MBC leaders travel across Missouri, listening
By Bob Baysinger
April 27, 2004
|David Clippard, MBC executive director, briefs pastors, directors of missions and lay leaders attending the April 22 "listening session" at Tower Grove Baptist Church. Pathway photo by Bob Baysinger|
ST. LOUIS – Pledges to the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) Agency Restoration Fund are on the rise, according to David Clippard, MBC executive director.
Clippard shared the information with pastors and lay people attending the MBC “Listening Sessions” April 22 at Tower Grove Baptist Church , St. Louis , and First Baptist Church , Wentzville. The first session was held April 20 at Second Baptist Church , Springfield .
The listening sessions provide an opportunity for Missouri Baptists to share information and present questions to the MBC executive team, which includes Clippard and the convention’s four associate executive directors: Kenny Qualls, Roy Spannagel, Larry Thomas and David Waganer. The sessions will continue May 13 at Plaza Heights Baptist Church , Blues Springs (9:30 a.m.-noon) and at Gashland Baptist Church , Kansas City, (2-4 p.m.).
Clippard shared with about 25 people attending the Tower Grove session that one person have recently given him $4,000 for the restoration fund and one church had pledged $1,000 a month the next 12 months to be used in the legal effort to bring five breakaway agencies back into the MBC family.
Also attending the two St. Louis-area sessions were members of Fee Fee Baptist Church , which has voted to leave the Missouri Baptist Convention and affiliate with the Baptist General Convention of Missouri (BGCM), and an attorney representing the Missouri Baptist Foundation, one of the breakaway agencies.
Listening session participants were curious about the status of the MBC legal battle and also about Clippard’s vision for the Convention.
Concerning the legal situation, Clippard said the lower court judge’s decision to dismiss the case is being appealed to the Court of Appeals in Kansas City .
“The bottom line is that the judge has said that no one has a right to advance this cause, but we still have not gotten to the core of the issue,” Clippard said. “The fact is that the agencies did change their charters. Either we are right or they are right.”
In other matters, Benny King, director of missions for St. Louis churches, urged Clippard to promote partnerships which would allow smaller churches to team up in church planting projects.
“It is very critical in the metropolitan area,” King said. “It is very difficult for any one church to start a new work by itself, but if the Convention would promote partnerships statewide, every church could be a partner and Missouri Baptists could exceed the goal of planting 100 new churches yearly.”
Clippard shared with the St. Louis participants that he has a dream of adding a “spiritual awakening person” to his staff.
“We are in discussions with a man about taking this job,” Clippard said. “We need to get churches back on their knees praying — and working — for a spiritual awakening. This man would crisscross the state conducting conferences on prayer, teaching about revival history and doing revival-type preaching.”
Some expressed concern about the situation at the Windermere Baptist Conference Center – another of the breakaway agencies, stating that Windermere’s indebtedness might be too great for the MBC if and when the Convention regains control of the retreat center.
Clippard said the bank making the loan for the construction work at Windermere was aware of the legal questions when the loan was made. He predicted the Convention would do everything possible to prevent Windermere from falling into secular hands.
At Wentzville, Clippard was urged to lead the MBC to establish its own interim pastor program so that interim preachers would be available to fill pulpits in pastorless churches statewide.