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Faulkner 100: Baptist Missionary Association a global lighthouse

Posted: June 25, 2014 - 8:28am

Through its headquarters in Conway, the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) of America is living locally but reaching out globally to make disciples of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

Headquartered on Locust Street, the newly redesigned building will house four of seven departments and agencies of the BMA of America: Lifeword, DiscipleGuide, BMA Missions and the BMA Foundation.

The Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) of America is an association that started in 1950 and consists of approximately 1,263 churches located in 38 states. “Through remaining distinctive organizations, our desire is to work together creating an environment that is not independent or dependent but interdependent. Our new operating structure is unique in that it holds to the absolutes of BMA ecclesiology but brings the efficiency of more proficient organizational models that will benefit us strategically and financially,” said Steve Crawley, executive director of Lifeword.

The BMA America headquarters in Conway will house these mission endeavors:

BMA Missions — Provides assessment, coaching, training and funding to missionaries around the world, planting churches to fulfill the Great Commission. There are more than 1,000 missionary families across the world right now through BMA Missions. This BMA of America department is moving to Conway from Little Rock this month.

DiscipleGuide — Produces publications, camps and conferences to resource church planters and pastors in fulfilling the Great Commission mandate to make disciples. DiscipleGuide’s headquarters is moving from Texarkana to Conway and will employ seven full-time staffers. Thanks to the unified efforts in the Conway building, DiscipleGuide will be able to better respond to the needs of the church planters through web, print, audio and video platforms.

Lifeword — Produces radio and Internet programming to aid church planting efforts and provide a way to fulfill the Great Commission in places unaccessible to missionaries. Lifeword produces programming in more than 30 languages and is aired on more than 450 stations around the world. Lifeword has the potential to reach 40 percent of the world’s population, and through the increased use of social media, this number will likely increase. Lifeword has produced the first broadcasts among three unreached people groups and is working toward reaching a fourth in 2014.

“Within the walls of this building are some of the most creative, talented and mission-minded people with whom I have ever been privileged to work,” said Holly Meriweather, development team member. “In this building are sound and video engineers, web designers, graphic artists, financial experts, public relations and development people, broadcasters, missionaries and former missionaries, doctors, accountants, pastors and former pastors, writers and editors. No matter what their educational and professional backgrounds are, everyone has a genuine desire to carry out the various ministries to which they’ve been called.”

The BMA is proud to be in Conway and excited to bring its global mission into one building. “While we are international ministries, we hope to be good neighbors to the local community,” Crawley said. “We plan to become active in the local Chamber and desire to be a good corporate citizen of Conway.”

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