Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches @2015

Evergreen Association

Of America Baptist Churches

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Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches @2017

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My Evergreen Story

Testimonies



My journey with the establishing and growth of the Evergreen Association has been and continues to be a large part of my Christian growth. When Evergreen was conceived ten years ago I was asked to be their first General board Representative.  At its inception I, like so many others, got caught up in the controversy of what Evergreen represented. I was so focused on theology that I was blinded to its purpose - ministry.   Marcia, the driving force of Evergreen’s development, helped me understand that Evergreen was not trying to change my beliefs but just wanted to establish a means for churches to be able to work together with our common goals of ministry. That was the first step of my journey with Evergreen that helped me grow in my Christian understanding about doing God’s work. Doing ministry is about what’s being done for God not who is doing it. God uses whom He will to build His kingdom.

I served for six years on the General Board, and that was a huge eye opener for me.  I came to the realization that politics is in every aspect of life.  I have a government job that involved me in a level of politics that gave me a twisted view of what politics represents. To me it only represented the personal agendas of those who were chosen to make those political decisions. This made politics something into which did not want to get involved. Being on the General Board I saw that politics has its place in every aspect of life and there is no way you can get around it.  It also showed me that there are areas and people in politics that are trying to make a difference for the greater good. One man can make a difference.


My General Board experience also taught me that there are levels of leadership. I learned that there are leaders, there are leaders of leaders, and there are leaders of leaders of leaders. Each  level of leadership requires a different mentality to lead. During my six years on the board I experienced what those levels and mentalities look like and that, too, was huge in my growth as a leader in the church.

 

Along with my personal growth in my journey with Evergreen, I have also come to experience ministry through the biblical perspective instead of the practical application of ministry. I’ve learned that ministry is about relationships, and through those relationships we can find common ground to serve God together. The practical application of relationships is designed to have winners and losers, majorities and minorities, those whose voices are heard and those whose voices are not loud enough to hear. The way ministry is established through Evergreen destroys all of these divisions and places all people and voices at the same table with the same rights and authority. Evergreen’s design of consensus for decision making, caucuses for establishing concerns, and a caucus-driven executive committee that gives everyone at the tables an equal voice, is different. It allows for the establishing of relationships with churches and cultures that open the door to common ground for ministry and not competition. That makes doing ministry a lot more effective and fun.

When asked the question, “What has Evergreen meant to me?” I would say that is has been one of the most important times in my life for change from who I was to who God wants me to be. God always puts you in a place that will set you on the path that He wants you to go; and Evergreen is that place that God used to set my path.


I Thank God for Evergreen - for what it represents in serving God and building His Kingdom!


Walter H. Heyman Jr., Pastor

New Walk Christian Church





Walter Heyman