Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Evangelist Bailey Smith (AD 1939-2019)


Excerpts from Christian Index article by Gerald Harris: 

"Most Baptists have known Bailey Smith as both a successful pastor and an effective evangelist for more than six decades and his death has left a significant spiritual void in the 21st century church that seems to be struggling to keep evangelism a priority.

The book The Sacred Trust by Emir and Ergun Caner avows, “Without a doubt (Bailey) Smith is the ideal personification of a Christian who has an unwavering, single-minded commitment to fulfilling the Great Commission.

It was during his tenure as pastor of the Oklahoma church that he became the youngest man ever to serve as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Smith authored the best seller Real Evangelism and has several books to his credit, including Taking Back the GospelReal Christianity, Real Christian Excellence, and The Grace Escape. He was working on his biography at the time of his death.

Bailey’s greatest asset on earth for the past 55 years has been his wife, Sandy Elliff Smith. The Smiths have three sons: Bailey Scott , Steven Wayne, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, and James Joshua, who is pastor of Prince Avenue Baptist Church in Bogart. Smith is not only survived by his wife and sons, but by eight grandchildren."

More information at: 

Evangelist Bailey Smith was one of my heroes.  He was the second SBC president of the SBC Conservative Resurgence.  I remember voting for him at the Southern Baptist Convention.  I was just out of college (ETBU) and will always be grateful to my parents for helping me with the expense of attending those conventions. 

Bailey proudly stood for evangelism and the inerrancy of the Bible.  To the young preachers out there – get his books and listen to his preaching.  You don’t have to preach like him, or anyone else, but you can certainly learn and profit from him. 

Updates: 
“I believe Jonah was a literal person swallowed by a literal fish, spit out of a literal stomach, and in a literal mess,”  -Bailey Smith, upon his presidential election, during the height of the Conservative Resurgence. 


"Bailey Smith, having transferred his permanent address to a golden strand in the presence of the Lord, leaves behind a legacy of men and women led to Christ.  And though that was not all that he did, who can leave a more noble legacy?...
As pastor of one of the greatest SBC churches, First Southern Del City, Oklahoma, a graduate of Southwestern Seminary, twice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and forever a supporter of the biblical role of the evangelist, Bailey was simply remarkable.  His Real Evangelism conferences were an encouragement to tens of thousands.  His encouragement on a personal level was the deep work of God’s Spirit in his soul…"

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 15, AD 2019. 


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Monday, January 7, 2019

Paige Patterson Issues Statement Addressing Recent Events


Former Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson released a statement in late November addressing a statement from Kevin Ueckert, chairman of Southwestern’s board. 

“While I do not have any interest in continued dialogue related to Southwestern’s Trustees or officials, I do always want the whole story to be told,” Patterson wrote.  “As Chairman Ueckert indicated in his recent letter to Southwestern’s donors, I am deeply appreciative for anything that the trustees did to recognize my 42 years of training preachers and missionaries in the denomination, including 15 years at Southwestern Seminary. 

“I was unable,” Patterson continued, “to accept the Executive Committee’s proposed settlement agreements because all contained a strict nondisclosure clause.  I have launched no campaign against Southwestern and do not intend to do so.  But neither will I sign a statement that commits my family and me to positions that we cannot guarantee.  One wonders what I have done to generate such a request.  I would have thought the trustees would know me well enough after 42 years to know that I would never sign such an agreement.  Nevertheless, for this reason, I was unable to accept the proposed settlement agreements.” 
-article in Southern Baptist Texan, January, 2019, print copy, p. 13.  

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 7, AD 2019. 

Labels:  Paige Patterson, SWBTS Trustees, Nondisclosure Clause

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

LGBT and Suicide


So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  -Genesis 1:27

Youth who identify as homosexual, bisexual, and transgender have a significantly higher risk of suicide and life-threatening behavior compared with heterosexual youth, according to an extensive study published in JAMA Pediatrics, 2018.  Biblical morality is better, safer, and should be widely taught.  We are to love everyone, but it is not loving to affirm sinful, self-destructive behavior. 

My heart goes out to anyone who considers, or commits suicide.  Please see “13 Reasons Why Not to Commit Suicide,” linked below. 

Suicide affects all groups and categories of people.  Yet, when one group has a significantly higher rate of suicide and life-threatening behavior, it should give us pause.  It should cause sincere concern. 

