By Diana Chandler
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — The National African American Fellowship (NAAF) of the Southern Baptist Convention has rebranded with the new website naaftogether.org, a new logo, and social media presence on several platforms.
NAAF will send a letter in mid-July announcing the change to its membership of about 4,000 African American Southern Baptist pastors, rebranding task force leader Kevin James told Baptist Press Tuesday, July 2.
“I’m excited about it, and I’m just excited about where God is leading us,” James, also NAAF’s director for the northern and western regions and pastor of New Creation Bible Fellowship in Tracy, California, said in unveiling the changes at the fellowship’s June business meeting. “The number one thing that we want to do, and that’s why we chose the URL naaftogether, is to connect everybody together.”
Design spotlights unity
“You know as Southern Baptists we say we can do more together than we can do by ourselves,” James said at the meeting held in Birmingham, Alabama in advance of the SBC 2019 Annual Meeting. “For the fellowship, we’re trying to bring everybody together in one place.”
The logo, featuring a cross transcending a globe, is designed to spotlight the Gospel message, unity, and affiliation with the SBC, leaders said. NAAF utilizes Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope, and is developing a presence on Twitter and Instagram.
NAAF rebranded to become more attractive to a social media-savvy audience, create a more navigable and functional website, and to more efficiently share information with fellowship churches, James said.
New resources for pastors and state African American fellowships include PowerPoint decks, NAAF flyers, letterhead, links to NAAF partners within and outside the SBC, and contact information for NAAF officers, regional leaders, and state presidents.
Database to help connect churches
Additional resources are planned, NAAF executive director Dennis Mitchell told BP.
“We are working on another very exciting initiative that we call NAAF Global Connect,” Mitchell said. “It’s a database that contains the names of NAAF churches that are engaged in mission projects and partnerships outside of the U.S.
“Having that information in the database will allow pastors and churches who might have an interest in going to Kenya for example, to see who is already working in Kenya, where, the nature of the project, and when those trips typically take place,” Mitchell said.
“We see that as an opportunity of connecting churches that are already working abroad,” he noted, “to those who might have an interest in doing so.”
“We see that as an opportunity of connecting churches that are already working abroad.”
The new website will allow churches to advertise events, learn of NAAF activities, and in some cases, broadcast church and fellowship activities, leaders said. Naaftogether.org enables giving through PayPal.
“The new website will be the focal point moving forward to bring all churches together (hence, naaftogether.org),” James said.
A movement to reflect, promote unity
Marshal Ausberry, SBC first vice president and senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Fairfax Station, Virginia, is NAAF president.
Formed to address the needs of Southern Baptist African American churches, NAAF states as its mission “to seek and encourage African American participation in every facet of kingdom building through the Southern Baptist Convention,” and envisions an SBC “that fully reveals the unity of the body of Christians that celebrates diversity while carrying out the Great Commission.”
The fellowship’s churches have a combined membership of 400,000, NAAF said on its website, with congregations ranging in size “from house churches to some of the largest churches in America and ministering to people in rural, urban, suburban, and multi-ethnic communities across the country.”
Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ general assignment writer/editor.