“We have been anticipating this year’s Summit and gathering of Tennessee Baptists for some time,” said Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. “The Tennessee Baptist Convention begins our final year of The Five Objectives focus and we will launch the celebration of our 150th anniversary, culminating next year in Murfreesboro, the site of our first convention.”
Davis said messengers will consider for adoption new future priorities from the Acts 2:17 Initiative that will be presented during the annual business meeting.
Clay Hallmark, president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Lexington, agreed that “as the Tennessee Baptist family gathers at the 2023 Summit in Chattanooga, we are looking forward to what should be described as a ‘watershed year’ as we consider the recommendations of the Acts 2:17 Vision team.
“The adoption of this report will set the course for our future as Tennessee Baptists in a way that will reshape the landscape of our ministry, as well as rethink how we effectively collaborate together to reach Tennessee for Christ,” Hallmark said.
He added that messengers at Summit will have the opportunity “to pray in advance for the manifest presence of God to show up in our midst.
“In a world and in a national denomination filled with division, we as Tennessee Baptists have the opportunity to gather together and let the world know we are Christians by ‘the way we love one another.’ ”
Hallmark expressed appreciation for the “many men and women from across Tennessee who have spent countless hours praying and preparing for this year’s Summit. The business we have to carry out is God’s business. God is already working all over our state and we have the opportunity to join Him in this work together.”
A Tennessee reunion
As has become a tradition, Summit will begin with the Tennessee Reunion on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the Chattanooga Convention Center.
“We will come together to worship and honor hometown heroes, disaster relief volunteers,” Davis said. “It is going to be a wonderful gathering of Tennessee Baptists.”
The featured speaker is former Southern Baptist Convention president Bryant Wright, now president of Send Relief with the North American Mission Board. He retired as senior pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., where he served for 38 years.
Clayton Freeman, a worship leader at Silverdale Baptist Church, Chattanooga, will lead the worship service. For more information, email Samantha at SWhitt@tnbaptist.org
The All Nations Worship Celebration will be held on the same night at Red Bank Baptist Church in Chattanooga from 6:30-8:30 p.m. For more information on the event, email Marybel Sotomayor at email@example.com.
The annual Tennessee Baptist Pastors Conference takes place on Monday, Nov. 13, from 1-9 p.m.
Officers of the Pastors Conference are Ternae Jordan, senior pastor of Mount Canaan Baptist Church, Chattanooga, Grant Gaines, pastor, Belle Aire Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, president-elect; and Alan Stewart, pastor of Rechoboth Baptist Church, Soddy Daisy, secretary-treasurer.
Program speakers include Grant Gaines; JaMichael Jordan, pastor, The Village Church, Chattanooga; Roc Collins, strategic objectives director, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board; Anthony Payton, pastor, Come As You Are Community Church, Fort Wayne, Ind.; Kevin Smith, pastor, Family Church Network, West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Alan Stewart.
Taron Berry, worship and creative arts pastor at Mount Canaan Baptist, will lead worship during the Pastors Conference.
Matt Brown, senior pastor of Germantown Baptist Church, Germantown, will be nominated as president-elect of the Tennessee Baptist Pastors Conference during its meeting Nov. 14 in Chattanooga by Ben Cowell, pastor of Brownsville Baptist Church, Brownsville.
Annual business meeting
The annual meeting of the convention, where business is conducted, will convene on Tuesday, Nov. 14 and conclude around noon on Nov. 15.
The focal point of the meeting will be the consideration of reports from the Acts 2:17 Initiative Committee, chaired by Jay Hardwick of Forest Hills Baptist Church, Nashville. See article on page 1. The Acts 2:17 Initiative Committee is finalizing its report. Additional information will be published as it becomes available.
Messengers also will consider amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws. See the report of the committee, chaired by Todd Stinnett of Black Oak Heights Baptist Church in Knoxville on pages 12-17.
Included in the other business will be the reports from the Committee on Committees and Committee on Boards (see Sept. 13 issue of B&R) and a proposed Cooperative Program budget of $35 million, the same as this year. Messengers also will have the opportunity to present other motions and resolutions on the first day.
Messengers also will select a new slate of officers. Current TBC president Clay Hallmark will complete a two-year term in the position. Last year, messengers abandoned the tradition of presidents serving a one-year term on a rotating basis from each grand region of the state except for unusual circumstances, such as 2020 when COVID-19 prevented an in-person meeting.
The TBC’s governing documents do not provide for the election of a president other than they must be resident members of cooperating Baptist churches.
As of press time on Monday, two nominees have been announced and reported in previous issues — Todd Stinnett of Knoxville and Jay Hardwick of Nashville.
Victoria Tillman, chair of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board’s directors, announced in late September that she will nominate James Griffith as vice president.
Griffith is pastor of South Harriman Baptist Church in Harriman.
Griffith is a TBMB director and is currently the chair of the Resource Development Committee and serves on the Administrative Committee.
“James not only lives out the Great Commission of Christ, but he has diligently pursued the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ in order to equip himself for his calling and to train the church as well,” Tillman said.
No other nominations have been submitted to the B&R for president and vice president or for second vice president.
Featured speakers, events
Summit program personalities include Hallmark, Davis and John Green, pastor of Wallace Baptist Memorial Church, Knoxville, who will deliver the convention sermon.
Breakout sessions will be held on Monday, Nov. 13, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and on Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. A complete list of topics and leaders can be found on page 4 and at www.tbcsummit.org.
There will be special group meetings for minister’s wives, DOMs, young pastors, African American pastors, Hispanic pastors, alumni groups and more. More information on these meetings can also be found at www.tbcsummit.org.
How to register
Online registration has begun at www.tbcsummit.org and will continue through the start of Summit. Messengers also may register once they arrive at Summit.
Every messenger must present their credentials at the registration area once they arrive. For questions, contact Haley Rittenberry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 629-236-6130. B&R