Sept. 17-19 & Sept. 19-21, 2011
The 42nd Annual Fellowship of Missions Conference once again proved to be a rich blessing to those in attendance. The annual conference was preceded, as it has for several years, by a CEO Retreat which proves to be a time of relaxation and interaction by FOM agency heads and their wives.
This year’s CEO Retreat was conducted Saturday dinner through Monday lunch at the beautiful Lake Placid Conference and Camp Center in Lake Placid, Florida. For the past several years this Retreat has been sponsored by a gracious donor who recognizes the need for those in leadership roles to have a time of respite, relaxation and fellowship with others in similar ministries. This year another gracious donor provided three free books for those in attendance. This was my first experience of such a Retreat serving as the recently appointed FOM president and Ann and I thoroughly enjoyed and profited from this time together. Being the president’s responsibility to plan the retreat, and being unfamiliar with former formats, due to my nature, I had put together a rather rigid schedule, which was quickly “abolished” upon arrival. The first thing I learned was that for this special “get-away” time, there is no schedule! We did manage to have our meals together on time for they were pre-arranged, but the rest of the times together definitely did not follow a schedule! The Retreat did include (but not on schedule) two messages by Dr. Jerry Webber, former FOM president and pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in Sebring, FL; and two messages by incoming president Maynard Belt. Together we also enjoyed a late evening camp fire by the lakeside, supper on the patio, and a lecture and tour of the Mural Society of Lake Placid. The singing for our Retreat was led by Dr. Dan Anderson, Appalachian Bible College. Our prayer times together were especially enriching and encouraging. It was very nice being together, getting better acquainted and next year’s planning will be much easier without having to have a “schedule!”
Monday evening dinner commenced our Annual FOM Conference at the Maranatha Baptist Church & Village in Sebring, FL. My, what gracious hosts they were. Pastor Webber and his church family welcomed us royally and it was a blessing and privilege to be in the presence of many of God’s choicest saints on earth.
This year’s conference theme was “Building Our World Vision,” based on John 4:35: “…lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” The FOM president was asked to speak in the two evening services on messages entitled, “Building Our World Vision” and “The Supremacy of God in Missions.” The four main 90 minute sessions were exceptionally informative presentations by missionary administrators representing four different continents of the world. Bill Lake, Biblical Ministries Worldwide, spoke of Missions in Asia and the Pacific Rim; Vernon Rosenau, Baptist Mid-Missions spoke of Missions in Africa; V.W. Peters and Bruce Burkholder, Baptist Mid-Missions, covered Missions in Latin America; and Dave Rozelle, Biblical Ministries Worldwide, presented Missions in Europe. We were all vividly reminded once again of the need for us to “lift up our eyes to the fields white already unto harvest.” Hopefully some of these messages and printed material will be available on the FOM website. The conference time also included a Missions Forum, business session and the welcoming of one new Mission Agency into our FOM fellowship, the Open Door Baptist Mission, Greenville, S.C. Dr. John Burnette is the ODBM Director and Dave Smith is the Assistant Director.
Our thanks to this year’s program committee for bringing to us such a forward challenge in considering missions world-wide: Dave Rozelle (chairman), Dan Anderson and Larry Clouse. Following are the new officers for the coming year: Bill Jenkin (CBM), Chairman; Dave Rozelle (BMW), Vice-chairman; Steve Fulks (BMM), Secretary; David Whipple (BCP), Treasurer; Bryan Bell (GDMM) & Gary Anderson (BMM), members at large. My special thanks to David Little, Baptist Church Planters, who has graciously steered FOM as chairman during its lengthy time without a president.
The Fellowship of Missions consists of 27 Mission Agencies representing some 2,000 missionaries serving on all six continents of the world. Our purpose is to provide collaborative interaction among member mission agencies for mutual accountability, personal and ministry development and encouragement. Please visit our website at fellowshipofmissions.org for further information.
Hopefully we will see many more of you at next year’s annual Retreat & Conference which will be hosted by Baptist Mid-Missions, Cleveland, OH.
Reaching the World for Christ Together, Maynard H. Belt
Fellowship of Missions
Come and join us next year!