From Chris Crain, Director
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November 27, 2018, 6:17 AM

From Chris Crain

November 26, 2018



Dear St. Clair Baptists,


I cannot express my gratitude in mere words, but I wish to thank you for the privilege of serving the LORD as Director of Missions for the St. Clair Baptist Association. Today, I informed the SCBA Personnel Committee leadership, Moderator, Vice Moderator, and staff of my resignation. I will, in God’s providence, complete my time with the Association on December 31, 2018My prayers will be with the leadership in this dear family of churches as they prayerfully seek a new Director. Moderator Paul Brasher, Pastor of New Hope--Pell City, will call a special meeting of the Executive Committee soon to begin the transition process; I am thankful for his Godly leadership. 


In 2012, I expressed to Carol and a close colleague a God-given desire to serve in denominational ministry “one day.” Soon after that conversation, I met with my Director of Missions in Birmingham, Dr. Mike McLemore, to pray about my calling. I had no idea that just a few years later I would begin my denominational work as the Director of Missions for the St. Clair Baptist Association.


Early this year, Dr. McLemore went home to be with the Lord. His passing was too soon and a surprise to many. After much prayer in the Spirit and consideration, I have accepted a call from the Birmingham Baptist Association to serve as Dr. McLemore’s successor. God willing, I will begin my ministry as the Executive Director of the Birmingham Baptist Association on January 1, 2019.


Serving at the St. Clair Baptist Association has been an honor. God has moved mightily to strengthen relationships between churches and forge partnerships for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Leading St. Clair Association has been the most rewarding and enjoyable ministry assignment I have ever received; truly, this is a high compliment to each of you! Thus, it will be difficult for me to leave. I will miss my daily interactions with the Association staff, directors, leaders, churches, pastors, ministers, and partners.


St. Clair Baptists, you have my support in the days ahead. I will continue to partner with you as you encourage, equip, and engage in Great Commission ministry. I desire to leave behind a healthier Association and make sure you are supported sufficiently during the transition. Do not hesitate to contact me.


On behalf of my family, we are grateful for your prayers and provision for us. You have been gracious and loving to us. We will always remember you with fondness. I exhort you to be faithful in your prayers for, financial support of, and participation in the beloved St. Clair Baptist Association. 

“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints” (Colossians 1:3-4).


With sincere gratitude,


Dr. Christopher (Chris) Crain

St. Clair Baptist Association

September 5, 2018, 9:50 AM

Church Revitalization

Dear St. Clair Baptists,

Thank you for your generous support for missions through the St. Clair Baptist Association. God is encouraging, equipping, and engaging our churches in the Great Commission. Disaster Relief, Impact Campus Ministry, ESL, Alabama Raceway Ministries, and our partnerships appreciate you!

We offer two great opportunities for you coming in October:
Opportunity #1: Church Revitalization Essentials with Mark Clifton in Pell City

What is there about a dying church that brings glory to God? Mark Clifton's convicting answer is, “Nothing.” Why? “Because a local church is intended to represent the work of God in a community, when that church loses it saltiness, not only is God's work pictured as irrelevant in that community but also dishonors and disrepute may well become associated with God's name as a result.” Learn from Mark Clifton this October.

Mark is the Lead National Strategist for Revitalization/Replanting at the North American Mission Board. He is also co-host of the weekly Revitalize and Replant podcast with Thom Rainer. Mark has been planting, replanting and providing strategic mission leadership since 1978 and has seen God do amazing things in plateaued, declining, and closing Baptist churches. Would you consider bringing a group from your church to learn from Mark’s experiences all over America?

ESSENTIALS OF CHURCH REVITALIZATION: Join us for a 90-minute session with Mark Clifton to discuss the essentials of church revitalization.

Date: October 28, 2018
Time: 4:00 PM--5:30 PM
Location: Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, Pell City
Attention: Church Pastors, Staff, Leaders, Deacons, Members
Cost: FREE and provided by NAMB, Mt. Pisgah, and St. Clair Baptist Association
To Register: Email church name and names of attendees to or call our office at 205- 594-5173.

Opportunity #2: St. Clair Baptist Annual Meeting—"Reclaiming Glory—Church Revitalization”

Join with friends from St. Clair County and celebrate what God is doing in our churches! A meal will be served between the two sessions from 5:45-6:45 PM; bring side dishes and desserts. Jacky Connell and Mark Clifton will preach.


Date: October 29, 2018
Time: Session I--4:00 PM; Session II—7:00 PM
Leadership: Moderator Paul Brasher and Vice-Moderator Jeremy Williams; Worship Leader Dan Nelson
Location: Bethel Baptist Church, Moody
Preaching from Pastor Jacky Connell and Mark Clifton
All St. Clair Baptist Church members, guests, and friends are welcome! Messengers from churches will be issued materials at registration on site.