Some will contend the higher rate is because of the general population not accepting their lifestyles.  But LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) lifestyles have more acceptance today than ever.  Furthermore, these higher rates of self-destructive behaviors are also seen in even more accepting cultures such as Sweden. 

Excerpts from Christian Post article:

Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, told The Christian Post that the study "confirms what no one disputes: Namely, that youth who identify as LGBQT have higher rates of mental illness leading to a greater risk of life-threatening behaviors."

Sweden is among the most LGBT affirming nations in the world, yet, LGBT mental illness and suicide rates in Sweden are just as dramatically elevated relative to the general population.

A September study conducted by Russell B. Toomey, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona-Tucson, found that more than half of all teenagers who identify as female to male transgender have attempted suicide.

For more information:

Love everyone.  Treat everyone with respect.  All are made in the image of God.  But also, lovingly point to the truth. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 2, AD 2019. 

Update: 
Therapy bans and reports of trans regret grow
“Former transgender activist Walt Heyer, 78, had sex change surgery in 1983 and lived as a woman for eight years before he became a Christian and accepted his biological sex. He released ‘Trans Life Survivors’ in October, a book of stories from dozens of individuals who regret their decision to undergo sex change surgery. The book tells 30 stories, but Heyer said hundreds contacted him and said they wished they hadn't identified as transgender.”  -Baptist Press


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Monday, November 26, 2018

John Allen Chau - Missionary, Martyr


“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people.  Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed.”  
- John Allen Chau, 26 year old missionary who gave his life trying to reach a primitive tribe with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

John Allen Chau was a missionary to several countries.  He recently went to a remote Indian island to tell a primitive tribe that he loved them, and so did Jesus.  The tribe apparently killed him and buried him in the sand. 

Many have since criticized Chau.  I beg to differ. 

Do not expect the secular media to understand or appreciate the concept of Christian Missions.  They usually don’t.  But in this case, even many Christians have condemned Chau. 

We do not know what was in this missionary’s heart.  But I’m inclined to believe the best, not the worst. 

Some may have considered Jonah a self-appointed missionary to Nineveh.  Or maybe a thrill seeker.  And he could have easily been tortured and killed.  Yet he was following God’s will. 

Virtually every one of Jesus’ 12 disciples eventually died as a result of their missionary work.  A missionary dying does not necessarily mean failure. 

Perhaps God calls some to go and die.  We should be careful to judge. 

Sometimes we are to hide from danger, or protect ourselves from danger; sometimes not. 

When a people are in danger of going to Hell, some are willing to take heroic measures to save them.  Reminds me of - Jesus. 
~
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  -John 12:24-25 NKJV
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  -Romans 5:8

For More Information:


Update:
Despite the need for effective entry methods to a people group, Eitel said, sometimes a missionary may be called to attempt bold evangelistic campaigns that imperil their lives.
"If you can't contact anybody" in the group you're trying to reach, Eitel said, "then try to only venture in when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that even if it costs you your life, that this is what God wants you to do."
If God called Chau to make such a sacrifice, Eitel said, his death may inspire other missionaries to reach the Sentinelese and other uncontacted UUPGs for years to come.


-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 26, AD 2018. 


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Monday, November 19, 2018

Mildred McWhorter and the Rotten Watermelons


In the early1970s I had the opportunity to serve two summers as a summer missionary (aka volunteer, critter) at the Baptist Mission Centers in Houston, Texas.  The Director was Mildred McWhorter (AD 1930-2018).  My dad, Joe Brumbelow, was pastor of Doverside Baptist Church, 619 Berry Road in Houston.  Joe and Bonnie Brumbelow had a long friendship with Mildred McWhorter and their churches had occasionally provided meals for the summer missionaries, often around 30 or more. 

I began preaching in my teen years and Miss McWhorter inquired whether I would be interested in serving as a summer missionary.  She mentioned she usually did not allow summer missionaries to serve until they were out of high school, but because she personally knew me and my parents, she thought it might work out.  I felt the Lord leading and agreed.  I would live at home and just commute back and forth.  I was paid the whopping sum of $45 a week the first summer, and because of decreased available funds, $35 a week the next summer.  This was while I was a sophomore and junior at Sam Houston High School.  I learned a tremendous amount from Miss McWhorter, the other summer missionaries, and the ministry there. 

I heard of the time some classy ladies from an affluent church arrived and wanted to help for the day.  Dressed in their best, Miss McWhorter directed them to a large, overflowing closet that needed emptied, cleaned, and organized.  It was dirty, tough work.  It did not take them long to feel a calling elsewhere and to announce they could not stay any longer. 

