2014 Annual Meeting Highlights

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The 2014 Annual Meeting was a huge success! I am so thankful for Brian Tillman and Riverbend Church! The facility was perfect, the food was cooked to perfection, and all those who helped serve truly exhibited the love of Christ to the ninety or so people who were present for the meeting.

As always, there’s no way I could have managed putting together my first Annual Meeting as the AMD without Beth Darby and Jan Clark. These two very godly women put up with me for months and patiently went over every detail with me to make sure this year’s event was truly successful! They worked tirelessly during the meeting and then stayed to help clean up! Our Association is blessed to have their knowledge, experience and willingness to serve generously. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful pastors who participated in the program. Each report was fantastic. The Moderator was excellent. The church planters were encouraging. The videos from some of our missionaries were inspiring. The video that Stephen Wright made for my presentation was fantastic. The attendees were such a blessing. I praise God for each and every person who participated, perormed, attended and voted. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Annual Meeting which will be held at Hernando Baptist.

Here’s a synopsis of my research and the vision that God has placed on my heart for the upcoming year: My research revealed that currently we have 67 Southern Baptist churches and 6 missions in DeSoto and Tate counties. The population of Desoto and Tate counties is 190,138, according to the 2010 Census.

The breakdown of the population is as follows:
White: 135,753
African American: 44,021
Asian: 1, 672
Hawaiian/Islander: 78
Hispanic/Latino: 4,788
Multiracial: 2,891

The 2015 censes won’t come out until next year, but since the 2010 census, it is estimated that we have had another 39,000 people move into DeSoto and Tate counties. On any given Sunday morning in our Southern Baptist churches we have roughly 15,000 people attending. In 2014, we had 707 baptisms take place in the churches in our Association. In all evangelical works in DeSoto and Tate counties, there are 71,782 people attending churches on Sundays.

This is what that looks like:
190,138 population
-71,782 in attendance
118,356 UNCHURCHED PEOPLE!!!!

ESPN says,”the numbers don’t lie.”

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses in both Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

For 7 years, I was the pastor of Evansville Baptist Church which is in Cottonville, Mississippi. I had been in the role of AMD for about six months praying that God would give me a vision for XMN because the word says, “where there is no vision the people will perish.” I don’t believe in luck. I don’t believe in happen stance. I do believe in Divine appointments! God sent a man to me in June by the name of Chris McNairy from Atlanta, Georgia. God used Chris to let me see that my Jerusalem had extended to all of Desoto and Tate counties and that my Jerusalem (area of ministry) had gone from a five mile radius to a 137 square mile radius. My area of ministry went from several hundred people to 190 thousand people!

All of a sudden I became overwhelmed by the vastness of what God has put into my care. Chris began to share with me about how to “identify your Jerusalem.” After talking with Chris for a few days and praying through all of the new information I was trying to digest, God began to develop a plan in my heart on how to serve our area and possibly reach the 118 thousand unchurched people. God showed me that it’s going to take all of us working together to accomplish reaching these people, for the kingdom.

Recently, I had two guys that had surrendered to missions but didn’t want to leave this area. God began to show me through them how He wanted me to facilitate their service locally. Scott at the Hernando Planning and Development Office created an APP for me. Which has now enabled me to have all of the demographics of DeSoto County which will help us get started in identifying our Jerusalems (local areas of ministry.)

When local missionaries surrender to the call, I would like to have two commissioning services per year to send out these new missionaries. I want to provide training for four weeks for these new missionaries to teach them how to engage their communities. We will focus on being more intentional in reaching the people right around us!

Bro. Dennis

 

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About Dennis Landrum

Dennis is the Director of Missions at the X-tended Missions Network.