I am speaking from my heart to our Florida Baptist family. I thank you for your commitment and demonstration of the Florida Baptist Convention focus on being multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-locational, and multi-generational. Our Florida Baptist Family through actions have been inclusive in ministry, mission, and method for all churches. Every aspect of our Florida Baptist structure reflects the diversity of Florida. I am thankful that every church has access to all that is offered in resources and support. We have intentionally and strategically worked together to focus on reaching Florida for Christ. The Florida Baptist Convention exists to serve the churches of the Florida Baptist Family.
Erik Cummings, our Florida Baptist Convention President, has faithfully and fruitfully led us to be a family that is unified in Christ. I celebrate the beauty of our Florida Baptist Convention gatherings that reflects the uniqueness of age, race, and theological perspectives of our pastors and churches. This consistent message of unity has knitted our hearts, prayers, fellowship, and ministries together to reach Florida for Christ. We are not perfect in this process, but we are committed to stand against racism and division. I rejoice that God turns our ashes into beauty. The Psalmist declares, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
I do not have the answer to all the spiritual, cultural, and political issues that are deeply dividing the brethren across SBC life. I am grateful that by God’s grace, mercy, and love that Florida Baptists have committed to Challenge 2025. Challenge 2025 drives us to serve together as a family to reach people for Christ, plant churches, revitalize churches, be engaged in missions, and give cooperatively to reach Florida and beyond for Christ. Challenge 2025 demands strong relationships with each other and celebrating what God is doing in every church. In these challenging days, I encourage all Florida Baptists to be diligent in prayer for continued and expanded unity among our family of churches. Pray for God’s protection over our common mission and that God would continue to knit our hearts together.
During this season of the year, in the midst of the discourse, may we be reminded of the desire of our Savior!
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.