By Bruce Chesser
President, Tennessee Baptist Convention
Senior pastor, First Baptist Church, Hendersonville
It was with a great deal of prayer and discussion that a large group of Tennessee Baptists made the recent decision to cancel the 2020 meeting called “The Summit.” Well over 100 people were involved in the decision which involved the ministerial leadership of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, the directors of the TBMB, the officers of the TBMB, the officers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the TBC Committee on Arrangements.
Randy Davis did not make this call alone and I assure you that he repeatedly spoke of how it grieved his heart to see that the churches of our state convention would not be able to gather for fellowship, worship, encouragement and the business of our denomination. While no one wanted to make this call, we collectively (and overwhelmingly) felt that it was the prudent thing to do.
Like you, I have grown weary of all of the postponements and the cancelations. I am tired of focusing on what we cannot do. In all of our individual churches we have had to change plans and cancel some of the most important events in the life of our churches. We did not have our usual Easter services this year. Vacation Bible School did not happen. Our fall picnic will not happen, nor will our fall festival. Christmas events will, undoubtedly, be different this year. But, rather than focus on what we cannot do, we have determined to focus on what we can do.
The decision has been made that we will not have the 2020 Summit that was scheduled to meet at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood. But right now our ministry team at the TBMB is working on developing a virtual time of celebration, worship and fellowship. It will offer us all an opportunity to touch base, to fellowship, and to encourage each other for the months ahead. I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about the work of Tennessee Baptists and our larger Southern Baptist family through this virtual meeting in November.
As a result of not having our annual meeting, the current slate of officers will continue to meet until the 2021 Summit that will be held at Brentwood Baptist Church. Chuck Grover, pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Mount Juliet, will serve for another year as vice president.
Corey Cain, pastor of First Baptist Church, Seymour, will serve as second vice president of the convention and he will also serve for another year as president of the Tennessee Baptist Pastors Conference. And, I will be honored to serve for another year as the president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
“Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:10) Join me in claiming that promise! B&R — Chesser is senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Hendersonville.