November 12, 2013
Recently, Greater Rhode Island Baptist Temple completed its annual missionary conference. At the conclusion of the conference, we exceeded our financial goals by nearly $10,000 and were able to add nine new missionaries to our family. We are thankful for the sensitivity of God’s people to the moving of God’s Spirit. Though by nature I am not a fundraiser, I always find it easy to speak passionately about faith promise giving. I am appreciative that our church has caught the heart for world evangelism and is committed to putting its money where its mouth is.
One of the many joys of this conference was the addition of Bob and Becky Ingram, as well as Seth and Melissa Acree. Both couples adopted Grace Baptist in Columbus, Georgia as their sending church while I was privileged to pastor there. God is using the Ingrams to see over a thousand soldiers a year receive Christ at Fort Benning, Georgia, while the Acrees should be in Ghana, West Africa by this time next year. Amen!
In addition, we added the Putneys on deputation to Colombia and the Freemans on deputation to Australia. Carlos and Alycia Alaan have been called to a church rescue operation in Middletown, Rhode Island. We enthusiastically added them because we feel so desperately about the need for church planting in New England, especially in Rhode Island.
Dr. Dave Pittman, who keynoted our annual conference, delivered timely messages. We were able to add his son, Jeremy Pittman, to our budget as well. Jeremy is one of this world’s finest missionaries. He is serving in Uganda.
At the time of our division over Calvinism six years ago, our missionary budget had to be cut in half and several missionary representatives had their support terminated. We returned to our original support figures last year, and this year were able to resume some missionary reps, such as Jim Butler with BIMI who is instrumental in saving our missionaries thousands of dollars a year in health insurance. We were also able to add Jeremy Lockhart, who first presented his work to Brazil six years ago right before the split. Amen!
Finally, we added Stephen Knickerbocker who is on deputation to Burkina Faso. What a privilege to be involved in world evangelism. I am thankful that GRIBT allows me to do a couple of missionary conferences a year, and we were able to see good results at Victory Baptist in Charleston, SC where my dear friend and former associate Greg Powell pastors, as well as Maranatha Baptist in Somerset, KY where Kevin Hearn ministers.
As the year winds down at GRIBT, we are on target to see all 11,574 houses of Johnston visited this year. This averages to 223 houses per week. I am so thankful to be part of a church has global vision coupled with local action. We are trusting that four recent new converts will follow the Lord in b baptism this week.
Our final community outreach of the year, A Greater Christmas, is scheduled for December 6-8. Teen evangelist Adrian Burden and children’s evangelist Ed Dunlop will assist with the weekend. We are trusting God for over 1000. Please pray with us.
The final touches on the goals for 2014 are in the process of being finalized. A significant meeting impacting these goals will take place tomorrow night after church. Pray that the Lord give wisdom as we seek to launch a major evangelistic outreach to reach families in the Johnston, Smithfield, and Scituate areas.
Missions is moving forward! Local evangelism is moving forward! GRIBT is moving forward! And we are thankful for the team, especially the volunteers of our church, who have caught the vision and are willing to implement it! To God be the glory!