Last October, three men from the Halifax Baptist Association (HBA) went on an expolatory trip to Bay Area Baptist Association (BABA) in Midland, Michigan. These three men included: Marty Beall, the Associational Mission Strategist of HBA; John Marsh, Pastor of Bella Vista Baptist Church; and Chet Thomas, Pastor of First Baptist Church Flagler Beach. BABA is a predominantly rural association, about two hours north of Detroit, that covers twelve counties with a population of 800,000 and only twelve Southern Baptist churches.
The purpose of their visit last fall, was to discuss the possibility of a mutual partnership between the two associations. Thomas described the meeting with David Roberts, Associational Mission Strategist for BABA, and several other pastors, as a “good time of prayer and discussion.”
The visit to Michigan resulted in a three year partnership, which would consist of HBA helping BABA with construction projects, VBS, training for pastors, as well as church planting and revitalization efforts. In return, BABA also plans to send teams to Florida to assist the HBA with ministries and outreach that take place during the Daytona 500, as well as during Bike Week. There is also the possibility of both the HBA and BABA coming together and hosting a joint Pastor’s Conference next year in Florida for the two associations.
“We’re a small association helping a smaller association,” stated Beall.
In May, Justin and Desireé Mundt, of FBC Flagler Beach, were commissioned by the church to begin a construction project, the very first project planned through this assocaiational partnership.
“No matter how small the association, church, or mission team – they can have an impact. I am always thankful when a church ‘leaves the building’ and goes and helps someone else,” says Craig Culbreth, the East Regional Catalyst for the Florida Baptist Convention.
While serving in Michigan, the Mundt’s helped River Walk Baptist Church replace a fence on their property and served in the church’s weekly food ministry, feeding a hot meal to about 60 people. The Mundt’s also assisted their host church, Emmanuel Baptist, with various maintenance projects on an entire floor dedicated to housing missionaries and mission teams.
Desireé Mundt expressed that everyone was so “lovely, welcoming, and hospitable.” She continued by stating that the trip was “not about a fence, but about serving God together. We could not have asked for a better experience. It may have been our first mission trip, but it won’t be our last!”
The HBA is looking forward to the next three years of partnership as they help provide encouragement and support to their Michigan partner churches.
“When we give, God blesses,” says Beall.