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OPINION

Filipinos to report on church planting

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NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- The Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of North America will meet Tuesday, June 19, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans.
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The group, with about 220 affiliated churches in the United States, will gather for a luncheon and meeting from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church in Kenner, La., at 1400 Williams Blvd.

Ken Weathersby, presidential ambassador for ethnic church relations at the North American Mission Board, will be the guest speaker. Weathersby recently was named to the position to help the entity maintain a strong focus on minority ministry needs and to facilitate leadership opportunities for minorities throughout Southern Baptist life.

During the meeting, the Filipino Fellowship plans to hear reports about Filipino congregations that have been planted in the United States during the past year.

Roger Manao, president of the fellowship, told Baptist Press the group is "on board" with the church planting emphasis led by NAMB within the Southern Baptist Convention. He said church planting is the focus of the fellowship during the annual meeting and throughout the year.

"If we're just having an annual fellowship and not doing some sort of intentional church planting, the meeting is just a fellowship," Manao said. "We would just come and enjoy seeing one another. That's part of it, to see pastors and friends, but we would like to report on something that's exciting."

The Filipino Fellowship, which was founded 19 years ago and meets each year during the convention, recently established the Asian Multiplication Evangelical Network and divided the United States into nine regions.

Within each region, the fellowship facilitates Filipino church planting conferences, such as one held last November at the offices of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.

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Manao, pastor of Philadelphia Bible Church International in North Philadelphia, anticipates that those who attend the annual fellowship will receive inspiration for church planting in the year ahead.

"The Filipino fellowship is really working hard," Manao said. "We are aware of the growing population of the Filipino community in the United States. It's growing to 4 million now, so that's our passion. Engaging in church planting is something we can do in the years ahead.

"We're alive. We're a strong fellowship, and we're united. We love to support churches by networking and collaborating in new works. We would like to see more churches in the growing Filipino population of the United States," Manao said.

To register for the meeting, email Manao at rmanao@aol.com or call him at 610-580-8635. The fellowship also has a Facebook page.

Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Erin Roach. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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