Postcard from Memphis, June 20, 2008: BPFNA at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly
June 21, 2008| bpfna
l-r: Steve Jones, BPFNA board president; Amy Mears & April Baker, co-pastors of Glendale Baptist Church, Nashville, TN; Rev. Charles Duplessis, pastor of Mount Nebo Bible Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA
BPFNA at CBF 2008
A Postcard from Memphis, Tennessee
June 20, 2008
Our second day at the 18th annual Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) General Assembly began with our very first time hosting a Peace Breakfast in conjunction with the event. This year's assembly is themed "Embracing the World: Building Bridges" and is being held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center in Tennessee.
At the breakfast, about 30 people enjoyed a nice buffet and a good time of fellowship led by BPFNA board president Steve Jones. Steve gave some background on the BPFNA and introduced Evelyn Hanneman, Bob Spinks and me, and we each spoke for a couple of minutes about what we're doing in our work.
Steve then led us into a time of worship, where we heard from Rev. Charles Duplessis, pastor of Mount Nebo Bible Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. Rev. Duplessis related the experience of his family and his church during and since Hurricane Katrina. The Duplessises lost their home and all personal possessions, and the church was damaged so badly it had to be demolished. In the wake of so much tragedy, a decision to move away and start over would be easily understood. But Rev. Duplessis realized that God wanted him and his family back in the Lower Ninth Ward, rebuilding the church and the community. Answering that call led him not only to work on restarting Mount Nebo Church, but also to the work of Churches Supporting Churches, where he is working alongside other pastors and community leaders to partner New Orleans churches with other congregations across the country to rebuild 36 churches in the Lower Ninth. The deep personal faith revealed through his story was truly inspirational, and his message called us all to continue the work of peace and justice being done through this important effort in New Orleans.
We continued to meet friends at the BPFNA booth in the Resource Fair, where we had the opportunity to introduce the Peace Fellowship to some new folks and to catch up with some long-time members. We sold a good number of books, including titles by Paul Dekar, Glen Stassen, Steve Jones, Michael Westmoreland-White, Kathy Beckwith and many others, and a good number of people asked to start receiving Baptist Peacemaker and our new e-newsletter, Model Ministries.
Now, we are busy packing and getting ready for the journey home. We are tired from the long days, but we are very grateful for the opportunity to have been here, representing the good work of the entire BPFNA and furthering the message of peace and justice.