MBC explores partnership with The Bahamas
January 24, 2006
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) is exploring the possibility of entering into a formal partnership with Baptists in The Bahamas.
Last summer, Bahamian pastors sent a letter to the MBC requesting help. As a result of that letter and subsequent contact, MBC Executive Director David Clippard and MBC Partnership Missions Director Norm Howell traveled to the islands off the coast of Florida earlier this month to meet with Bahamian pastors. Several needs were identified, including youth ministry work, evangelism training and leadership development designed to get men active in church.
Plans are being formulated for MBC President Ralph Sawyer, a couple of MBC staffers, and perhaps some high-ranking college and seminary officials to go to The Bahamas on an official exploratory trip in March. The goal would be to compile information before the MBC Executive Board meeting April 10-11 so that board members can determine the feasibility of entering into a partnership.
The dominant church in The Bahamas is Anglican (Church of England, or in America, the Episcopal Church), but approximately 35 percent of the Christian population is Baptist, Clippard said. Baptist churches permeate the nine main islands. There are three associations, Clippard said, but not much in the way of cooperation between those groups.
Needs range from Sunday School and stewardship training to administration, family ministry and missions, Clippard said. Clippard reported that at two Sunday worship services in which he was a part of, a total of 16 people made professions of faith. Howell said he saw something similar in another church the same day.
A group of young people from The Bahamas has already committed to attend the 2006 MBC “Super Summer” event.