The National African American Missions Conference (NAAMC) held its 5th annual conference June 22-24 at McClean Bible Church in Vienna, VA. The conference theme, “Send Me” was designed to minister to the hearts of African Americans who have an interest in serving as missionaries and to provide resources to help them as they go out on the mission field. It is a time when participants from around the world come together to strengthen their skills through networking, education, and training. The conference continues to grow exponentially each year.
Bishop Davin Perrin and Bruce Johnson were the conference hosts. NAAMC emerged from the partnership of Boundless Ministries Inc., formally Great Commission Global Ministries (GCGM) and SIM USA. The conference included speakers and exhibits which gave attendees opportunities to interact with various ministries and hear stories of the field.
Thursday night kicked off with powerful music from Jett Edwards and some of the members of his 1,000-voice Japan Mass Choir. In 2016, the choir was nominated for a Dove Award in 2016 for their album, Powerful, in the Traditional Gospel Album of the Year. Edwards and the choir created a highly charged atmosphere of both praise and worship.
Speaker Leslie Engelsen told attendees, “When you come across someone whose needs are bigger than us we need to step and ask Jesus ‘is that you speaking'” The Japan Mass Choir backed up Jett Edwards as he sang “God’s Grace,” which had the audience enthralled and led to several reprises before the benediction.
On Friday, Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile served as the morning’s plenary speaker. Workshops filled out the morning and afternoon and included such diverse topics as, Go as a Disciple-maker,” “How Does the church planting work on the Mission field?,” “Medical Missions for Non-Medical Personnel” and many others. Reverend Dr. Phillip Nelson was the plenary speaker in the afternoon.
Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr., of First Baptist Church of Glenarden (FBCG) delivered the evening’s message. The FBCG choir, directed by Stellar Award winner, Stephen Hurd delivered two selections before Pastor Jenkins’s message. The message was both humorous and heartfelt as Pastor Jenkins shared how Bishop Perrin introduced him to the mission field and the various cultural differences he encountered. But the humor was tempered with Pastor Jenkins praising Bishop Perrin for his dedication to mobilizing African Americans for the mission field. “Only in eternity will you know the impact of what you’ve done and you’ll hear the master say, ‘well done.” Pastor Jenkins tearfully said .as Bishop Perrin was also overcome with emotion. It was a stirring moment.
The conference wrapped on Saturday with more workshops, and a panel discussion. The conference was actually three-fold in nature, as there were activities for adults, children, and youth. The children had an opportunity to “travel” to the countries of Haiti and Uganda, complete with their own “passports.” There were several experiential activities designed to encourage an interest in the mission field. The children’s conference was appropriately titled, “Send Me 2: Mission Adventure.” The youth heard hard hitting messages from other youth and young adults. On Saturday, the youth and children each went out on separate outreach activities in the surrounding communities.
This year’s conference included the announcement of the NAAMC Certification Program that will be launched in 2018. it will be ongoing program throughout the year and serve as a resource center for collaboration, networking, education, training and forming permanent partnerships in missions.
For more information on NAAMC, click here.
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