April 2018

Pastor: School incident defused by God’s intervention

April 25 2018 by Nicole Kalil, Florida Baptist Convention

First Baptist Church was on the frontline ministering to students, faculty and staff after a gunman opened fire at nearby Forest High School in Ocala, Fla.
One student was injured in the April 20 incident, which lasted only minutes.

FBC Ocala screen capture
Florida pastor Darren Gaddis recounts God’s intervention in defusing a potential high school shooting incident in Ocala on April 20.

But the church’s connection to the shooting goes beyond providing crisis ministry to students and their families – their pastor’s eldest daughter came face-to-face with the alleged gunman, Sky Bouche.
Bouche told a local reporter after his arrest that it was the look of fear in the young woman’s eyes that made him put his weapon down.
Darren Gaddis, senior pastor of First Baptist Ocala, was on a mission trip in Central Asia when he heard about his daughter’s experience and immediately began making arrangements to return home. He shared with the church Sunday morning that both of his children were close to disaster at Forest High School as his son was just one hallway away when the single gunshot rang out.
“This would be a very different day if my God had not intervened on behalf of my children,” an emotional Gaddis told the church.
Monty Grant, pastor for business administration at the church, helped coordinate efforts to provide comfort and care in the hours it took for students to be bussed from the school to the church and reunited with their families. As one of the largest venues in the area, Grant said the church often is used to coordinate a disaster or emergency response.
Because many First Baptist students attend Forest High, and considering the connection with the pastor’s family, Grant said everyone, whether they had students at the school or not, was “drawn in.” Grant was impressed with the willingness of church members to drop everything and start serving others, especially the students.
“When our students got off the bus, they immediately jumped into action, doing the same things the adults in the room were doing,” Grant added.
Gary Townsend, Florida Baptist Convention catalyst for the north region of the state, expressed gratitude for the hard work and caring support church members showed the faculty, staff and families of Forest High, noting that God’s hand of protection was apparent at the school and the church.
The willingness to serve was pervasive throughout the entire community as businesses began calling to see how they could help. Grant noted that several area businesses sent food and water to the church to help keep people comfortable.
Grant said that while everyone is understandably a bit on edge, there was a sense of normalcy among the Forest students he interacted with on Sunday.
“We prayed specifically that there wouldn’t be a spirit of fear and that they would be strong for their peers today,” he said. “It was happening as early as yesterday.”
Grant said while he hopes the church doesn’t get a lot of opportunities for the kind of ministry the community faced, “it was good to be in a place where we could be used by God that day.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Nicole Kalil is the Florida Baptist Convention’s strategic communication assistant.)

4/25/2018 9:22:06 AM by Nicole Kalil, Florida Baptist Convention | with 0 comments

Waffle House shooting suspect arrested following ‘scary’ Sunday

April 24 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press

With the lone suspect in a Nashville mass shooting still on the loose Sunday morning, area churches tightened security and heightened their focus on prayer.
“It was a scary thing to a lot of our people,” said Cathey Williams, the ministry assistant at Hickory Hollow Baptist Church, which is less than two miles from a Waffle House where Travis Reinking is accused of killing four people and injuring four others shortly after 3 a.m. April 22.

Screen capture from KTLA
Nashville churches “watched very close” Sunday morning after a gunman killed four people at an area Waffle House and then eluded police for more than 24 hours.

After a Waffle House customer wrestled away Reinking’s AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the suspected gunman fled seminude and likely armed, according to police. Some 160 law enforcement officials searched the area for more than 24 hours before Reinking, 29, was arrested April 23.
While he was still on the loose, a Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman said Reinking was exhibiting “signs of significant instability” and posed a threat “anywhere else he may go.”
At least seven Southern Baptist churches are within two miles of the crime scene, according to SBC.net’s “church search” function.
The 50-60 worshipers at Hickory Hollow heard a police helicopter overhead Sunday morning and didn’t let children in attendance go outside, Williams told Baptist Press (BP). Deacons charged with providing security “watched very close” as people entered the parking lot and the church building.
Hickory Hollow prayed for protection during Sunday School and the worship service, Williams said, adding that some church members live in the same apartment complex as Reinking and remained locked down in their homes for safety rather than coming to church Sunday.
At nearby Priest Lake Community Baptist Church, extra security was added outside and inside the building, pastor Harold James Frelix told BP. The predominantly African American church’s pre-K through fourth grade school also increased security April 23 as police continued what The New York Times called “a desperate search” for Reinking.
Though law enforcement officials say they have not determined Reinking’s motive, Frelix said he thinks the shooter may have targeted blacks and Hispanics, because “that’s who goes to” that particular Waffle House.
“We were very much concerned because we believed that” race played a role in the murders, Frelix said.
During Sunday’s worship service, with some 400 in attendance, Priest Lake Community prayed for “the sick mentally,” “the victims” at Waffle House and “those who may in the future be victims” of violent acts by Reinking, Frelix said.
“We are praying for those who are hateful,” the pastor said, “that they will desist. And we are praying that people will get together where they can live together and love together.”
Another area church, Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, saw one worshiper killed and others injured during a Sunday-morning shooting last year. The Waffle House shooting – less than two miles away – caused “confusion” and “anxiety,” said pastor Joey Spann, who was wounded in last year’s shooting.
Spann told Nashville’s News Channel 5 he would lead worship attendees in prayer for those affected by the Waffle House shooting. “God has all this,” he said, “and He’s in control. We don’t need to live in fear.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – David Roach is chief national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service.)

4/24/2018 1:05:58 PM by David Roach, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

Hispanic unity gaining momentum as SBC Dallas nears

April 24 2018 by Art Toalston, Baptist Press

Conversations about unity will be part of several Hispanic meetings in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) June 12-13 annual meeting in Dallas at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

BP file photo by Adam Covington
Estefan Sarabia, center, a member of Tierra Fertil Christian Church in Yuma, Ariz., leads two youth in prayer during the 2017 National Hispanic Fellowship meeting in Phoenix.

