It’s always a great day to be a Tennessee Baptist, but there were many moments during the recent Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting when I was also proud to be a Southern Baptist.
Here’s a sampling of some of those moments:
TBC messenger fellowship
For several years, your Tennessee Baptist Mission Board has hosted a Monday evening fellowship for Tennessee Baptist messengers attending the Southern Baptist Convention. This year in New Orleans we hosted a record crowd.
It was a fellowship-filled mini family reunion. We visited, ate King Cake and laughed until we were chased from the room by servers needing to reset the space for Tuesday.
If you were there, thanks for coming! Please make plans to join us next year in Indianapolis.
Personally, I can’t fully express how you encouraged me if you were a part of it. I am incredibly thankful for the Christ-centered, mission-focused unity we enjoy as a network of Tennessee Baptist churches. Let’s not take it for granted. Let’s do all we can to protect and enjoy our unified fellowship while remaining biblically focused and Great Commission centered.
The International Mission Board
The big appointment in The Big Easy of nearly 80 new Southern Baptist international missionaries was a big highlight for me. The Great Commission is the primary reason we cooperate as independent, autonomous churches and sending out missionaries from our churches is the best of who we are.
Dr. Paul Chitwood, a native Tennessee son and IMB president, offered a report that for me was the most special moment of the SBC 2023. The IMB is in great shape, doing a great work and we can all be proud of, celebrate, and support its mission and the opportunities it offers Southern Baptists to be on mission.
I could not wait to get to the SBC pastors conference when I was a pastor.
Hearing powerful preachers like Adrian Rogers, Fred Wolfe, E.V. Hill, Ed Young and Charles Stanley blessed and encouraged me.
The great worship and expositional preaching charged my batteries. This year’s Pastors’ Conference was one of the best we’ve experienced in the past 20 years. I was like a proud papa as two of Tennessee’s own, Dr. Roc Collins and Dr. Bartholomew Orr, punctuated the program with pulpit power. A big thanks to pastor Daniel Dickard of North Carolina for the leadership he provided as president of this year’s Pastor’s Conference.
SBC president Bart Barber
I was impressed with the fairness, patience and knowledge with which Dr. Barber presided over this year’s convention. From an unreliable sound system to humorous moments to unique and sensitive business sessions, he demonstrated grace and competency. He deserves a boatload of credit for a job well done.
SBC proposed constitutional amendment
Any proposal to change the governing documents of any entity is serious and should be considered with great care.
The issue regarding the role of pastor and church staff members is an important and profound topic. It is prudent that such a matter is approached patiently and considered over two years to effect a constitutional change.
We will have another year to study and better understand the implications of such an amendment.
Be sure to get informed on the issue. You can read a full reporting about the proposed change and related details in the Baptist and Reflector, The Baptist Paper and Baptist Press.
The city of New Orleans
“N’Awlins” is a special place for me, and it was good to be back in the city where I spent six years studying at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
The people, the food, the history – Can’t beat it!
The humidity? Well, let’s just say it’s great to be back in Tennessee.
And it is a joy to be with you on this journey. B&R