It is unusual for a well-known conference speaker to choose a remote Native American location over a city that could draw a large audience.
In Chinle, Living Proof Live with Beth Moore became more than an event.
After the initial conference was held in 2016, the Living Proof Live team worked with Arizona organizers to equip leaders to spread the gospel on the reservation.
Beth Moore and LifeWay Christian Resources provided Bible study DVDs and workbooks at no cost so that the women could begin reaching out to their communities and leaders could be raised up in Native American churches.
North Phoenix Baptist Church and Pastor Noe Garcia hosted a memorial service for Senator John McCain, Thursday, Aug. 30, in the church’s worship center. The Arizona senator, 81, died Saturday, Aug. 25.
According to news reports, Senator McCain had been planning his memorial services since being diagnosed with brain cancer last fall. So, while there were additional services memorializing McCain over the span of five days, the decision to have the Arizona service at North Phoenix Baptist Church was the senator’s.
In fact, the McCain family has considered the Phoenix congregation to be their church family since 1991, when Cindy McCain was baptized there. McCain, who had been raised Episcopalian, was not baptized in the church, but had attended with his family over the years.
Pastors from all over Arizona attended the Arizona Pastors Conference at Foothills Baptist Church in Ahwatukee Sept. 18-19. The event offered pastors the opportunity to improve their pastoral care and experience encouragement.
Brian Bowman, lead pastor of Valley Life Church Tramonto, fronted the planning of the event along with Nate Millican, lead pastor of Foothills Baptist Church.
“Ministry is famously difficult work,” Bowman said. “Pastoring a church can sometimes add a sense of professional isolation to the difficulty. A conference of this kind allows the pastor a reason to mark a couple of days on his calendar where he can expect to be with friends, hear teaching from the Bible and let his guard down a bit.”
The sale of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention office and Gateway Seminary Arizona Campus in Scottsdale and purchase of an office complex in northwest Phoenix are back on, said AZSBC Executive Director David Johnson.
A real estate developer backed out of the original agreement to purchase the AZSBC’s property on Hayden Road in Scottsdale earlier this year, leading the convention to cancel its offer to purchase Cornerstone Plaza, the property in northwest Phoenix.
Pastors and members of small churches heard words of encouragement and help at Revitalize West 2018, held Aug. 24-25 at First Southern Baptist Church, Avondale.
“Pastoring a small church is not a penalty for doing something wrong,” said Karl Vaters, one of the two keynote speakers. “It’s a specialty, and it’s worth doing well.”
Small churches have value and impact for the kingdom of God, Vaters said, summing up the message of Revitalize West, which was sponsored by the church revitalization team of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention.
Why was the focus on small churches? Because the average attendance of a Southern Baptist Church in Arizona is 77, and it is the belief of the revitalization team and the speakers at the conference that churches attended by less than 250 people are “normative-sized” churches. According to Vaters, small churches are more widely and more evenly distributed around the world than Coca-Cola.
Bill Stone, a retired Arizona Southern Baptist pastor and chaplain, died Aug. 24 in Phoenix. He was 88.
The founding pastor of First Baptist Church, Litchfield Park, in the early 1980s, Stone worked alongside volunteers who constructed the church’s building. Earlier, he was pastor of Central Baptist Church, Tucson, in the early 1960s, during which time Pantano Baptist Church, Tucson, was started as a mission of Central. He was also pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Flagstaff. Other pastorates included churches in Arkansas, Texas and California.