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NYC church planter to lead NAMB moblization efforts

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NYC church planter to lead NAMB moblization efforts

By Mickey Noah

Aaron Coe
Aaron Coe

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Aaron B. Coe, 34, has been appointed to the new position of vice president-mobilization, to be based in Alpharetta, Ga., as part of a restructuring by the North American Mission Board, according to NAMB president Kevin Ezell.  Coe will report directly to Ezell.

Coe’s appointment was approved Feb. 9 during a regular meeting of NAMB’s board of trustees in Alpharetta.

Prior to his new assignment, Coe, a native of Louisville, Ky., served from 2003 to 2008 as a NAMB church planting missionary pastor in New York City, where he helped plant the Gallery Church in 2006.   In 2008, Coe founded “City Uprising,” mobilizing hundreds of volunteers in the Manhattan area.  In 2009, he initiated “SendNYC” for the purpose of mobilizing and equipping people to plant churches in New York City.

NAMB president Kevin Ezell described Coe as “a gifted strategist and has demonstrated his mobilization effectiveness through his work in New York City.”

“Aaron Coe is an excellent choice to lead mobilization efforts for NAMB,” says Terry Robertson, executive director/treasurer of the Baptist Convention of New York. “In the early days of the Gallery Church of Manhattan, Aaron did a superb job of mobilizing astounding numbers of workers in fulfillment of their strategic start-up plan. His efforts were creative, engaging and effective.

“The Gallery Church is cooperative in giving and in participation with the Baptist Convention of New York,” Robertson said. “In a recent review of contributions of newer churches, I noticed that the Gallery Church makes consistent contributions to the Cooperative Program.”

Coe said both he and his wife, Carmen, believe this role is God’s next step for them.

“God has been preparing us for this. My greatest gift is in the mobilization process.  When I was starting the new church in New York City, I loved to mobilize partners.  I have a passion for that. I had no aspirations to do anything other than what I was doing in New York. We’re convinced this is an answer to prayer.”

Coe said he is “excited” about the new regional structure NAMB president Kevin Ezell is bringing to the missions entity.

“Every region of the United States is a different context,” Coe said. “For us to understand how to engage those contexts with the Gospel, we need to be closer to the ground there. By having men and women out in regions, we’re going to better understand how to engage more effectively.  “We’ll better understand that the Northeast is different than the Southeast. The West is different from the Northeast.”

Now is a pivotal time in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention, believes Coe.

“There is a re-emergence of church planting happening in the evangelical world and Southern Baptists are not immune to that. We’ve got an unprecedented number of young people and seminary grads saying, ‘we want to plant churches.’ So Baptists have the opportunity to really tap into that and push back lostness.

“We have the opportunity to regain the pioneering spirit that was in the Southern Baptist Convention in its early days, which provided its greatest expansion. We’re on the brink of another great expansion of the SBC,” Coe said.  “The SBC is a sleeping giant and we’re on the forefront of something great.  And NAMB is in a good position to help churches reproduce.”

Coe said he and his wife, Carmen – a native of Clemson, S. C. – have a bittersweet feeling about leaving New York City, which he said includes 800 language groups.  “We’ve loved being here for eight years and it’s going to be hard to leave.”

The Coes have three children: Ezra, 4, Danielle, 2, and Joshua, 1.

Mickey Noah writes for the North American Mission Board.