Pastors aspire to join God’s activity
    May 2 2011 by Baptist Press

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A diverse lineup of speakers and a focus on God’s Kingdom will amplify the theme of the 2011 SBC Pastors’ Conference: “Aspire: Yearning to join God’s kingdom activity.” The June 12-13 gathering, held in Phoenix prior to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in the Phoenix Convention Center, is intended to help pastors see “the big picture of what God is doing in the world” and rise above preoccupations with temporary issues, said Pastors’ Conference President Vance Pitman, church planter and lead pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas. Pitman said he is praying 1,000 churches will commit themselves during the conference to plant churches in “pioneer areas” of North America. Also, part of the annual offering taken during the gathering will be used to finish translating the “JESUS” film into the language of an unreached people group in the Arabian Peninsula.

    BP photo

    This year’s 2011 Southern Baptist Convention will be at the Phoenix Convention Center. Most of the meetings will be at this facility or nearby.

    The remainder of the offering will be used to conduct pastors’ conferences on two continents that will use national leadership to assist church leaders in about 20 countries, Pitman said.

    The conference website,, lists the event’s speakers as including Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.; Ken Whitten of Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Fla.; Afshin Ziafat of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas; Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta; Bob Roberts of Northwood Church in Keller, Texas; Peter Ndhlovu of Bible Gospel Church in Africa in Lusaka, Zambia; Paul Gotthardt of Life Baptist Church in Las Vegas; Darrin Patrick of The Journey Church in St. Louis; Gregg Matte of First Baptist Church in Houston; evangelist Bob Pitman of Muscle Shoals, Ala.; and Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga.

    “If you look at every one of these guys, their theology and methodology has not become an obstacle for them in engaging the nations with the gospel,” Pitman said. “Every one of them is engaged in multiplying the church and working among the nations, recognizing that is the big picture of what God is doing.”

    Pastor’s wives conference
    The annual Pastors’ Wives Conference will follow the same theme of “Aspire” of the Pastors’ Conference, with Kay Warren as the keynote speaker, wife of Pastor Rick Warren. The conference will be held from 8:30-11:45 a.m. Monday, June 13, the North Ballroom A/B of the Phoenix Convention Center. There is no cost for the event and registration is not required. Women who serve in any area of local church leadership, missions and denominational work are invited to join ministers’ wives in attendance.  

    Ministers’ wives lunch
    Anne Wright, president of the 2011 SBC Ministers’ Wives’ Luncheon, is using the theme “Influential Joy” for the ministers’ wives’ luncheon.

    The luncheon will begin at noon Tuesday, June 14, in the North Ballroom A/B/C of the Phoenix Convention Center. Lisa Harper from the Women of Faith tour will speak, and Kim Hill, a Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning artist, will sing. The luncheon is open to all wives of ministers. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $15 through LifeWay Women’s Events at or (800) 254-2022. At the door, the ticket cost will be $20. Women who wish to serve as table hostesses may contact Sandy Beetler of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church at or (770) 794-2982.  

    NAMB — pastor’s conference lunch
    Kevin Ezell, the mission board’s president, will explain his “Send North America” vision during a Pastors’ Conference luncheon at noon June 13 in Room 120 C/D of the Phoenix Convention Center. The luncheon for pastors, church staff and other leaders also will feature Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Christian Resources and worship leader Chris Mills. Seating is limited, and tickets are available at for $7 each.

    Ezell also will speak at the annual SBC Chaplains’ Luncheon slated for June 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 124 of the convention center. Reservations are required. This year’s chaplains’ luncheon will recognize Maj. Gen. Douglas Carver, who is retiring this year as U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains.

    Directors of mission
    Directors of mission are invited to worship at 11 a.m. June 12 at North Phoenix Baptist Church followed by a lunch with O.S. Hawkins of GuideStone Financial Resources. There will be morning breakout sessions June 13 followed by times with Ezell and Elliff.
    Coffee and fellowship time starts the day at 9 and there will be a luncheon for new DOMs at 11:45. To register, visit and complete the registration form.

    Woman’s Missionary Union
    “Proclaim!” will be theme drawn from Luke 4:18—19 for speakers, breakout conferences and music during the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting, June 12—13 in Phoenix.  

    Ginger Smith, executive director of the Mission Centers of Houston (Texas), will be the keynote speaker.  

    There will be three general sessions: Sunday, June 12, at 7 p.m.; and Monday, June 13, at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. A special missions feature facilitated by Gordon Fort, vice president for overseas operations with the International Mission Board, is slated on Monday at 11 a.m. Breakout sessions will be offered on Sunday from 2:30—5 p.m. and on Monday from 2-4:30 p.m. Debby Akerman, president of national WMU, will give her presidential address during the Monday morning session. Tangena Mishler will lead in worship along with pianist Nancy Grainger.

