This is an exciting time to be a part of World Baptist Fellowship! God is doing a renewing work in many of our hearts and churches as we seek to become more engaged and effective in reaching lost souls for Christ and planting autonomous, reproducing churches around the United States and around the world. It is an honor to lead our national Fellowship at this crucial moment in our history.
In the months that I have been serving as president, I have learned (or been reminded of) some things about World Baptist Fellowship that you may not be aware of:
- World Baptist Fellowship is an affiliation of three autonomous corporations: World Baptist Fellowship, Inc. (national fellowship), Arlington Baptist College, Inc., and World Baptist Fellowship Mission Agency, Inc. Each has its own Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws. That means that no one entity speaks for the other two. That means that no one entity exercises authority over the other two. That means that the decisions of one do not always reflect the perspective of the other two. Each corporation has its own purpose and function – connected, yet distinct.
- World Baptist Fellowship is a partnership of churches, not pastors. Our national Fellowship, unlike others in fundamental Baptist circles, is a network of churches. Each church that chooses to be affiliated with WBF and any of its approved ministries can have up to three (3) voting delegates. These delegates are submitted by each pastor on an annual basis, and are the ones who nominate and elect individuals to serve in different capacities.
- World Baptist Fellowship ministries share the same Statement of Faith. The World Baptist Fellowship, Arlington Baptist College, and WBF Mission Agency each hold to exactly the same doctrinal positions, which unite us as fundamental Baptists. This Statement of Faith appears in the By-Laws of each corporation. There are specific issues that we disagree on (sometimes intensely!), but we respect the autonomy of each local church and church planter, while holding to the same Statement of Faith. There is far more that unites us than divides us.
- World Baptist Fellowship ministries are linked through the election process. Even though each corporation is autonomous, they are directly linked and held accountable to one another through the annual Election of Officers. The General Assembly of World Baptist Fellowship chooses the individuals who will serve as the Board of Directors of Arlington Baptist College and the Mission Committee of the World Baptist Fellowship. These directors and committeemen are chosen to represent the values and mission of the national Fellowship. This keeps us all connected.
The ministries of World Baptist Fellowship, as well as the churches and pastors of World Baptist Fellowship, are dependent upon one another. The success or failure of one ministry directly impacts the others. We are not in competition. We are on the same team, and our cause is the Greatest Cause in human history!
I encourage you to get engaged in the regional and national efforts of World Baptist Fellowship. Pray for me and our national officers and Board of Directors as we have begun to tackle some structural issues within our national Fellowship. We are committed to bringing greater clarity around our mission and vision, and are restructuring how we function to allow greater representation and participation from pastors, regional fellowships, and missionaries. It is an exciting time to be a part of World Baptist Fellowship! Will you partner with us?