Gospel Baptist Church launched in 2011 under the leadership of NETS Residency graduate Shadrach Vegah. Today, over 400 people worship each Sunday at Mile 3 in Bamenda, including 120 children in Sunday school. Throughout the week, about 135 people gather in small groups for prayer and Bible study, and once a month members distribute gospel tracts door-to-door. They've completed two short-term mission trips, the latest for four days to help a neighboring church with construction and evangelism. Giving is strong, both to the church and to their church planting fund. The congregation is growing, and the gospel is going forth.
Gospel Baptist hopes to launch its first daughter church in 2015. Already the planter, mentored by Shadrach, is gathering his core. The church has committed 10% of their budget to church planting, with a special giving box set out each Sunday that, according to Shadrach, is “yielding quite a lot. Members are dropping something in to show that they love the church planting idea of the church.” Gospel Baptist will be sending a church planter to the North to gather his core, and hope to launch in Maroua in 2015. In August 2014 they'll host another church planting banquet to help fund this effort. And they'll also be planting locally, partnering with Musang Baptist to plant a church in Bamenda.
The NETS Effect
In 2008, Shadrach was pastor of the largest church in the Cameroon Baptist Convention. He and NETS Field Pastor Sam Jato had been classmates in seminary, and Redeemer Baptist Church had grabbed Shadrach’s attention. “Since he came back from NETS, I’ve been very encouraged by his consistent preaching of the gospel, and the time spent digging into and exposing the word of God. Also the way the church started – the structure was there. I really admired the training he was given at NETS, and I wanted to also benefit and be able to perform at this level.”
Shadrach moved to Vermont to start a NETS Residency with the full blessing of his church and of the CBC. His wife, Gladys, and their four children joined him in 2009. Shadrach learned quickly, honing his natural administrative, preaching and people skills, and strengthening his confidence in the gospel. While at NETS, Shadrach also pursued his MDiv through Southern Seminary, funded by NETS.
Shadrach and Gladys are grateful for their time here. “I used to open some passages in the Old Testament and think to myself, ‘What on earth is this passage doing here?’ But coming to NETS I see how the gospel can be preached from the Old Testament, beginning from Genesis, showing how Christ is prefigured, foreshadowed and fulfilled in the New Testament. Seeing the Bible as one book with one central message of salvation has been something that has been thrilling and empowers the evangelistic zeal in me.”
Besides funding Shadrach’s MDiv, NETS fundraised for his church building and parsonage and paid his salary for the first two years of his plant. A former member of Christ Memorial moved to Cameroon and joined Shadrach’s church as a missionary. NETS has also coordinated over 116 adults and youth on two mission trips to Bamenda to serve our church plants and neighboring churches. And like all NETS planters, Shadrach continues to benefit from the ongoing coaching and counsel of NETS mentors.