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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Baptists show God loves all peoplecomment (0)

August 19, 2004

By Johnie Sentell


The Olympic Games are drawing our attention to athletes from around the world. But Baptists in Alabama have been interested in people of other cultures for a long time. This summer Alabama Baptists reached out in the name of Jesus to people across the Americas — from Alaska and Canada in the north to Peru and Chile in the south and places in between.

Escambia Association’s director of missions, Pat Andrews, went with his wife Evelyn to Alaska, where he preached and led a church growth conference at First Baptist Church in Anchorage. Shelby and Frances Smith led a team of 10 from Gulf Shores First Baptist Church to work at a camp in Chile.

Pastors and laymen from Look-out Mountain and Cherokee associations in north Alabama spent a week on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico serving in simultaneous revivals, prayer meetings, prison ministry and a homeless shelter, among other places. There were 26 people won to the Lord as well as 40 more decisions.

Bethlehem Association in south Alabama also returned to work with the Navajo people. One Navajo girl who made a profession of faith during the Vacation Bible School (VBS) last year brought several of her friends this year, and two made decisions to follow Christ.

Brother R.C. Belcher, associational missionary for Barbour Association, noted a number of their churches were involved in missions this summer. Two members went outside the country to minister in Canada and Peru. Some members traveled to other states. Others ministered within Alabama.

Parkview youth minister Rob South led 30 in their second youth mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico.

A dozen or so folks from Eufaula First Baptist Church served in several states, including South Carolina, Ken-tucky and Florida.

Shane Yancey, youth minister of Calvary Baptist Church, Eufaula, said 33 people from the church went to St. Louis, Mo., to do missions work with M-Fuge. “Our kids got excited about missions projects that we could bring back and do in our hometown,” he said.

Members of Clayton, Louisville and Spring Hill churches joined up with Dale Association Baptists to make up a team of about 30 who traveled across the state to work at three predominantly Native Amer-ican churches in Washington County, north of Mobile. The effort was led by Roger Phillips, pastor of Midland City Baptist Church.

The group did construction work at Oak Hill and led VBS sessions at two other churches, Mount Pleasant and Rivers. The VBS groups averaged about 50 at each church.

Construction work at Oak Hill included putting a dropped ceiling in the sanctuary, doing electrical work and building picnic tables so the church could have a permanent outdoor fellowship area.

But Barbour Association folks are also showing God’s love to people who have migrated to Alabama.

“Our Hispanic work is doing well,” Bro. Belcher said. The ministry is led by Jeannett Macias, who is originally from Nicaragua.

One of the first to work with Hispanics in the association was Randall Peacock, pastor of Pleasant Plains Baptist Church and moderator for the association who died in July.

“He certainly left some large footprints in our association,” said Bro. Belcher. “He was just a great asset, an outstanding individual!”

Associational secretary Donna Harrison said, “He was a real go-getter in our association, a hard worker. I miss him.”

Mrs. Peacock, the former Sardinia Lowery, noted that although her husband was retired from the Alabama Department of Education, he had no previous experience with Hispanics.

“He didn’t know Spanish and had no training at all,” she said. “He got into the Hispanic work by seeing the need. The Lord always provided someone to interpret.”

Pleasant Plains held a special memorial service for Bro. Peacock on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 1.

People who earlier had been unable to make it to his funeral in Pike County were glad for the opportunity to honor his memory at the Pleasant Plains service. The crowd was overflowing.

The church’s revival services had begun that day, and the memorial service preceded the evening revival service.

Four professions of faith were made during the revival by people Bro. Peacock had been witnessing to and praying with for months.

Brother Peacock had just finished making a sign for the revival when he was felled suddenly by a cerebral aneurysm July 3. He would have been 66 years old Aug. 31.

The Peacocks’ two children are members of Baptist churches in Alabama. Son Shane, his wife Susan and their four children go to Gardendale First Baptist Church. Daughter Ronda and her husband, James Ware, have one child and go to Eufaula First Baptist Church.
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