A Baptist Association can be described as a fellowship of churches on mission locally and globally. In England, the formation of the first Baptist association followed the county geographical lines that were originally drawn for defensive purposes. The first Baptist Association in America was The Philadelphia Baptist Association, which was founded in 1701. In Texas, the first Baptist association was formed on October 8, 1840. These early associations proved that they would be able to do more to promote the Gospel together than they could alone.
I served as Director of Missions for twenty-one years, and in 2007, I was blessed to be able to lead a group on tour of the site of the first gathering of the Philadelphia Baptist Association 200 years earlier. As we toured the site, I was reminded that the New Testament refers to “one another” one hundred times in ninety-four passages. The early church knew the value of “one another.”
Acts 15 records a conference of churches meeting in Jerusalem to settle doctrinal conflict. From my experience, the churches and the pastors who get into most conflicts are churches and leaders I refer to as “lone rangers.” They do not cooperate or fellowship with others, and they try to do ministry alone. We need one another. No one church, no one pastor is going to reach all the lost in any given community.
In September and October of 2016, Baptist Missionary Associations and Southern Baptist Associations held meetings all across Texas. Susan and I attended fourteen BMAT associational meetings, and Jacksonville College staff attended another six. It was important for Jacksonville College to have a representative at each associational meeting so we could thank the association, churches, and individuals for their support of the College. We spent time and money to do this because we believe we need one another. I was able to see many of you personally and thank you for your prayers and financial support, and I was blessed to enjoy some fried chicken and pecan pie with some of you in fellowship and share with you the news of all that God is doing at Jacksonville College.
I hope you and your church financially support your local Baptist association, and I hope to see you at the annual state meeting at Farley Street Baptist Church in Waxahachie on November 14-15. Why? Because we need one another.
WHY I ATTEND JACKSONVILLE COLLEGE...
“I came to Jacksonville College because I believe a higher education is beneficial to success in life. The school is Christian based and they strive to make sure the students have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Judson Frazier, student from Elkhart, Texas Member of Montalba Baptist Church
WHY I WORK AT JACKSONVILLE COLLEGE...
“I attended Jacksonville College in 1971-1973 and since then it has become a part of my life. I love working in a Christian environment. The Lord has provided me an opportunity to help parents and students to continue their education. I get to work alongside the best co-workers in the world.”
Paul Galyean, JC Director of Financial Aid Member of Craft Baptist Church, Jacksonville
HAVE YOU HEARD THIS ONE?
STUDENT: Teacher, would you be mad at someone for something they did not do?
TEACHER: Of course not!
STUDENT: Good, because I did not do my homework.