By Martha Strong, Olive Branch Fellowship
The CBF-MS Fall Assembly, was held Oct. 24-25 at the Shaw Cultural Center in southern Bolivar county. This year the annual gathering focused primarily on missions, including a variety of “spruce-up” projects in downtown Shaw and nearby schools.
During Friday night’s worship service, which followed a fellowship dinner, the Assembly honored longtime missions advocate Jane Allison of Hattiesburg, for whom the new CBF-MS offering for State Missions has been named. Jane spoke of the lifelong impact created by her commitment to serve Christ, quoting the Girls Auxiliary pledge she memorized as a youth.
The Assembly was privileged to welcome Suzii Paynter, National CBF Executive Director, who brought the keynote address during Friday’s worship service and stayed to assist with mission activities on Saturday. She challenged participants to notice the ways CBF field personnel are working to share the Gospel with people throughout many nations, especially in areas that are currently the focus of national and local news coverage due to crisis situations.
Saturday’s activities began shortly after the sun arose over the Delta farmland, before the early-morning mist had lifted from the beautiful cypress-lined bayou that runs through downtown Shaw. During the business session, the Assembly approved the formation of an ad hoc committee that will serve as a task force for strategic planning for CBF-MS.
Following the completion of several mission projects and lunch, the concluding worship service featured leaders from Delta Hands for Hope, a CBF-MS ministry partner. The closing sermon was presented by Jason Coker, who presently serves on the DHH board and as pastor of Wilton Baptist Church in Wilton, Conn.
The non-profit ministry group DHH has begun working with Together for Hope, CBF’s Rural Poverty Initiative. Over the summer the group hosted a summer meal program and continues to provide ongoing education and recreation activities for children and their families at the Shaw Cultural Center.