I look forward to seeing you! Let’s pack both of these events out! We need to see a desperation for God to do His work. Showing up will make a powerful statement!

With sincere gratitude,

Chris Crain, Director of Missions

July 10, 2018, 12:05 PM

God is Blessing!

ear St. Clair Baptists,

I am amazed at what God has done through this Association! These past almost two years as Director of Missions provided an extraordinary challenge for me. New churches joined our Association, existing churches were strengthened, leaders developed new ministries, Disaster Relief volunteers shared the Gospel across the country, we sent mission teams to advance the Gospel here and across the globe, families were rescued through Pathways Counseling, Impact Campus Ministry grew at Jeff State College, and pastors formed life-giving relationships across the county.

Thank you for allowing me a front-row seat to the activity of God in encouraging, equipping, and engaging churches in Great Commission ministry! I am indebted to you and your church for the love, support, and prayers along the way.

The St. Clair Baptist Association—dollar for dollar—is the best value for investing in associational ministry I have witnessed. In fact, your Association spends less today to get the job done than two decades ago! Contrary to perception, the Association does not receive budget support from the Alabama Baptist State Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, or the Cooperative Program. Our support comes from you—our member churches.

As your church evaluates supporting missions next year, please consider increasing your support for the St. Clair Baptist Association. Would your congregation pray about increasing gifts to the St. Clair Association budget by either a) adding fifteen percent to your 2018 gifts next year or, b) sending an additional one-half of a percent of your general budget receipts for 2019? Regardless, we will continue to be your faithful partner and serve you and your church in any way possible. We are grateful for any and all support given through our churches!

Receive a biblical education for $50 a class on Monday evenings in Pell City! The Ministry Training Institute is a great way for pastors, deacons, youth leaders, Bible study leaders, or ANYONE to earn a diploma with Samford University. I will join Rick Earnest at the Eden-Westside Campus this Fall to teach Baptist Doctrines; this excellent course covers most key doctrines of the Bible--Scriptures, Trinity, Salvation, Church, Last Things, etc. Rick will be teaching Biblical Interpretation--a great class to begin your program. Please enroll! Every Bible teacher in your church would be enriched--and they will get credit with Samford. Term is August 20-October 12 (6-9 PM on Mondays). Looking forward to seeing you!

I would be honored to come and share our vision with any of your church leaders. Also, we have designed a promotional insert about the Association; let us know if you would like copies of these inserts for your church. Please contact me at the office if I may serve you in any way at 205-594-5173 or

Prayer Requests
Please pray for the Haiti Mission Team from Eden-Westside Baptist Church and me. I am scheduled to go with Pastor Jacky Connell, Scotty Pinson, and others to assist in preaching an evangelistic crusade and teaching the Epistle to the Philippians to local church pastors. The trip departs on July 31.

Pray for the St. Clair Baptist Annual Meeting to be held at Bethel Baptist Church, Moody on Monday, October 29. NAMB Senior Director of Replanting Mark Clifton has been used by God all over North America. Pray for him as he comes to share his experiences with us on Sunday, October 28 at 4:00 PM at Mt. Pisgah and on October 29 at Bethel. Mark shared a few thoughts on his Podcast with Thom Rainer:

“An empty church is like an abandoned castle of a long-forgotten king.”

“Empty, dead churches rob God of His glory.”

“Church replants generally value the process of decision over the outcome of decision.”

“Churches don’t have to die. They are not without hope. They can live again through replanting.” 

“The remaining members in a dying church are not in the way of your ministry, they are your first step in your ministry.” 

“You know an idol is false when you’re afraid of losing it.”

“One characteristic of a dying church is an over-reliance on programs.”

With sincere gratitude,
Chris Crain, SCBA

May 31, 2018, 9:35 AM

Keep Your Chin Up!


Dear St. Clair Baptists,


The reports of moral missteps and impropriety among some SBC leaders captured headlines in several publications. Dr. Al Mohler, in his recent article “The Wrath of God Poured Out—The Humiliation of the SBC,” wrote:


“We thought this was a Roman Catholic problem. . . . When people said that Evangelicals had a similar crisis coming, it didn’t seem plausible — even to me. I have been president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twenty-five years. I did not see this coming. I was wrong. The judgment of God has come.Judgment has now come to the house of the SBC. The terrible swift sword of public humiliation has come with a vengeance. There can be no doubt that this story is not over.”


I appreciate Dr. Mohlers’ frank assessment—especially from his vantagepoint as President of one of the six SBC seminaries.


