By Rhonda Abbott Blevins
Spring Gathering 2016 is in the books! We worshipped with preaching by Karen Thomas Smith of the Protestant Church of Morocco and music leadership by Naomi King Walker of Immanuel Baptist in Frankfort. On Friday night, Kristin Belcher and I were installed in our new roles. Those gathered said thank you to Iraline Craig of Midway Baptist for her year as moderator. Our thanks to Kimbrough Simmons, our new moderator, for his leadership in coordinating the entire event, and to Alice Mull for organizing the resource fair.
We hosted our first ever networking and continuing education event for chaplains and pastoral counselors, a workshop on human trafficking led by Candace Hansford of Campbellsville University. Steven Porter of CBF Global Missions led a workshop helping us rethink evangelism in today's context. Other breakouts included discussions about refugees, racial reconciliation in Louisville, women in ministry, predatory lending, and a session informing us about changes in structure in our global missions efforts.
Our thanks to Campbellsville University, president Michael Carter, and the staff, faculty, and students for their amazing hospitality. They went out of their way to welcome us and make our time in Campbellsville a wonderful experience.
Scholarship and travel grant recipients
Benjamin Burton was named the 2016 KBF Scholarship Recipient. Burton is a native of West Virginia and currently attends Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. He is a 2015 graduate of Campbellsville University. Burton works for Simply Mac Apple Premier Partner and is a member of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville. Congratulations, Ben!
For the first time, Kentucky Baptist Fellowship offered travel grants to first-time attendees of KBF Spring Gathering and CBF General Assembly. We are delighted to offer this year's travel grants to Pastor Lisa Zahalka of Big Spring Bloomfield Presbyterian Trinity Baptist Church in Bloomfield, Kentucky. Lisa led her congregation to partner with KBF following the church's dismissal from their local Southern Baptist Association after calling her as pastor. Congratulations, Lisa, on the travel grant! It's great to have you in the Fellowship!
A vote to rebrand as CBF Kentucky
During the business session on Friday night of Spring Gathering, participants voted to rebrand Kentucky Baptist Fellowship as Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Kentucky (CBF/KY). Over the past year, a task force studied the opportunity to join CBF Global in their rebranding efforts launched in February, 2015. The task force included: Bob Baker, chair, Tim Hobbs, Matt Johnson, Alix Davidson Keller, and Alice Mull. As a result of their nearly year-long process, the task force identified several reasons to consider rebranding. Among those reasons included the alleviation of confusion between KBF and other Baptist entities in Kentucky. The task force suggested that tying into the global brand strengthens our identity within the Commonwealth and beyond. The coordinating council approved their recommendation, sending it to the membership at Spring Gathering for final approval. The membership approved the motion. The official roll out of the new branding initiative is anticipated summer 2016. For a sneak peak of our new logo, click here.
Next year, we look forward to holding our annual Spring Gathering at Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington.
Check out our photo album from Spring Gathering 2016, and see you next year in Lexington!