Kentucky Today editors had the opportunity to do a Q&A with Zion’s Cause Baptist Church Pastor Charles Frazier who will be nominated for president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention at the 750,000-member organization's annual meeting on Tuesday at Highview Baptist Church's east campus in Louisville.
Tom James, lead pastor of Eastwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green and a former Kentucky Baptist Convention president, announced earlier this year that he intends to nominate Frazier, who has been in KBC leadership for more than two decades. Frazier currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Frazier has been pastor at Zion’s Cause in Benton for the past 12½ years. He received his bachelor’s degree in biblical studies from Mid-Continent University and master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.
“When Charles came to be pastor of Zion’s Cause, they were averaging 140 in Sunday morning worship, and today they have Sunday morning services averaging 350 in attendance,” James said. “In 2009, Zion’s Cause was recognized by the North American Mission Board as being one of the fastest growing churches in Kentucky and was in the top 600 fastest growing in the SBC.”
Kentucky Today: Would you please share with us your conversion experience?
Frazier: Both my parents were believers in the Lord Jesus. Church was a priority for my family. As a child, God began to deal with my soul. My grandmother was the first Sunday school teacher that I remember. She taught us John 3:16, the Ten Commandments, and the books of the Bible. When I was 10, the Holy Spirit convicted my spirt of my sin. I knew that I was lost. I also knew if I died, I would go to Hell if I did not trust Christ as my Savior. Many nights I prayed, God don’t send me to Hell. On a Sunday morning in May, the pastor preached the message. The invitation hymn was “You never mentioned Him to me.” My mother came to me during the invitation and asked me about my spiritual condition. With a skeptical voice, I replied I was fine, however, I knew that I was not. After church that day, we had our traditional Sunday dinner. My mother asked me a second time if I was saved. This time, not with a skeptical voice, but a voice certainty, I replied I was not saved.
That moment, we drove over to the pastor’s house for a conversation. I knew that I was a sinner. I knew that I did not have Jesus Christ in my heart. There with the pastor, I went to my knees and asked Jesus Christ into my heart. I asked Jesus Christ to save my soul and be the Lord of my life. Christ is my Rock. I could not live my life without him. Christ gives me hope in my daily life.
Kentucky Today: What is the single biggest goal you would like to accomplish as KBC president and why is it important to you?
Frazier: First, if elected KBC president, it will truly be a humbling experience. I do not take this opportunity lightly. I would like to continue the good will in our convention. I will foster relationships with pastors, church members, denominational leaders, and KBC entities. The Kentucky Baptist Convention was “created by churches, for churches, to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ.” I believe in this statement. Working together as one, we can accomplish much for Kentucky Baptists, and for the Kingdom of God. I will maintain clear channels of communication for all who support and are involved in Kentucky Baptist life. In order to work together as one, there must be unity. I believe in a big tent convention where we as Kentucky Baptists can come together and work together for Jesus Christ. My biggest goal is unity. For without unity, no other goals will be accomplished.
Kentucky Today: One of the responsibilities of the KBC president is to appoint committee chairs. What criteria will you consider in making these appointments?
Frazier: I have been blessed to serve on several committees of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Serving on these committees has given me great opportunities to serve Kentucky Baptists. I have witnessed how these committees function. Our associations send nominees for the mission board. The nominees give preferences on what committees they desire to serve. Praying for God’s leadership in the selection process, I will take the mission board members and Kentucky Baptists into consideration. Serving as a Kentucky Baptist pastor for over 25 years has afforded me the opportunity to work with many pastors, directors of mission, lay people and church members of our convention. Knowing them on a personal basis is important to determine how their talents and abilities can be used to lead Kentucky Baptists.
Kentucky Today: We’re living in a time of great social upheaval, and, as a result, long-held Christian principles are under attack. How bold do you think the KBC president and Kentucky Baptists in general should be in engaging the culture on social, ethical and moral issues?
Frazier: The general challenge of the day for Kentucky Baptists is to stand firm for biblical truth. We are living in a culture in which standards of morality are constantly shifting. Kentucky Baptists must not be silent. We have a great opportunity for ministry in building gospel conversations in dealing with the challenges and moral concerns of our day. We must share the biblical perspective of truth and find ways to be proactive rather than reactive in addressing these concerns. There is a great need to help our Kentucky Baptist churches accomplish these tasks.
