The room at Music City Center was packed as the Asian American Collective gathered for their first-ever meeting.
The Collective consists of members of the eight organized Asian national fellowships within the Southern Baptist Convention – Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian and Vietnamese – and other Asian people groups that don’t yet have an organized fellowship, such as Burmese and South Asian.
Jonathan Hayashi, pastor of Northern Hills Baptist Church, Holt, Missouri, opened the meeting after a time of worship and prayer.
Looking around the room at those gathered — mostly Asian, but also worshipping alongside Christians of several other ethnicities — he beamed.
‘Picture of heaven’
“The Scripture says every tongue, tribe, nation will be ablaze in the glory of God,” Hayashi said, quoting Revelation 7:9. “This is a faint picture of what we will one day see in heaven.”
Peter Yanes, executive director for Asian American Relations and Mobilization for the Southern Baptist Convention, announced that 11.6% of the church plants in 2019 were Asian-American.
“We are moving forward together,” he said.
Yanes also encouraged attendees to participate in the events and business at the SBC Annual Meeting.
“I want you to be prayerful,” he said. “Every voice matters in the SBC — your voice matters.”