Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy New (church) Year!

Happy New Year, Westmoreland Baptist Church!

Before you decide that the old Preacher has completely lost it, please understand I’m talking about the “New Church Year” which begins the first of September.

Now, your question might be, “Why does the church year begin on September 1st, when our fiscal year begins on January 1st?”
And the answer to that is simple. 

I don’t know.

As the old saying goes, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
There has got to be a reason that it’s always been done that way, but I’m afraid I am not privy to that information. I do know, however, that it seems to be somewhat common across the SBC (or at least with the SBC churches I know) to start the church year on the first Sunday in September.

Most State Conventions are held in late October or early November, so, the “Annual Church Profile” which is the uniform church reporting letter across the Convention, usually comes to the local churches by the end of August, so the information can be listed and sent to the State and National Convention offices in time for the State and Local Association’s Book of Reports.

Our Greater Huntington Association’s Annual Meeting is always in mid or late October, and the State Convention is always the first week end in November.  This year the State Convention Annual Meeting is at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, WV on November 4-5.

At any rate, it is the new church year, and this is the time when we elect Deacons to the three year active deacon rotation, as well as install new committee members to the rotating committees that make up our church’s Administrative Team.  Deacon Election took place on Aug 21st, and for some reason, we do not officially elect the other officers and teachers until the September Business Meeting, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO TAKE OFFICE BY SEPTEMBER 1ST

I promise you, I will be working with our Nominating Committee and the Administrative Team to make sure this is the last year that this will happen!  We’re going to get that fixed!

There are some exciting things awaiting us in this next church year.  The 2015-2016 church year has seen more baptisms than the last two full years – combined, and we want to thank God for that.  With our new Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Student Ministries (Matt Maynard) now on board, we are already seeing new strides made in those areas.  In Matt’s first month we have seen the youth group increase from 3 to 12!  We have also had a Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, and seen the groundwork laid for periodic and regular departmental, teacher training and communication sessions.

Other good things are in store that I will be able to announce to you in next month’s Newsletter.  Let’s bathe all we do in prayer. Let’s “Cath-Up” on our tithes and offerings that have been way down over the Summer months, and let’s commit to be in our place, and in our respective places of ministry this year, for the sake of the Kingdom and for the Glory of our

Thursday, August 4, 2016

This 'N That

I thought I would share three articles with you which meant a lot to me this week.

The first is an article regarding "Unity in the Southern Baptist Convention".  It was written by Dr. David Crosby, pastor of First Baptist Church of New Orleans.  Dr. Crosby is a godly man who was a candidate for President of the SBC this past Summer.  He is a godly pastor, who most certainly believes in the inerrancy of scripture, and also understands and practices compassion in ministry and evangelism, while working in one of the great mission fields in North America, "The Big Easy".  Dr. Crosby understands the need for cooperation among those of us who profess to follow Christ - even when we may not totally agree on every little point of doctrine, but we can come together under the broad umbrella of our Baptist Faith and Message. We Southern Baptists will never have uniformity, but we most certainly need to practice unity!  Dr. Crosby's article appears on the New Orleans Baptist Association's website. It can be seen by clicking here

The second article is by Joe Carter and appears on The Gospel Coalition's website.  This article is entitled, " Why We Should Be Grateful For Flourishing Evangelical Seminaries".  Carter makes the point that new data reveal that the largest seminaries in America are the most orthodox and evangelical. It's an encouraging read for those of us who value the worth of quality and doctrinally sound theological education.  Without exception, it is the conservative evangelical seminaries that are growing and flourishing in these days when our culture is spiraling downward.  Having just finished 10 years of serving on the Board of Trustees of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, I have had the blessing to see, up close, the dedication, discipline and hard work that goes on in providing a world class theological education to students through various and constantly changing delivery methods.  Carter's article is a good read, and can be accessed by clicking here.

 The third article is of personal interest to me, as it involves my youngest brother, Carl Adkins.  It comes from the "Atlanta Journal and Constitution" website.  There are big doin's coming up in Atlanta over the next few years that will take the spotlight in the sporting world, and my little bro is right in the middle of it.  After going 3-for-3 in bids to host marquee sporting events over the next few years — the College Football Playoff national championship game in January 2018, the Super Bowl in February 2019 and the Final Four in April 2020 — Atlanta sports and hospitality officials are assembling organizations to plan and manage the events locally. Carl has been named executive director of the local host committees for both the college-football title game and the Final Four. 
Carl is no stranger to hosting big events.  As long time General Manager of the Georgia Dome, he has been heavily involved with hosting the Olympics, Super Bowls, Final Fours, Atlanta Falcons home games, concerts, and other large events.  
We are all very proud of Carl, who began his arena management career as a Huntington East High School student, working at the Huntington Civic Center (Now the Big Sandy Superstore Arena) as a door guard and usher at it's opening event, a concert by Frank Sinatra.  His career path has taken him through moving up the ladder at the old Civic Center to progressive "upward moves" into supervisory and management positions at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, the Nashville Convention Center in  the Music City, on to the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, and eventually across the street to the Georgia Dome.
I invite you to read more about the big events coming to Atlanta and my brother's role in two of them. Article can be accessed by clicking here.

Why We Should Be Grateful for Flourishing Evangelical Seminaries