BON DE CROFT — Though Frank Green retired June 30 as Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union Royal Ambassador/Challenger ministry specialist, he prefers to tell people that he has simply “downshifted a little bit.
“I’ve always tried to follow what the Lord wanted me to do, and now I am to slow down,” said the 62-year-old Green.
After serving for 23 years in several positions with the Tennessee Baptist Convention across the state, a “downshifted” Green will continue to work with the RA/Challenger programs as a state trainer.
In the meantime, Green and his wife Dean operate their small manufacturing company, that produces “Make Tracks,” “Royal Racers” and “Missions Crafts Kits” out of a family workshop on top of Bon Air Mountain near Sparta.
The Greens’ products have for years set the “standards” for the former SBC Brotherhood Commission’s RA official race tracks, race cars and missions craft kits.
While Green worked as the camp manager for the TBC’s Camp Carson (now Carson Springs Conference Center) in Newport, from 1980-1994 and Dean worked as food services manager, the “Make Tracks” company was born in 1984.
“We had a great ministry at Camp Carson, and it was fulfilling to me,” Green said.
After serving on staff at the Brotherhood Commission in Memphis and on a church staff in Bartlett, Green and his family returned to the Bon De Croft farm in 1999. Green became the TBC RA/Challenger field worker in 2003 for the Missions Mobilization and Awareness Group and later the RA/Challenger specialist in 2005.
As the TBC specialist, Green trained RA/Challenger leaders, promoted the programs across the state in the churches, represented the TBC at gatherings and often spoke at Cooperative Program events for RAs.
“I am very proud of the way the RA ministry has developed where RA leaders are now involved in significant events such as the training and the gatherings. It empowers the folks to do ministry,” he added.
“Tennessee Royal Ambassadors does leader training better than any one of the other states. Other states look at us as the examples and take notes.
“We set the bar for the other states,” he observed, adding that he believes Tennessee has the best leaders (the Tennessee RA affinity team) in our state,” Green affirmed.
Last year his position was transferred to the Tennessee WMU office, after the RA program returned home to the SBC national WMU headquarters, Birmingham, Ala.
“When my position moved to the Tennessee WMU office, my job did not change. What changed was who I met with and who I worked with like the Tennessee WMU ladies,” said Frank. “I also attended Tennessee WMU board meetings.”
During retirement Green will continue his relationship with national WMU in Birmingham as a proof reader for content for RA World and RA Leader magazines.
Green also serves on the national WMU RA/Challenger Task Force, which he considers a “big honor.”
During his TBC tenure, three regional RA/Challenger cluster meetings emerged in partnership with local associations. These are the Memphis-based Mid-South Baptist Association’s Camp-O-Ree at Linden Valley Conference Center, Linden; Nashville-based Nashville Baptist Association’s Wilderness Challenge at Camp Boxwell, Gallatin; and Knoxville-based Knox County Baptist Association’s East Tennessee Royal Ambassador Camp Out (ETRAC) at Camp Ba Yo Ca, Sevierville.
Green views the regional meetings as a good way to help bear the expenses for participants, the TBC and the associations.
“It also benefits everyone and the RA/Challenger program. These meetings put more ‘hands on’ operation in the people who are attending meetings, and it empowers the laity.”
Concerning the future of the RA/Challenger programs, Green said, “We are totally vested with WMU who are proven advocates of Royal Ambassadors.”