The Wright Word September – November 2023

Thomas Wright, Associational Missionary

Emphasizing Biblical Prayer, Evangelistic Ministries, Church Development, Church Planting, Partnership Missions

Going for Divine Encounters
John 4 describes how Jesus arranged to have a divine encounter with the Samaritan Woman. Jesus chose the three-day, and more dangerous, route from Jerusalem to Galilee. Tensions were so high with Samaritans that most travelers took the five or seven day routes. Jesus remained by Jacob’s well in the noon heat while the other disciples went for food.

We have to teach our people that sacrificing some comfort and convenience is essential to create divine encounters. Outreach events can be labor intensive. But they are worth the effort. Lost people are all around us. We need to compassionately and consistently go where they are located to present the uncompromised gospel.

“Making a Difference Mobile” Simultaneous Outreach Events in March 2024
Mobile Baptists have a unique opportunity to partner with the Alabama State Board of Missions (ALSBOM) in March 2024. The MBA will host the inauguration of local simultaneous outreach events called “Making a Difference Mobile.” Pastors soon will receive a letter explaining the process.

The intent is to help each church create an event to invite lost people, who normally would not come, in order to share with them about Jesus and your church.

  • The partnership will allow a limited number of small grants for churches to provide outreach events any weekend (or weekday) during March 2024. The events will lead to your harvest events on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024.
  • Visit org/makingadifference to find the application form, other information and resources to plan your event. We are still inventing the logistics.
  • The online application form will be password protected. Please contact the MBA for the password. A sad but essential precaution.
  • The form is due by October 5, 2023. David Gill, Jerrod Brown, Gerald Burch and I happily will help you complete the application and chat about evangelistic ministry options. We encourage regional events with multiple churches collaborating. Be creative with an outreach event you have always wanted to lead your people to use. Reach out to your community, local schools, first responders and ethnic groups. Include sports or professional-themed clinics, banquets, block parties, prayer walking and evangelistic ministry.
  • The outreach event leader will complete the form. Information needed includes: contact information, describe the type of event with date/time, list the other churches collaborating, request the training needed to prepare, other resources needed, a proposed budget including requested grant amount, any volunteer teams needed from across the state and describe the planned follow-up.
  • The intent is to provide matching grants, but we will evaluate each application as to need. Churches in good standing will receive priority approval.
  • The MBA Evangelistic Ministries/Missions committee and moderators will join ALSBOM missionaries to review the applications and award the grants by the end of October 2023. That timeline allows each church four months to prepare for their March event.

Churches of course can conduct any event at any time they choose. The application process is to coordinate limited resources available for Making a Difference Mobile.

Annual Missions Celebration October 1, 2023 at Moffett Road Baptist Church
Please put on your calendar the 2023 Annual Missions Celebration. Once a year we ask churches to come together for three hours on a Sunday afternoon to learn about local cooperative missions through a missions fair and missions presentations. Registration and missions fair begins at 3:30 p.m.

Please put it on the calendar now. Please consider who will be elected as messengers and who will attend as guests. The information is suitable for all MBA church members. Bring your children and youth for age appropriate missions studies.

Camp Whispering Pines (CWP) Forecast Improves Thanks to Relief Fund and Increased Attendance
CWP summer registrations nearly reached pre-pandemic levels. We are financially solvent with a part time director. Thank you to the churches and individuals that helped raise essential funding to keep CWP open. Please encourage the other 90 MBA churches who have not yet responded. The goal of $120,000 still is needed to bring in a new director and provide for ministry expenses.

We prefer our churches use the camp instead of having fund-raisers. We still do not have sufficient income to hire a new full time director.  

We still need volunteers and teams to do yard work, cleaning, maintenance and repair. Barry and Dino have a punch list of needs and opportunities for every skill level.

Future Focus Committee (FFC) August Update
We are under contract with a buyer. Please include in your prayer services for the Lord’s timing and intervention to overcome the political opposition to rezoning our property and for the location to combine our two current facilities.

  • Chaplains are visiting the ships every day. Evangelistic ministry continues and we need additional volunteer chaplains to be salt and light to seafarers.
  • We will sell the MBA office when a new location is completed using proceeds from the IMC. MBA Finance and Executive committees have approved a possible bridge loan from the MBA until the MBA office is sold.
  • Committee members continue to approach individuals, MBA and other congregations to help find an existing 8000 sf building. Options so far have not been viable due to location or refurbishing needed.
  • Please continue praying, looking and talking to find the person who will be the answer to the prayers for a new location.

Cuba Mission Teams through Shiloh Baptist Church
Shiloh Baptist, in conjunction with our local Cuban pastors, are considering ways to make an eternal impact in Cuba. Gerald Burch and I joined Dr. David Roach to teach and investigate the conditions surrounding Baptist work in Cuba. We are working with local leaders for ways MBA churches can assist Shiloh to provide scripture distribution, sports and children’s clinics, pastor/leader training in Spanish and light construction. Two small teams are scheduled for the near future. Please contact Dr. Roach for details,

Minister’s Conference
The Minister’s Conference leadership, Ricky White, Ron Prater and Vaughan Gardner continue to organize our time of fellowship, encouragement and discussion of biblical truth. Notice it is for all ministers, not just pastors. None of us can attend every Monday.

PLEASE do not allow the enemy to isolate us where we are susceptible to discouragement and error. If you are not receiving the weekly minister’s conference email please confirm your email address with Vaughan.

Disaster Relief
Carolyn Battle continues to give exceptional leadership to the MBA Disaster Relief evangelistic ministry. We are grateful we have not had to respond at time of writing. Please continue to monitor the MBA Facebook page and DR web page for updates during a disaster response.

Disaster Relief coordination and infrastructure show one of the benefits of cooperative missions. The DR Chainsaw, tarp and feeding units that responded to Mobile were paid for by individual Associations, state conventions and churches. Every SBC DR worker is a volunteer. They take time off work, leave families and responsibilities to help at their own expense.

The lessons from past hurricanes remind us to be prepared in Mobile. Be prepared for three days before emergency services are set up and for at least a week without electricity (Thousands were without power in Louisiana for weeks). It would be wise in your hurricane supplies to include a roll of synthetic roof underlayment (covers 1000 feet) and a box of plastic cap nails. It is cheaper and easier to use than tarp.

Churches Seeking Pastors and New Pastors
Churches seeking pastors: Cloverdale, Dauphin Way, Fellowship, Manor, Obedience, Riverside, Smithtown, and Turnerville.

Please welcome new pastors:  Pastor Robert Goler to Faith Baptist Church, Robert Andrews to Indian Springs and Billy Ray Robinson as interim pastor at Turnerville.

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