CELEBRATING 175 YEARS: A PROUD HERITAGE OF MISSIONS Our Beginnings: • Rehoboth was birthed out of an association that made formal resolutions against “the Convention. . .missionary societies . . . Sunday School union . . .theological seminary . . .and all other institutions tributary to the missionary plan” • Thus, RBA was born out of a desire to promote Christian education and Mission endeavors • Meeting in July, 1838, 10 churches formed Rehoboth Baptist Association at the then Benevolence Baptist Church (presently Zenith Road Baptist) • Only 8 years after its formation, RBA had 20 churches, 80 ministers, supported a missionary in the field, and established Sunday Schools throughout its bounds • The 1st Missionary, C. Peurifay was paid $250 per year and an early report shows he traveled 1400 miles, preached 184 sermons, assisted with ordaining 2 ministers, and once, 50 miles from home, lost his horse. • From: Forward Through the Ages, by Eloise Rush Benevolence/Zenith Road Benevolence/Zenith Road Baptist Ch. When RBA was Formed: • Martin Van Buren was President of the United States • The Trail of Tears of the Cherokee nation began in April of that year • The first telegraph message was sent using dots & dashes (Jan.,1838) • The Civil War was still 23 years in the future • WWI was still more than 75 years away and WWII more than 100 yrs. away • The Southern Baptist Convention had not yet been formed • The Average American Farm worker earned $ 120 per year • William Carey had been dead only 3 years and Lottie Moon would not be born for 2 years • And, The Cooperative Program would not be conceived of for another 87 yrs. Early International Missions: 1852: Caesar Frazier, an African-American from Augusta was selected to go to Liberia. August, same year, Rev. D.S. Dennard was selected to go to Central Africa and was ordained in this church (FBC Perry) and settled near the mouth of the Congo River. Mrs. Dennard died of fever soon after their arrival. Rev. Dennard died in 1854 Rev. T.A. Reid was sent in 1856 to take the place of Dennard (he was ordained at FBC Fort Valley on May 31, before they set sail in 1857. Mrs. Reid died on the field the following May. Summary: In the first decade of undertaking “Foreign” (Int’l) Mission work, 4 of the 6 missionaries had died on the field. RBA exists today because of the sacrifice of these. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” Domestic Missions: J. S. Murrow, a Mercer student was ordained in 1857 and worked among five nations of Native Americans (Indians) including the Choctaw, Creek, and Seminoles. This included accompanying them as refugees during the Civil War. After 25 years of service, Murrow wrote: “I have baptized over a thousand Indians, have organized 23 churches, aided in ordaining 17 native preachers and 41 deacons, assisted in building a number of meeting houses, and organized a great # of SS Schools. 2 wives and 3 children lie in these Indian burial grounds . . .” The Association also demonstrated a care for African-Americans among them, many of whom were slaves. While none of us would endorse slavery, it should encourage us to know that RBA was concerned about all people. A report from 1859 shows that Blacks had their own houses of worship as an arm of the church and conducted their own services under licensed ministers and deacons who were also African-American. Spring Forward 100 Years! Many other things to tell you, but time does not permit . . . In 1953, a committee was appointed to study dividing the association because of its huge area. At the time, there were 64 churches in 8 counties and RBA was 80+ miles in diameter. It was recommended: “That the Association be divided; that the churches in metropolitan Macon be incorporated in the new association to be known as the Macon Baptist Association . . .” RBA birthed Macon Baptist Assoc. (today, Midstate Baptist Assoc.) This division was unanimously adopted and was very amicable. A Decade Later & The Next 40 Years On October 1, 1963 Clarence Cox became Associational Missionary. RBA continued to expand and grow. He served until his retirement in 1986. April 1, 1987 saw Bro. James I. (Boe) Stanley called to serve as Director of Missions (the title Assoc. Missionary having been changed in 1977). Bro. Boe aided in planting an unprecedented # of churches across RBA. His service also saw the associational building relocate to its present location. Stanley, along with our present Treasurer, Wilber Bond, undertook the formation of our Christian Social Ministry in the 1990’s and to this day it continues to minister to some 6,000 families per year. Bro. Boe retreated to a much-deserved retirement in 2004. Since 2004: Honoring our Commitment to Moldova: medical clinics, evangelism, planting churches, establishing a training center. Baptism in Anneni Noi Next Slide: Philadelphia Church, Anneni Noi The Last Decade: Honoring Our Commitment to Moldova: Ministry in Balti, Northern Moldova Further Ministries: Churches assisted in being planted: The River, The Vine, Joyful Life Existing Churches assisted in building: Christian Faith, Viet Namese Rehoboth Life-Care Ministries (Dental Clinic) created in 2009. Appalachian Ministry: benevolence, teams, construction Baby Comfort Station: served more than 1,000 families each year. Sponsor 2 missionaries currently in Taiwan-Shu and Grace Tu. Recently planted Lighthouse Hispana Mission (at Lighthouse Baptist Church) Building on our Heritage of Education: SGA at Central, 2012. 25 students The Next Step Forward: Building on our heritage of missions: 3,800+ UUPGs in world (Unengaged-Unreached People Groups) Persons who have NEVER HEARD THE GOSPEL With all our blessings and resources, why can’t we adopt at least one of these? I am asking you today, as an association to prayerfully consider accepting the challenge of taking the Gospel to a remote people group who has never heard: The Siriano People of South America (IMB UUPG # 16280) Located on the border of Columbia and Brazil Approximately 1,300-1,400 of them. Why The Siriano People Group? We are commanded to go into all the world (Matthew 28: 19-20) These people have never heard. South America, not easy but not so far and so expensive to travel there. Many people in South America still unreached A New Place where we have not worked/sown. Recommended to us by Field Personnel of the International Mission Board. Steps to Embrace an UUPG: Season of Prayer: Begins today if you agree. Leadership attend conference for information and training (Oct. 25, 2012) Pre-Vision Trip to meet with IMB Field Personnel (2013) Report back to Association, 2013. Formally Commit/Adopt Siriano PG # 16280. Assemble Team based on Identified Needs and ways to connect and penetrate Lostness. Take Team to South America (projected late 2013 or early 2014).