Rustlings (May 16, 2016)

I’m not much of a historian. I can rattle off the dates of Israel’s ancient history with ease. But that’s the result of a love for Old Testament scriptures, not history. I’m not proud of this deficit in my intellectual curiosity. It’s just the way I was built, I guess. In fact, I have a deep appreciation and admiration for those who retain our corporate stories. It’s just never been my area of expertise or interest. Having said that…

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) will hold its annual General Assembly in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 22-24. (Preliminary events and activities will be held June 20-21.) Now, here’s the history part: CBF will be celebrating her 25th anniversary at this event. The first gathering of CBF churches and supporters was in 1990. First Baptist Greenville (FBG) was an integral part of this inaugural effort and continued to be supportive as the Fellowship grew. Both Hardy Clemons and Donna Forrester served as Moderator of the national organization. When we withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention in 1999, CBF along with the Alliance of Baptists became our primary conduits for doing mission work in the world. Members of FBG have served on boards, committees and task forces throughout these 25 years. We have been and continue to be a part of the CBF family.

In light of this wonderful history, allow me to encourage you to do two things: 1) Read a copy of the next edition of Fellowship! – the CBF’s monthly magazine. FBG is listed as one of the top supporters of CBF in the nation. And 2) make an effort to attend the General Assembly this June. The workshops, Bible studies, worship and plenary sessions are always meaningful. There are always several members of our church there with whom to eat and drink and chat and worship. Old friends are always there too; I always bump into Hardy on an elevator. And you’ll meet some new friends and learn more about the good work that CBF is doing in the world. To register and make hotel reservations, go to www.cbf.net and follow the registration instructions on the homepage. We’ve made history with CBF. (And even a non-historian like me is proud of that!) Now, let’s go plot a future. Hope to see you in Greensboro…

— Jim