Has a nice ring to it--don't you think? Haywood Baptist Association is meant to be a hub for coordinating, supporting, training, and resourcing mission efforts beginning in Haywood County and to the ends of the earth!
Great Commission headquarters is the local church, of course. That is God's design. But, the New Testament also shows the value of churches partnering together. Paul commended the churches of Macedonia for this, and used their example to inspire the Corinthians to join in helping the Judean churches that were struggling, (cf. 2 Cor. 8:1-7). Likewise, Paul expressed gratitude for the church at Philippi and their "fellowship [partnership] in the gospel," (Phil. 1:5).
We also know that the church is not a building--it is the people. Yet, we meet in a building and it is a place dedicated for the members to exalt the Lord, be equipped, educated, and encouraged. This base of operations prepares us to evangelize our community.
Just so, the Associational Office in Clyde has been a place utilized for Gospel partnership. Many good things have happened on this hill. But, now it is time for growth. Haywood Baptists have come into possession of the facilities and property of what was formerly East Waynesville Baptist Church. Your officers are proposing that we sell the current HBA building and invest in that East Waynesville campus. Our offices and meetings will move there, once the current facilities are sold. We envision more:
A place where new churches are started;
A spot where more training and equipping can be done;
Showers and rooms for housing mission teams;
Potential partnerships with the Baptist State Convention, especially Baptists on Mission;
A place where outreach and ministry efforts can be launched, and so much more!
The move would not take place until the current property is sold. Here is the proposal to be voted on at our Associational Meeting on October 24, at East Fork Baptist Church, 7 PM:
That the current property of Haywood Baptist Association located at 228 Edwards Road be sold, with the proceeds going to enhance the facilities of the former East Waynesville Baptist Church, in order to establish the Haywood Baptist Association Mission Center. Extra monies after these renovations and the cost of moving will be designated to missions and ministries of the HBA, especially to assist members of our churches in mission trips.
You have to make the decision. We ask you to prayerfully consider it. If you would like a conversation, please contact me. Such a big proposal means some may have questions. For this reason, we will have a listening session at our current HBA offices, on Tuesday evening, September 26 at 7:00 PM.
With Excitement for the Future,
Dennis Thurman, AMS