Enjoy the Highlights of the 2016 BMA National Meeting!

BMA Productions will broadcast portions of the 2016 Baptist Missionary Association of America National Meeting from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, live via online video April 25-27. Viewers may access content by navigating to bmalife.com/tv during the following times:


Monday, April 25, 7 p.m. – First General Session (President’s Message)

Tuesday, April 26, 7 p.m. – Third General Session (Annual Message)

Wednesday, April 27, 7 p.m. – Sixth General Session (Missions Commissioning & Johnny Hunt)

BMA Directors Reports On-line

In preparation for the 2016 BMA National Meeting, the executive directors of each national department and agency have recorded a detailed video report of their yearly activities. In addition to the annual reports given to the messengers at the National Meeting in Gatlinburg, these video reports are an attempt to give everyone an opportunity to know as much as possible about the ministry of each department. Each director encourages all messengers and church members to watch their reports and to contact them with any questions, concerns or comments.

Director reports can be found at the following websites:

Dr. John David Smith, BMA Missions – bmamissions.org

Dr. Steve Crawley, Lifeword Media Ministries – lifeword.org

Dr. Charlie Holmes, BMA Theological Seminary – bmats.edu/about-us/annual-report/

Dr. Scott Attebery, DiscipleGuide – discipleguide.org

Dr. John Adams, BMA Moral Action- vimeo.com/158914970

Charles Attebery, BMA Foundation – bmaamerica.org/bmafoundation

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BMA America Recognized by Best Christian Workplace Institute

BCI_Certified_2016_ClearBest Christian Workplace Institute (BCWI) has recognized the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) of America Global Ministry Center (GMC) as a Certified Best Christian Workplace for 2016. Four BMA departments and agencies are housed at the GMC in Conway, Arkansas: BMA Foundation, BMA Missions, DiscipleGuide and Lifeword. The Certified status reflects a “healthy-to-flourishing” culture, meeting predetermined standards of excellence through a formal employee engagement survey.

The detailed, fifty-question survey model measures eight essential factors of a thriving, healthy culture including Life-Giving Work, Outstanding Talent, Uplifting Growth and Development, Rewarding Compensation, Inspirational Leadership, Fantastic Teams, Sustainable Strategy, and Healthy Communication. “Attaining BCWI Certification is not easy,” said BCWI President Al Lopus. “About half of the organizations we survey achieve Certification, and many organizations survey multiple years before receiving this distinction.”

The leadership team at the GMC uses the results of the annual survey to gain valuable input from employees to aid in their quest to model servant leadership and to strive for continuous improvement in the organizational culture. To see the institute’s complete list, use this link: http://www.bcwinstitute.org/bcwlists.html.

Elective Breakout Sessions for 2016 BMAA National Meeting Announced

Six breakout sessions have been announced for the 2016 BMAA National Meeting in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The elective breakouts are provided as opportunities for practical ministry training and resourcing. The following slate of topics and speakers will address a wide array of relevant issues facing pastors and churches today:


The Importance of Women in Ministry-Jerene Reddin

Women have a valuable place in kingdom work. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, and from the early church through today, God has used faithful ladies to spread the gospel and make disciples of all nations.

Join Jerene Reddin for a celebration of ministry from a female perspective. As an active ministry leader, Jerene has a unique perspective that will be an inspiration and encouragement. She and her husband, George Reddin, serve faithfully at Denver Street Baptist Church in Greenwood, Arkansas.


How to Resolve Conflict within the Church-Dr. Mike Smith

Conflict can wreak havoc on a congregation, but God has not left us to work out our problems alone. Instead, he has given us clear strategies for peacekeeping in his Word and promised the presence of his Spirit to work through our conflicts.

Dr. Mike Smith is President of Jacksonville College in Jacksonville, Texas. His book, Conflict: Causes and Cures, draws on wisdom from working with over 3,000 conflict cases throughout his ministry.


How to Protect Your Church from a Lawsuit-Kurt Hetherington

Today, more than ever, churches are under attack. The demand for homosexual weddings, claims of unlawful discrimination and accusations of hate-speech are only the beginning. Is your church prepared to defend itself?

Kurt Hetherington is the president of James Greene and Associates in Sherwood, Arkansas. The agency is one of America’s largest insurers of churches and related ministries. Kurt has over twenty years of insurance and risk management experience. He is also a CRM (Certified Risk Manager) and has held this designation for almost ten years. His specialized training and experience with church insurance and lawsuits provide him with insight to help pastors protect their congregations.


Small Churches Can Make a Big Difference, Paul Bearfield

Who said that only big churches can make an impact? The fact of the matter is that the majority of churches in America are small. The bulk of ministry in America happens in congregations of less than seventy people.

