Sept. 23 marked the 25th annual See You At The Pole, a student-initiated, student-led event that started with 10 students in Texas in 1990 who wanted to pray for their school. In 25 years, the movement has grown to more than 3 million students participating across the United States and in more than 20 countries.
Florida Baptists cut staff. The Florida Baptist Convention’s State Board of Missions approved a staff reorganization that reduces the number of employees statewide 47 percent, from 115 to 61. When Executive Director-Treasurer Tommy Green was elected to his post, he stressed the need to have a responsive, lean missions organization that is decentralized, regionalized and personalized. The downsizing will make it possible to send 51 percent of the proposed 2016 Cooperative Program budget to the Southern Baptist Convention—a nearly 10 percent increase—and ultimately “put more missionary families on the field,” Green said.
Progressive National Baptists elect new general secretary. Following a two-year nationwide search, the Progressive National Baptist Convention selected veteran ministerial leader Timothy Tee Boddie as the denomination’s new general secretary. Boddie, until recently director of the master of arts in Christian education program at Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, N.C., began work Sept. 8. He replaces Kip Banks, who served as interim general secretary for two years. Boddie will execute the policies and programs of the convention, including planning and supervising convention procedures while overseeing operations designed to accomplish the mission of the group formed in 1961 by supporters of Martin Luther King active in the Civil Rights Movement.
CBF leader laments Southern Baptist Convention’s missionary downsizing. The head of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s global missionary enterprise asked the CBF governing board to pray for Southern Baptists, who are cutting their international mission force by 600 to 800 jobs due to budget shortfalls. “The current crisis facing the International Mission Board is nothing less, in my mind, than a terrible loss for the kingdom of God that we should mourn,” CBF Global Missions Coordinator Steven Porter said. “We need to pray, not only for those missionaries, but for the convention and for their churches and look for ways and opportunities we can actively support them. We might disagree about things now and again, but we still can lock arms with brothers and sisters in Christ for whom we share a passion for the Great Commission and passion to see God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”