“A good number of Southern Baptist Hispanic leaders are beginning to look at the future with more intentionality and see the need for more unity and collaboration among us,” said Luis Lopez, associate director of missions for ethnic work with the Robertson County Baptist Association in middle Tennessee.
“We must intentionally work in words and deeds to positively impact the church’s unity,” said Lopez, who was a member of the Hispanic Advisory Council under the SBC Executive Committee (EC) from 2011-2014. Lopez currently is a member of the EC’s Convention Advancement Advisory Council and a featured columnist for Baptist Press (BP) en Español, the Spanish-language edition of BP.
This year in Dallas, unity primarily will be envisioned; at next year’s SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala., it may be increasingly evident – particularly as a Hispanic Baptist Leaders’ Council takes shape and various Hispanic groups plan for a single meeting in tandem with the convention.
Creation of the council reflects a consensus among leaders of various Hispanic organizations who attended a gathering in December in New Orleans as part of the Executive Committee’s initiatives to broaden ethnic Baptists’ participation in Southern Baptist life. Currently, more than 3,400 Hispanic churches and missions are part of the SBC, reflecting a diverse cultural heritage of more than 20 countries.
Hispanic leaders are slated to meet again in November to set the Hispanic Baptist Leaders’ Council in motion with key objectives and a working structure.
In Dallas, Hispanic Baptists will have several opportunities for fellowship, networking, discussion and prayer:

  • AVANCE, the highlight Hispanic Baptist event in recent years, will convene in Rooms A309-310, Level 3, of the convention center from 7:30-9 p.m. Monday, June 11, as a time of “fellowship, networking and prayer” with light snacks, said Bobby Sena, Hispanic relations consultant with the SBC Executive Committee, looking toward “a smooth transition for next year’s combined meeting of all Hispanic fellowships and networks.” AVANCE’s theme this year is “Time with God and the brethren.”
  • The Church2Church fellowship (De Iglesia a Iglesia), formed last year during the SBC annual meeting in Phoenix, will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, June 10, at Primera Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida in Dallas.
  • The National Hispanic Fellowship of Southern Baptist Churches (Confraternidad Nacional de Iglesias Hispanas Bautistas del Sur), the oldest Hispanic organization in the SBC, will meet from 1-5 p.m. Monday, June 11, in Rooms A306-307, Level 3, of the convention center.
  • The Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance (Alianza Hispana de Pastores Bautistas), launched in 2015, will meet from 8-10 a.m. Tuesday, June 12, in Rooms A309-310, Level 3, of the convention center.


‘We will be stronger’

Unity “matters to God. Jesus Himself prayed that we may be one – ‘I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one,’” Lopez said, citing John 17:23 (CSB). “As Hispanic Southern Baptist churches, we should follow the example set by the Master.
“When we let our differences divide us” on such matters as “dwelling on the past, pushing our own preferences and personal agendas and fighting over secondary things, we become less effective,” Lopez said.
“When we are united, we can carry on His mission better. To share the [g]ospel and to make disciples of all nations, to care for those in need and to encourage and admonish one another in our heavenly Father is so much easier when we do it God’s way.”
Robert Lopez, co-founder of the Church2Church fellowship, voiced appreciation for former EC President Frank Page “for the inclusiveness he set in place. The ethnic initiatives he was instrumental in implementing must live on.
“Thanks to his effort ... we are now coming together like never before,” said Lopez, lead pastor of Centro Christiano Vida in Ocala, Fla.
Despite the tendency to want the spotlight, Lopez stated, “We need to hold on to each other and do low-profile ministries without having to be on the front page. ... We have excellent leaders who have been empowered to do an exceptional job and we need to join them and follow them as they perform their roles.”
Augusto Valverde, president of the National Hispanic Fellowship, described unity as “always important and vital to accomplish great things. I believe that we are stronger when we are united, that’s the heart of Jesus.”
Whenever criticism and division occurs among Hispanic leaders, “we need to humble ourselves and ask forgiveness and learn to love and respect each other to reach this intrinsic unity that we need so much as the people of God.,” said Valverde, lead pastor of Iglesia Bautista Un Nuevo Amanecer in Miami.
“We must not see the victories of our partners as rivalries. Let’s join in their joy! Their triumph should be my triumph and their defeat should be mine too,” Valverde said in comments translated from Spanish.
Felix Cabrera, co-founder of the Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance, said cooperation is “an essential belief and value of Southern Baptists” in “making Christ known to the ends of the earth.”
“As Christians first, and as Hispanics second, our focus needs to be the glory of God, not our glory,” Cabrera said. “If each Hispanic leader continues working and serving to make Christ known and focus on the glory of God, serving our churches and reaching our communities, we will be stronger.”
Evidences of Southern Baptist unity in Hispanic outreach, Cabrera said, can be seen in “more Hispanic churches being planted, more Hispanics leading or serving in different areas in our convention, more Hispanics in our seminaries doing master’s or doctoral studies” and, now, the Hispanic Baptist Leaders’ Council that will seek key goals “we can work on together.”

