What Do You Make of Your Tools?

“I always pray with joy because of
your partnership in the gospel”

A man moved his family into a new home and neighborhood. Not long after, he observed one of his new neighbors wrestling to mount a TV antennae on his roof (obviously pre-cable era). Not one to stand by and watch, he grabbed his tool box and walked across the street to offer his help. The two of them soon had the antennae properly installed and the man set out to return to home.

Another neighbor taking in the scene asked him, “What do you make with all those tools?” “Friends, mostly!”

Mission Northeast has several tools in its toolbox which we can deploy to help our churches wrestling to make friends for the Kingdom of God. Three of those tools were out on last week at our Chart Your Course! Gatherings.

  • Church Health Assessment – We can assist churches in improving their overall health so that they can become more effective in making friends for the Kingdom of God.
  • Community Demographics – Do you really know the people who live in your ministry area? With our MissionInsite toolset, Mission Northeast can help you, not only to know the who, but also the how of strategizing to make friends for the Kingdom of God
  • Guidestone Financial Services – The new CBA Associational Retirement Plan provides its own set of tools. Guidestone provides resources that can equip your church and pastor to put together an appropriate compensation plan and to make adequate preparation for the retirement years. When churches practice good organizational stewardship in this area the pastors are freed up to focus on ministry without undue concern over finances in the present and for the future. Contact Guidestone.org.

Perhaps at the present time you don’t feel the need for any of these tools. That’s fine. When you support Mission Northeast, you are supporting your sister Mission Northeast churches who are in need of these and other tools at our disposal. As member churches, we are in a covenantal relationship, binding us together in mission and mutual support, all for the sake of “making and growing disciples of Jesus Christ.”

Please be sure increase your support in this next year for Mission Northeast. Virtually all financial support is invested in our Area Directors – the most important tools in the Mission Northeast Tool Box. We are working to assist our pastors and churches in their task of making friends for the Kingdom of God.

Your Partner in the Gospel, 

David Forsythe
Lead Executive Area Director

Edwin Colon – New York City             e.colon@missionnortheast.org
Gershwin Grant – Hudson Valley       g.grant@missionnortheast.org
Dave Johnson – Upstate New York   d.johnson@missionnortheast.org

God at Work in Sierra Leone: Kadija and Kashope Need Our Help

Kadija and Kashope Wellington are missionaries in Sierra Leone (SL), part of the Missions Door City Church Planting Team that Paul Bothwell leads here in Greater Boston. They are examples of the “From There to Here and Back” rubric that we are seeing more and more often now in God’s worldwide missionary work.

Kadija and Kashope both fled from the brutal civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990’s. They met here in Boston. Kadija was a Muslim, Kashope a Christian. Kadija became a Christian here and they married. After the war ended in 2003 they followed God’s clear call to return to Sierra Leone to begin reconstructing the dismembered remains of the country. “From There to Here and Back”… with a bit of help through Missions Door.

In a most devastated part of Sierra Leone, Kadija set up a primary school for local children. She formed a vocational center for war widows, teaching women skills for living. She gathered youth for learning groups teaching healthy living and Life in Christ

Kashope planted a church, and painstakingly grew an outpost of God’s Kingdom, engaging with the community’s needs for water, food, shelter, justice, peace – all in a mostly hostile Muslim environment.  They ministered through the Cholera crisis and then the EBOLA crisis. Both Kadija and Kashope were heroic indigenous missionaries.

Then Kashope became critically ill with cancer, Kadija was fading from exhaustion, and they began closing parts of the ministry. Through Missions Door, they were able to come to Boston for medical care in November 2016, with Kashope near death.

Now they’ve been in Boston for 10 months. God has MIRACULOUSLY given life back to Kashope and Kadija. They long to return to SL as soon as medically possible.

They are finally returning to SL – scheduled to fly September 30!

They return to some serious losses. Their house and church building in SL have been broken into, looted, ransacked. Recently a massive mudslide and flooding ravaged the nearest city (Freetown), killing over 1000 people – family members, church leaders, friends. They are devastated.

