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Highlights of the Tennessee State Meeting
East Tennessee pastor Dexter Brummitt was elected to serve as moderator of the Tennessee State Association at its annual session Nov. 9-11, 2015 in Pigeon Forge. Brummitt is the pastor of West Greene Free Will Baptist Church in Mosheim where he has served for the past ten years. He has served as assistant moderator since 2009. Former moderator Randy Riggs surprised everyone when he decided not to allow his name to be put in the nominating process. Riggs has served with excellence for the past six years.
With Brummitt moving to moderator, Corey Minter was elected assistant moderator to fill his place. Minter is the pastor of the New Hope Free Will Baptist Church in Joelton. Minter brings a younger perspective to the Executive Committee. He served as youth pastor of New Hope before his call as pastor. All officers automatically serve on the executive committee along with three members elected at-large. With the resignation of Clerk Jeff Davis who moved to North Carolina, Jeff Caudill was elected to serve as clerk. Caudill is the executive pastor of Cofer’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church in Nashville. He is a gifted administrator and served as clerk of the Wolverine Association in Michigan before moving to Nashville where he worked in administration at Welch College.
Other new board members elected were: Rodney Holloman to the TN CE Board; Noah Taylor to the Family Ministries Board; and Jerry Gibbs to the TN IM Board.
The meeting began with passionate preaching on Monday evening with North American Ministries Director David Crowe followed by equally powerful messages from Clint Morgan (International Missions Director), Chad Kivette (Church Planter) and Keith Burden (Executive Secretary). Doug Little led the worship services in music. Special music was provided with by the Rejoice Ministry Team from Welch College and solos by Corey Minter, Dwayne James, and Doug Little. There was a sweet spirit throughout the three day meeting. Those attending also heard greetings from all the national departments including the final one from Ray Lewis who is retiring from the Board of Retirement after 33 years of service. Mr. Lewis will continue on as the state treasurer for at least one more year.
In the business sessions, delegates approved a change in the allocations of the Unified Ministry Plan by decreasing the allocation to the Perpetual National Fund by 1% (reduced to 3%)and increasing the allocation to the National Together Way Plan by 1% (increased to 23%).
Delegates approved a change to the requirements for receiving a scholarship to Welch College. Presently, churches must give 5% of their general offerings “undesignated” to the Unified Ministry Plan for their full-time students to receive a $500 per semester scholarship. The change will benefit churches who might not give 5% but do give at least $10,000 to the Unified Ministry Plan undesignated each year.
Delegates also approved a change in how the state association minutes are printed. Yearly minutes of the state association will be combined into next year’s Digest of Reports. Those who want a printed copy of the minutes before next year’s state meeting can receive a copy printed from the “digital” copy which will be posted on the state association website. (Anyone without computer access desiring a copy can contact the state office to have one mailed to them.)
Finally, the Tennessee State Association officially invited the National Association to meet in Tennessee in 2021. The city has not yet been named.