BMI Trustees Appoint 68 Missionaries, Announce New Affinity
By LESLIE PEACOCK CALDWELL, IMB
RICHMOND, Virginia – Trustees of the International Missionary Council approved the appointment of 68 new, fully-funded missionaries at their May 11-12 meeting in Richmond, Virginia. This is the first face-to-face meeting of directors since January 2020, when COVID-19 restrictions necessitated virtual meetings.
Missionaries whose appointments have been approved will be recognized at a sending celebration on June 14, 2021, held in conjunction with the sending conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Each missionary is critical to the IMB’s goal of sending an additional 500 missionaries by 2025. Given the missionaries who complete their service, approximately 400 new missionaries are needed each year to meet the target goal of growing the mission. total strength of the mission.
The plenary session included the recognition of 17 terminating trustees, the election of officers 2021-2022, and the remembrance of 101 serving and distinguished staff and missionaries who died in 2020.
In his remarks, IMB President Paul Chitwood announced that IMB will form a new global affinity, the Asian Pacific Rim Peoples Affinity, effective October 1, 2021. This new affinity will encompass work between peoples originating in countries along the Pacific Ocean. Rim, roughly from Mongolia to Indonesia and Myanmar to Japan. It will include the peoples that IMB has so far sought to engage in the affinity structures of East Asian Peoples Affinity and Asian Peoples Affinity. from the South East.
“The changes in the Asia-Pacific region require a new comprehensive strategy that positions us to advance the gospel among all unreached people and places,” said Chitwood.
The hour of remembrance
Todd Lafferty, executive vice president of IMB, led the trustees at a time when missionaries and staff who died in 2020 were remembered. The memorial tribute, normally held every February, has been postponed this year in order that administrators can observe in person. Of the 101 recognized, 10 were retirees, four were on active service, and 87 were retired or emeritus missionaries. The years of service of retired and emeritus missionaries totaled 2,524 for an average of 29 years of service.
Trustees adopted the following resolution of thanks in honor of missionary Jim Flora of Missouri: Jim Flora, missionary to the people of sub-Saharan Africa, 2008-2021, passed away on May 8, 2021, while in service . The International Mission Council, Southern Baptist Convention, here expresses its deep gratitude for faithful service to God through this council and promises special prayer support for the family in the days to come.
Reconstruction and growth
Chitwood thanked the directors for their continued investment in cooperative missions. He spoke about the construction and reconstruction of the IMB as part of these efforts, mentioning the Church connections initiative.
“The collaborative effort between mobilization and global engagement in Church Connections has been fabulous and is key, I believe, to our future as an organization,” said Chitwood.
“It is an effort to rebuild our critical ties with Southern Baptists and live out our mission statement that ‘CMI exists to serve Southern Baptists in carrying out the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations. . ‘ At the end of the year, each SBC church will be assigned a field missionary to strengthen relationships and better involve the church in managing the vision of Revelation 7: 9.
Tackle the Annual statistical report 2020 (ASR) directors reviewed at Wednesday’s meeting, Chitwood said he expected to see a drop in recorded missions in 2020, given restrictions resulting from the global pandemic.
“What we have witnessed in our work around the world in 2020 was not a fall, but a skyrocket. In addition to appointing 422 * new missionaries, we have seen God give an incredible harvest to those missionaries who are already working in the harvest fields.
the ASR reveals job growth across the world, compared to 2019 statistics, which was also a successful year to reach the lost. Significant increases have been reported in the number of those who have heard a testimony of the gospel, new believers, and new fellowships. Almost 55,000 more new believers were reported last year compared to the previous year. Chitwood added that 82.3% of all IMB engagements in 2020 were from unreached people and places of the world.
In his closing remarks, Chitwood mentioned his gratitude for Send relief in working to meet global needs resulting from the pandemic. He also shared positive financial news as revenues continue to exceed planned spending and budget requirements.
“Plus, we’re still on track to outperform Lottie Moon’s Christmas offer from last year.® total, which would represent another consecutive year of growth, ”he said. He added that while this news is encouraging, the need continues to revolve around three decades of inflation exceeding income growth.
Recognizing the work that remains to be done, Chitwood shared his belief that the vision of Revelation 7: 9 will come true. “And we are part of it. Thanks to God.”
The new officers elected for the service were: President – Chuck Pourciau, senior pastor of Broadmoor Baptist Church, Louisiana; Senior Vice President – Lisa Lovell, physiotherapist, Arkansas; second vice president – Nathaniel (Nate) Bishop, Jr., pastor of Forest Baptist Church, Kentucky; Recording Secretary – Carolina (Carol) Pfeiffer, lawyer, Texas.
Chitwood thanked the Trustees for completing their service with the CSI as a Trustee. Directors recognized for their service included: Bobbi Ashford, North Carolina; Susan Bryant, Kentucky; Ken Burnham, Alabama; Geronimo Disla, Texas; Allen Hill, Georgia; Ken McLemore, Virginia; Gibbie McMillan, Louisiana; David Miller, Tennessee; Nancy Patrick, Pennsylvania / South Jersey; William Payne, New York; Seth Polk, West Virginia; Kim Ponder, Texas; Sheila Satterthwaite, Illinois; Cindy Snead, Arizona; Matt Taylor, Missouri; Karen Villalpando, Michigan; and Cheryl Wright, Oklahoma.
Seth Polk, outgoing president and senior pastor of Cross Lanes Baptist Church, Cross Lanes, West Virginia, focused his talk on the blessings and challenges he encountered as an administrator of the IMB. He called on outgoing administrators to remain committed to the unity of the body of Christ and to be encouraged by the leadership of the CSI.
“God has blessed the CSI with extraordinary leadership and capacity within our personnel in the United States, the best mission force serving on the front lines around the world, cutting edge biblically anchored strategies and resources, and a unified and involved fiduciary body. Our hope is in a confident expectation of what God has promised in the strength of his fidelity.
Polk spoke of the constant change he has seen in eight years and also of the burden of loss he has achieved.
“As Dr. Chitwood regularly states, 154,937 people die without Christ every day in the world. This is unacceptable and our purpose as the redeemed is to make Jesus known, so the lost will be saved and the saved will be disciplined.
* Of the 422 missionaries approved for service in 2020, 388 are fully funded by IMB. Based on the missionaries who complete their service, approximately 400 new missionaries are needed each year to meet the goal of increasing the total membership of 500 missionaries by 2025.
Published memorials for retired and emeritus missionaries can be found here.
Leslie Peacock Caldwell is IMB Communications Editor.