Cherokee Baptist Association - Centre, Alabama
Cherokee Baptist Association
Thursday, January 23, 2020

From The Director's Heart

            Wendell Dutton - Association Missionary

                              Partnership Principle:  
              "We work best when we work together
                and we do best what we do together."


   One of my favorite things about Christmas is the music of the season. These wonderful songs give us different aspects of the birth of Jesus. However, many of these songs also tell of His life mission, His death, resurrection and even His coming again. They are filled with tremendous theology. Sometimes I ask myself why do we confine using them only for a few weeks before Christmas? My personal preference would be to use them occasionally year round.
   My love and appreciation for Christmas music was probably handed down to me from my mother. Her favorite Christmas song was “Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” which we would always sing together at our family Christmas gatherings. This song was so special to her that we used it as a part of her funeral service in November of 2017. As we look at a portion of the lyrics of this great song, I believer we can see why it was treasured by my mother as well as countless numbers of other people.

“Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem shining afar through shadows dim, giving a light to those who long have gone, and guiding the Wise Men on their way,    unto the place where Jesus lay, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on.
Oh Beautiful Star the hope of rest for the redeemed, the good and blessed, yonder in glory when the crown is won. Jesus is now that star divine, brighter and brighter He will shine. Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on.” 

   The great Bible truth we see here is that the Star which guided the Wise Men was revealed in human flesh as the Light of the World (John 8:12). In II Peter 1:19, we see further      confirmation of this truth, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your heart.”
   This Christmas season may our hope be renewed in this “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” and this precious Day Star arise in the hearts of those who are lost and walking in darkness. From our family to your family, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!                                     
                                                               Bro. Wendell
                                                               Luke 2:10-11


November 2019

I want to thank Slackland BC and Bro. Eugene Burgess (interim pastor) for the outstanding job in hosting our 186th Annual Meeting.  As I say over and over again, the partnership and fellowship of our churches is the very heart of associational missions.  In spite of the rainy weather, we still had a good attendance for our meeting, as well as hearing some very encouraging reports, and, passing unanimously our revised Constitution and Bylaws.                 
I want to touch on two highlights from the evening session:         

First, the introduction of Mrs. Linda Gibbs to serve as the director of the new benevolence ministry of the Cherokee Baptist Association. This ministry was voted and approved upon my          recommendation at our July 18 Executive Committee Meeting. This ministry will be overseen by a board of directors which was also approved at our July Meeting.  A name, a mission statement, the tentative launch date, and many other details about this new mission effort will be forthcoming in the near future. So, please pray for Mrs. Linda, the board of directors, and the ability of this new     ministry to effectively serve those in genuine need of help.  

Second, we were inspired and challenged by a tremendous message “The Unlikely One,” from Bro. Daniel Wilson, Co-Director of the Office of Evangelism, SBOM.  This message focused on the Samaritan Woman’s encounter with Jesus, in John, Chapter Four.  As we are promoting the evangelism initiative, “Who’s Your One?,” this was a powerful reminder of those individuals that we know and encounter on a daily basis who need to be pointed to Jesus and the free gift of salvation.

On November 28, we will celebrate Thanksgiving, a day set aside for us to remember how we have been blessed and to give thanks. However, as a Christian, every day should be Thanksgiving, as Paul reminds us in  I Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We should never wait for a special day or designated time to offer thanks. Our lives should be filled with gratitude for what the Lord has done for us. A good place to start offering thanks is for the incredible gift of salvation we have. I try to make it a point every day to thank Him for saving me, and giving me the glorious privilege to serve as your associational missionary.
                            Bro. Wendell
                            II Corinthians 3:18

October 1, 2019

Our churches will gather on October 21 at Slackland BC for the 186th Annual Meeting of the Cherokee Baptist Association. This is a tremendous statement of faithfulness to our spiritual ancestors, who for 186 years have served together to bring us to this point. From the founding of this association in 1833 to our current day, the churches who made up this association were resolved to serve together in a partnership in order to accomplish the best and the most for God. Today, we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those who came before us. We can only imagine the sacrifices, the selfless giving beyond their means, and the hardships they endured to make sure the following generations could succeed and extend the Kingdom of God. We must remember they served the Lord with great faithfulness and passion in spite of limited transportation, very little money, few resources, and none of the modern technology we enjoy. Their success in serving came through prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit, preaching Jesus, and the partnership of working together.  We truly are “sitting in the shade of trees we did not plant.”  May we be faithful to plant trees to provide shade for those yet to come.   

     I look forward to seeing the family of the Cherokee Baptist Association as we gather to celebrate God’s goodness to us. This year’s Annual Meeting is very important as we will hear and vote on our amended Constitution and Bylaws. Also, we will be hearing from our associational leaders and several of our Baptist entities. Our evening service will primarily be a time of worship with Slackland’s choir providing our special music. Bro. Daniel Wilson will be preaching the message in our evening session. He is one of our State Missionaries who just recently was named as the new Director of Evangelism, upon the retirement of Bro. Sammy Gilbreath. You will be blessed to hear Bro. Daniel as he is an exceptionally gifted preacher and has a heart for revival and revitalization in the local church.  
Thank you for all you do, and for allowing me to serve as your associational missionary.             
                                                Bro. Wendell          
                                                II Corinthians 3:18