Introducing Our New Missionary Family: Juan Fernandez

Fernandez FamilyGreetings from Saint Louis, Missouri! My name is Juan Fernandez and I am the new missionary to the Hispanic population in the Saint Louis area. My family and I are so excited to share a little about who we are and our calling so you can get to “know us” better and look forward to meeting many of you this year.

My wife Hannah Fernandez and I were married February 8, 2014 in Nebraska (almost 7 years ago) and have 2 children Victoria (4 years old) and Eleanor (2 years old) Fernandez. Some of our hobbies include spending time outdoors (hiking), travelling and experiencing new places/people, reading, and running (I am hoping to start training again for another 25k soon).

Right now, since we are beginning this ministry – we are spending 40 days in prayer for this community and that God would lead us in everything we do. We would ask you to please join us as we pray! I have been doing devotionals through facebook live everyday and my wife also does one on Sunday mornings for women. If you would like to follow us on Facebook and see these devotionals please do so (even though they are in Spanish). If you would like to be added to our prayer list and spend these 40 days in prayer with us please contact me at (618)581-8056 or email and we will add you.

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Thank you so much for your prayers as we begin this work in the Saint Louis area.

Bro. Juan Fernandez and family

January 2021 – Mission Director’s Report

A Page from my heart…

Dear churches of the state of Missouri,

Three months in and I am extremely excited about what God is doing!

Because of the deadline for material for the paper, we do not yet know the outcome of the Missionary committee vote, at the time I am writing this article, but I do very much hope, pray, and expect support to be approved of Bro. Juan Fernandez. The local Meramec Association has already begun support.

Bro. Juan hopefully will be planting a Spanish-speaking church under the auspices of Bethany Baptist Church. Bro. Juan and his wife joined Bethany a couple of weeks ago and the church has already voted to allow them to use the facilities and be the mother church of the church plant. We are excited about the possibilities and probabilities of that.

I ask you to pray for Bro. Juan. It’s been awhile since we’ve been able to say that we have a missionary working in the state of Missouri with both the state and a local association supporting.

This is similar to the church plant in Nixa, in that the national work was the impetus used to get it started, so please pray for both of these churches. It’s’s my understanding that the church in Nixa is now full support so we praise God for that! Now this mission is getting started, so please, please, please pray for them.

I am hoping to be in touch soon with those who have reached out to me to come and present the mission work of Missouri.

I have two churches already that have requested a visit. It is my intention to take up to one Sunday evening per month to go to other churches. I am also open to getting several churches in an area to meet together for a Saturday night meeting to lessen the need to miss a Sunday from Bethel’s pulpit. Let me know if you would be interested in setting up such a meeting.

I served on the national missionary committee during Bro. Grady Higgs’ term as Director, and I saw him turn around a program through prayer. Now, I don’t believe that this department needs turning around as much as we need men and fields to go to and those challenges will be met through prayer. Will you join me in daily seeking the throne for men and fields and finances to reach these goals for the Glory of the Lord?

PS:
We had a wonderful meeting last evening (Tuesday, January 5th) on the conference call. I am so appreciative to Bro. Claude Evans and all the churches’ missionary committeemen that participated. We had a unanimous positive vote as we voted to support Bro. Juan Fernandez as our missionary from the standpoint of we are going to support him to the tune of $28,000 a year from the state association. The Meramec local Association will also contribute support as both associations work in cooperation with the BMA of America. Please pray for Bro Juan and His family as He seeks “men of peace” and their families to build the kingdom work in reaching Hispanics in the St. Louis region.

Ben Kingston, BMA of MO Missions Director

December 2020 – Mission Director’s Report

A Page From My Heart…

Ben KingstonDear churches,
Most people know what someone means when they refer to a person as having a ‘Type A’ personality: self-driven, goal-oriented, strong leader, etc. While I would never refer to myself this way, I have heard a ton of people try to push me into this mold. So, let me say quickly that I see myself more as a person who wants to affect change and accomplish goals for the Lord’s kingdom. If that makes me an A-type personality, so be it! But, all this has been said to make a funny about the fact that my first two months as your director has been anything but earth-shaking and motivational!

