ALPHARETTA, Ga. – A group of Arkansas Baptist church planters recently spent time in Alpharetta, Georgia, fellowshipping, learning from leading church planting practitioners and worshiping together during the North American Mission Board’s Send Network Orientation.
Send Network hosts two orientations a year and all Send Network endorsed planters must attend within the first two years of their endorsement. This was the North American Mission Board’s second Send Network Orientation of 2023. According to a recent Send Network article, it was attended by a diverse class of church planters representing seven languages, 30 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces.
The 10 Arkansas Baptist church planters in attendance were:
- Michael Partain of Emmanuel Cowboy Church in Brooklyn
- James Bell of Victory Church in Conway
- Torvac Amos of Fresh Start Community Church in Sherwood
- Jonathan Johnson of Compass Church in Mountain View
- Demetrick Andrews of Faith Outreach Church in El Dorado
- Neal Scoggins of Impact Inner City in Little Rock
- Maurice Brister of Unity Bible Baptist in North Little Rock
- Charles Simmons of Connect Church in Little Rock
- Nick Hendren of Family Church in Siloam Springs
- Kyle Fowler of The Summit Church in Bentonville
Fowler, who was called to ministry at 19 and has served in full-time ministry for 15 years, said the opportunity to be in the same room with this diverse group of more than 200 church planters from 160 sending churches was special.
“Because not only do you get to gather, worship, and learn together, you are reminded how much bigger the calling is than just your one church. There were 200 church planters on one mission to plant churches for the glory of God and the building of His kingdom,” he said.
Fowler and his family started The Summit Church in Bentonville in their living room, worshipping and teaching together with a handful of people praying and trusting the Lord that He called them here to plant their life and this church among these people. In September 2022, they launched weekly services, and got to celebrate their one-year anniversary this year.
Amos called the orientation thought-provoking and energizing.
“For me, it was a revival. After a long, tough year it gave me the energy I need to prepare for the next season,” he said. “I left with some real good wisdom and inspiration to plan for my people as we’re going into the next year.”
Amos’s Fresh Start Community Church launched its first service on the campus of First Baptist Church in Sherwood in the student worship area on Easter 2022. Since then, they have moved into the former preschool area as their designated worship space. They have about 45 congregants per Sunday, however, they are in the midst of an uptick as a result of their evangelism focus.
Fowler said the Send Network Orientation break-out and main sessions were filled with great communicators who have gone about doing this same work in many different contexts around the U.S. and they offered great insights into things that new church plants should be diligent to weave into their church body.
“They did a great job of both communicating and showing us that as church planters we are not alone, and that we are important not only to them, but to the kingdom work around North America,” Fowler said.
Both Fowler and Amos said the orientation allowed the opportunity to connect with other church plants from different places and to hear about their work and the way that God is working in their area of the world.
“To see the diversity, comradery, brotherhood that was in the room, it was just really good to be a part of,” Amos said.
For more information on church planting in Arkansas, click here.