I have one word for this aspect of the state of the SBC: mournful. In the past, I worked as senior pastor with more than twenty employees and several classrooms full of children in our church buildings each weekday. The rigors of assuring that no real or perceived improprieties took place wore on my mind. Truly, the cost and responsibility of leading and protecting the church is great! Church leaders, we must walk closely to the Lord, knowing that the grace of God that bought is the grace that will keep us!One of my mentors, a formidable man and battlefront chaplain during Vietnam, would say, “Chris, keep your chin up and your nose clean!” We must keep our “chins up” and keep a watchful eye on the flock, protecting those in our care. We must keep our “noses clean” and not bring shame or embarrassment to our Lord by mishandling the Gospel, failing to deal with inconvenient truths. Please pray that the mournful state in the SBC will end and a new era of Christlike humility and integrity will begin.


Prayer Requests

  • Pray for the upcoming Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas on June 12-13. My wife, Carol, and I will be messengers. Pray for the IMB, Executive Committee, and Southwestern Seminary as they seek leadership.
  • Pray for the pastors and leaders of the churches of the SCBA.
  • Pray for your SCBA mission team to Blackey, Kentucky on June 16-23. We will conduct two Vacation Bible Schools, work on several construction projects, worship with three churches, and feed 60 families. We kept the cost of this trip low for participants. Please consider making a special financial donation to help us. Send your gift to SCBA; PO Box 160; Ashville, AL 35953.
  • Pray for the new charity medical clinic opening in Pell City for residents of St. Clair County.
  • Pray for the church revitalization events during our SCBA Annual Meeting with Mark Clifton on October 28-29 in the St. Clair Baptist Association.
  • Pray for our Impact students as they travel home from Austria.


I appreciate the honor of serving you.




Chris Crain, SCBA



“HEALTH NOTE” from Your Friends at Easter Seals Community Health Clinic, Inc.—Pell City

According to recent studies, walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes as much as running. All three of these conditions are risk factors for heart disease and stroke — and you can do something about them. So set a reachable goal just for today. Then you can work toward an overall goal of walking 30 minutes a day by increasing your time as you get in better shape. Walk the dog, use the stairs instead of the elevator, investigate a new park in your community. Just get started . . . you WILL notice a difference!


May 7, 2018, 12:00 AM

Where Does Evangelism Begin?

Dear St. Clair Baptists,


Where Does Evangelism Start?

Evangelism in your church starts with Jesus Christ working through you! Take four stepstoward having conversations about the Gospel: 1) Lookfrom the inside of the circle (see image below) and move outward. 2) Pray for each person listed daily; tuck the list of names inside your Bible or make a note on your iPhone. 3) Talkto a each person weekly about your real relationship with Jesus—casually and confidently. 4) Watch God begin to work through you.

Thank you St. Clair Baptist Evangelism Committee and Seddon Baptist Church for a great weekend!


Up to the Mountains

Last year, winding through the hills of Appalachia, our mission team found new friends, a unique culture, and remarkable opportunities for the Gospel. In June, we will take 80 people from many different St. Clair churches—of different sizes and approaches—to experience the activity of God at Calvary Campus—Blackey, Kentucky. North American Mission Board Missionaries, Paul and Mary Jo Radosevich work tirelessly to communicate the life-transforming message of Jesus Christ in word and deed. We will serve in VBS, evangelism, food ministry, and construction.


Recently, Bill Barker of Appalachian Regional Ministry shared about delivering a tractor-trailer load of backpacks to Calvary Campus for distribution: “A group of eager men met me at the road as a I drove the truck toward the receiving area. I thought Paul and Mary Jo had organized a team to help offload the truck. They worked tirelessly unloading backbacks. After everything was unloaded, I thanked the men. Then, I realized that they were there to receive some of the backpacks for their own children. One man, with tears in his eyes, said, ‘Oh, thank you Mr. Bill! Tell all of the people who sent these to us how much they mean to us.” So, I am relaying the message to you, St. Clair Baptist Association!


Please pray for your St. Clair Kentucky Mission Team. We will leave on Saturday, June 16. Would you, your small group/Sunday School class, or church consider helping us by donating a few of the items on our list?Let me know that you pledge to do this by emailing


Thank You!

I am grateful to all of the ministries and partners of the St. Clair Baptist Association—there’s no way to name them all! Raceway Ministryvolunteers—thank you for a great Spring Race at Talladega! Lives were eternally transformed by the Gospel! St. Clair Disaster Relief—thank you for spending day after day in northern St. Clair, Etowah, and Calhoun Counties cleaning up after the storm. Christina Puckett and IMPACT Campus Ministries—thank you for an awesome year at Jeff State College. Pathways Counseling—thank you for transforming hearts, lives and families with the Gospel! English as a Second Language,St. Clair WMU, and Vacation Bible School Team—thank you for making a tremendous difference! Last but not least, thank you to the staff, teams, committees, and supporting churches of the St. Clair Baptist Association!


The best is yet to come, St. Clair Baptists!


Sincerely in Jesus,

Chris Crain, SCBA

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