Evangelism Conf. Jan. 21-22 features Luter

SHERWOOD – Fred Luter, the first African-American to be elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is among a host of national and Arkansas speakers to be featured Jan. 21-22 during the 2013 State Conference on Evangelism and Church Growth.

The theme of the event is Reaching Across Arkansas and will be held at First Baptist Church, 701 Country Club Road, Sherwood.

“We are blessed with a tremendous lineup of speakers and worship leaders this year,” said Sonny Tucker, the newly elected executive director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC).

Tucker said the conference “first and foremost is to fan the fires for evangelism, revival, prayer, soul winning and church growth/health.” 

“(Another) goal of this conference is to encourage the pastors, staff and lay leaders who attend. God has placed an unbelievably gifted and committed group of people in our state to lead our churches and associations,” Tucker added. “My prayer is that you go back to your ministry task inspired and renewed. I operate from a deep belief that because God called you He plans to use you to accomplish great things for Him.”

In addition to Luter, keynote speakers are David Burton, Junior Hill, Ed Newton, Robert Smith, Sammy Tippit, Bill Tolar and Emil Turner.  

  • Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, was elected as the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) during its 155th session held in New Orleans in June 2012. Luter grew Franklin Avenue from 65 people in a white-flight neighborhood to a congregation of more than 8,000 prior to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He emphasizes “FRANgelism” (Friends Relatives Associates Neighbors) as a strategy for reaching thousands in the city.
  • Burton is the evangelism team leader for the Florida Baptist Convention. He has the responsibility of overseeing personal evangelism, collegiate ministries and prayer/spiritual awakening.
  • Hill has been a Southern Baptist evangelist since 1967. He has authored 11 books and has preached more than 1,500 revivals and crusades, including a number of revivals in Arkansas.
  • Newton is a vocational evangelist based in Memphis, Tenn. In addition to itinerant preaching, he serves as the staff evangelist at Faith Baptist Church, Bartlett. Newton was the featured speaker at 2012 Super Summer in Arkansas.
  • Smith is a conference teacher and speaker who serves as professor of Christian preaching at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala. He previously served in a similar capacity at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
  • Tippit is an international evangelist and author who has preached to hundreds of thousands in more than 80 countries in the last 40 years. He has also done extensive work in men’s and family ministries.
  • Tolar is a retired distinguished professor of biblical backgrounds at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he taught for 38 years. He has trained thousands of ministers and laymen, spoken in 53 countries and on five continents and served as interim pastor in 50-plus churches.
  • Turner served as executive director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention from 1996 to 2012, during which the state increased its number of baptisms and church plants. He has served as pastor in Louisiana and Arkansas churches.

StottsWorship will be led by Jeff Stotts and the worship team from Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro. Stotts has been the lead worship pastor for Central Baptist since 2005.  He has served churches in Arkansas and Oklahoma. 

Exhibits of ABSC and related ministries will be set up at the church, and a LifeWay Christian Bookstore will be on hand. Childcare is not provided.

For more information, contact Karen West at 800-838-2272, ext. 5128, or by email at kwest@absc.org.

View the conference program in PDF format here.


Monday Afternoon - 1-4:30 p.m.

Bill Tolar
Ed Newton
Robert Smith

Monday Evening - 6:30-9 p.m.

David Burton
Junior Hill

Tuesday Morning - 8:45-Noon

Sammy Tippit
Emil Turner
Fred Luter

Related Meetings:

Prayer Network Leadership Meeting – 10-11:45 a.m., Monday, First Baptist Church, Sherwood. Lunch provided by the ABSC Prayer Ministry. RSVP to Gwen McCallister at gmccallister@absc.org or call 800-838-2272, ext 5103.

Associational Missionaries and Directors of Evangelism Lunch – 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Monday, Golden Corral, 5001 Warden Road, North Little Rock.

Ministers Wives Fellowship  3 p. m., Monday, First Baptist Church, Sherwood.  

ASPN Arkansas Student Pastors’ Network – 4:45 p.m., Monday. Speaker: Ed Newton. David’s Burgers, 3510 Landers Rd, North Little Rock.

Vocational Evangelists Dinner and Fellowship. 4:45 p.m., Monday. Full-time and part-time evangelists and spouses, Golden Corral, 5001 Warden Road, North Little Rock.


