"Seeing City in Need, Southern Baptists Plan Growth," the headline stated. The article was posted to the newspaper's website on Christmas evening and ran in the print edition Dec. 26 on page 25 of Section A.
Rich Perez, a native New Yorker and one of two Southern Baptist church planters mentioned in the article, reported that feedback to the newspaper coverage "has been good and plentiful. We've had a couple of people say they want to visit because of the article." Perez pastors Christ Crucified Fellowship, which meets in two locations in New York City.
In addition to featuring Perez, the Times article shared the story of Freddy Wyatt, a church planter who moved from Tennessee several years ago to help start a church in New York City.
"I was blown away by the need for churches," Wyatt told Times reporter Meredith Hoffman. Today, Wyatt pastors Gallery Church in Manhattan. The article includes a link to the Gallery Church website and to NAMB's online presence.
"New York City is probably the most influential city in the world," noted Kevin Ezell, NAMB's president. "This article shows that when Southern Baptists get serious about serving communities and advancing the Gospel through church planting, the world is going to notice. We shouldn't feel overwhelmed by the size of the task. Let's just be faithful and see what God does."
Send North America is NAMB's initiative to help existing churches start new evangelistic Southern Baptist churches in regions and cities that are under-reached and underserved in North America. Through Send North America, local coalitions of pastors and Southern Baptist leaders will determine how many churches their city needs and where they should be located. Then NAMB will help find existing Southern Baptist churches that want to partner in those cities to help start the churches. Congregations of any size can participate.
"If you look at their online, social media and print presence, The Times is still one of the largest and most influential news sources in the nation and having some of our church plants mentioned by them will help us reach a whole new audience," said Mike Ebert, NAMB's vice president of communications. "We can expect more opportunities like this as more Southern Baptist churches respond to the call to start new churches in our great cities."
Any Southern Baptist church or individual interested in partnering to start new churches can visit namb.net and click the "Mobilize Me" button.
Reported by the North American Mission Board's communications staff.
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