Association of Arkansas Baptist Secretaries gather for training, fellowship 

AABS President Becky Cossey leads Bible study during the opening session.

Ministry assistants from around the state gathered at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) building on Friday, Aug. 25, to fellowship and enhance their professional and leadership skills for the ministry office. A part of the day was a Bible study with the theme of “Fill Your Cup” focusing on Psalm 23:5.

Association of Arkansas Baptist Secretaries (AABS) President Becky Cossey, who has also served as an officer with the National Association of Ministry Assistants, said they had more than 40 participants from church, association or state convention offices at the training event. These staff perform various duties to support the work of pastors and other ministry staff across the state. 

“We wear multiple hats,” Cossey, who serves at Mount Caramel Baptist Church in Cabot, said. “I am blessed to be at a church where we have multiple assistants, but you have a lot of ladies in here that are the only assistant. They are the ones having to do the bulletins. They are the ones that have to see it all.”  

Ministry assistants are oftentimes the first point of contact when someone is seeking an appointment with a pastor, associational missionary, or ABSC travel staff person. Whether the visitor or caller needs information, materials or sometimes just a listening ear, the ministry assistant must be welcoming and discerning. The position is a way of ministering to church staff, church members and even an unbeliever who crosses her path. 

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Bernice Goss of Beebe and Jeanne Pennington of Little Rock fellowship as they participate in the Bible study.

Participants on Friday received training regarding Canva, Annual Church Profile, databases, technology and more. Along with the chance to enhance their skills, Friday’s event also gave the ministry assistants a chance to fellowship and network. Cossey noted several of the people in attendance were new to the role. She touted the camaraderie among the secretaries.  

Those in attendance also heard from Arkansas Baptist Foundation President/CEO Bobby Thomas, who shared with them some of the resources available through the Foundation.  

Plans are being made for a three-day conference in April 2024 that will include additional staff development opportunities.

For more information or if there are any ministry assistants with further questions or were unable to attend Friday’s training opportunity, they can reach out to Cossey at  

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