Insights in Dallas

Apart from the AVANCE fellowship, a number of speakers are scheduled by the other Hispanic organizations:
– The Church2Church fellowship will feature Ramon Osorio, Hispanic church planting catalyst with the North American Mission Board.
Robert Lopez described the Church2Church fellowship as “a network of Baptist churches, united by the same purpose, to implement the strategies of the North American Mission Board and International Mission Board in the area of evangelism and church planting, through increasing the Cooperative Program,” Southern Baptists’ channel for missions and ministry support across the U.S. and globally.
“We exist to foster a healthy relationship between the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention in partnership and cooperation with the convention’s entities,” Lopez said, along with fostering “the participation of our leaders in denominational life through the SBC’s committees and ministries and the Great Commission.”
– The National Hispanic Fellowship will feature Jesse Rincones III, executive director of the Convención Bautista Hispana de Texas; Mike Gonzales, director of Hispanic ministries for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and a featured columnist with BP en Español; and Oliver R. Martinez, lead pastor of Iglesia Bautista Getsemane in Fort Worth.
Also, Valverde said seven Hispanic churches in Dallas will join in an evangelistic crusade in their communities, June 4-10, working in tandem with Hispanic volunteers from across the country and the International Commission ministry. The campaign will culminate with a Night of Victory on Sunday, “expecting hundreds of new converts and believers reconciled with God.”
Valverde, who has been elected five times as the group’s president since 2002, said the fellowship emphasizes “the need to recover the vision for the Great Commission and evangelize to the ends of the earth, and to grow in Hispanic national unity.”
– The Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance will feature J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Hance Dilbeck, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma; and Otto Sanchez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Ozama in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Cabrera described the alliance as “a network of Hispanic Southern Baptist pastors who want to see Christ exalted and His Word proclaimed in the Hispanic community and in Spanish-speaking congregations.”
Lifeway Español also has scheduled a leadership session from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, in Rooms A130-131, Level 1, of the convention center. Presenters will include David Sills, Christian missions and cultural anthropology professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Ramon Medina, pastor of Champion Forest Baptist Church en Español in Houston; and Ariel Irizarry, LifeWay’s director of Hispanic ministerial relations. Pre-registration is required at sbc2018liderazgo.eventbrite.com, with seating limited to 100 and no more than four attendees per church.

We need to be present’

Leaders of the various organizations are united in the value of attending the Hispanic sessions and the SBC annual meeting.
“Attending the SBC annual meeting is a great opportunity to fellowship with other Southern Baptists around the nation,” Luis Lopez said. “It provides a local pastor a chance to see how God is working in our convention to fulfill the Great Commission. It gives pastors the opportunity to connect with other leaders, not only in their own state but throughout the nation. It is a time to be encouraged and encourage other ministry partners in the work of the Lord.”
Robert Lopez of the Church2Church fellowship noted, “If we have any concerns about issues related to the SBC, then we need to be present at the annual meetings – number one, to inform us better; number two, to express our concerns; and number three, to have us count and have representation.” Many Hispanic Baptist pastors are not well-informed about “the many aspects of SBC and need to get closer to the core of our convention,” which will help build unity and fortify pastors in their biblical theology, he said.
Valverde told BP, “I am Hispanic Baptist. I do not speak or understand English, but I’ve always attended the SBC for the last 25 years, and do you know why? Because I want to see my brothers and sisters and worship the Lord together. I rejoice with my brethren.”
Cabrera noted that Hispanic Baptists “cannot forget that our congregations have been greatly blessed by the Southern Baptist Convention, through our state conventions and each of the SBC entities and seminaries.
“Most Hispanic work begins with the support of a mother church, associations, state conventions and/or the North American Mission Board,” Cabrera continued. “Through the Cooperative Program, millions of dollars have been designated to reach the growing Hispanic community here in North America and Puerto Rico. Many Hispanics have been prepared in our seminaries through scholarships or discounts. And in most of the natural disasters which Hispanics have faced, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and [the North American Mission Board’s] Send Relief have responded and given us a hand.
“However, we must not forget the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 12:48: ‘... veryone to whom much was given, of him much will be required.’ Each Southern Baptist pastor must understand the importance and value of the cooperative work that unites us in the Southern Baptist Convention and join it.
“I do not think it is optional; I believe it is a moral duty that each Hispanic Baptist pastor and our respective messengers needs to participate in each annual meeting,” Cabrera said. “We are part of the family and we need to be present.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Art Toalston is senior editor of Baptist Press, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

4/24/2018 1:04:55 PM by Art Toalston, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

NAAF seeks to build bridges in racially charged U.S.

April 24 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

Relationships beneficial to the Kingdom continue to flow from the National African American Fellowship (NAAF) nearly 25 years after its 1994 founding, NAAF president Byron Day said in advance of the group’s 2018 annual meeting June 10-11 in Dallas.

BP file photo by Jeremy Scott
The praise team from Word Church in Mesa, Ariz., leads worship during the 2017 National African American Fellowship dinner in Phoenix.

“NAAF today continues to be a valuable resource to [Southern Baptist] African American churches and the convention at large,” said Day, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Laurel, Md. “NAAF seeks to be a bridge-builder among our racially diverse convention, particularly during this highly charged racial climate in America.
“Most importantly,” Day said, “NAAF is dedicated to strengthening our churches through partnerships with one another to do Kingdom building.”
NAAF, a fellowship of about 4,000 churches, will forgo its traditional Sunday service to worship with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Pastors’ Conference from 6-9 p.m. June 10 in support of H.B. Charles, the conference’s first African American president and pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. NAAF is pursuing plans to send representatives to Sunday morning worship at two Dallas-area churches and recommend those churches as worship sites for out-of-town annual meeting guests.
NAAF’s meeting is held in conjunction with the 2018 SBC Annual Meeting June 12-13 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
Day completes his presidential term in June and will deliver his presidential sermon at NAAF’s annual banquet, 6:30 p.m. June 11 at the Omni Dallas Hotel.
In its 4 p.m. business meeting June 11 at the Omni, NAAF will elect new officers and regional directors.
Current vice president Marshal Ausberry, senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Fairfax Station, Va., is slated to lead NAAF as the 2018-2019 president. Expected to join him on the leadership team are Frank Williams, vice president, pastor of Wake-Eden Community Baptist Church in the Bronx, N.Y.; Bucas Sterling III, secretary, pastor of Kettering Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro, Md.; John Rollins, treasurer, pastor of Simeon Baptist Church in Antioch, Tenn.; Robert Wilson, historian, pastor of Light of the Word Baptist Church in Atlanta; and Calvin McMullen, parliamentarian, pastor of Community Life Baptist Church, Milledgeville, Ga.
Tapped as regional directors are Jerome Coleman, Eastern Region, pastor of First Baptist Church of Cresmont, Willow Grove, Pa.; Jeffery Friend, Central Region, pastor of Suburban Baptist Church, New Orleans; Garland Moore, Mountain Region, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Milan, N.M.; and Kevin James, Western Region, pastor of New Creation Bible Fellowship in Tracy, Calif. All presidents of African American Fellowships at the state level serve as NAAF vice presidents at-large.
Terry M. Turner, senior pastor of Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas, will deliver the annual business meeting devotional.
Also on NAAF’s schedule is the Send North American Luncheon June 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the Omni.
NAAF, according to its bylaws, exists to work in harmony with the SBC in fulfilling the Great Commission through support of the Cooperative Program; to sensitize the SBC and its entities to the concerns of the African American community; and to help one another in evangelism, church planting and church growth.
Banquet tickets, at $65 each, may be purchased and NAAF membership contributions may be made at treasurer@naafsbc.org, t.mcbride@naafsbc.org or at NAAF’s website, naafsbc.org.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ general assignment writer/editor.)

