From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ABCUSA: First American Baptist "NEW LIFE 2010 Church" Named

From "SCHRAMM, Richard" <>
Date Thu, 23 Jan 2003 12:58:02 -0500

by Susan Gottshall, American Baptist National Ministries	

American Baptist News Service (Valley Forge, Pa. 1/23/03)--Central Baptist
Church, an American Baptist Churches USA congregation in Providence, R.I.,
has been designated a "NEW LIFE 2010 Church" by National Ministries.
Central Baptist Church is the first congregation to receive this designation
in a recognition program recently implemented by National Ministries.

To achieve the "NEW LIFE 2010 Church" designation a congregation must be
actively pursuing at least one of the initiative's goals and making
significant progress toward its achievement. 

For example, a few activities that would meet the requirement in each of the
initiative's goals for designation as a "NEW LIFE 2010 Church" include:
participating in the Alpha program (Evangelism); increasing church
membership by baptism by at least 15 percent (Evangelism); supporting a new
church financially (New Church Planting); serving as a mother church for a
new congregation (New Church Planting); at least 10 percent of membership
participating in a Habitat for Humanity project (Caring Ministries); adding
a paid or volunteer community ministries staff member; participating in the
Small Church Pilot project or other National Ministries projects
(Congregational Transformation).

At Central Baptist the 176-member congregation undertook a yearlong
self-study that resulted in a "Transforming Our Future" initiative. Through
that initiative the congregation developed plans to work toward
transformation and outreach by studying the demographics of the community;
changing the church name; adopting a new mission statement; approving a new
member's commitment statement; and revising the church bylaws.
The Rev. Dr. Evan Howard, pastor of Central Baptist, said his congregation
is proud to have had a part in National Ministries' development of the "NEW
LIFE 2010" church program. The designation will be "a boost to our morale as
we continue the arduous task of mission in the challenging New England (and
urban Providence) environment," Howard said.

NEW LIFE 2010 National Movement Director the Rev. Carol Sutton says the
designation was developed to encourage congregations and "to make people
hopeful about what may happen in their own churches."  NEW LIFE 2010 is not
about American Baptist Churches at the national level, but rather about what
is happening in each and every church across the country. "NEW LIFE 2010 is
the whole picture," Sutton said, "and we want to recognize and hold up what
God is doing in our churches."

Congregations may request the "NEW LIFE 2010 Church" designation by
contacting Sutton.  Requests should include a statement from the pastor,
church clerk or other congregational official that describes the steps taken
toward fulfillment of the initiative's goals. 

NEW LIFE 2010 is a vision set forth in 1998 for American Baptists to reach
1,000,010 new disciples, plant 1,010 new churches, and vitalize a multitude
of caring ministries-and so transform American Baptist congregations by the
year 2010.

American Baptist News Service: Office of Communication, American Baptist
Churches USA, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; (800)ABC-3USA x2077
/ (610)768-2077; fax: (610)768-2320;;

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