Turtle on a Fence Post

 

David Forsythe

 

David Forsythe

Lead Executive Area Director
MissionNortheast

 

 

If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know it didn’t get there by itself. That’s my sense of things having just returned from my first CBAmerica Board Meeting convened last week in Goodyear, AZ. I’m not sure how I got here and it’s not something I was looking for, but here I am. Upon arrival I found a warm and welcoming reception from the REDs, the Regional Executive Directors representing our 8 regional associations and the military chaplaincy. A collegial and prayerful spirit permeated the meetings. Our three days together were filled with a full to overflowing agenda. Some of the highlights of the meetings include . . .

    • Retirement Program – Look for a formal announcement in the next few weeks with details about a new 403(b)(9) retirement program for our pastors to be made available through GuideStone, a full service financial resource that is ministry oriented.
    • Report on CBGlobal a fellowship of national evangelical church associations for the purpose of encouragement, sharing resources, and leadership development for the glory of God. Members from Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, USA, Hong Kong, Macau and Bangladesh met for a Leadership Summit last October. These partners are assisting one another through disaster relief and leadership development. The association has also reached out to Nepal and India. CBCentral America has joined and churches of South Africa and Italy have also expressed interest in connecting with CBGlobal.
    • SW Church Connections Staff and Board – The board met over lunch on Tuesday with the staff of SW Church Connections led by Regional Executive Director Steve Engram. It gave us the opportunity to learn how they function and minister in their region. On Wednesday morning we met with the SW Church Connections Board, a welcome opportunity for the board to learn what is happening with CBAmerica and for us to learn how we can come alongside SW Church Connections with assistance. It was a positive and productive meeting which we intend to pursue with the other seven regions in future board meetings.
  • The CBAmerica Story – The primary focus of our work centered on satisfying a desire to see a clear and compelling picture of how God is using CBAmerica: to champion great commission fulfillment through missional networks. Over the next several months we will develop a means of compiling data that indicates how each region is partnering to create a movement of healthy churches throughout America – churches that are discipling believers, developing leaders, and planting churches. Our aim is to   
  1. Capture the present condition of CBA churches as a whole
  2. Celebrate what God has done and is doing
  3. Hold ourselves accountable to our mission/vision/values.

There’s a lot of work ahead and we’ll continue to need a great deal of assistance. It’s one thing to get to a fence post. It’s quite another to accomplish the work we’re called to do. I’m grateful for the offer of continued assistance from the REDs who have made an already substantial contribution to MissionNortheast.

 

Rev. Dr. Gershwin Grant, Area Director for Hudson Valley of New York

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Rev. Dr. Gershwin Grant

Rev. Dr. Gershwin Grant has a passion for the Conservative Baptist movement and a strong desire to help our churches fulfill their mission.

After earning an architecture degree from the New York Institute of Technology and working in the field for several years, Gershwin accepted the Lord’s call to ministry. He studied at the New York School of the Bible, the Seminary of the East, and Alliance Theological Seminary, finally earning his Masters’ Degree and Doctorate of Ministry from ATS.

During his years in New York City, Gershwin served as the Assistant Director of New York Gospel Outreach and as the Associate Director of the New York Christian Higher Education Consortium. He planted a CB church in the Bronx, the His Glory Bible Fellowship, through Missions Door (formerly Mission to the Americas).

He has served as the Senior Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Ossining, New York, since 2002. He is currently serving in this multi-cultural, multi-generational church with Cynthia, his wife of 22 years.

Gershwin has a strong CB pedigree, having planted and served CB churches. He is currently the moderator of the CB Hudson Valley Pastors’ Cluster and has served on the board of directors of WorldVenture and on the executive board of CB Mission Northeast. Gershwin has also been the Christian Chaplain in the Baptist Division of the Hebrew Home for the Aged for nearly twenty years.

These experiences have uniquely prepared Gershwin to effectively represent Mission Northeast as an Area Director. Additionally, Gershwin is assisting with connections to the New York City and Long Island churches until an Area Director is appointed for that area. He will seek to assist CB pastors and churches by providing resources and encouragement. He will help these churches in the areas of church health, leadership development, and church planting.

You can contact Gershwin at: g.grant@missionnortheast.org.