A rose by any other name still smells as sweet,” quoted Randall Stoner, associational mission strategist (AMS) for Marshall Baptist Association, referencing the recent name change from director of missions to AMS.
Stoner served as president of the Alabama Baptist Conference of Directors of Missions through the recent Nov. 12 meeting at First Baptist Church, Trussville. The group met in conjunction with the Alabama Baptist State Convention annual meeting taking place the same week.
Featured speakers included Bob Terry, editor of The Alabama Baptist (TAB); Rob Jackson of University of Mobile (UM) and Kevin Blackwell of Samford University.
During the meeting members approved the nominating committee’s recommendation of electing Thomas Wright, AMS for Mobile Baptist Association, as president elect for 2019. Don Smith, AMS for Winston Baptist Association, transitioned from president-elect to president at the end of the meeting. Barry Cosper, AMS for Bessemer Baptist Association, will continue in his role as treasurer.
During the morning portion of the meeting, Terry expressed his gratitude for the unequaled partnership between TAB and Baptist associations across the state.
“No other state convention comes close to this kind of partnership,” he said. “The fact that other states do not have as strong a partnership as Alabama does is their loss.
“Alabama Baptists give more to their Baptist paper … and to the Cooperative Program than any other state,” he said. “Thank you for allowing me to be your ministry partner for the past 23 years. It has been a joy and I am in your debt.”
After lunch Jackson, executive director of the institute for global leadership at UM, and Blackwell, assistant to the president for church relations and executive director of the Ministry Training Institute at Samford, shared updates on their schools. Both also thanked the associational leaders for their continued prayers.
“I’m here to thank you for your partnership,” Jackson said. “You’re helping to resource churches in our state because our state and our nation need Christ. And you’re sending students our way.”
Jackson said Alabama Baptist schools are growing because people are praying.
“Thank you for your prayers. You’re making a difference in Alabama and you’re making a difference in Mobile. Please keep praying for us.”
Blackwell also asked for continued prayers. “It’s tough doing Christian education in the culture that we’re living in right now,” he said. “I really believe God is doing an amazing work and will continue to do it.”
The meeting ended with Bob Smith, minister to senior adults at First, Trussville, providing special music. Smith, who served as a traveling music evangelist prior to joining the church staff in March, sang a variety of songs. He shared contemporary Christian hits and hymns as well as a reimagined version of the 1957 “You’re Nobody ’Til Somebody Loves You” by Dean Martin, replacing the lyrics with the line “You’re somebody ‘cause God Almighty loves you.”
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