In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, he says these profound words…"God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” - Ephesians 3:20 [Message translation] He is doing that with the Delta Institute.
Over the last several years the Delta Institute has proven to be a place of learning and fellowship for Pastors and Leaders from a variety of churches, cultures and ethnicities. As the impact of the Delta Institute began to expand beyond the Delta, a name change was necessary. It will now be called "The Institute." This name change seems to be a natural transition and I am more than elated to see this vision expand. "The Delta Institute is not just for the Delta, but for everyone” says Pastor Jarvis Smith, Senior Pastor of Second Baptist Church in West Helena, AR. The Institute will continue to offer seminary-level training for Pastors and Church Leaders; however, it will be expanded to include contextualized training for specific needs of churches in Arkansas such as Implementing Church Vision, Small Groups/Sunday School Effectiveness, Ministry to Children, and other topics. The goal of The Institute is to serve both Leaders and Laity in order to positively affect health in the local church.
"The Institute" found it's origins 8 years ago, as African American Pastors and Leaders in the Delta Region of the State of Arkansas were affiliating with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, these Pastors made a profound statement; “we need training.” These were the words communicated by Pastor Jarvis Smith. “All we needed from the Arkansas Baptist State Convention was seminary-level training for our Pastors. That’s it.” From that, the Delta Institute was born with focus and vision from ABSC Executive Director Dr. J.D. "Sonny" Tucker, Church Planting Team Leader Tim Wicker and Church Planting Strategist Willie Jacobs.
While the Delta Institute started with individual book studies taught by leaders of the ABSC, it quickly shifted into accredited classes offered by Ouachita Baptist University, then settled into a relationship with Seminary Extension, a ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention Council of Seminary Presidents.
For more information about classes being offered by The Institute and how to have a training catered to your local church’s needs, contact Neal Scoggins on the Evangelism and Church Health Team at 501.376.4791 ext. 5114.