Breakout Session 5
Baptist Ethnicity and Immigration
Early on there were Russians (have conferences in ND), Asians (mainly presented on a dissertation by Timothy Tseng: polity, theology, ethnicity), Hispanics (paper by Albert Reyes: large movements in the southern hemisphere), Germans, French, Norwegians, Swedes, Slovaks, Poles and Hungarians, Czechs (John Kejr), Italians (Buffalo, NY). Most immigrant groups were more conservative than their American counterparts. They basically functioned as multi-site churches (all German Baptists in one city, but different locations) till one got big enough to be self-supportive. I guess some people have seen some success in multi-site churches.
There was a scarcity of qualified men to be pastors. That is why I like mission endeavors that go to the other countries, and evangelize and train men to stay there in their respective villages to preach and shepherd their people.
Many different people come to America for freedom of religion – and start churches, but keep their own way of doing some things. That is part of what makes American religion, Christianity, so interesting. With all these different ethnicities – you get such a brighter look into what Heaven will be like. People from every tribe, nation, and tongue – will be around the throne giving praise to the Lamb.
The presenter shared the following verse to begin the session – 1 Kings 8.41-43:
“Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people, Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake, (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm) when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you as do your people, Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.” What a great verse. May we – as all Baptists and Christians in general – know that that glory of the name of Jesus is the main thing. May we live, eat, breathe, discuss, talk, evangelize, and do missions – everything for Your Glory!