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Missions Conference Educates, Encourages International Missions

ROGERS, Ark.—Conservative Baptists from across the country gathered at Immanuel Baptist Church in northwest Arkansas on April 28-29 to educate and encourage local churches to participate in national and international mission efforts.

Dr. Tom Hatley, pastor of the Arkansas church since 1992, began the missions conference by highlighting the strategic work that the church’s Global Outreach (GO) Center has accomplished in India. The church adopted an individual state in Northern India, affectionally named "Narnia," to protect the Christians there. Over the years, this had led to 40,000 church plants resulting in the region growing from .1% to 4% Christian until the Indian government stopped reporting this statistic. Thus, Hatley believes the percentage of Christians is much higher now.

With a desire to encourage pastors and local churches to prioritize missions and evangelism, the resounding refrain of the inaugural Conservative Baptist Missions Conference was that “churches must take the lead," said Hatley.

During the two-day conference, Dr. Scott Colter, chief executive officer for the Danbury Institute and Conservative Baptist Network Steering Council member, highlighted the new direction of the Baptist Network and urged those attending to have a spirit of partnership.

"We must not be 12 boats going in different directions, but an armada aimed at reaching the world for Christ," Colter said.

Also giving a presentation was Global Surge, a missions organization serving the Philippines. During this time, the organization noted its Indian Ocean Initiative which focuses on the 2 nearly 2 billion lost people living in countries bordering the Indian Ocean. As a church planting movement, Global Surge emphasizes the need for indigenous church plants to maintain a missions movement.

Throughout the conference, attendees heard encouraging testimonies and on-the-ground updates from several missionaries, all from undisclosed areas. Despite the unprecedented persecution and growing intensity they are facing, the missionaries emphasized how the Lord continues to grow His kingdom. They also described one of the greatest needs for local churches in their region—sound training on what the Word of God says.

Specifically, the conference highlighted the work of unique, 21st-century international mission partners. Peter Vavrosky, founder and president of Trinity Academic, presented the concept of helping local churches start and revitalize international seminaries. With a desire to equip and educate those serving on the mission field, Vavrosky stated that Trinity Academic brings cutting-edge technology to closed countries so that pastors and ministry leaders can receive online theological education.

Closing out the Conservative Baptist Missions Conference, Hatley dedicated time to North American missions and church planting. Tyler Ballard and Ezekiel Monger, both graduates of Northeastern Baptist College in Bennington, Vermont, and members of the Conservative Baptist Network family, presented their upcoming church-planting endeavors.

This summer, Ballard and his wife, Mykayla, will be planting Williamstown Community Church, a church plant in northeast Vermont. Despite a slight increase in gospel influence in the Northeast over the last several years, Ballard noted that Williamstown is still very a biblically illiterate and spiritually dark region.

“The city has not had a gospel-preaching church in over 150 years,” Ballard said.

With a desire to reach the growing population of Nepalese people in Columbus, Monger also presented his upcoming move and church plant in Ohio. As a Nepali himself, who came to know Christ after years in the United States, Monger has a heart to reach and serve his people group.

“Nearly 20,000 Nepali refugees are living in Columbus, with about 18,000 of those considered to be unreached,” he said.

The two-day, Conservative Baptist Missions Conference emphasized that time is too short for local churches and conservative Baptists not to prioritize reaching the lost—whether our neighbor or the nations. Convinced that a third Great Awakening could occur, Hatley encouraged all attendees to seek to partner together and collaborate to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If you or your local church would like to partner with the GO Center or would like more information about individual missionaries or organizations, please visit

May 9, 2024
By Klayton Carson


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