Montgomery church sees God’s hand in Asian church partnerships

By Grace Thornton

The Alabama Baptist

A couple of years ago Heritage Baptist Church, Montgomery, decided to make good on its desire to reach the nations in a big way. It sent two of its own, youth pastor Adam Bishop and his wife, Erin, to New York City to start a church plant among Asians.

But the people of Heritage Baptist had no idea that was just the beginning of what God had in mind, said Teman Knight, pastor of Heritage. Recently the church opened its doors and its facilities to a sister congregation right there in Montgomery — All Nations Baptist Church, a Korean congregation led by Pastor John Yi.

“Seeing what God is doing in New York gave us a visional view of trying to reach people in the River Region and at the same time all over the world,” Knight said. “We’ve celebrated this, trying to make our Acts 1:8 missions statement come true.”

Heritage first got involved in the New York church plant by taking missions trips to work with Urban Nations, a parachurch group located there.

“There really wasn’t a church plant for that particular segment of the Asian population and the vision kind of grew out of that,” Knight said. The church committed to take about three trips a year to help out, and they sent the Bishops — and the church was born.

For some time, about 60–70 people attended a Tuesday night Bible study. The church had its first Sunday morning worship service April 2 and held some of its first baptisms that day, Knight said.

“It’s been two big months for us as a church, with our church plant in New York … and our … partnering with Asians here too,” he said.

A lot of excitement has surrounded the idea of reaching an ethnic background in Montgomery similar to the one in New York City, he said. “We’re excited about this opportunity and what (God’s) doing.”

Yi, who also serves as the catalytic missionary for Asian church plants for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, said he praises God for the blessing of the partnership with Heritage.

“Our numbers are not many — we have around 30,” he said, noting that they had been meeting at a much smaller facility. But Yi said he is hoping the partnership and the new place to meet will bring more people through the doors of the church.

All Nations meets at 3 p.m. at Heritage and already several new Korean families have come.

“We had been praying for a new place to meet and it is an answer to prayer to partner with such a missions-minded church,” Yi said. “It’s better than a blessing — it’s a divine appointment.”

For more information about Heritage Baptist, visit www.hbcm.net.

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