Cherokee Baptist Association - Centre, Alabama
Cherokee Baptist Association
Sunday, December 15, 2019

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."


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

September 1, 2019


September has arrived and with it comes a new church year. In a few days our churches will be returning their Annual Church Profile (ACP) to the associational office. Many people in our congregations may wonder or even ask, “What is this for?” Some may even think it is a means of prying into the local church’s business, and this is simply not true. As an association of churches, we are in a partnership of serving together as is stated in our mission statement at the bottom of this newsletter. This is a voluntary partnership and each local church is autonomous and can chose what they want to report. However, we must remember that for the fellowship of our association to work most effectively, there is the need for us to pray for each other, work together, and be committed to each other. The ACP serves as a primary means to help us measure how we can best minister and work together as an association. It helps me and our associational leaders determine what ministries and training opportunities we need to start or provide. Also, it helps us to gauge the trends of decline or markers of success we are experiencing. Personally, it enables me to better understand where our churches are and to identify more closely with them and to be more focused in prayer for each church. 

Hopefully, we will all see and understand the importance of reporting because numbers really do matter. They are so important that God even gave a book in the Bible the name Numbers. The Bible is filled with accounts of people being counted. The most important thing to remember about the numbers we report is that each one represents a person that God loves, and Jesus died for. 

I look forward to seeing good reports from your ACP this year and anticipate even greater things in the new church year.     
                             Bro. Wendell
                             II Corinthians 3:18