We had an amazing start to it with a wonderful meeting with Juan Fernandez and both missions committees from the Missouri State and the Meramec associations. More to be said on this soon. Please pray for Juan and our Association as we prepare this project to present to the churches.
Then, November 9th I was quarantined until December 1st! The quarantine started with taking care of Dawn and Molly, and then Tony. As of this writing, God has spared me from contracting the virus, for which we are very thankful, since I am diabetic. Dawn, Molly, and Tony all had mild cases, for which we are also very grateful.

Thank you to all who prayed for me and my family. Bethel has been amazing in their support of their pastor during this time.

And lastly, you may have heard that my father-in-law Ken Burnett passed away November 22nd, so you can see it’s been a difficult month. As of this writing, we do not have his arrangements settled yet.

A word of honor and memorial: Suffice it to say, Ken is easily in the top three of the most influential men in my life. He had reached 90 years of age, and his death date was also his 68th wedding anniversary. He married Joan Hoff 68 years ago and it was clearly his best decision. God then blessed him with Debbie, Diane, Denise, and Dawn, who are definitely his greatest accomplishments. He loved, supported, and mentored His sons-in-law: Jerry Grodie (whom he is reunited with in heaven, and who was a faithful husband, father, and worker in Ken’s heating and plumbing business), Gavin Hooks (who has followed Ken’s footsteps as a faithful and successful husband, father, and business owner), and myself.

Ken was most proud of his daughters and their accomplishments. He was a faithful child of God, church member, deacon, treasurer, business owner, school board president, St. Clair citizen, and that’s just to name a few of his accomplishments. He was also very involved on all three levels of the BMA.
So, to come full circle, I am still studying our missions program and trying to prayerfully shape my approach on how to design, teach, and grow the missions effort in the BMAMO. Please pray with me in this effort.

Please Note:
Stacie sent out an e-mail to all our pastors, clerks, and/or missionary committeemen last week to ascertain the viability of holding a Missionary committee meeting via a conference call in December. So far, I have gotten all positive feedback but if you are the missionary committeeman of the church you attend and didn’t get this e-mail, please contact us and get us your information so you can be part of this conference call.

We will discuss the meeting that was held with Bro. Juan and the motions that the special missions committee made regarding our support of him as a missionary in the St. Louis region. (I was asked by Bro. Claude Evans, our missionary committee chairman, to set up the conference call, and then he will conduct the meeting when it is arranged.

Here are the best ways to communicate with me:
My Cell • (636) 629-2526
My E-mail • Bethelbaptistchurch@live.com
Bethel Church Office • (636) 629-2978

May the Lord bless you and His churches,
Bro. Ben

World Mission Offering is now “Jerry D. Kidd”Missions Offering

Sue & Jerry KiddJerry Kidd has been serving the BMA for 62 years. First as a pastor, then as missionary, church planter, assistant director of international missions, director of international missions, and director of missionary care.

Known as “Pastor of Missionaries,” his pioneering spirit and faithfulness to share the gospel to indigenous people has created a legacy of multiplying disciples and churches worldwide. With Sue, his wife and ministry partner, by his side, he continues working to change lives and point people to Jesus.

With this legacy of humble service in mind, BMA Missions Executive Director John David Smith announced on October 28 that the annual World Missions Day offering is now the Jerry D. Kidd Missions Offering.

Smith presented a combat helmet to Kidd, explaining that, “This combat helmet, to countless men and women serving in world missions who have found life-saving protection in a raging battle and encouragement to fight on in a foxhole with Jerry Kidd, symbolizes his faithful life-long ministry of sharing the sufferings of fellow soldiers.”

World Missions Day 2021 is February 28, and BMA Missions invites BMA churches and their congregations to celebrate this emphasis day by showing the World Missions Day video, praying for global missions, and giving to the Jerry D. Kidd Missions Offering.

Invitation for Churches to Join us for World Missions Day • February 28, 2021

Go Disciple Plant Repeat 2021BMA Missions invites churches to join us for World Missions Day on Sunday February 28, 2021. This year’s theme represents the very essence of our global mandate to Go-Disciple-Plant-Repeat. It is the purpose for which we exist.

We pray that each church will use this time not only as a reminder of our purpose but also as an opportunity to give to the Jerry Kidd Missions Offering.