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Friends and family honor H.D. and Shirley McCarty

ROGERS – Former members of University Baptist Church, Fayetteville, held a Toast and Roast the Rabbi banquet Nov. 2 for H.D. McCarty and his wife, Shirley. The banquet was held in honor of the couple’s 55th anniversary, as well as McCarty’s 80th birthday and his many years of ministry.

McCarty has been in the ministry in Arkansas for about 48 years, including 39 years as pastor of University Baptist Church. McCarty said he saw more than “20,000 students come through the church,” more than 300 of whom have gone into vocational Christian ministry.

McCarty served 30 years as chaplain of the Arkansas Razorback football team, where he was given the nickname “Razorback Rabbi.” 

He served as president of the Arkansas Baptist Pastors’ Conference in 2004 and as a member of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Executive Board for numerous years.

He had a 33-year Air Force career, serving as a pilot and chaplain and retiring as a brigadier general in the Air National Guard.

Nearly 500 people from Arkansas and other states attended the banquet. Proceeds from banquet ticket sales and the Friends of the Rabbi Golf Scramble held earlier in the day benefited Ventures for Christ, a counseling, preaching, teaching and writing ministry begun by McCarty after he retired from University Baptist in 2004.

Among the guests speaking were Marvin Delph, former Razorback basketball player; Rick Proctor, circuit judge for the First Judicial Circuit Court in Arkansas; Sen. John Boozman, and Gil Stricklin, former assistant to Billy Graham.

Also attending were Asa Hutchinson, former Arkansas congressman, and former Razorback football coaches Frank Broyles and Ken Hatfield. 

A video presentation was also made, which included tributes from more personalities, including Lou Holtz, former Razorback head football coach; Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor; Houston Nutt, former Razorback football coach; Dennis Rainey, president of FamilyLife, and Brig. Gen. Bob Page, deputy chief of chaplains for the Air Force.

Karen Anderson, the McCarty’s daughter, along with Becky Bull and Susan Roberts, who have both been influenced by the couple, gave a special tribute to Shirley McCarty.

Robert Cupp, directional leader at Fellowship Bible Church Northwest Arkansas, and Robert Lewis, pastor at large at Fellowship Bible Church, Little Rock, both former University Baptist staff members, served as co-Masters of Ceremony at the event.

McCarty said only he and Christ “knew what a joke it was to have a banquet” in his honor.


Poverty 101 conference to be held in NE Ark.

The Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) missions ministries team is partnering with East Side Baptist Church, Paragould, to sponsor the Poverty 101 northeast Arkansas regional conference.

The conference will assist those attending in understanding and ministering to those who live in poverty. The event seeks to shed light on generational poverty, while examining the culture and mindset of those who live in poverty. It will also explore the most effective ways to minister to the impoverished.

Conference material is based on the book “Bridges out of Poverty” by Ruby Payne and other sources. Leading the conference will be Mindy Jamison, who serves with the North American Mission Board and the Baptist Convention of Iowa in inner city Des Moines, Iowa, as the state church and community ministries consultant and the co-director of the Friendship Baptist Center for more than 12 years.

For more information about the conference or to register, contact 800-838-2272,ext. 5150.


Children’s Ministry Day set for Feb.

Children in grades 1-6 are invited to take part in Children’s Ministry Day Feb. 16.

Church groups are encouraged to plan projects for that day, or a day that works for their church, during which they can meet needs in their communities, which may range from feeding the hungry to visiting shut-ins.

Since it began in 2008, more than 150,000 people have been involved in the Children’s Ministry Day, which was created by the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) “to move children out of their churches and into theircommunities to do missions,” according to the WMU website.

For more information, visit www.wmu.com/cmd.


ABSC offers churches variety of resources 

The Arkansas Baptist State Convention leadership and worship team offers a variety of resources to churches, including deacon training and encouragement sessions and the Partners in Purpose capital funding emphasis.

Deacon training and encouragement sessions are generally held on weeknights for 2.5 hours, beginning with a light meal. However, they can range up to 6 hours if so desired, giving time for more feedback and discussion.

Sessions focus on character, missions, courage and teamwork. For more information, visit www.absc.org/deacons or call 800-838-2272, ext. 5114.

The Partners in Purpose capital funding emphasis seeks to help churches raise funds for new construction or reduce their debt. For more information, call 800-838-2272, ext. 5114.

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