Christmas in the Villages reaches 800 kids

With the help of many volunteers and supporters, Eric and Brittany Gibbs and Julia Curtis, North American Mission Board Mission Service Corps missionaries, brought Christmas to seven villages in the Tohono O’Odham Nation in December.

Through Live Love Ministries, directed by Eric Gibbs, the missionaries conducted Christmas in the Villages, ministering to 800 children and their families.

In three smaller villages, children were directly sponsored by individuals and churches who prayed for them and bought three to five gifts per child. In the larger villages, gifts and funds for gifts were donated by churches and individuals throughout the nation. Read More →

Conference prepares VBS directors

A total of 54 people from 38 churches attended Arizona Southern Baptists’ VBS Directors’ Conference at Royal Palms Baptist Church, Phoenix, on Saturday, Feb. 1.

The conference helped directors lay the groundwork for Concrete and Cranes, LifeWay Christian Resources’ 2020 construction-themed VBS that will help children learn how to build their faith on Jesus. The conference is held early in the year to help directors recruit and build their VBS teams.

The 2020 conference included three new topics: recruiting your team, how to use teenagers effectively in VBS and making your VBS safe — security on campus and prevention of sexual abuse. Read More →

Project: Pray for every church

As part of Arizona Southern Baptists’ year of prayer in 2020, a Pray for Every Church Project was launched Jan. 2. The goal is to pray for every Arizona Southern Baptist church and its pastor before the AZSBC annual meeting in November.

“I hope people all around the state will join in the Pray for Every Church Project,” AZSBC Executive Director David Johnson said. “Individuals can participate daily just by using their phone or computer, and churches can publish the list of churches to pray for in their bulletins or newsletters.”

The names of churches and pastors are posted through Arizona Southern Baptists’ social media channels — Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. One church is featured on Sunday, two each day Monday-Friday, with Saturday as a review or catch-up day. The entire dated list is available at pray2020az.org, where a prayer guide — Praying the 4 P’s (prayer for pastors, God’s people, God’s providence, the perishing) — is also available. Read More →

Surge inspires confidence in gospel

College students from all over the state came together for Surge, Christian Challenge AZ’s annual discipleship conference, at Emmanuel Pines Camp in Prescott, Feb. 7-9.

Adam Groza, vice president for enrollment and student services at Gateway Seminary, spoke to the students about this year’s theme: Gospel Confidence.

“We need to be confident in who Christ is, what Christ has done — and that confidence needs to affect the way we live,” he said.
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Yeary, former North Phoenix pastor, dies at 81

Dan Yeary, former pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church and longtime Baptist minister, died Jan. 4 in Houston. He was 81.

“We are grateful for Pastor Dan’s 20 years of faithful leadership at North Phoenix Baptist Church,” North Phoenix Pastor Noe Garcia wrote  in a social media post. “He led with the Holy Spirit, humility and a passion that every generation would know Jesus. Pastor Dan always said, ‘The best is yet to come.’ So, it is with both earthly sorrow and heavenly joy we know the Lord welcomed Pastor Dan into heaven.”
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Terry Posey, retired Sun City pastor, dies

Terry Posey, retired pastor of First Baptist Church of Sun City, died Jan. 15. He was 82.

Posey was pastor of the Sun City church for more than 15 years. Prior to that, he was pastor of churches in Oregon and Idaho.

In his 43 years of pastoral ministry, he led the churches he pastored to start more than 20 new churches, either as the sponsoring or supporting church.
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Escuela Bíblica de Liderazgo holds graduation

The graduation of students from the Escuela Bíblica de Liderazgo-ASBC was celebrated on January 25 at Calvario Phoenix church.

With members of different churches, families and friends attending, five students graduated. Receiving the Diploma in Basic level were Lorena Oliveros, Marisol Popoca and Esmeralda Vera. Receiving the Diploma for the Intermediate level were Yesenia Anaya and Berenice Perez.

Participants in the program included Josue Castro, Arizona Southern Baptist Convention Hispanic ministries facilitator leading the music; Ramon Rodriguez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Central, Phoenix, praying the invocation; David Johnson, AZSBC executive director, giving the challenge; and Ken Belflower, AZSBC church planting facilitator, giving the dedication prayer. Fernando Amaro, director of the school, organized the event.

After 32 years, Henry retires from AZSBC

Keith Henry, who served on the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention staff more than 32 years, retired Dec. 31, 2019.

Henry joined the convention staff as Baptist Student Ministries (now Christian Challenge) director at Arizona State University in 1987. He became the AZSBC ministry leadership facilitator in 2001.
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Staff changes in Valley Rim and Grand Canyon Associations

Two Arizona Southern Baptist associations experienced staff changes recently.

David Cox became the associational missionary in Grand Canyon Association in October 2019. He assists churches in the association with discovering resources to fulfill their mission and fosters mutual support through development and nurture of relationships between associational leaders and churches. Grand Canyon Association has 11 churches and three missions, two on Native American reservations and All Nations in Flagstaff.

In addition, Cox continues to serve as a bivocational pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Ash Fork.
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Durham to fill new role

Keith Durham, church revitalization specialist with the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention since May 2017, will fill a new AZSBC facilitator role as church health facilitator beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

In this new position, Durham will continue to focus on church revitalization, but he will also concentrate on leadership development and church ministries.

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