Though there was mutual respect between my parents and Miss McWhorter, she did not go easy on me.  I don’t think she went easy on anyone.  It did not take her long to find out if a summer missionary was going to work out.  But she didn’t ask anyone to do work she was not willing to do herself. 

My very first day Miss McWhorter took me to a large garbage bin.  Not the kind we have that are picked up and emptied by a truck.  This large bin was made out of plywood.  She explained that a truckload of watermelons had been donated to the Fletcher Street Mission.  They had a watermelon party a week or two before and had thrown all the watermelon rinds in this outdoor garbage bin.  They were now rotten, mushy, and smelled terrible.  The garbage truck would not pick them up unless they were put in garbage bags.  She handed me a box of garbage bags.  A lot of garbage bags.  My first job as a missionary was to put the rotten watermelon rinds in garbage bags, tie them, and place them on the sidewalk for pickup.  No one else to help me, just me and the garbage bags.  Oh, and I had no gloves, though later I did get to wash my hands. 

It took a long, long while, but I bagged the rotten watermelon rinds without objection; my parents had raised me right.  After that first day, I think Miss McWhorter decided I would work out just fine. 

I later got to do other things, dirty and otherwise.  I got to teach, preach a little, and do all types of ministry.  On one occasion I was put in charge of teaching a group of about 55 or 60 kids in a two-week Vacation Bible School at the Mission Centers.  In all the work we did, we shared the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But I’ll always remember my first day and the rotten watermelons.  She had probably saved them a couple of weeks just for me. 

Compared to what Jesus did for us, rotten watermelon rinds are nothing.  If Jesus washed the disciples feet, if He died for the world, then no job should be beneath us. 

By the way, others called her Miss Mac.  I didn’t.  I was too scared.  I always called her Miss McWhorter. 




-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 19, AD 2018. 


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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Obituary: Mildred McWhorter


Mildred McWhorter (AD 1930-2018) died June 17 in Franklin, Georgia at age 87.  A native of Georgia, she came to Texas in 1958 to do mission work in Port Arthur.  She then moved to Houston, TX in 1963.  She led the Baptist Mission Centers in Houston from 1963-1992.  The Baptist Mission Centers were a ministry of local Baptists as well as the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board). 

At Centralhatchee Baptist Church, Centralhatchee, GA, Mildred was saved at 13 after learning John 3:16 and realizing the “whosoever” meant her.  She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Berry College, Rome, GA and studied at the Carver School of missions and Social Word at Louisville, KY.  Turned down by the Foreign Mission Board (IMB), she began work with the Home Mission Board. 

She became legendary in her work in lower income areas of inner-city Houston.  She loved the people and loved Jesus.  In meeting needs of food and clothing, she always shared the love and salvation found in Jesus Christ.  She ministered to drug addicts, prostitutes, gang members, and regular low-income folks.  Not all appreciated her ministry, she estimated the tires on her car had been slashed well over 100 times.  She coordinated the work of hundreds of volunteers, often college and seminary students.  David R. Brumbelow had the privilege of being one of her volunteers (Critters) for two summers while he was in High School (more about that in a future article). 

Miss McWhorter (Miss Mac) never married and felt she could not have accomplished what she did with the responsibilities of a husband and children.  She did adopt three boys after their mother died, Carl Guevara, Lloyd Lane, Terry Lane. 

She never lost her love of Georgia.  She would occasionally speak of going to the Holy Land.  Some thought she was taking a trip to Israel; she was speaking of Georgia.  Upon retirement, she returned to the Holy Land, Centralhatchee, Georgia. 

My parents, Joe and Bonnie Brumbelow, knew her well and thought the world of Miss McWhorter.  I remember in the late 1960s my church provided a meal for the critters at the Baptist Mission Centers.  Miss McWhorter told mom and dad (my dad was the pastor) she always looked forward to a meal from their church because they always did a first-class job.  By the way, when your church provides such a meal, make sure you do your best cooking and provide plenty of it; it can be a huge blessing. 

Miss McWhorter had a tremendous influence on the volunteers, as well as thousands in the communities of the Fletcher and Joy Mission Centers. 

For more about Mildred McWhorter:

Always a Friend: The Story of Mildred McWhorter, by Jan Turrentine; 1988. 
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 14, AD 2018. 




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