A very small percentage of Southern Baptist missionaries are African American. In 2020, the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB), one of the world’s largest missionary sending agencies, reported 3,700 career missionaries but only 0.35% were African American.
As a Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) serving two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Alabama State University and Tuskegee University) our goal is to reach the lost for Christ, disciple them, help them get plugged into a healthy church, teaching them to live according to God’s Word, and sending them out make disciples. We are working to fulfill the “Great Commission.” As we serve, the Lord has sent us to Nairobi, Kenya as springboard to international missions.
Last month, May 2022, I along with a team of 4 student missionaries went to Nairobi in response to Kenyans asking IMB missionaries to “send people that look like them (people of color) to serve”. Upon arriving in Africa, we were well received. Most of the people we engaged could not believe that we were American, because usually when they see American missionaries, they are white. During our time there, we saw 13 people give their lives to Christ and get introduced to a healthy church where they can be discipled.
This is why we do what we do! So that lives will be transformed. Our goal is to make disciples that make disciples in this country and abroad. If we introduce African Americans to missions in college and faithfully train them, I am confident that the percentage of those serving as career missionaries will increase. This can only be accomplished through prayer, partnership, and preparation.
A part of the SBC’s Vision 2025 Strategy is to increase the total number of full-time fully funded missionaries by a net gain of 500 through the IMB. My hope is that half of those missionaries are people of color. Therefore, we are working diligently to train students to be prepared to go and share the Gospel to all nations. Will you join me in praying for God to raise up people of color on our campuses to engage the campus and the world for the sake of the Gospel?