Christian Byrd, CBF Mississippi (CBFMS) Field Coordinator, hosted the CBFMS state meeting at the CBF General Assembly (GA) 2014 on Thursday, June 26. This hour was set aside on the CBF GA agenda for all states to pause for a short time and change the focus from national / international to individual state CBF activities. As we all know, the CBF message is the same in state as well as internationally. It was fun and interesting for this one hour to let "our hair down" and relax with fellow Mississippians and friends of CBFMS from around the world. Approximately thirty-five (35) folks attended this meeting.
Personal introductions / stories were given by all who attended, with attendees being from as close as Atlanta and as far away as West Africa with Lynn Hutchinson, CBF Field Personnel, joining us. This part of the meeting was a lot of fun getting to know our friends better and finding out what is going on in their lives.
We followed this with various CBF leaders from around the state giving reports. Rusty Edwards, Pastor of UBC Hattiesburg and current moderator of CBFMS, led off this reporting session, giving us a view of the exciting CBF events occurring in the state as well as at his church. We then received news about the work of the Delta Hands for Hope (DHH) nonprofit in Shaw, MS. This report included information about the success of a USDA grant that is being used to feed the children in Shaw over the summer months while they are not in school. The receiver of this grant is CBFMS with the proceeds being restricted for use by DHH. Thanks Christian Byrd; Deenie Grubbs, Ministry Manager for CBFMS; and Jill Hatcher, CBF National grants writer extraordinaire; for working very hard to get this grant through the full process / award cycle prior to the beginning of summer. Christian; Jason Coker, Pastor of Wilton Baptist Church, Wilton, Connecticut, and a founder of the DHH organization; and Lane Riley, the new DHH Program Director onsite in Shaw, MS; all gave us very exciting reports on what is happening in Shaw with DHH extending a hand up to those who are living in severe poverty in that area. Shaw is located in the Mississippi Delta and has recently become a part of the CBF National Together for Hope Initiative (TFHI). DHH is initially focused on activities in Shaw, MS, where Pastor Jason Coker grew up. Jason reported that DHH is currently in the process of getting full IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit status so it can better continue the Lord's work in Shaw.
St. Martin Baptist Fellowship (SMBF) introduced its new pastor-director, Jay Lynn, and his wife, Anita, and announced that Jay, Anita, and their two children, Katie (13) and Sam (9), will be moving to the MS Gulf Coast from Farmville, VA, on July 24. Also, Andy Hale, newly announced Director of Church Starts for CBF National, presented a $5000 award to SMBF. Ric Stewart, Chair of Board of SMBF, and Jay Lynn expressed appreciation as they accepted this award. They also expressed that the funds would be put to good use providing CBF Christian ministries on the coast and telling others about our Lord. Also, Andy expressed that CBF National would like for SMBF to attend a CBF Dawnings training session hosted by CBF for fellowships seeking to better understand who they are, where they are headed, and how to get there in a post Christendom (aka missional / community church) era in America.
Christian Byrd closed the state meeting by conducting a "laying on of hands and prayer" moment for Jay and family as their new work for our Lord starts on the MS Gulf Coast on August 1. Everyone gathered around Jay and Anita and it was a special moment for all.
Ultimately, all in attendance enjoyed this CBFMS state meeting very much and found it to be both enlightening and uplifting.
To see more pictures of this event, either let the gallery autoplay for you or click on each picture to move to the next.