Arizona Mission Network of Southern Baptists — May 30, 2024

10 Years of Developing Church Leaders

Executive Director David Johnson talks with Dallas Bivins, who has served as director of the Arizona Campus of Gateway Seminary for the last 10 years.

Eight students graduate from Gateway Arizona

The class of 2024 at the Arizona Campus of Gateway Seminary graduated on May 11. Eight students graduated in the commencement ceremony at CityView Church in Phoenix. The ceremony was led by Dallas Bivins, director of the Arizona Campus.

The seminary held its annual Gateway Gathering at CityView Church on May 10. Alumni, students, friends and family celebrated the accomplishments of the graduates as well as the certificate recipients.

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Bivins: 10 years as Gateway Arizona Campus director

Dallas Bivins recently completed 10 years as director of the Arizona Campus of Gateway Seminary.

“We have a great resource here at Gateway Seminary Arizona Campus to be able to train and raise up ministers, pastors, missionaries, chaplains … [and] to send them out to accomplish God’s kingdom work around the world,” said David Johnson, executive director of Arizona Mission Network of Southern Baptists. “We are so grateful that we’ve had Dr. Bivins leading our campus for these past 10 years.”

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Arizona Disaster Relief responds to storms in Texas

Seven Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers served in Coldspring, Texas, following recent flooding. Team members left Arizona in mid-May and returned May 28. Two helped assess the needs of homeowners, two served in incident management and three helped with the shower/laundry unit that the team took with them from Arizona.

A chainsaw team of nine left Arizona today (Thursday, May 30) to serve in Texas following tornadoes there.

First Person: A perspective on the proposed SBC amendment regarding women in pastoral ministry

By Jeff Iorg

The Southern Baptist Convention will soon consider final action on an amendment to the SBC Constitution stating that a cooperating Southern Baptist church “affirms, appoints, or employs only men as any kind of pastor or elder as qualified by Scripture.”

This is a significant decision which raises important issues related to Baptist theology, polity and practice and has the potential to profoundly impact not just the Southern Baptist Convention, but the entire Southern Baptist denomination.

When the SBC Executive Committee forwarded the amendment to the Convention in 2023, it did so with a recommendation that the amendment be declined. This remains the position of the Executive Committee and reflects my position as well. Here are some of the reasons for our position, along with some suggestions for a path forward.

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Mission:Dignity recipients in Arizona receive 13th checks

Mission:Dignity recipients in Arizona received an extra blessing to start the year thanks to the efforts of the Arizona Mission Network of Southern Baptists.

For the second year in a row, recipients received this “13th Check” due to state convention efforts. The benefit is made available to every Mission:Dignity recipient in the Grand Canyon state.

“These gifts from our friends among Arizona Baptists ensure that our recipients will have an extra blessing to look forward to during a time of economic volatility,” said Mission:Dignity Director Aaron Meraz. “I’m thankful for David Johnson and the way he and his state leadership have caught the vision for honoring God’s retired servants.”

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Let's meet in Indy!

Arizona Dessert Fellowship, June 10

Let's connect during the 2024 SBC Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. Join us for an Arizona Mission Network Dessert Fellowship on Monday evening, June 10, 7:30-9 p.m. CDT, in the Utah Meeting Room at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

Register Now

Pastors & Wives Retreat

July 11-13, The Wigwam Resort

Space is still available, but time is running out to register for this fun weekend full of relaxation and encouragement. Cost: $245. Scholarships are available.

Register Today

More Upcoming Events

Keep up with Baptist news beyond Arizona through Baptist Press.

Story developing in the past two weeks:

As annual meeting approaches, ‘pastor’ amendment opinions abound

Olympic digital responders needed

‘When can I return to Uganda?’: IMB missionary shares cancer journey

India church hosts 700 kids for VBS despite upheaval

Travel sports create issues and opportunities for families and churches

More than 6,000 baptized in multidenominational Baptize California weekend

‘Fore the gospel’: Southern Baptist pastor and professor enjoys volunteering at PGA Championship

More News

Sam Castro

May 26-June 1

Sam Castro leads the Christian Challenge chapter at Arizona Western College in Yuma. Located in the sunny, southwest corner of the state, Arizona Western College supports the Yuma and La Paz communities with over 170 degrees and certificates in a wide range of academic, career and technical programs, as well as non-credit courses in professional development, customized training, and personal enrichment areas. With 12 different locations and a service area that spans 10,000 square miles, AWC also boasts a diverse international program with students from over 40 different countries. Sam serves on the staff of partner church Iglesia Cristiana Tierra Fertil.

How to Pray:

  • For Sam and his leaders as they seek to share the gospel and develop students to grow in their walk with Christ.
  • For gospel appointments with students from diverse backgrounds and beliefs.

SBC Annual Meeting

June 2-8

Each year tens of thousands of Southern Baptists gather to celebrate what God is doing through their combined ministry efforts and to deliberate on the direction of the Convention for the future. It has been said “the annual meeting combines the elements of an old-fashioned revival meeting with an open-microphone business meeting.” It is a time of equipping and inspiration with nearly 200 ancillary meetings, events and gatherings throughout the week. It aims to encourage, equip and mobilize for Kingdom work.

In addition to reports from the six Southern Baptist seminaries, reports are given by the leaders of the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board and others. One of the highlights of each Annual Meeting is a Sending Celebration where IMB missionaries are commissioned for their new work on mission fields throughout the world.

Pray for the leaders of the Convention as well as Arizona leadership and pastors as they participate and make critical decisions regarding the future of our Convention. In all things, may Christ be lifted up and God be glorified.

The 2024 Convention will be led by SBC President Bart Barber and held in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 11-12. This year’s theme is “One Mind, One Voice.” For more information:

Learn More and Share

These prayer profiles are excerpted from the 2024 Missions Prayer Guide, which features Arizonans whose ministries in our state and overseas are supported by your church's gifts through the Cooperative Program. Read more about the individuals and share with your church by downloading bulletin inserts and presentation slides here.

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