Filipinos to elect first executive director

PHOENIX (BP) -- The election of an executive director and receiving a report on church planting progress will be among the highlights of the Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of North America's annual meeting in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Phoenix.

The fellowship will gather Tuesday, June 13, at 2 p.m. in Maryvale Room A/B at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in downtown Phoenix. The theme of the Filipino Fellowship's meeting is "multiply," in keeping with the focus on church planting.

The "biggest emphasis" of the meeting will be a recommendation by the officers of a candidate to serve as the fellowship's first executive director, fellowship president Peter Yanes said. The executive director will serve on a volunteer basis initially, with hopes of funding the position in the near future.

"I think we are very close to recommending someone," said Yanes, a North American Mission Board church planting catalyst and ethnic strategist for the Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania/South Jersey.

The gathering's church planting emphasis will include a report that the Filipino Fellowship is on pace to plant 100 new churches between 2015 and 2020. Achieving that goal would bring the total number of Filipino congregations in North America to more than 300, Yanes said.

Starting new churches "is what Filipino churches are known for," Yanes said. "Part of our DNA is that we really appreciate it that somebody brought the Gospel to us ... in the Philippines and started churches that were responsible for propagating the Gospel."

He added, "All of our Filipino American churches that started the past [few] years have been multiplying into other Filipino American churches that are reaching into other places."

In conjunction with its church planting strategy, the Filipino Fellowship will conclude a two-year process of amending its bylaws to establish membership requirements for congregations. Previously, all Filipino Southern Baptist churches were automatically considered part of the fellowship. With the change, there will be membership dues and other standards.

The meeting also will include election of new officers, including a new president as Yanes completes his second two-year term.

An international missions summit of Filipino believers will occur at 9 a.m. June 13 in Room North 127 A/B of the Phoenix Convention Center prior to the Filipino Fellowship meeting in the afternoon.

To register for the annual meeting, email Yanes at pyanes@namb.net. The fellowship has a Facebook page and will post updates on the June gathering as the date approaches.

David Roach is chief national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention's news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.
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