Looking Back to Look Ahead

By Wayne Stapleton and Sharon Richards

Our North American Baptist Conference of churches was established in light of a cultural need. German immigrants to North America arrived and planted churches, worshiped, and preached the Word of God, in German, to German immigrants and their descendants, sensitive to the German cultural context. NAB church communities historically have been a haven for German culture, connection, and belonging. Even today, those in the NAB of German descent rightly look back favorably and with pride on their heritage and history in our churches.

German followers of Jesus who established NAB churches were a specific group of people with unique cultural experiences in North America.

Since its establishment, the NAB has welcomed a wide array of cultures into its churches, including the first Kurdish church in North America and churches that serve various cultures, including Christians of Chinese descent, Hispanic descent, and many other ethnicities, as well as multiethnic churches in which people of diverse cultures gather together in the name of Jesus Christ. Recognizing culture and its impact in the church has always been a part of who we are as the NAB.

The cultural experiences of Black people of African descent are celebrated in the US and Canada during the month of February, specifically to address the victories and celebrations of their unique cultural heritage. The song “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” speaks to these unique experiences and recognizes the role God has played in their lives. This song has been called the Black National Anthem, not to suggest Black Americans are their own nation but highlighting the unique hardships and hopes people of African descent have experienced in America. The song represents one group’s culture and connection and is a rallying point for belonging. . . .

If you are looking to save money on your Triennial 2024 registration, you have hours, not days, to register at the low price of $345. You only have until the end of today; starting tomorrow, the cost increases to $420.

Taking place in St. Paul, Minnesota, July 11–14, 2024, the theme of this Triennial is Becoming a People of Peace. This gathering of individuals, families, church leadership teams, and missionaries, from across the US and Canada, as well as far-flung mission fields, will be a time of celebration of what God has done, is doing, and will do in and through the NAB.

If you are curious about Triennial 2024 but still want more information, you can check out the digital version of our registration brochure. Inside, you will find ample information about our speakers, special events, breakouts, and more, giving you everything you need as you prepare to register online.

We look forward to seeing you in St. Paul in July!

In honor and recognition of Bernie Lemke’s service to the Kingdom through his many decades of missionary service in Nigeria and Cameroon, serving as a career, long-term, and short-term missionary at various points of his life, the NAB International Office wishes to convey our deepest condolences to his wife, Lilly, and the rest of his family. He will be missed, but we celebration his legacy that lives on, even as he is celebrating before God’s throne.