Baptist Nursing Fellowship celebrates 35 years, elects former missionary as executive director

Launching a new era of leadership while celebrating 35 years of ministry, Baptist Nursing Fellowship (BNF) elected Lori Spikes as the organization’s new executive director during its annual meeting Sept. 7–9 at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center.

Spikes, a longtime Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB) missionary to Chile, is a registered nurse with 40 years of experience in various settings. She currently serves as a volunteer triage nurse at Mission First, a primary care clinic for low-income, uninsured individuals and families in Jackson, Mississippi.

BNF, a ministry partner with National Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), was established in 1983. It provides continuing education, missions opportunities and fellowship for Baptist nurses serving in the U.S. and on missions fields around the world. This year’s annual meeting, which highlighted the theme, “Glorifying God with Mind and Voice,” involved more than 50 participants from 16 states.

Announcing Spikes’ nomination as executive director, BNF President Kaye Miller told the group, “After much prayer individually and collectively, the Lord led the executive committee to a unanimous vote on the candidate.” Noting that the committee compiled a needs list, a want list and a dream list for determining the new leader, Miller added, “On that dream list, there was one item and it was ‘missionary.’ It’s my great privilege to introduce to you today the woman that the Lord has put on the committee’s heart.”

Spikes, who holds a bachelor of science in nursing degree from Samford University, served as an IMB journeyman nurse in Honduras from 1980 to 1982. She and her husband, Dr. Jim Spikes, served in Chile for 20 years where her work included serving as a parish nursing volunteer, coordinator of volunteer medical teams and administrative assistant. They also served with the American Peoples Diaspora in Europe and Canada for five years before returning to the states in 2015. She most recently served as chair of BNF’s resource development committee.

‘In wonderful … hands’

Describing Spikes’ skill set as “team leadership, budgeting and finance, strong verbal communications and experienced in global strategy,” Miller said, “She’s bilingual in Spanish and English and boy can she plan an event. Isn’t it amazing when God provides? I think BNF is in wonderful, wonderful hands.”

Spikes said her new leadership role “is a way I can continue my missionary desire and experience to reach out to those in need and to encourage and help this group go forward.”

Spikes said her goals for BNF include organizing and hosting annual international and stateside medical missions trips, making more nurses and health care professionals aware of BNF and reaching out to more nursing students.
As BNF celebrated 35 years of ministry, the three-day meeting included a BNF birthday party as well as worship and Bible study sessions, missionary field reports, continuing education sessions and hands-on missions projects such as writing notes of encouragement to student nurses, prayer walking and assembling activity books for chemotherapy patients.

Wanda Lee, former president and retired executive director of National WMU, led Bible studies highlighting the meeting theme of glorifying God.

“Your life is a reflection of your thoughts,” Lee reminded her fellow nurses. “What consumes your mind controls your life.”

Affirming that “our minds are wonderful gifts from God,” she added, “They can be used for much good. … We’re commanded to love God with all of our selves, including our minds. You make up your mind about what you believe and then you have to allow it to impact your life.”

Citing Philippians 4:7–8, she said, “The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds when we fill them with the things of Christ.”

Dr. Ellen Tabor, the founding president of BNF, was among participants who gathered to mark the organization’s 35-year ministry milestone. She and her husband, Dr. Charles Tabor, served for 20 years as Southern Baptist missionaries to Korea and Macau.

‘To advance His work’

Dr. Tabor noted that her dream for BNF has always been to invite nurses to use their nursing skills “to advance His work whether in America or on the missions field” by helping people live healthier lives physically and spiritually. (WMU)