Funds given during World Missions Day are used to support over 500 national ChangeMaker missionaries who are making disciples and planting churches in over 71 countries.

Register your church today at www.bmamissions.org/worldmissionsday and receive free promotional materials and a free polo for your pastor!

November 2020 – Mission Director’s Report

A Page From My Heart…

Dear Sister Churches:

I hope things are going well for you in this Thanksgiving and Christmas season! Believe it or not, we are in this time of year as well as deer season, but that’s a whole different topic!

I am thrilled to be your newly-elected state Missions Director. We had a tremendous meeting with Brother Juan Fernandez last month. There will be much more information coming about this potential effort when it is available. Please be praying for this opportunity and for the state and local association involvement.

This first month is basically getting acclimated to the needs and expectations of this office. We set up a bank account this week and would remind you to update the address to send your Missions offerings:

BMA of MO Missions
c/o 1220 Park Drive
St. Clair, MO 63077

If I, as the Missions Director, can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me by calling: (636) 629-2526
or writing to:

BMA Missions Director
569 Bethel Church Rd.
Lonedell MO 63060

In the months to follow, I will be using this article to flesh out the dream and desire of carrying out missions through our state association churches. I would beg you to pray for me to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit as to how He wants this department to work, and specifically for our churches that we would carry out mission on a local, state, national, and global level.

I am praying for our Pastors and Churches to have a clear understanding of what that should look like. May the Lord richly bless you this month as you strive to carry out the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ben Kingston

Latest News from the Philippines

by Missionaries Stan & Donna Scroggins

While things seem to be opening up, we are still not able to return. We pray our visa type will be next on the list.

It has now been three months since our first departure back to the Philippines was canceled. Donna and I are doing our best to stay in contact with all our ministry partners in the Philippines and teaching “on-line” classes each week. We will keep everyone updated as to our status. As soon as the door opens to return we are “out of here!” We are receiving encouraging “notions” that doors will open soon for our return. Pray with us that it will not be too long.

We received word from the Bible College of the need to help with providing food for students during the weekends. Due to the lock-down students are not able to go to their respective weekend work locations and are quarantined on the campus. Thank you, Northview Baptist Church and Pastor Mike Cantrell for helping us with funds to purchase food to feed our students over the weekends.

The Ati People

The Ati people are an indigenous group of tribal people living in the mountains of our island Negros Occidental. These are groups of indigenous tribes isolated in the mountains and islands throughout the country. These people predate modern “Polynesians” Filipinos and genetically are related to Australian Aborigines. The Philippine government protects the culture of these tribal people by restricting outside contact with them. Access is by invitation only. About two years ago Donna was invited to do ministry with the tribe and we began a work with them. The BMA of America Missions department supports a Filipino missionary who works directly with the tribe. We now have a church in their village and our first Ati student, Roter Enario, at the Bible College. During the lock-down, and because of their extreme isolation, word was sent out of starvation and famine conditions in the tribe affecting some 40 families. Thank you to Pastor Eric Goble and Brister Baptist Church, Pastor Randy Murphy and First Baptist Church and Pastor Dan Wisely and Kewanee Baptist Church who have helped us get food to the tribe.

Let me introduce to you our newest hero.

Pastor John Rey Vallejera, (Pastor JoJo), is a graduate of our Bible College. He is also our BMAA Filipino missionary serving as church planter in Hong Kong. Recent unrest in Hong Kong forced him and his family to return to the Philippines. Because of the lock-down in the Philippines Pastor JoJo has not been able to return to Hong Kong. With that being said his delay has allowed him to serve as a conduit to distribute food to the Bible College students and to the Ati Tribe in the mountains of the Philippines. Also, Pastor JoJo has been able to get a travel pass which allows him to freely travel across quarantine lines. Thank you, Pastor JoJo, for your love of your people and for working to help us get food to them.

93rd Annual Session of the BMA of Missouri

9:00 a.m. October 10, 2020, the officers of the Baptist Missionary Association of Missouri met with church messengers and some visitors at Zion Missionary Baptist Church in south St. Louis for the 93rd annual meeting of the association.

Bro. Van Widger led the congregation in singing “What a Friend we Have in Jesus” with Sis. Norma Womble playing the piano.

