The Wright Word June – August 2024

The Wright Word, June to August 2024

Thomas Wright, Associational Missionary

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

The Impact of the Resurrection
Luke 24:6 records the astonishing words at the empty tomb of Jesus. “He is not here, but is risen” (AMP). The early church endured and thrived through their unwavering commitment to the risen Savior. They witnessed remarkable conversions among every class of citizens. We too can endure, thrive and see remarkable conversions by abiding in the resurrection power of the Creator God of the Universe. We have already won!

“Making a Difference Mobile” Report
Over 35 churches were involved in 48 events with 17 reported decisions, 1,285 gospel presentations, reported attendance of 3,200 people, involving 1,081 volunteers. Participating churches received grants through our partnership with ALSBOM and the Myers Mallory Offering for State Missions. There is an informative article in the April 4 The Alabama Baptist too. The free online resources are still available. Please visit alsbom.org/makingadifference to find the free demographic study, prayer guide, evangelism tools, community survey and sermon outlines from Dr. Lance. These resources can help your church even if you did not complete a grant application. Look at the event list for great outreach ideas that you can do.

DOM Search Committee Update
Dr. Mack Morris and the MBA Personnel Committee, along with moderators Vaughan Gardner, Kevin Cobb and Chris Farmer have begun the search process for the next Executive Director of Missions. The nine-person committee (plus three moderators) is composed of men, women, pastors and laypersons from large and small churches. Members include a former HR director, an attorney and a CPA. It is a balanced committee with experience to allow the Lord to lead them to a Spirit-called DOM.

My retirement is scheduled for December 31, 2024. The Committee continues to expand MBA involvement with subcommittees, a survey and interviews. I am not directly involved in that process and have complete confidence in their work. They are consistent with the process used to call the new SBC Executive Committee President.

Please be praying for the next DOM, his family along with committee members Mack Morris, Peppi Garrett, Michael Harbin, Rosie Horton, Don Setser, J.T. Wright, Tomi Burt, Timothy Jensen and Jeremy Smalley

My Concluding Missions Celebration is October 6, 2024 at First Baptist Tillman’s Corner
Please place October 6, 2024 on your calendar to bring your people to the 2024 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 will probably begin at 3:30 p.m.

Scott Dawson and Palau City Fest in Mobile Spring 2025
Begin praying the Spirit moves, many lost people are saved and believers revived. The MBA Evangelistic Ministries Committee recommends our churches participate in the Spring 2025 Mobile City Fest Evangelistic Event. The organization will be raising funds for the multi-day, multi-venue events. All funds raised locally will be used locally. Visit their web page to register indicating you will lead your church to be involved.  cityfestmovements.org

CWP Pool Nears Completion. Forecast Continues to Improve
Please thank pastor Terry Glasscock and Wilmer Baptist Church for taking the lead to raise funds and install a pool at CWP. It should be complete by the time you read this article. Visit the MBA and CWP Facebook pages for pictures. The pool should add guests and income that hopefully will bring the camp to financial self-sufficiency with a full-time director.

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 after devastating financial losses during Covid.

Please encourage the other 90 MBA churches who have not yet responded. We still need income of about $30,000 a year more to hire a full-time director and provide for ministry expenses.

We prefer our churches use the camp instead of having fund-raisers. 

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) May Update
The International Ministries Center sold and closed November 21, 2023. The community opposition appeal was dismissed on March 22, 2024. We now can proceed with the new combined facility.

  • We will sell the MBA office when a new location is completed using proceeds from the IMC. MBA Finance and Executive Committees approved a possible bridge loan from the MBA until the MBA office is sold.
  • Committee members continue to approach individuals, as well as MBA and other congregations to help find an existing 8,000-10,000 sf building or developed property to build our building.
  • Please continue praying, looking and talking to find the person who will be the answer to the prayers for a new location. We would prefer to be along the I-65 and I-10 corridor to allow easy access from across the county and to the ports.
  • Chaplains continue to visit ships every day. Evangelistic ministry continues and we need additional volunteer chaplains to be salt and light to seafarers.

Gerald Burch Retiring and Bobby Morton Returns as Interim Director
We are grateful for the faithful ministry of Gerald and Brenda Burch. Seafarers, language churches, pastors and churches have been blessed by his leadership. We also are grateful that Dr. Bobby Morton has agreed to serve as the part-time interim director.

Why Do We Have an Association of Churches?
There are many MBA church members, and even some pastors, that do not understand why we have an association. Obviously, if they don’t know why we exist, and what we do, they question why their church should support us. However, it is not appropriate to dismiss the relevance and effectiveness of the association without at least trying to be informed and involved.

Please help us to communicate with church leaders and members about cooperative local missions through an association. Encourage them to attend Executive Committee Meetings, or at least read the reports. Please include news and information in your Newsletters and Church Bulletins. Please encourage your people to “Like” us on Facebook and sign up for the News Alerts and online Newsletters on the web page.

I am confident that people who take the time to investigate will be amazed and supportive of the careful stewardship, relevant training and effective ministries provided by the MBA.

Protecting Church Financial Procedures
John 12:6 informs us that Judas, yes THAT Judas was the treasurer for Jesus’ Disciples. It says, “he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he helped himself to what was put into it.”

Recent figures indicate that 15% of churches have been impacted by a trusted leader who embezzles money from the church. These are just the ones who were caught. Wise stewardship requires each church to establish financial guidelines to protect against the growing number of offering collectors, counters, church staff and treasurers who are stealing money from the church. Here are some ways to protect your staff and members from the temptation to take ministry money for personal use.

  1. Insist on a yearly independent audit or review of the church financial records in your congregation.
  2. Insist on accountability processes so that no single staff member or individual (or members of the same family) are ever solely responsible for collecting, counting, depositing and spending church funds.
  3. Insist on specific documentation for all staff reimbursements, expense accounts and purchases.
  4. Insist on at least two counters who are not related and deposit cash immediately.
  5. Insist on monthly or quarterly public financial reports that specifically document ALL income and ALL expenditures.

New Pastors and Churches Seeking Pastors
Welcome Dr. Lee Merck to Dauphin Way. Welcome Donald Turner, Jr. to Manor.
Churches seeking a pastor: Fellowship, Obedience, Riverside, Smithtown, and Turnerville.

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