Currently, Zion’s Cause is dealing with a church security issue. With the tragedy in Texas, it is very important for us to examine this issue. If elected president, I will be in dialogue with our Kentucky Baptist Convention leadership and our Southern Baptist Convention leadership on what we can do to inform and prepare our Kentucky Baptist churches.
Kentucky Today: The Cooperative Program has proven itself as an incredible evangelistic tool for spreading the gospel around the world. What would you do to encourage churches to increase their giving through CP?
Frazier: The leaders of our denomination have encouraged Kentucky Baptists to increase their Cooperative Program giving. They have given to us the One Percent Challenge, which is to increase giving through the Cooperative Program by one percent in a budget year. I feel that every church should prayerfully examine their budgets and see what increases can be made. Some Kentucky Baptist churches may be able to increase their Cooperative Program giving by one percent. Maybe other churches can do a fraction of a percent. If we have the idea that everybody can contribute something through Cooperative Program giving, we will make a greater Kingdom difference.
Kentucky Today: Kentucky Baptists are people of the Bible, and they look for leaders who share their high view of scripture. Would you please tell us about an experience from your past that reflects your commitment to God’s word?
Frazier: This year, my wife, Vickie, and I made a commitment on reading the word of God together. When the day comes to a close, we will read the word of God together. I will read Scripture aloud, as she follows along. This has proven to be an enriching time not only with the Lord, but with my precious wife as well.
Also, I feel I have remained true to the proclamation of God’s word during the moral decline in our society. Any one given the privilege to preach God’s word, must address the moral decay that our society is experiencing.
Kentucky Today: Most everyone would agree that personal evangelism is crucial to winning the lost. Would you please tell us about one of your greatest successes in the area of personal evangelism?
Frazier: One of the programs that we offer at Zion’s Cause is the Upward Sports program. We have offered this program since 2007. I am greatly involved in this program as a pastor. Personally, I feel that it gives me a great opportunity to share the gospel. Every year, I meet new families. During the weekly practices and games, I am able to build relationships with the families. This allows me to present the gospel to them. I have had the privilege to lead people to Christ and baptize them into the fellowship of the church. Upward allows me a tremendous opportunity to meet people that I would not ordinary meet, and I am able to have a gospel conversation with their family and friends.
Kentucky Today: We hear a lot about things like apathy in the church, like worldly ideas invading the church, like the need for greater financial commitment on the part of Christians, like the intrusion of government on religious liberty. What do you consider to be the biggest issues and challenges facing Kentucky Baptists today?
Frazier: The challenge that faces Kentucky Baptists is apathy towards the Great Commission. Unfortunately, we live in a different world than previous generations. However, the message is still the same for followers of Christ. We are commanded in Act 1:8 to be witnesses for Christ. Jesus Christ must be the top priority in our lives. If we are committed to Jesus Christ, we can face the challenges and issues, but, if we are not, the cause of Christ will suffer.
Kentucky Today: What do you believe Kentucky Baptists should be doing today to ensure some degree of religious liberty for their children and grandchildren tomorrow?
Frazier: We must not forsake the religious liberties that we now possess. We must instill the importance of these liberties to our children and our grandchildren. Also, we must teach the future generations the dire consequences of losing our religious liberties. Kentucky Baptists can look around the world and see many believers in different countries who do not have any religious liberty. We as Kentucky Baptists must stand firm to protect these precious religious liberties of our faith.
Kentucky Today: What would you do as KBC president to fight for the sanctity of life, whether that be for the unborn or the elderly?
Frazier: Life is a precious gift. The Baptist Faith and Message addresses our belief on the sanctity of life, stating: “We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.” I will continue to support local and statewide initiatives that promote sanctity of life. Jeremiah understood the paramount importance of the sanctity of life as he wrote: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you" Jeremiah 1:5) Also David notes in Psalms 139:13: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” If elected president, I will use my platform to stand firm on the sanctity of human life for all. I will always use Scripture as my foundation as I fight for the sacredness of human life. It is the responsibility of all Kentucky Baptists to share the value of humanity as well as share the gospel.