4/24/2018 1:03:38 PM by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

IS bomber reportedly eyeing Shiites kills 57 Afghans

April 24 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

A suicide bomber who killed 57 Afghans and injured at least 100 more in Kabul April 22 was targeting Shiite “apostates,” the Islamic State said in claiming responsibility for the bombing via its Aamaq news agency.

Deutsche Welle video screengrab
Survivors of an ISIS suicide bombing that killed 57 and injured more than 100 in Kabul, Afghanistan gathered photos of victims at the site of the April 22 attack.

While the attack occurred outside a voter registration center leading up to October parliamentary elections, according to World News, the Islamic State (also known as IS) has targeted Shiite shrines increasingly in an effort to divide the country along sectarian lines, according to news reports.
Targeting Shiites distinguishes IS from the Taliban and might gain IS support from local extremist Sunni groups, German broadcast news site Deutsche Welle (DW) reported after the most recent Shiite shrine attack March 21 in Kabul. In that attack, an IS bomber killed 31 and injured 65 others during Persian New Year celebrations, hoping to gain strength in Afghanistan after losing ground in Syria and Iraq in 2017, a Kabul security analyst told DW.
IS “is facing a huge challenge from the Taliban, who are a potent militant force” in Afghanistan, DW quoted Wahid Muzhdah in the March 21 report. “To establish itself in Afghanistan, [IS] needs support from local extremist Sunni groups.” IS killed hundreds in attacks on Shiite mosques and religious ceremonies in Kabul in August, September and October of 2017, DW reported.
IS had tried to establish a strict Muslim caliphate across the Middle East, but is now seeking a stronghold in Asia.
Religion is the major unifier in an Afghanistan that is 99 percent Muslim, according to the website Afghanistans.com, including Sunnis who comprise 84 percent, Shiites at 15 percent and a smattering of Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Jews.
Muzhdah was one of few security experts who judged IS’s efforts to divide Afghan Muslims as mostly ineffective in March, DW reported.
“After each [IS] attack on Afghan Shiites, religious leaders from all Islamic sects have come forward in support of the victims,” DW quoted Muzhdah. “But if the government doesn’t do anything to stop such attacks, the sectarian split could deepen.”
Casualties could grow in the April 22 attack where Afghans were registering for identification cards needed to vote in October. Those killed included 22 women and children, World News reported.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ general assignment writer/editor.)

4/24/2018 1:03:18 PM by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

WMU Missions Celebration inspires ‘Unshakable Pursuit’ of Christ

April 24 2018 by Julie Walters, WMU

An ‘Unshakable Pursuit’ to know Christ more, show His love unconditionally and make disciples who make disciples will be the theme unpacked during two days of general sessions, conferences and missions experiences during Woman’s Missionary Union’s (WMU) Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting, June 10-11.

BP file photo by Matt Jones
WMU Executive Director and Treasurer Sandra Wisdom-Martin, left, and national WMU President Linda Cooper deliver the WMU report to messengers at the 2017 SBC Annual Meeting in Phoenix.

“We believe you will laugh, learn and experience nourishment for your soul,” said Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director-treasurer of national WMU. “As you are captivated by the stories of God’s work in the world, you will be drawn closer to His side and renew your commitment to His mission. Join us on this incredible journey to experience a movement of God bringing hope to the hopeless.”
The event kicks off at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 10, at Eddie Deen’s Ranch, a Texas-style venue located at 944 Lamar St. across the street from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The event will be held in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) annual meeting, June 12-13.
Hear ‘Unshakable Pursuit’ stories from featured International Mission Board field personnel serving in the Middle East and Germany. Additional features include music for worship; Linda Cooper, national WMU president; testimonies from national Acteens panelists and more. Between two general sessions, participants will enjoy dinner, missions activities around their tables and an “idea rodeo” designed to share new tips and ideas related to missions.
A registration fee of $34 includes:

  • BBQ dinner on Sunday night.
  • Ticket to the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) Send Luncheon on Monday, June 11, compliments of the NAMB.
  • Charter bus transportation to tour various ministry sites around Dallas on Monday.