    This year’s celebration will be in the Grand Ballroom of the Wyndham Phoenix Downtown Hotel, two blocks from the Phoenix Convention Center.  

    Participants are encouraged to bring school supplies to help with an ongoing ministry at Seyenna Vistas, a 67-acre mobile home and RV park in Phoenix with more than 100 children in grades 1—6. There is no charge to attend and no preregistration is required. Onsite registration opens on Sunday at 2 p.m. Visit for more information.  

    Messengers to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention are invited to a Sunday morning worship service sponsored by the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE) June 12 at 9 a.m. in the Valley of the Sun Ballroom at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.  

    Speakers include Harold Hunter, president of Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Ind.; Brian Fossett, a former COSBE president; and Eric Fuller, a young evangelist. The theme is “Ageless Urgency.”

    After the worship service, COSBE members will enjoy a fellowship meal and mini-retreat at 12:30 p.m. followed by a COSBE business meeting from 3-5 p.m.

    Seminary lunches
    The six Southern Baptist seminaries will hold their annual alumni luncheons on Wednesday June 15 during the SBC annual meeting.

    Golden Gate Seminary — 12:15 p.m.; $10 per person; Phoenix Convention Center North Building, Rooms 227 A/B/C on Level 200. Call (888) 442-8709 or email

    Midwestern Seminary — Noon; $15 per person; Phoenix Convention Center’s North Building, Rooms 124 A & B, Street Level. Call (816) 414-3720 or email, and include complete names of all attendees and your cell phone and email address. Reservations are due before June 9.

    New Orleans Seminary — $20 per person if purchased by May 31 ($25 afterward); Phoenix Convention Center’s North Ballroom (Room 120A, North Building). Send a check payable to NOBTS to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Attention Alumni Relations, 3939 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70126 or purchase online at

    Southeastern Seminary — Noon; $25 per person; rooms 129A and 129B in the North Building of the Phoenix Convention Center; visit

    Southern Seminary — 12:30 p.m.; $20 per person; Phoenix Convention Center’s North Building, Room 120D, Level 100; call (502) 897-4142 or by e-mail Retta Draper at

    Southwestern Seminary — Noon; $20 per person; Phoenix Convention Center’s North Ballroom, Room 120 on Level 100; visit or call (877) GO SWBTS (467-9287).

    The National African American Fellowship’s annual banquet is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, in Room 129 A/B, Level 100, at the Phoenix Convention Center.

    The Sunday worship service is slated 6:30 p.m. June 12 at Canaan Missionary Baptist Church, 931 S. Stapley Drive in Mesa. The annual NAAF business meeting, including the election of officers, will be at 4 p.m. Monday in Room 230, Level 200, of the convention center.

    Dixon, NAAF’s president, said the business session will include a discussion of the four new strategies NAAF is embracing.

    Black network
    The Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network’s annual meeting will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 12, at Canaan Missionary Baptist Church in Mesa, Ariz., 931 S. Stapley Drive in Mesa, a Phoenix suburb about 20 miles east of the Phoenix Convention Center, site of the 2011 SBC annual meeting.

    On Saturday, June 11, the network will host 80 or more church leaders for an 8 a.m. “Recharging Your Sunday School” seminar at Canaan to be led by Elgia “Jay” Wells, Charles Grant and Curtis, all from LifeWay.


    The Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of North America will meet Tuesday, June 14 for a luncheon and meeting from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at North Phoenix Baptist Church, located at 5757 North Central Avenue, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix. Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, will be the featured speaker.
    To register for the meeting, email Manao at or call (610) 580-8635.  

    Native Americans
    The Fellowship of Native American Christians (FoNAC), scheduled to meet June 13 in Phoenix, will discuss the need for an executive director and a regional liaison network with Indian churches in state conventions, according to Emerson Falls, president of the Southern Baptist ethnic fellowship. The FoNAC meeting, from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, June 13, will be in Room 226A of the North Building at the Phoenix Convention Center. Anyone with an interest in ministry with Native Americans is invited to attend.

    The Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship will meet June 10-11 in Phoenix for the task of reaching Jews with the gospel. The fellowship’s annual meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, June 10, with praise and worship and a welcome message from vice president Ric Worshill at CrossPoinTempe Church at 1001 East Southern Ave. in Tempe, Ariz., followed by an Oneg Shabbat meal. The church is 12 miles southeast of the Phoenix Convention Center.

    On Saturday, praise and worship will begin at 8:30 a.m., and Bruce Stokes, dean of the school of behavioral sciences at California Baptist University in Riverside, will speak.

    People who plan to attend the event should send an email to to assist the organizers in preparations.

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    5/2/2011 8:16:00 AM by Baptist Press | with 0 comments

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