Jackson reflects on ‘fun’ year as MBC president
By Allen Palmeri
October 18, 2005
SIKESTON– Recent presidents of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) have been warriors of the conservative resurgence who typically have been asked to shoulder, at various points in time, the often burdensome weight of the MBC’s legal quest to recover five breakaway agencies.
The current MBC president, Mitchell Jackson, has managed to make it through his time on the wall with a ready smile. Jackson will admit he has pretty much been a happy camper as he goes about his business.
“It’s really not been a huge burden,” said Jackson, who is pastor of Miner Baptist Church in Sikeston. “It’s been fun. When it’s over, will I relax a little bit? Yes, no doubt about that. It’s been a time-consumer, but it’s also been a blessing.”
Jackson has been faithful, but he has not been blessed to see the return of Windermere Baptist Conference Center, the Missouri Baptist Foundation, the Baptist Home, Missouri Baptist College and Word & Way to the MBC fold during his presidency. He predicted that the next MBC president will be the one to have that joy.
“If he serves two years, he will,” Jackson said. “I think there’s a good chance, even in the first year, he might see the end of the legal fight. When that’s over, God’s going to do some awesome things. Not to say that He wasn’t anyway. That’s another thing I’ve been amazed at. In the midst of this legal fight, when you would think that everybody’s energies were being spent on that, it’s not happening.
“We’re starting new churches. We’re seeing people saved and baptized. We’ve got partnership missions going. The Missouri Baptist Convention is doing more, right now, right in the middle of this legal fight, than they ever did before there was a legal fight. And when the legal fight’s over, I just can’t imagine what God’s got in store for us.”
Jackson’s presidency was marked by several MBC legal victories that have put many Missouri Southern Baptists in a good mood.
“We’ve seen movement in the right direction during the year, especially lately,” he said. “I think we’re starting to gain more and more momentum. We’re seeing God open some doors for us.”
Jackson said there is no great secret to his happiness as president. It all can be traced to how he treats people.
“I’ve just found if you really love folks, they’ll put up with your mistakes,” he said. “That’s what I do in my own church. The folks here know I love them. There’s no doubt in their mind. It’s not something I’ve trumped up. It’s real. It’s from the heart. It’s a gift of God.
“If you love folks, you treat them differently than you do otherwise. God’s given me a love for the convention and a love for the Executive Board members that I work with, and He’s given me a great love for our tremendous staff. I can’t tell you how impressed I’ve been this year being in close contact with everybody from (MBC Executive Director) David Clippard to all the administrative assistants. God has given us the best of the best.”
His staff at Miner Baptist Church has enabled him to serve the MBC well, he said. Jackson credited Associate Pastor/ Administrator Jim Barnhart, Associate Pastor of Youth Jason Grubbs, Associate Pastor of Children’s Ministry Chad Bles, Director of Music Ministry Darryl Griggs and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Alsup for all that they do.
“I just don’t have to worry about things at home,” Jackson said. “They take care of it for me.”