The Christian Journal , Fairfield, New Jersey – The North American Baptist Association’s (NABA)Annual Renewal Convention ended successfully on Sunday, July 31, 2023 at the Double Tree by Hilton in Fairfield New Jersey.
The convention, which was under the theme: “Righteousness and Holiness, the Challenge of our time” and hosted by the church’s branch in New York – Abundant Life Baptist Church located in the Bronx, brought together, sixteen branches of the church in North America.
In his sermon on Sunday, the guest speaker for the convention, Rev. Dr. Nii Amoo Darku, said the theme for the occasion was prayerfully chosen to draw attention to the perversion, immorality and injustice confronting our world today. He admonished the redeemed to walk on the path of righteousness, which is the hallmark of every true Christian.
Dwelling on Isaiah 35:8-10, Dr. Amoo Darko cautioned pretenders to re-examine their lives and change for the better or risk making it to paradise – the intermediate resting place of believers who depart before the second coming of our Savior and Master Jesus Christ. He stressed that Salvation can be found only in Christ and those who reject Him will suffer the wrath of God on the day of reckoning.
In his welcome address, the President of the association, Reverend John Bio Asante said in line with the vision of his administration to “Make NABA Bigger, he would focus on improving the dynamics of change, intimating, “it was imperative that we innovate and venture into newer ways of doing ministry, ensuring that we accelerate growth by a firm resolve to maximize our own resources, prioritize our goals, and work assiduously towards our set goals. A goal without a plan they say is a dream.”
Reverend Asante said the church has lots of talents in her youth as evidenced in the convention of the North American Baptist Association of Youth and Young Adults (NABAYA) held in Atlanta, Georgia and urged NABA to endeavor to put in every effort to tap, nurture and build these young men and women to reach their highest potential. “There is the need to grow and nurture the youth into responsible adults, mentoring and coaching them, to facilitate their involvement in ministry,” he said.
Touching on accountability, Reverend Asante intimated that the association cannot thrive without a strong and efficient Ministers Fellowship and entreated church leaders to hold their pastors accountable and provide the necessary resources to enable them to participate efficiently in the fellowship.
“Our present situation should challenge our churches to make a firm commitment to the vision to “Make NABA Bigger” for the benefit of all. Synergy, cooperation and unity, will wake us up, but arguments and divisions will polarize us to the point where we will miss our dreams, and render ourselves open to the enemy who is duty bound to divide us,” he advised.
Reverend Asante prayed for the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit to be able to implement the vision of the fellowship. He said the sad reality of the church is that many Ministers and their congregations feel disillusioned, wounded, and exhausted and this is the time to wake up. “There is a horizon of hope for NABA if we keep our focus, tackle our challenges, innovate, reorient, re-order, and relocate our priorities in the years ahead. Our ministry must be holistic, relevant and effective,” he opined.
The Baptist Church envisages the planting of 15 new churches by the year 2025.