However, through ALL that has occurred, they have maintained a ruthless trust in God’s goodness and a demonstration of “Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I go, my daily labor to pursue;” as their habit of life.

They badly need some “long-term money” to take back with them, for restoring their house, the church, the school; and helping flood-devastated families rebuild. This will demonstrate the Presence and Power of God dramatically in the Muslim culture.

We can help.
Let’s Give Ourselves Away for God!

Can we contribute toward a $5000 gift for them to take to Sierra Leone?
This will impact thousands of people and will lift up God’s Name.

You can give online through Missions Door. Go to
and click on Donate.

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

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.

2016 Leadership Learning Communities


We’ve all heard the mantra, “Leaders are learners.” Well, it’s true. Leaders are learners. That’s one reason why pastors and leaders have participated in a Leaders Learning Community (LLC) this past year. Another reason is because most of us are not gifted as a natural leader. We need all the help we can get! Besides leadership issues that pertain to personal leadership and church leadership, pastors and leaders have benefitted greatly by being in an LLC because we discuss ideas as a group, and the insight and comments of others sharpen and broaden our thinking.

We are ready to kick off a new semester of LLCs. In the past year, Stan Rieb and Paul Borden have skillfully led our LLCs and they have been a great help. Stan continues to be a resource to give us input and direction. David Forsythe, our new Lead Area Director, and Steve Murray, the new Executive Board President, have collaborated with Stan to guide this new semester. The LLCs will run from February to June.

Here’s the plan:

We will be reading three books, but taking more time to process and apply the books.

The first book for February is:

The book is broken into 5 areas that resilient ministry workers need to focus on. The five areas are:

  • Personal Spiritual Formation,
  • Self-Care,
  • Emotional and Cultural Intelligence,
  • Marriage and Family,
  • Leadership and Management

We will take one part of this book each month to digest further, but also integrate the next two books into the session starting in March. The next two books are:

These two books focus on strategic planning and how to do it, giving us not just an overview of how to develop vision, mission, and values, but then showing a person how to do it.

The session format will be to break up each meeting into two separate segments focused on both information and application.  Our mission in Mission NorthEast (MNE) is to help develop effective pastors (and effective ministries) and healthy churches (and ministries). The first segment of each session will be to work through the sections of Resilient Ministry, with the focus on the pastor’s and leader’s health. Beginning in March, the second part of the session will be to discuss and apply the strategic planning, focusing on the health of the church and ministry.

We offer two incentives for each pastor and leader (besides the joy, comradery, and learning): one is that the region will pay for the books for each person. If a person wants to pay for their own books, that’s fine too! The other incentive is that the region will pay for a one-year subscription to Leaders Book Summary. This subscription condenses the main ideas of thirty of the top leadership and ministry books so that a person can easily gain the essential points of a book without reading all of it. You can check out the site here: http://www.studyleadership.com/. This is a $119 value that the region is picking up, but you must be committed to be in an LLC this spring.

To continue your participation in an LLC, if you have been in one last semester, or to join for the first time, fill out the application here:


Since our sessions will start next month, we need to order books for you and give you time to read them, so please sign up as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about the LLCs, you can contact David Forsythe at D.Forsythe@MissionNortheast.org, Steve Murray at PastorSteve@Trinitynh.org, or Gershwin Grant at g.grant@missionnortheast.org.

