Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Relationships and New Opportunities

I am serving as a co-chairperson for the Baptist Border Crossing Task Force. The Task Force is providing leadership for the planning of a regional gathering of Baptists from across the Midwest. The event will be one of several regional events that are being planned as a follow-up to the New Baptist Covenant Celebration held in Atlanta last year. Our Task Force includes representatives from Kansas City area Baptist groups, including the National Baptist Convention USA, the National Baptist Convention of America, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, American Baptist Churches USA, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Baptist General Convention of Missouri, and the General Association of General Baptists. Dr. Wallace S. Hartsfield, II, Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City, is serving as the other co-chairperson for the Task Force.

The Baptist Border Crossing event will be April 2-4, 2009, at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, Missouri. Participants from all Baptist groups in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Arkansas, and Nebraska are invited to participate in this historic event. Plenary speakers for the event include Tony Campolo, David Coffey, David Goatley, Carolyn Ann Knight and President Jimmy Carter. Breakout sessions will be led by facilitators from the various Baptist groups and will deal with issues such as poverty, peacemaking, religious liberty, and diversity.

The 7th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri is scheduled prior to this special event on Thursday afternoon, April 2, 2009, at First Baptist Church in Lee’s Summit. This year’s Annual Meeting will be abbreviated to one session to allow all our messengers and guests to attend the Baptist Border Crossing event. Our president, Dr. Randall Bunch, will be speaking during our Annual Meeting on Thursday afternoon. I am very excited about the potential this process and the event have for laying the groundwork for a new level of relationship and collaboration among the Baptist family in the Midwest. I am delighted to have the opportunity build new friendships with my Baptist brothers and sisters. I would encourage you to check out our website ( and the event website ( for more information. Click here to view or download the Baptist Border Crossing flyer. I hope you will make plans to be a part of our Annual Meeting and this special Baptist gathering.

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