On Monday morning and afternoon, missions experiences include:

  • Conferences. Learn more about an area of missions involvement during a variety of unique conferences on topics such as refugees, organic mentoring and prayer. Additional conferences will be led by missionaries and others will be in Spanish. These 50-minute conferences will be offered at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
  • Refugee Simulation. Gain an eye-opening perspective about the current refugee crisis by participating in a refugee simulation presented in partnership with Baptist Global Response, the International Mission Board (IMB), North American Mission Board, and Send Relief. The refugee simulation will be in the SBC Exhibit Hall in the convention center.
  • Prayerwalk and Tour. Explore area ministry sites and learn first-hand how the love of Christ is being shared in Dallas. Tours will take place at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

On Monday night, the stage is set for “A Night at the Theatre – Missions Style” in the Bruton Theatre of the convention center. Join at 7 p.m. for a focused time of prayer for NAMB’s Send Relief Centers, IMB and NAMB missionaries and much more.
Along with Cooper and Wisdom-Martin, program guests include Kempton and Caryn Turner, church planters in East St. Louis, Ill., serving through NAMB; featured IMB missionaries; NAMB President Kevin Ezell; David Melber, president, NAMB’s Send Relief and IMB President David Platt. Special music will be provided by the Sounds of Southwestern’s School of Church Music and a Hmong Choir.
“You’ll hear inspiring missionary speakers with stories from the field of lives being changed eternally as you’ve prayed and given so they could go,” Cooper said. “Be encouraged as you experience a time of renewal as we worship the Lord together. You will be changed because we have gathered in His name for the work of the Lord through missions. Come join the fun!”
Preregistration is required for Sunday and tours of area ministry sites on Monday; space is limited. To register or for more information, visit wmu.com/dallas.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Julie Walters is WMU’s corporate communications team leader.)

4/24/2018 7:34:47 AM by Julie Walters, WMU | with 0 comments

SBC Dallas: Gaines urges ‘genuine unity of spirit’

April 23 2018 by Baptist Press staff

Going into this year’s annual meeting as president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Steve Gaines acknowledged Southern Baptists face some critical decisions in the days and months ahead.
“Obviously, we face the challenge of seeking new leaders to fill two of our most important leadership roles – the President of the International Mission Board and the CEO of the SBC Executive Committee,” he said in written comments to Baptist Press (BP).

Photo courtesy of Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas

“We must have [g]odly, Spirit-filled leaders in those positions,” Gaines said. “We all know that everything rises and falls on leadership. We need to pray that the Lord will place the exact people He wants in these two vital positions.”
Among those key leadership decisions, messengers will elect a new SBC president during the June 12-13 meeting at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Gaines, who will finish his second and final one-year term, noted that the candidates who have announced their intentions to be nominated appear to be “[g]odly men” and well qualified for the post.
“J.D. Greear and Ken Hemphill are both Christ-like men who have led wonderful, evangelistic churches,” said Gaines, pastor of Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn. “Both have earned Ph.D.s and both love the Lord and the Southern Baptist Convention.”
“... I urge all Southern Baptists to pray to our sovereign God,” he noted, “and to ask Him to have His way regarding the election for all the officers in Dallas, including who will lead us as our next [p]resident.”
During the meeting, Gaines will call Southern Baptists to “pray for the Lord’s manifest presence to envelop all of us,” he said, “from the first prayer on Tuesday morning to the closing prayer on Wednesday afternoon.”
The Tuesday evening session will focus on a time of prayer and worship with special guest and Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. This year, Gaines will also urge Southern Baptists to “boldly testify of the saving work that Jesus Christ has accomplished for all of us.” This year’s theme, “Testify! Go. Stand. Speak.” is based on Acts 5:20. On Wednesday, a special president’s panel will be held again this year on financial stewardship.
“Pray that during our meetings we will discuss issues in a united, civil, Spirit-filled way,” Gaines urged. “Pray that when we leave Dallas, we will do so with a genuine unity of spirit and purpose – to reach lost people throughout the world with the saving [g]ospel of Jesus Christ.”

Crossover Dallas

For the second consecutive year, Crossover evangelism efforts will feature a Harvest Crusade led by California pastor Greg Laurie on June 10. Crusade organizers will work with volunteers to help local churches conduct door-to-door visitation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They will engage residents in gospel conversations and extend personal invitations to attend the Sunday evening event.
The North American Mission Board (NAMB), Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC), Baptist General Convention of Texas and local Baptist associations will help congregations connect with personal evangelism opportunities in the area as part of the Crossover outreach before the annual meeting. The SBTC also is offering vision tours throughout June for pastors, mission leaders and church members to consider opportunities for serving other areas of Texas as well. SBTC has developed the 1Cross app as an evangelistic tool to share the message of the gospel in multiple languages.
Seminary students also will spend a week assisting churches with home visits and personal evangelism as part of Crossover events. Last year’s Crossover event evangelism emphasis and the tandem Harvest America crusade yielded more than 3,500 professions of faith.
For information, visit namb.net/crossover.


In January, Florida pastor Ken Whitten announced Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area, will be nominated for SBC president.
During the 16 years Greear has led The Summit, it has seen worship attendance grow from 610 in 2002 to just under 10,000, according to statistics available through the SBC’s Annual Church Profile. Total baptisms increased from 19 in 2002 to 631 in 2017 at the church’s nine campuses. The Summit has planted 248 churches to date, including 208 outside the U.S., with a goal of starting 1,000 churches in 50 years, according to North Carolina’s Biblical Recorder news journal. See full story.
In February, a coalition of Southern Baptists announced via a Baptist state paper that Ken Hemphill will also be nominated for SBC president.
Hemphill was president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1994-2003 and national strategist from 2003-11 for the SBC’s Empowering Kingdom Growth (EKG) emphasis, an initiative launched in 2002 calling Southern Baptists to renewed passion for God’s Kingdom. In 2011, Hemphill became founding director of North Greenville University’s Center for Church Planting and Revitalization, continuing EKG’s emphases under the acronym CPR. He now serves the university as special assistant to the president for denominational relations. Hemphill also has pastored churches in Kentucky and Virginia and led the Home Mission Board’s (now the North American Mission Board) Southern Baptist Center for Church Growth in the early 1990s. See full story.

