While on a 2021 Partnership Trip to the Lima Region of Peru, a team of church leaders from Northeast Georgia met with Peruvian Baptist pastors and an IMB Team Associate at a church plant in one of the Human Settlements in Jicamarca. Pictured from left are Pastor Johnny Cubas, Rick Howard (Summit BC, Loganville), Johnny Smith (IMB Team Associate), Pastor Luis Ubillus (Lima Baptist Association), Pastor Amador, Joe Fraser (Briarcliff BC, Watkinsville), Keith Ivey (GBMB).
Emerging from the shutdowns and quarantines of the pandemic, Georgia Baptists are continuing to get back into the swing of international missions with vision trips and mission trips. Each of the six regions has focuses on local, national and international partnerships. This has allowed churches to exponentially increase their impact and multiply their efforts. Acts 1:8 teaches a holistic approach to missional engagement with every church adopting a local mission field (Jerusalem), a regional field (Judea), a national one (Samaria) and an international focus (uttermost parts).
Here are a few updates of the missions efforts taking place across the state and nation.
ZIP Codes with the Most Unsaved Residents
In the northern regions of Georgia, Cumming and Lawrenceville are the two ZIP codes with the most unsaved residents. Multiple evangelistic events in both cities are happening this year, with associational and local church leadership as well as virtual strategy coordinators (VSC) offering their expertise.
Central cities, Augusta and Stockbridge, have been receiving mission teams from regional churches and other parts of the state. In the South region, Columbus and Savannah have “Crossover” events on the calendar for one-day, high-impact missional and evangelistic activities.
State Convention Partnerships
Georgia has partnerships with other state conventions for mission trips. Vision trips have already been taken to Utah/Idaho, Pennsylvania/South New Jersey, New England states, Puerto Rico and New York. In some cases, pastors and VSCs have returned from their trips to see an increase in the number of people who want to go with them on the next trips. Some of those state conventions have also provided local mission team support for housing and transportation, and at least one vision trip has resulted in a Georgia Baptist pastor relocating to that state as a missionary. A vision trip to Michigan for the East Central region is being planned for May to connect with both church planters and existing churches.
As a new pastor seeking to build a comprehensive missions strategy, Keith Ivey and the GBMB was the exact resource we needed to help mobilize our church in an Acts 1:8 way! With their guidance we connected with immediate opportunities. Our people are so excited to see what God’s going to do!
– Kyle Walker, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Cartersville
Georgia Baptists are also making an impact in Central and South America, in conjunction with IMB and other Great Commission Christians in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Argentina. Several vision trips were undertaken at the end of 2021, and there are several more being planned this spring and summer. Construction projects and meeting human needs are high priorities, and a partnership with Renew World Outreach has also supplied technology for evangelism advancement in remote locations.
A partnership with Pastor-to-Pastor training is also delivering practical theological training to indigenous pastors who otherwise receive none, and in some cases with national Baptist seminary certification. A new partnership with a missions volunteer agency can provide low-cost logistical support for Georgia Baptist churches in those countries.