The Open Door: Two letters of appreciation

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The Southern Baptist Convention is a wonderful fellowship of some 45,000 churches in 42 Baptist state conventions. We are joined together in a relationship that is loosely knit together, but bound very deeply with a common vision to be on mission for Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

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In this writing, I want to feature two letters I received recently as they speak about the importance of our partnership as Georgia Baptists and Southern Baptists.

One letter comes from a friend of many years, Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board. Kevin served on my staff at First Baptist Church of Paducah as a high school student and as a college student. He was deeply loved by our congregation and we all rejoiced when God called him into the Gospel ministry. It was our privilege to ordain Kevin and to rejoice in how God has used him across the years.

Kevin wrote words of appreciation in his letter for our Georgia Baptist churches who increased their giving to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions by 4.45%. That is wonderful news, Georgia Baptists. I am thankful for your heart for missions and for our close relationship with the North American Mission Board which is uniquely focused on church planting and a myriad of ministries including Disaster Relief which continues to be one of the primary outreach ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention.

I encourage you to keep Kevin Ezell in your prayers. His responsibilities are great. Because I have known him for a long time I know his heart well. He cherishes your prayers and support as we work diligently to reach North America for Christ.

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The second letter comes from one of our fine pastors, Jeff Parmer. In his letter, Jeff expresses appreciation for the wonderful staff of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. He mentions Randy Mullinax in particular, who brought the message for the homecoming celebration at Crossview Baptist Church. Jeff is also a dear friend and has served on many committees and in many capacities in the life of our Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

Thank you, Jeff, for your wonderfully uplifting letter. Your uplifting remarks serve to make us want to work harder than ever to serve our Georgia Baptist churches.

It thrills my heart when I receive such wonderful comments about the ministry of our staff. The men and women who serve with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board are the finest people I have ever known. They are deeply devoted to Jesus Christ, to our mission as Southern Baptists and Georgia Baptists, and possess a profound commitment to reach the people of Georgia with the Gospel of Christ.

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