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Biblical Recorder 03 05 2011 E Edition - Page 1

N E W S J O U R N A L O F N O R T H C A R O L I N A B A P T I S T S V O L . 1 7 7 , N O . 5 M A R C H 5 , 2 0 1 1 W W W . B I B L I C A L R E C O R D E R . O R G

(See Frank Page Page 6) (See Mississippi Page 7)

BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle

MEETING - NAMB church planting missionary Howard Burkhart, right, holds a church planting strat- egy session in Walnut Creek, Calif., with Brazilian couple Wanderley and Claudia Alvares. Burkhart is one of the Week of Prayer missionaries for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. He and his ministry in California is highlighted in a video available at www.youtube.com/biblicalrecorder.

Mississippi couple minister in Calif.'s vast mission field

By Mickey Noah NAMB


ttending a beginning sign language course as part of the deaf ministry at 38th Avenue Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Miss., in 1979, How- ard Burkhart III liked his teacher so much he married her. Because of Tina McMillan (Burkhart) and her attentive pupil, Howard - both students at the University of Southern Mississippi at the time - untold hundreds of the hearing and hearing- impaired from Mississippi to California have not only been taught how to communicate, but how to accept Christ as their Savior. Today, the Burkharts' ministry - based in Benicia, Calif., just north of San Francisco - ex- tends far beyond the deaf community, although that remains their first love. Howard, 52, is a church planting strategist in the San Francisco Bay and San Diego areas and a jointly funded missionary for the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the California Southern Baptist Convention. In fact, Howard and Tina are only two of more than 5,000 missionaries in the United States, Canada and their territories supported by the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (AAEO) for North American Missions. They are among the mission- aries featured as part of the annual Week of Prayer, March 6-13, 2011. Visit www.anniearmstrong.com for resources. With a theme of Start Here, the 2011 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering's goal is $70 million, 100 percent of which benefits missionaries like the Burkharts.

Photo by Greg Schneider

By Erin Roach & Mark Kelly Baptist Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Executive Committee (EC) members, Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) entity heads and other guests gathered in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 21 to inaugurate Frank Page as the SBC Executive Committee's sixth president. Page officially assumed the position Oct. 1 after serving 30 years as a pastor and in various denominational roles, including SBC president. Guests were led in worship in the Van Ness Audito- rium at LifeWay Christian Resources by Travis Cottrell, and several of Page's

Frank Page sets 'biblical vision'

colleagues spoke and prayed for him. Roger Spradlin, chairman of the Ex- ecutive Committee, presented Page and his wife Dayle with a certificate of inauguration, listing his many accom- plishments within the Southern Baptist Convention through the years. Frank has a pastor's heart, Spradlin said. He served as a pastor for many, many years. He loves pastors. He un- derstands pastors. He has a deep com- mitment to help pastors in their tasks in the local church. Page also has the heart of an evange- list, said Spradlin, pastor of Valley Bap- tist Church in Bakersfield, Calif. Frank regularly shares his faith. You can ask him anytime to share a story with you, and he will share a very current story, just something that happened in the last few days or few weeks at the most, of sharing his faith. And he encourages everyone around him to do so as well, Spradlin said. Page delivered a statement of his vision for the office, saying he wants to have priorities that would please the Lord. I speak to you tonight about a simple, biblical vision that I think the Lord brought to my heart, Page said, pointing to Genesis 12, the passage PETITIONING - Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee mem- bers pray over Frank and Dayle Page. By Robert Dilday & Ken Camp Associated Baptist Press Easter Sunday - the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ - is for Christians the culmination of their community life, expressing the heart of their faith. But among Baptists and other evangelicals, an intentional period of preparation for their holiest day is often understated or absent - in contrast to Christ- mas, the other great Christian observance, typically the focus of elaborate church festivities for weeks prior to Dec. 25. Many Baptists are seeking to reclaim that pre-Eas- ter focus - historically called Lent - which has been an integral part of many Christians' experience since the earliest years of the church. It's a biblical thing, not a made-up Catholic thing, says Kyle Henderson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Athens, Texas, acknowledging a robust Baptist suspicion of spiritual practices seen as too closely as- sociated with the Roman Catholic Church or its distant cousins, the Anglicans.

Lost treasure

Some Baptists say they sense those suspicions - in part a legacy of the Protestant Reformation - have left them with a diminished spiritual vocabulary. There is an uneasy sense that something got lost, says Phyllis Tickle, whose 2008 book, The Great Emergence , chronicles the blurring of denominational distinctions in late 20th- and early 21st-century Ameri- can Christianity. Every 500 years or so, says Tickle, the church meta- phorically holds a great rummage sale, getting rid of the junk that we believe no longer has value and find- ing treasures stuck in the attic because we didn't want them or were too nave to know their true worth. The Reformation was one of those rummage sales and the current great convergence is another, she maintains. For evangelicals, the long-forgotten trea- sures in the attic include a wide array of spiritual disci- plines - including Lent - with roots in the church's irst centuries. For Sterling Severns, discovering Lent and other

Some Baptists seek preparation for Easter Sunday

(See Some Baptists Page 6)

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