When Robby Sherman became associational missionary for Little River Baptist Association, he arrived with a plan of revitalization.
He immediately began spending time one-on-one with all the pastors, asking them what their biggest needs were.
“Out of that, we formulated the plan for us to assist them in accomplishing ministries God had given them and the vision they had,” he said. “They are all valuable to the kingdom and reaching their part of the world for Christ. It is my role to help them accomplish that in any way that I can.”
One of the first things they did was start an evangelism conference in southwest Arkansas. He said several of their pastors and lay leaders who are bi-vocational cannot make it to the convention’s annual Evangelism Conference (ECON). Last year, Sherman said they had more than 280 attend their localized evangelism event.
A couple of other things they have added over the last four years include deacon training and partnerships both in state and out-of-state. For instance, they have partnerships with churches in the Arkansas Delta and with church planters in New Orleans. They are working on developing partnerships overseas.
Additionally, the association hosts a youth camp and in recent years has partnered with Living Well Counseling. They have a partnership with Arkansas Baptist Children and Family Ministries and have also recently launched a new pregnancy resource center.
“To be able to serve my pastors and their churches and their people is a great honor for me. I am grateful that I have this opportunity,” Sherman said.
Sherman has been in the ministry 32 years. Though he grew up in church and walked the aisle as a child, Sherman said he had never truly trusted Christ as savior. There was no life change.
Through his dad’s job with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, Sherman became involved with Camp Siloam. At the end of camp every year, Sherman said his family would attend First Baptist Church in Springdale, where Ronnie Floyd was the pastor. It was there, at the age of 21, Sherman dedicated his life to the Lord.
“The title of the message was, ‘Are you one of those born-again Christians?’ That was it. The punch that I need to go down and get saved. For the first time, I gave my life to Christ. It was like a ton of bricks lifted off my shoulders. Like I came up for breath for the first time,” he said.
That was on Aug. 2, 1991. Shortly after, Sherman felt God calling him to ministry.
His first real ministry experience was at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church where he worked for a year after graduating Ouachita Baptist University in 1993 before attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Most recently, prior to his associational missionary role, Sherman was pastor at Friendship Baptist Church in Conway. Before that, he was at England First Baptist Church.
He described the experience so far as “pretty amazing.”