SCHERTZ– African American Ministries celebrated its 40th anniversary during the annual gathering of the African American Fellowship Conference (AAFC). This year, the conference took place at Resurrection Baptist Church in Schertz, Texas on June 23-25, focused on the “Impact” that African American Ministries has made over the last 40 years and the impact it will continue to make in the years to come.
The James W. Culp Banquet took place on Thursday night. The night centered on celebrating the leaders of the past and present who have built the AAFC to what it is today. The banquet is named after James Culp, who began the Texas Baptists African American Ministries in 1982.
Ten of the former presidents of the AAFC and two of the former African American Ministries directors were honored for their service and given plaques.
“You presidents that are here tonight have left a great legacy. And we will never forget that we are standing on your shoulders,” Oza Jones, director of African American Ministries, said.
Young pastors presented the men with their awards. Jones called it a “Moses and Joshua” metaphor, with the new, emerging leaders honoring past leaders for their wisdom.
Delvin Atchison, senior pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Lewisville, brought the banquet’s message. He encouraged attendees to look back at the “odometer” of the ministry and reflect on the memories and all that has happened. He also reminded the audience that the best is yet to come.
“I’m excited about African American Ministries because our past is so imminently prominent and our future is so iridescently promising,” he said.
The banquet also served as a fundraiser in partnership with Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls. The 296 banquet attendees donated over 500 pairs of shoes, which will be distributed to orphans and vulnerable children in the United States and throughout the world.
On Friday and Saturday, Timothy Woods, Sr., pastor of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Birmingham, brought the messages during the worship services. On Saturday, he preached from Acts 2 about worship being a lifestyle, not an event. He pointed out that the early church did life together and showed love to their community and each other. Woods encouraged conference attendees to live similarly, focusing on witnessing to others through their daily actions.
“You can have all the spiritual gifts, but if you don’t have love, you don’t have the fruits of the spirit,” Woods said.
Worship was led by Gaye Arbuckle.
In addition to the main sessions, there were 24 breakout classes that centered around topics such as leadership, reaching the next generation and evangelism.
AAFC officers will serve for an additional year. For the 2022-2023 term, Edward Wagner, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Killeen/Harker Heights, will serve as president; Henry Batson, pastor of Faith Fellowship in Red Oak; as vice president; Michael Joseph, pastor of Marvelous Light Church in Houston, as treasurer; Bryant Lee, pastor of Higher Expectations Community Church in Atascocita, as assistant treasurer; Quincy Randall, pastor of New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Colorado City, as secretary; and Samuel Doyle, pastor of Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church in Waco, as assistant secretary.