Host Pastor, Dennis Baker, welcomed those present and introduced Bro. Chris Polk who brought a devotional entitled “Trouble and Faith Go Hand in Hand,” using I Corinthians 4:1-12 as his text.

Moderator Ben Kingston asked the messengers to stand and declared the meeting in order to transact any business that claims our attention. He then called for a preliminary report of the enrollment committee. This report showed there were 27 churches represented by 26 messengers and three churches represented by letter only. A total of $1,807.00 had been given for clerk hire and printing of the Minutes. There was one petitionary letter presented. Westview Baptist Church in Jefferson City petitioned for membership in the BMA of Missouri, a motion and second was made and passed by the messengers. The moderator asked Bro. James Hoffmann to extend the hand of fellowship to the pastor and two other messengers of Westview in behalf of the state association.

The moderator called for the Publication Committee Report. Committee chairman, Bro. Don Burke gave the report which recommended the following: Re-elect Bro. James Hoffmann as Editor; re-elect Bro. Don Burke as assistant Editor; retain the Editor’s salary at $800. month, with half of that amount designated as business expenses; and that we give a Christmas gift of a month’s salary to the editor.

Bro. Hoffmann gave the editor’s report. Both reports were approved by the messengers.

Bro. Chris Polk gave the Camp Report (see page 7). A motion was made, seconded and passed to accept this report and commend Bro. Chris and the Camp Committee for their decision to cancel the 2020 Camp, and that we pay the balance owed on the camp’s loan and pay their insurance for 2020-2021.

Bro. Don Adams, clerk of the BMAMO Loan Association, gave the committee report. Bro. Dennis Baker, Director of the Loan Association gave his report with his and the committee’s recommendations (see Page 6). These reports were approved by the messengers.

Due to the absence of the President of the Alive Committee, the Moderator called for Bro. Brad Banderman, a Alive Committee member to give this committee’s report.

Bro. Banderman reported that the 2020 Alive Student Conference for students in grades 6 through 12 is schedule for December 28-30, 2020 at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center in Chesterfield again this year with Bro. Tony Crocker as the speaker. For more details go to alivestudentconference.com.

Bro. James Hoffmann gave the Kenneth Gibson Seminary Student Grant Fund report noting that there was no income or expenditures in this department since last year. The balance on hand remains at $12,112.99.
The State Brotherhood financial report was read by Bro. Roy Callahan with President Dennis Baker making comments about the annual meeting which was at Ohlman, Bunker.

Sis. Sharon Page, State

WMA President read her report of the Annual WMA meeting at Ohlman,Bunker.

Ben Kingston, Director of our State Renewal Retreat for pastors and pastoral leaders, spoke about the disappointment in not having the retreat in 2020, but assured us that he is planning one for early next year and will announce more about it through the Missouri Missionary Baptist. The messengers approved that the BMAMO will pay 1/2 of the expenses of this retreat which is a joint effort with the Meramec Association. Watch for more details.

Bro. Charley Holmes, President of the BMA Seminary and Director of Baptist Publications spoke to us about the need for support for various projects to help our pastors and leaders as well as those in foreign countries, The messengers approved spending $5,000 to help in these projects that will profit all our work.
The Moderator recessed the normal business meeting which opened the time for our Missionary Committee to meet. Missionary Committee chairman, Bro. Claude Evans called the meeting to order. There were 15 committeemen present. The Special Missions Committee submitted their recommendations (see Page 8) which were approved by the Missionary Committee and eventually by the messenger body.

With the approval of these recommendations Bro. Ben Kingston is now serving as our State Missions Director. Please note below that Missions Offerings need to be sent to a new address because we will be using a different bank in a different location.

As our business was drawing to a close, Moderator Kingston called for a final report of the enrollment committee. There was a total of 25 churches represent at the meeting with 45 messengers present and 3 churches who represented by letter only. A total of $2,050 was received for Minute Fund and Clerk Hire.

Bro. Jerry Adams was elected as Moderator, with Bro. Ben Kingston elected as Assistant Moderator, Bro. Don Burke as Clerk and Bro. Matt Bolen as Assistant Clerk.

The messengers voted to have our Mid-year Meeting and Missions Symposium at New Testament Baptist Church in Sullivan. The dates are May 14th for the Symposium and May 15th for the Semi-annual meeting.