SBC app

Annual meeting attendees once again can stay updated by using the “SBC Annual Meetings” mobile app. The app will include a listing of speakers for the SBC Pastors’ Conference and SBC annual meeting as well as the daily program schedule, daily events, exhibitor listing, convention center maps, interactive map of the exhibit hall, 2018 Book of Reports and more. Download the app on your mobile device by accessing the App Store, Google Play or by visiting app.core-apps.com/sbc_am2018.
Attendees also can follow on Twitter @SBCMeeting, @BaptistPress, @SBCLife, @sbccp and @SBCPastorsConf for the latest annual meeting updates. Many social media users will employ the hashtag #sbcam18 in their posts about the annual meeting.

Other highlights

– Following the election of H.B. Charles as the first African American president of the SBC Pastors’ Conference, diversity has been among the anticipated emphases at this year’s conference. But Charles says diversity, while important, will be a secondary focus as pastors and their wives gather June 10-11 in Dallas.
This year’s theme will be “Fulfill Your Ministry!” drawn from 2 Timothy 4:5.
Charles, pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., noted his main concern for this year’s conference is “that these men I’ve invited are faithful preachers and that these are men who represent what 2 Timothy 2:15 says: that they rightly handle the Word of Truth.”
– The annual meeting will feature a “Sending Celebration” Tuesday night “providing a special time for Southern Baptists to celebrate together what God continues to do through our churches as we cooperate in God’s mission,” the International Mission Board (IMB) announced. “Together, these new missionaries are answering God’s call to evangelize unreached people, disciple believers, plant and multiply healthy churches, and train leaders, all for the glory of God.”
– Pastors, messengers and other attendees at the annual meeting will have multiple opportunities to learn about ways to better engage their churches with mission efforts both locally and throughout North America.
“We never stop seeking out ways to help Southern Baptists get the hope of the gospel out to North America,” said Kevin Ezell, North American Mission Board president. “Through the Send Network, our church planting network, and Send Relief compassion ministries, we hope to equip churches to reach both their communities and all of North America.”
NAMB’s Send Luncheon for pastors will take place at noon Monday, June 11, in the Omni Dallas Hotel. The luncheon will include a special presentation celebrating the numerous ways pastors serve and contribute to the Kingdom and mission of God. Tickets are free but guests are required to register in advance at NAMB.net/sendluncheon.
– The Cooperative Program (CP) Stage and Platform, with its focus on the SBC’s channel of financial support for missions and ministry, will again be prominently located between the booths of NAMB and IMB.
The CP Stage “provides an opportunity for messengers to the SBC annual meeting to hear firsthand reports about a variety of SBC missions and ministries, and listen in on hard-hitting and relevant panel discussions which orbit around important issues for Southern Baptists,” said Ashley Clayton, SBC Executive Committee vice president for Cooperative Program and stewardship.
Messengers are scheduled to have an opportunity to hear from SBC presidential candidates Greear and Hemphill on Monday, June 11, at the CP Stage as they share their vision for the SBC. Additionally, messengers will hear from Gaines, Ezell and many other pastors and leaders.
These interviews and panel discussions will touch on topics such as church planting, Send Relief, Send Puerto Rico, adoption, women in ministry, diversity within the SBC, racial reconciliation, unreached people groups and international missions, and other relevant topics.
Programming will run Monday through Wednesday throughout the day, beginning at 8:30 a.m. A complete interview and panel discussion schedule will be available on the SBC mobile app, in the SBC Bulletin and at talkCP.com.
– Ministers’ wives attending the SBC’s annual meeting in Dallas are invited to a trio of women’s events, including a Ministers’ Wives Luncheon, Pastors’ Wives Conference and a women’s expo.
Authors and speakers Lisa Harper of Nashville and Beth Moore of Houston and pastor’s wife Sherri Pomeroy of Sutherland Springs, Texas, will headline this year’s events to be held in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Ballrooms A1-4, Level 2.
This year’s theme for the women’s events is “Restored,” based on Psalm 23:3, “He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Tickets for the luncheon, which is open to all wives of pastors, church staff members, chaplains, missionaries and denominational workers, cost $15/person and can be purchased online at lifeway.com/en/events/ministers-wives-luncheon.
– GuideStone Financial Resources will celebrate its first century of service, and plans to maintain its founder’s vision of coming alongside retired pastors and their widows in need in their declining years, which it does through Mission:Dignity.
GuideStone again will offer its Wellness Center with its one-stop biometric readings. The free screenings – valued at $150 – offer blood-based checks for cholesterol and glucose. Unlike previous years, it is not necessary to fast before these tests this year. Additionally, GuideStone staff will be available during all exhibit hall hours to meet with participants about their retirement plans or insurance coverages.


Register online at sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18 under the Messengers/Guests tab. NOTE: messengers, exhibitors and guests need to be registered and properly badged for entrance into the general sessions June 12-13.
After completing online registration, each individual will receive an eight-digit registration code to present at the annual meeting’s express registration lane. There, the registration code can be entered into a computer and a nametag will be printed.


Messengers planning to propose resolutions must submit them no later than 15 days prior to the annual meeting. Detailed guidelines on submitting resolutions are available at sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18 under the Messengers/Guests tab. Resolutions may be submitted online but must be followed up by a letter of credentials from the submitter’s church.

Children & students

Registration opened Feb. 1 for preschool child care, Giant Cow Children’s Ministries and Youth on Mission in conjunction with the SBC Pastors’ Conference and SBC annual meeting.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief child care volunteers will care for preschoolers while Giant Cow Children’s Ministries will lead the 5-12-year-olds and Woman’s Missionary Union will guide the Youth on Mission curricula and activities.
All activities for children and youth will be housed at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Youth who have completed grades 7-12 will begin their days at the convention center with worship each morning before going into the community for hands-on mission projects.
Pre-registration is required and will be handled online at sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc18 under the “children/youth” tab. The deadline for registration is May 11 for most programs, or when the space limitation of 125 children is reached. There will be no on-site registration.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by Shawn Hendricks, editor of Baptist Press. With reporting from Baptist Press staff and various other Baptist Press reports.)

