CABOT – Robbie Tingle, Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) missions ministries team leader, presented the state missions report during the morning session of the 2012 ABSC Annual Meeting Oct. 30 at First Baptist Church, Cabot.
Tingle interviewed several Arkansas Baptists who were involved in missions throughout Arkansas. They included Charles Simmons, pastor of new church plant ROK Church, Conway; Larry White, associational missionary with Faulkner Baptist Association; Bob Fielding, ABSC missions ministries team member; and Stacey Smith, Prison to Purpose program coordinator.
Simmons shared about what God is doing in his community. He recounted that he and his wife prayerfully considered moving to a place where they could reach the lost, so they moved into an urban apartment complex and started a small group there Simmons shared. After months of planning and building relationships, they have an active group of people that meet to study God’s Word and as a result, Simmons is now the chaplain for two apartment complexes and is reaching the community for Christ. The ROK Church was started from this ministry.
“I really wanted to step out on faith and do something that hasn’t been done before,” Simmons said. “God has really been moving.”
“It’s exciting to know that over the last 18 months God has been doing an incredible work in planting African American churches,” Tingle said. “In fact, we have planted eight African American churches in the last 18 months … and there are about eight to nine that are on track to be planted this next year.”
Tingle asked White about his involvement in the initial launch of One Church, a church plant sponsored by Second Baptist Church, Conway. One Church later helped launch ROK church.
“The one thing about planting churches is that church plants, plant churches,” Tingle said.
White said what God has done in the life of Second Baptist Church resulting in the the two church plants has been tremendous and encouraged messengers to find out more about church planting while they are at the convention.
“When you (messengers and churches) give to the cooperative program or the Dixie Jackson State Missions Offering, you are also supporting the ROK Church,” Tingle said. “You see we are all partnered together for the cause of Christ."
“God is bringing us all together – no matter what color we are or our background is – to prove to the devil that he is a liar,” Simmons said.
A video was shown about how international missions and chaplaincy efforts are helping to make an impact on the lost.
“Did you ever think that chaplaincy and international missions could fit together? It’s amazing what God does for God’s purpose,” Tingle said.
“Since the 2010 Haiti earthquake, we’ve seen the Lord do incredible things through hundreds of Arkansas Baptists,” Fielding said in the video.
Smith said that she felt a longing to go to Haiti and minister to the women in prison there, so she connected with Fielding to see if they could make that happen.
“And the Lord made it happen,” Fielding said.
Fielding and Smith said as a result of this partnership there are new churches in prisons in Haiti.
“Not only are we planting churches around Arkansas, but we are now planting churches in prison’s in Haiti,” Tingle said.
“This is exactly why the missions ministries team exists – to help Arkansas Baptists reach their mission field from their doorstep to the world.”