Paul Bearfield is the pastor of Worden Baptist Church in Bald Knob, Arkansas. This small congregation is reaching a multi-ethnic, multi-generational farming community through outreach and discipleship. Paul’s experience in both large and small churches gives him a unique perspective on the advantages small churches have in reaching communities for Christ.


How to Deliver Transformational Teaching-Mark Livingston

It is possible to share information without seeing transformation. What is it that sets apart powerful teaching and preaching from a mere lecture? Whether you are a first-time Sunday school teacher or a seasoned pastor, this session will provide practical tips you can put into action this Sunday.

Dr. Mark Livingston is the pastor of Keltys First Baptist Church in Lufkin, Texas. His background in radio broadcasting, coupled with doctoral studies in preaching, has helped Mark hone his communication skills. In addition to pastoring, Mark also teaches at BMA Seminary in Jacksonville, Texas, and serves as managing editor of Compass Adult Bible Studies.


How to Recruit and Keep Volunteers, Bryan Atwood

Do you find yourself scrambling each week to fill teaching positions? Is it hard to keep nursery workers? Do you have to replace greeters more often than you’d like?

Every church runs on volunteers. No matter how big the congregation’s budget or attendance, the majority of workers within any given church are volunteers.

Bryan Atwood, pastor of Campground Baptist Church in Gulfport, Mississippi, possesses years of experience organizing volunteers for both a church and a campground. In this breakout, he will share helpful ideas for identifying, training, and keeping volunteers in your church.


For more information on the 2016 BMAA national meeting, including schedules, maps, and lodging, go to bmaamerica.org/nationalmeeting.

Johnny Hunt to be Featured at BMAA National Meeting

JohnnyHunt-Hi-Res-06-01-09Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Georgia, will be the featured keynote speaker at this year’s BMAA National Meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27. According to BMAA president Jason Aultman, “His love for and knowledge of church revitalization will deliver a timely message for our churches. Hunt’s message will be an excellent complement to our missionary commissioning that evening.”

In his twenty-nine years as pastor of First Baptist Church, Hunt says his focus has been on “others.” While the church has experienced significant growth under his leadership, it is growth of the person, not the platform that continues to energize a ministry that sees its best days ahead.

Foremost among the “others” he lives for are his wife of forty-five years Janet Allen Hunt, his two daughters Deanna Carswell and Hollie Hixson, and his four grandchildren Katie, Carson, Hope and Addie.

Before coming to Woodstock, Pastor Johnny served at three churches in North Carolina: Lavonia Baptist Church in Mooresboro, Falls Baptist Church in Wake Forest, and his home church, Longleaf Baptist Church in Wilmington.

Pastor Johnny’s educational credits include a B.A. in Religion from Gardner-Webb College where he was voted Ministerial Student of the Year in 1979. He continued on to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned a Masters of Divinity in 1981. Southeastern honored Pastor Johnny in 1997 by naming him Chair of Biblical Preaching in 1997. He has also received several honorary doctorates over the years for his work in ministry.

For more information on the BMAA national meeting, go to bmaamerica.org/nationalmeeting.

Larnelle Harris to Perform at BMA America National Meeting in Gatlinburg

harris-larnelle-headshotjpg-cf6c7b2e34b77095Legendary vocalist Larnelle Harris will perform at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, at the BMAA (Baptist Missionary Association America) National meeting in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. BMAA president Jason Aultman explains, “I believe our people will be blessed and encouraged by Larnelle’s powerful voice and inspirational ministry.”

The only person in history to be a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Amateur Radio Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, Larnelle Harris is admired by fans and peers alike for his majestic tenor voice. Larnelle has become the epitome of talent and integrity in a career that spans over three decades and includes numerous accolades for his music including five Grammy Awards, eleven Dove Awards (three of which were for Male Vocalist of the Year), and a Stellar Award among other honors. He has garnered nineteen #1 radio singles and countless top ten hits. Songs such as “How Excellent Is Thy Name,” “I Miss My Time with You,” “I’ve Just Seen Jesus,” plus many others including his signature song, “Amen” are now considered modern classics.

From the White House to the danger zone of the Thirty-eighth Parallel, Larnelle has impacted audiences across the globe with his music and ministry.  He was the first Christian artist to perform inside the Kremlin after the fall of the Soviet Union.  He is one of a handful of celebrities to receive the Ad Council’s Silver Bell Award for Distinguished Public Service in recognition of his song “Mighty Spirit” as the theme song for the longest-running Public Service Announcement in television history. Larnelle was recently honored by his home state of Kentucky with the Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts, making him the first Christian artist to receive the honor.

Larnelle continues to tour worldwide, with recent dates at Carnegie Hall and in Paris, France. He performed for the National Day of Prayer event in Washington D.C. in May of 2015 and will sing for the United Nations Ambassadors later in the fall. In addition to his numerous solo dates, Larnelle also travels with various multi-artist tours including this fall’s Compassion International Savior Tour, the Gaither Homecoming tour, the God of All Glory tour, and the Sandi Patty & Friends tour, the latter of which CCM Magazine reviewed and described Harris as having a “larger-than-life stage presence with impeccable vocal prowess.”  