4/23/2018 9:42:07 AM by Baptist Press staff | with 2 comments

2018 SBC annual meeting program released

April 23 2018 by Baptist Press staff

The 2018 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting will convene at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas on Tuesday, June 12, at 8:15 a.m. and conclude Wednesday, June 13, at 4:55 p.m.
A full schedule follows.


8:15 – Opening Worship – Mark Blair, Convention music director; music minister, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn.
8:25 – Welcome and Call to Order – Steve Gaines, SBC president; senior pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn.
Announcement of Committee on Committees, Credentials Committee, Tellers, and Resolutions Committee
8:30 – Scripture and Prayer – Kevin Smith, executive director, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, Columbia, Md.
8:35 – Registration Report and Constitution of Convention – Don Currence, SBC registration secretary; minister of children and administration, First Baptist Church, Ozark, Mo.
8:38 – Committee on Order of Business Report (First) – Grant Ethridge, chairman; senior pastor, LibertyLive.Church, Hampton Roads, Va.
8:43 – Appreciation of Volunteers – Steve Gaines
8:45 – Welcome to Dallas – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
8:55 – Honoring America and Recognition of Veterans
The Pledge of Allegiance
The National Anthem: “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Worship – Mark Blair
9:10 – Crossover Report – Joel Southerland, executive director of evangelism, North American Mission Board, Alpharetta, Ga.
9:15 – GuideStone Financial Resources Report – O.S. Hawkins, president and CEO, GuideStone Financial Resources, Dallas
9:27 – Introduction of New Motions (First) – Steve Gaines
9:42 – Executive Committee Report (Part 1) – D. August Boto, interim president and executive vice president for convention policy, SBC Executive Committee, Nashville
10:12 – Introduction of Past Presidents – Steve Gaines
10:17 – Introduction of the President and Family – Randy C. Davis, president and executive director, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, Brentwood, Tenn.
10:22 – Prayer for the President – Bill Street, minister of evangelism and discipleship, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn.
10:27 – Worship – Mark Blair
10:35 – President’s Address – Steve Gaines
11:45 – Closing Prayer – Trent Gann, pastor, First Baptist Church, Woodville, Fla.


1:15 – Scripture and Prayer – Bob Davis, evangelist; pastor, Beulah Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Va.
1:20 – Special Guest – Dave Ramsey, personal finance expert; CEO, Ramsey Solutions, Brentwood, Tenn.
1:50 – Election of Officers (First)
1:55 – Executive Committee Report (Part 2) – D. August Boto, interim president and executive vice president for Convention policy, SBC Executive Committee, Nashville
2:55 – Election of Officers (Second)
3:00 – Committee on Order of Business Report (Second) – Grant Ethridge, chairman; senior pastor, LibertyLive.Church, Hampton Roads, Va.
3:10 – North American Mission Board Presentation – Kevin Ezell, president, North American Mission Board, Alpharetta, Ga.
3:40 – Election of Officers (Third)
3:45 – Introduction of New Motions (Last Opportunity)
4:00 – Committee on Committees Report – Emir Caner, chairman; president, Truett-McConnell University, Cleveland, Ga.
4:10 – Committee on Nominations Report – James Freeman, chairman; Country Meadows Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo.
4:20 – Election of Officers (Fourth)
4:25 – Election of Officers (Fifth)
4:30 – Committee on Resolutions Report – Jason Duesing, chairman; provost and associate professor of historical theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Mo.
5:05 – Closing Prayer – Danny Sinquefield, pastor, Faith Baptist Church, Bartlett, Tenn.


6:30 Committee on Order of Business Report (Third) – Grant Ethridge, chairman; senior pastor, LibertyLive.Church, Hampton Roads, Va.
Election of 2019 Convention Preacher, Alternate Preacher and Music Director
6:45 – An Evening of Prayer and Worship – Mark Blair, Convention music director; music minister, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn.
Special Guest – Ravi Zacharias, president, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, Alpharetta, Ga.
8:30 – International Mission Board Commissioning Service – David Platt, president, International Mission Board, Richmond, Va.
9:15 – Closing Prayer – Rick Lance, executive director/treasurer, Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, Prattville, Ala.


8:15 Opening Worship – Mark Blair, Convention music director; music minister, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn.
8:25 – Scripture and Prayer – Sonny Tucker, executive director, Arkansas Baptist State Convention, Little Rock, Ark.
8:30 – Committee on Order of Business Report (Fourth) – Grant Ethridge, chairman; senior pastor, LibertyLive.Church, Hampton Roads, Va.
8:45 – Previously Scheduled Business – Steve Gaines, SBC president; senior pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn.
9:00 – Woman’s Missionary Union Report – Sandra Wisdom-Martin, executive director/treasurer, Woman’s Missionary Union, Birmingham, Ala.
9:12 – North American Mission Board Report – Kevin Ezell, president, North American Mission Board, Alpharetta, Ga.
9:24 – International Mission Board Report – David Platt, president, International Mission Board, Richmond, Va.
9:36 – Evangelism Task Force Report – Paige Patterson, chairman; president, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas
9:46 – Worship – Mark Blair
9:55 – Convention Sermon – Paige Patterson
10:35 – Prayer of Response – Bob Pearle, senior pastor, Birchman Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas
10:40 – Joint Seminary Presentation and Reports – Daniel L. Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.; Jason K. Allen, president, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Mo.; Jeff Iorg, president, Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention, Ontario, Calif.; Charles S. Kelley Jr., president, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, New Orleans, La.; R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.; Paige Patterson, president, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas
11:55 – Closing Prayer – Zac Reno, pastor, The Summit Church, Benton, Ark.


