlanta metropolis or from churches in deep South Georgia towns such as Cairo and Moultrie, there is a place for you at this table of mission and ministry. No matter if you are members of a church larger than some small towns or from a church where everybody knows everybody in each pew, there is a place for you, too. If your church worships very formally, following the Christian liturgical calendar complete with robed ministers, or if your church is more relaxed in formality and worship expression, we welcome you to join us.
Finally, we’re of Georgia because while in the larger Cooperative Baptist Fellowship ecosystem most states and regions of the country have their own Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, there is only one Georgia. We comprise such amazing congregations that are filled with such talented clergy and laity. Our uniqueness means that while we partner globally with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, we have a distinct and driving interest in churches and ministries that emerge out of or impact our state, our home.
That’s who we are: the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia, a group of Baptists that holds historic Baptist principles, who are committed to mission and ministry alongside any and all who would join us in living out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, especially in the state of Georgia. As we begin this new chapter in our shared history, we will continue to try our best to live up to our name. I pray you will join us for the journey; it won’t be the same without you.