Concord Missions Fair to be interactive
By Allen Palmeri
January 10, 2006
JEFFERSON CITY – Concord Baptist Church is hosting a Missions Fair Jan. 29 that will culminate with a message during the 6 p.m., worship service by one of its members, Norm Howell, Partnership Missions specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
Booths will be set up in the foyer beginning at 9 a.m. to communicate the various mission projects of the church. With local missions such as Concord Kids, The Salvation Army, and Open Arms Pregnancy Resource Center, state and national outreach through World Changers and international trips to countries such as Brazil and Romania, Concord is known for having a comprehensive emphasis. Booths that reflect that emphasis will be manned and interactive.
“The general goal of the Missions Committee at Concord is to promote and increase participation of our church in mission work,” said Larry Brizendine, a Concord deacon who chairs the Missions Committee. “Similar to the Acts 1:8 concept, we want our church members exposed to and involved in local, state, national and international mission work. Through this endeavor, our prayer would be that our church develops an even stronger heart for missions and an earnest desire to reach all people with the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
One of the more passionate missionaries within Concord is Larry Merry, a manager with AmerenUE who supervises a staff of 124 people. Merry has been on mission trips to the Quad Cities, Brazil, Iraq, Romania and Turkey since 2001. The administrative and organizational talents and skills that Merry brings to the table with his employer are coveted and appreciated by his pastor, Monte Shinkle, in the context of Concord’s many and varied mission trips.
“I went with him to Romania, and it was probably the most enjoyable mission trip I’ve been on because I didn’t have to worry about any of the details,” Shinkle said. “Larry had them all worked out.”
Merry said he “really got hooked on missions” in 2003 when Concord sent a team to Brazil. He returned to the South American country the following year with his wife, Nelda.
“We did boat ministry work on the Amazon River,” he said. “We went way up into the middle of the jungle and worked in five small villages there. We spent five days doing evangelism work. It was very rewarding.”
Last year he experienced something similar in Turkey.
“It’s not illegal to go in and share the Gospel, but it’s very unpopular with the local Muslim leaders,” Merry said. “The people were open. They were very, very friendly. I was amazed at how receptive the people were to Americans and to sharing the Gospel. We would hand out New Testament Gospels to people, and there might be some visitors standing around watching us, and when we would turn to walk away they would come up to us and say, ‘I’d like to have a copy of the Gospel for myself.’ So it was extremely rewarding.”
Merry offered some direct commentary on the heart of Concord missions.
“Jesus said, ‘Go and tell,’ and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.