2:30 – Opening Worship – Mark Blair, Convention music director; music minister, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn.
2:40 – Scripture and Prayer – Noah Sidhom, pastor of leadership development, web and social media, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn.
2:45 – Previously Scheduled Business – Steve Gaines, SBC president; senior pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn.
2:55 – Special Guest – Jonathan Evans, author; speaker; chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys
3:10 – Presentation of Officers – D. August Boto, interim president and executive vice president for Convention policy, SBC Executive Committee, Nashville
3:20 – LifeWay Christian Resources Report – Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville
3:32 – LifeWay Christian Resources Presentation – Thom S. Rainer
3:47 – President’s Panel on Stewardship
4:25 – The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Report – Russell D. Moore, president, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Nashville
4:37 – The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Presentation – Russell D. Moore
4:52 – Closing Words and Dallas hand-off to Birmingham – Steve Gaines
4:55 – Closing Prayer – David Hankins, executive director, Louisiana Baptist Convention, Alexandria, La.

4/23/2018 9:37:00 AM by Baptist Press staff | with 0 comments

Pastors’ Conference to spotlight faithfulness in ministry

April 23 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press

Following the election of H.B. Charles as the first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Pastors’ Conference, diversity has been among the anticipated emphases at this year’s conference.

BP file photo by Bill Bangham
H.B. Charles, 2018 SBC Pastors’ Conference president and pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., preaches during the SBC’s 2017 annual meeting in Phoenix.

But Charles says diversity, while important, will be a secondary focus as pastors and their wives gather June 10-11 in Dallas. When selecting speakers to invite, faithfulness in the pastorate was his primary criterion, in keeping with the conference’s “Fulfill Your Ministry!” theme, drawn from 2 Timothy 4:5.
The racial and age diversity of the speakers – who are black, white and Hispanic – represents that “God uses different persons, different personalities and different backgrounds,” said Charles, pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.
Yet “my first concern was that these men I’ve invited are faithful preachers,” Charles said, “and that these are men who represent what 2 Timothy 2:15 says: that they rightly handle the Word of Truth.”
The speakers also all “share the commonality of having pastors’ hearts and knowing what it is to serve the Lord faithfully in the context in which they are called,” he said.
Among the speakers is Frank Pomeroy, pastor of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, who will share his testimony of trusting God after a gunman murdered 26 people, including Pomeroy’s daughter, during one of the church’s worship services last summer.
Along with preaching, the Pastors’ Conference will feature worship and prayer to undergird the ministry of pastors and their wives. The sessions at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will be held prior to the SBC’s June 12-13 annual meeting there.
The worship team from Shiloh will lead music in every session, with special musical guests to be announced as the conference approaches. One musical highlight will be a combined performance by the choirs of Shiloh and Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis-area Cordova, Tenn., where SBC President Steve Gaines is pastor.
Speakers were not assigned biblical texts, Charles said, but each speaker was asked to address the topic of “faithfulness in ministry.”
Speakers for Sunday evening (June 10, 6-9 p.m.) at the Pastors’ Conference will include Juan Sanchez, pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, Texas; James Merritt, pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Ga.; and Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas.
Monday morning (June 11, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.) will feature messages from Bryan Carter, pastor of Concord Church in Dallas; Cameron Triggs, pastor of Grace Alive in Orlando, Fla.; and Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.
Monday afternoon (1:30-4:30 p.m.) speakers will include Ray Pritchard, president of Keep Believing Ministries in Dallas; Pomeroy; and Robert Smith, Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala.
Monday evening (6-9 p.m.) speakers will include Daven Watkins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Pelham, Ala.; Charlie Dates, pastor of Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago; and J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and a candidate for SBC president.
Charles hopes attendees will leave challenged and encouraged to persevere in ministry.
“You get no credit for how well you start,” Charles said. “Anyone can start fast. The question is: Can you finish strong?”
The Pastors’ Conference is free and requires no registration. To learn more about this year’s schedule, sponsors and theme, visit sbcpc.net. You can also access information about the conference on Facebook and Twitter.
Childcare for children ages birth through 12 years will be offered during all Pastors’ Conference sessions. Children ages 4-12 may register for a conference provided by Children’s Conferences International at childrensconferences.com.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief child care volunteers will offer childcare for newborns through age 5 during the Pastors’ Conference.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – David Roach is chief national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service.)

4/23/2018 9:32:32 AM by David Roach, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

SBC Pastors’ Conference 2018 schedule

April 23 2018 by Baptist Press staff

This year’s Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference will center on the theme “Fulfill Your Ministry!” and exhort pastors and other ministers to finish strong in their callings.
Pastors’ Conference President H.B. Charles said the diverse lineup of speakers – who are black, white and Hispanic – illustrate that “God uses different persons, different personalities and different backgrounds.”
“My first concern was that these men I’ve invited are faithful preachers,” Charles said, “and that these are men who represent what 2 Timothy 2:15 says: that they rightly handle the Word of Truth.”
Below is a list of pertinent information on the Pastors’ Conference followed by a schedule of speakers.

Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference 2018

June 10-11, 2018
Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
Theme: “Fulfill Your Ministry!”
President: H.B. Charles, pastor, Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Fla.
Free and Open to the Public – no registration required
Website: sbcpc.net


Juan Sanchez, pastor, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas
James Merritt, pastor, Cross Pointe Church, Duluth, Ga.
Tony Evans, pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Dallas


Bryan Carter, pastor, Concord Church, Dallas
Cameron Triggs, pastor, Grace Alive, Orlando, Fla.
Jack Graham, pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas

MONDAY, JUNE 11, 1:30 P.M.

Ray Pritchard, president, Keep Believing Ministries, Dallas
Frank Pomeroy, pastor, First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas
Robert Smith, Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Ala.


Daven Watkins, pastor, First Baptist Church, Pelham, Ala.
Charlie Dates, pastor, Progressive Baptist Church, Chicago
J.D. Greear, pastor, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by David Roach, chief national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service.)

4/23/2018 9:30:22 AM by Baptist Press staff | with 0 comments

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