Burt Murdock’s Home Going

Burt MurdockBurton (Burt) C Murdock, age 87, of Bolivar was born on August 22, 1928 in Buffalo, New York. He passed away peacefully at his home on December 7, 2015.
On August 27, 1948 Burt married his High School sweetheart, Sylvia Christensen. His wife of 67 years survives.
They have four children: sons Paul Murdock of Denver, CO, who is married to Terri Lewis; David Murdock of Waterford, WI; daughters Joy Rothdiener of Bolivar, MO who is married to John; and Jane Murdock of Bolivar. Also surviving are 8 grandchildren: Mindy, Jared, Emily, Sarah, Nathan, Jason, Kellie and Derek; 14 great grandchildren and 1 great great granddaughter.
After accepting Jesus Christ as his personal savior at the age of 9, Burt was called to a lifetime of Christian ministry. He pastored churches in Parkman, ME, Ambler, PA, Clayton, NJ, Lakewood and Denver, CO. He also served as Youth Editor at Baptist Publications in Denver.
The last 12 years of Burt’s active ministry were spent as Director of the Conservative Baptist Association of New York State. During retirement he taught adult Sunday School for 12 years at Southern Hills Baptist Church, where he faithfully attended during the 17 years he lived in Bolivar. Until Burt’s vision failed he enjoyed oil painting, photography and a variety of other creative interests. While living in Colorado he enjoyed the outdoors and hiking in the mountains. He was a loving husband and father who has left a legacy influencing countless lives for Christ. He will be missed.
Celebration of life will be held at Southern Hills Baptist Church, 1220 S. Springfield, Bolivar, MO, on Saturday, December 12, 2015. Family will welcome friends from 3-4 pm; the service will begin at 4. In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions to International Missions Board (IMB) Development, “Lottie Moon,” PO Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23280 or Alzheimer’s Association, Greater MO Chapter, 2400 Bluff Creek Dr, Columbia, MO 65201

Final Leadership Learning Community meetings for 2015

The final Leadership Learning Community meeting for 2015 will occur the week of November 16-19. We have heard repeatedly how beneficial these meetings have been for pastors and church leaders that have attended.

If you would like to join this last LLC for 2015, please contact Stan Rieb at Stan.Rieb@cbamerica.org or 303-746-8844 for more information.

The book we will be covering in the LLC in November is The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick M. Lencioni – Simply put, an organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified.  Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave.

All LLC’s begin at 10 am and conclude by 3pm, unless otherwise noted.

Paul Borden will be facilitating the following LLC’s during the week  of November 16-18

Monday – 11/16- Immanuel Baptist, New Hartford, NY

Tuesday – 11/17 – Randall Church, Williamsville, NY (Buffalo area)             
Note that the Tuesday Randall Church LLC begins at 9:30 am and concludes by 2:00 pm

Wednesday – 11/18 – Levittown Baptist Church, Levittown, NY

Stan Rieb will be facilitating the following LLC’s November 16-19

Monday – 11/16 – United Baptist, Old Town, ME

Tuesday – 11/17 – First Baptist Church, Brewster, NY

Wednesday – 11/18 – Bethlehem Church, 123 Allen Street, Hampden, MA  Please note the change of location.

Thursday – 11/19 – Trinity Baptist Church, Nashua, NH

Again, unless otherwise noted, all LLC’s begin at 10 am and conclude by 3pm.

Contact Stan Rieb at Stan.Rieb@cbamerica.org or 303-746-8844 for more information.


At the meeting of the Regional Executive Directors in Denver on June 29th, 2015, Dr. David Whitaker led the board in a discussion of the recent Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. The following was adapted from an earlier statement created by Dr. Whitaker and is the board’s official response to that decision:

CBAmerica’s Statement Here


Here is the update from Christianity TodaySupreme Court: States Can’t Ban Same-Sex Marriage

Here is a statement from Al Mohler: Mohler Responses to Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Here is a statement from NAE: Supreme Court Redefines Marriage and God Defined Marriage

Here is a statement made by a diverse coalition of evangelical leaders assembled by the ERLC: Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage

Here is a Christianity Today Editorial written by Mark Galli: Six Things To Do after the Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage

Here is a statement by Ray Ortlund about Marriage and the Gospel: What is Marriage, According to the Bible?

Here is a summary of the decision by Joe Carter: Explainer: What You Should Know About the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Here is a statement from John Piper: So-Called Same-Sex Marriage: Lamenting the New Calamity

Here is a statement by Erik Stanley, Alliance Defending Freedom, for churches to consider: What Your Church Needs to Know – And Do – About the Court’s Marriage Ruling