Dr. Larry Anderson, BRN director of church health and evangelism, and Dr. Jerome Coleman, senior pastor of Crestmont Baptist Church in Philadelphia, discuss Coleman’s new role as the eastern representative for the SBC’s National African American Fellowship and the IMB’s new George Liele scholarship.
Larry Anderson: I’m here with Dr. Jerome Coleman, pastor at First Baptist Church of Crestmont and the eastern regional, newly elected, director of NAAF. Tell us all what is NAAF?
Jerome Coleman: NAAF is National African American Fellowship. NAAF represents almost 4,000 African-American churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. So basically, we’re the voice to the convention in terms of the concerns of the African-American churches within the convention.
Larry Anderson: I know as a mission month is approaching us, as for Black History Month. I know we’re familiar with the Lottie Moon offering, we’re familiar with Annie Armstrong, but there’s a new offering that’s being introduced from the IMB (International Mission Board) in partnership with NAAF, and is that George Liele scholarship?
Jerome Coleman: We’re really excited about that. George Liele. First of all, the offering is supposed to be taken up on February 6, but we don’t want to relegate it to just that. We’d love for the churches to take it up for the whole month. But George Liele was a former slave who was the first Baptist missionary to leave the Americas for Jamaica. So, in discovering that – many of us didn’t know it – but in discovering that we felt, as though, that George Liele should be honored. If Lottie Moon is honored, if Annie Armstrong is honored, then, of course, the first Baptist missionary, who just happens to be an African American, should be honored. And so we pushed for this and IMB and NAMB (North American Mission Board) both came along beside us and agreed with it. So, now we’re taking up an offering in the month of February for George Liele. It’s going to be geared towards specifically sending African American missionaries around the globe.
Larry Anderson: Oh, wow, that is excellent. So, how does one give? They take offering on the sixth and then…
Jerome Coleman: They take an offering on the sixth or throughout the month. You would send you’re offering to imb.org/george-liele. If you write your check that way and you send it that way, they will know where to place it and, prayerfully, people will be excited and encouraged and we can start to have our presence more and more on the missions field.
Larry Anderson: That’s wonderful, man. I thank you for your work. I thank you for your service with this. Your actual role – what will you be doing in this eastern region?
Jerome Coleman: My responsibility is basically to contact the presidents of each state, introduce myself, and try to get the voice of the concerns of, specifically, African American churches in those states so that I can bring it back to the president of NAAF and executive director of NAAF. So, then they take those concerns on to the convention. So, really, I’m just the voice for the eastern region where concerns that the churches have, resources that the churches need – I’m a liaison for putting them in touch with resources as far as leadership and conferences and stuff. So, you know, I’m running around giving your name out, and I’m running around giving a bunch of people’s names out who I know can bless churches in terms of conferences, leaderships, evangelisms. So, that’s what I am. I’m a liaison, I’m a voice.
Larry Anderson: I appreciate you, man. So there you have it. Thank you, Dr. Coleman, for your service, not only as a pastor of First Baptist Church of Crestmont, but for your leadership within NAAF. We thank you for your service.
Jerome Coleman: Thank you.
Larry Anderson: We look forward to hearing more about the George Liele scholarship fund.
More information about George Liele Church Planting Evangelism, and Missions Sunday can be found here. Those interested in finding out more about the George Liele scholarship fund, can visit: https://www.imb.org/george-liele.