They also voted to have the annual meeting at Faith Baptist Church in St. Charles. It will take place October 9th.

The resolutions Committee for next year is Bro. Matt Bolen, Bro. Benjamin Kingston, and Bro. Michael Hearst.

The messengers and officers gave a rising vote of appreciation to Pastor Dennis Baker and Zion Baptist Church for doing an excellent job of hosting this meeting under the difficult circumstances. We appreciate their hospitality.

October 2020 – Mission Director’s Report

A Page From My Heart…

This will be the new article tag from me from this point forward while I am your missions director.

Saturday October 10th at Zion Baptist Church in St. Louis at our annual Baptist Missionary annual meeting of the State Association the churches approved the recommendations of the Special Missions Committee to hire me as their Missions Director. And believe it or not, the vote passed.

I have had a burden for this ministry since hearing that Bro. Hoffmann was going to resign.

I Do not, in any level, feel qualified but I do feel called and yes, I am depending on the age old cliché that God qualifies the called!

I have a burden for our missions effort throughout the state and have a tremendous desire to see our churches once again answer the call to plant churches.

We have set aside the next three months for training and will be getting to you the address for where to send your missions offerings. (It is on Page 1 of this issue.) But my first challenge is for each church to make a special effort to lift up the Director and Direction of Departments of our state work, and to specifically ask God to direct us to who our first mother church and church planter will be.

Our nation could be forever changed by a church planting revival and we could be one of God’s tools to accomplish this.

May the Lord richly bless and direct us in this effort.
Bro. Ben…

From Our Former Missions Director…

I hope you are as excited as I am as you read the above note from Bro. Ben! I look forward to seeing what God will do as we refocus on His commission for us in the world today. God has been working even though we have had some discouraging things happen during this year, and I want to emphasize the blessing that the Special Missions Committee has been to me even though we could not meet and get “our plans” put into action at the time and in the manner we wanted. God has been using this group of men to encourage me as we sought God’s will in our recommendations not only in this past year but the entire time I have served as Missions Director. Thank you brethren for your patience, love, devotion and dedication as we have served together. Bro James Hoffman

The Master’s Builders Work in Arkansas

September 14th, the Master’s Builders began work at New Liberty Baptist in Emmet, Arkansas. This job was originally scheduled for May, but because of Covid 19, it was postponed. New Liberty had torn down their old building, which housed their sanctuary, and had poured a slab for the new 86 X 44 /3,800 square foot building. They were really needing our help. There were 12 Master’s Builders from 5 states ready to start the build. Each morning we started the day with a devotional and prayer.

The build went well and progress was made until there was a long delay in getting the decking put on the building and tropical storm “Beta” arrived. Our men kept working on interior jobs during the small breaks in the rain. Finally the rain ended, deckers arrived and work continued. The Master’s Builders plan to return October 19th to try to finish the rest of their part of the sanctuary.

The Master’s Builders worked at Emmet seven years ago on a fellowship hall and classrooms. We all looked forward to coming back because of the wonderful fellowship we enjoyed with this sweet church. Pastor James Cox and wife Carol are so special to us all and getting to be with many of the members we met seven years ago was so much fun. There were new faces too and it looks like we may need to come back before long and enlarge the new building! Praise the Lord!!

Much love to our New Liberty Church family. Thank you does not say enough to ALL who took such good care of us while we were there. I don’t want to miss anybody, so I won’t try to name all of you, but you know who you are. Just know we love you and appreciate all you did for us.

While we were at New Liberty, the ladies of the Master’s Builders worked on their Christmas Shoe boxes for Everlasting Smiles. We were a little late getting them to Conway, but Covid has slowed down a lot of projects. Also, we took a day to visit over at WE ARE FREE, Hebron Hills, to see all that has been done since our last time there.

I sometime list upcoming projects for the Master’s Builders, but I’ve learned this can change, so we’ll wait and see what the Lord has for us!

Remember, if you have any questions about the Master’s Builders Ministry or if your church has building needs, you can contact Eddie Sikes at (479)462-1675 or Mike Green (972)935-3877 or David Axe at (903)918-0720

The Master’s Builders Work in Arkansas
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