By K. Faith Morgan
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — A church planter puts his own experience to use as he engages and mobilizes pastors to plant more churches.
Fifteen years ago, Vance Pitman and his family were sent out by First Baptist Woodstock as church planting missionaries with the North American Mission Board (NAMB). They moved to Las Vegas, and they never left. He still pastors the church he planted a decade and a half ago—Hope Church.
“God is alive and at work in that city,” Pitman said of Las Vegas at the Send North America Conference.
“For 15 years, I’ve had an ongoing relationship with the North American Mission Board, but it really intensified a few years ago when Kevin (Ezell) became the president of NAMB,” said Pitman.
So when Ezell asked Pitman about working with NAMB as a National Mobilizer, Pitman saw the move as a natural one.
“When God put us here in Las Vegas, we had a heart, not just for Las Vegas but to see churches planted up and down the West Coast in these pioneer areas. Everywhere I’ve ever traveled, everywhere I’ve ever spoken, I’ve always represented multiplying the church in pioneer areas in North America—particularly in the Western United States,” Pitman said recently of his ministry.
“When Kevin talked to me about the possibility of doing that in an official capacity while I stay here in Las Vegas and continue to pastor the church that I planted here, it just made sense. I now have the opportunity to give some time to mobilizing 46,000 Southern Baptist churches to engage in multiplying the church in pioneer areas. It was something I was already doing anyway with so much of my time, and it’s great to have the opportunity to do it in an official capacity and to represent the North American Mission Board doing that.”
Ezell said Pitman’s church planting experience in a challenging spiritual terrain like Las Vegas will give him added credibility in the new role.
“Vance is committed to evangelism and church planting,” said NAMB President, Kevin Ezell. “Through his church, he has demonstrated that even the tough to reach places can be productive mission fields. I know his efforts to bring pastors and churches into increasing levels of involvement in North America will result in great things.”
Pitman is excited at the prospect and promise of the new position; he is passionate, too.
“I personally think that this is the greatest time I’ve ever seen to be a part of the Southern Baptist Convention. Our global mobilization and the focus the North American Mission Board of placing on planting churches in pioneer cities is strong. I believe the great hope for awakening in America is a church planting movement in the pioneer areas of the United States. And so I’m praying that God would let us see churches mobilized to multiply the church in the pioneer areas and bring an awakening to the United States of America,” said Pitman.
K. Faith Morgan is a writer for the North American Mission Board.
Published September 10, 2015