The BMAA national meeting begins Monday, April 25, and will conclude on Wednesday, April 27. For more information, including a list of official hotels, visit bmaamerica.org/nationalmeeting.


2015-16 BMAA Directory and Handbook

CoverEach church that sent an offering to Information Services should have received a reserved copy of the 2015-2016 BMAA Directory and Handbook.

The Directory and Handbook is the reference book for all facets of the BMAA including:

  • BMAA Doctrine and Principles of Cooperation
  • Associational annual meetings, officers and their contact information – national, state, and local
  • Boards of trustees with contact information
  • Listings of missionaries – North American, international, state, Hispanic and chaplains
  • A detailed overview of each BMAA department, agency, committee and school
  • Annual Church Letter and other forms included in the back
  • Directory of churches
  • Directory of church staff
  • Directory of preachers, including contact information.


As the 2015 annual association meetings are beginning, it’s time to start gathering data for next year’s Directory and Handbook. Information Services will be mailing the 2015-2016 Annual Church Letter form to church clerks to complete and return to this office to update church listings in next year’s BMAA directory. These forms will be sent in time to submit a copy to your association clerk for the associations that choose to use it. Between August 15 and February 15, 2015, the online Annual Church Letter form is also available at www.BMALife.com/churchletter, to complete and submit to Information Services.

Local, district, and state association clerks will receive a Newly Elected Officers form before their association’s 2015 annual meeting. This form should be completed and returned to Information Services as soon as possible after their annual meeting. The officers and next annual meeting information are an essential part of the BMAA directory.

A limited number of the 2015-16 BMAA Directory and Handbook are available for a minimum donation of $25 each. If your church has not reserved a copy or needs extras, call DiscipleGuide with your request at (800) 333-1442. Donations help support this ministry of BMA America.

Offerings to Information Services for the Directory and Handbook ONLY should be sent to PO Box 6146, Texarkana, TX 75505-6146. All payments for invoices and other offerings to DiscipleGuide Church Resources should be mailed to PO Box 1749, Conway, AR 72033-1749.

BMA Town Hall Meetings

Shrimp, chicken and fish from the Flying Burger, fellowship with our South Arkansas friends, idea-sharing and relationship-building…all of these things were enjoyed at the ABS House in Magnolia during the South Arkansas Town Hall meeting on June 11th. Thanks so much to Chad Stephenson for hosting in the new building on the campus of SAU.

South Mississippi pastors (along with wives and staff members), you’re up next as BMA department and agency directors travel to First Baptist Church in Bay Springs, Mississippi, on Thursday August 27th for a luncheon and meeting. Our host will be Bro. James Sprayberry. Make plans to attend as we look forward to continuing that same spirit of fellowship.

Applications Being Accepted for State Missions Director

The Trustees of the BMA of Texas Missions are seeking and receiving applications for the position of Director of Missions.  

Resumes are to include, but are not limited to: personal information, educational/spiritual/pastoral/missions experience, prior work history, administrative/financial experience, computer/web/social media/video skills, references, and a description of God’s call on your life. 

A description of the responsibilities of the Director of Missions is posted on the BMA of Texas website.  Resumes should be sent to Bro. Robbie Caldwell by August 31, 2015 to be considered.

Robbie Caldwell
New Harmony Baptist Church
10251 FM 724
Tyler, TX 75704


BMA Announces Town Hall Meetings for 2015

BMA department and agency directors will be hosting the third annual Town Hall meetings in three locations in June, August and December of this year. Pastors, staff members and their spouses are invited to attend their area event, which will begin with a noon luncheon followed by a 1:00 meeting.

Dates and locations for each Town Hall meeting are as follows:

–  Southwest Arkansas: Thursday, June 11 at the ABS House (2223 North Washington) in Magnolia, Arkansas – Host Chad Stephenson

–  South Mississippi: Thursday, August 27 at First Baptist Church in Bay Springs, Mississippi – Host James Sprayberry

–  East Texas: Thursday, December 3 at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Texas – Host Vernon Lee

Donny Parrish, Chief Creative Officer of the BMA, said, “The goals for these meetings are for your BMA national directors to listen to the concerns and suggestions of BMA Pastors and to allow for a time of prayer and fellowship.”

Pastors in area associations will be contacted by phone and/or email in the weeks prior to each meeting to invite church staff members and their spouses and to get an exact head count for the catered meal. However, accurate contact information may not be available, so if you have not received an invitation or if you need additional information, please contact Holly Meriweather at the BMA Global Ministry Center at 501-205-1127.