IMB missionary commissioning service Oct. 31
Event promises to be one of the major highlights at MBC’s annual meeting
By Allen Palmeri
JEFFERSON CITY – The International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is conducting a missionary appointment service Oct. 31 during the 172nd annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) at Southeast Missouri State University’s Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau.
The commissioning service will include about 60 missionaries, according to an IMB spokesperson. IMB President Jerry Rankin will deliver a message as the new missionaries are set apart for service all over the world. As of Aug. 15, there were a total of 5,072 IMB field personnel under appointment, according to the “Fast Facts” section of the IMB Web site.
“It’s not often that anybody gets to see an actual commissioning service, so here we’re going to see 60 new missionary people commissioned for places, some of which we won’t even be able to say (due to security and other concerns),” said MBC Executive Director David Clippard. “So it’s a special time, and I would just encourage our people to take advantage of a very, very unique opportunity.”
The last time Missouri hosted an IMB commissioning service was in March of 2002 at First Baptist Church, Raytown. The size of that ceremony was similar to the one being planned this year with 58 men and women commissioned.
Clippard said plans for bringing the service back to Missouri have been in the works for three years. He described it as “a big celebration time” that enables Missouri Baptists to get close to men and women who will be eventually providing the connections for various partnering relationships where the Gospel is advanced throughout the world.
Clippard’s desire is that the uniqueness of the Oct. 31 program would register in the minds of Missouri Baptists as they plan their convention activities. Partnership Night in 2006 will truly be memorable, he said.
“There are very few Southern Baptists that actually get to see one of these,” Clippard said. “It’s like the Olympics every four years.”