BALTIMORE – Prayer and revival will be the focus of the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Annual Meeting which is to be held June 10-11 at the Baltimore Convention Center located in the city’s famous ‘Inner Harbor.’
SBC President Fred Luter applauded the emphasis of the annual meeting, to be built around the theme Restoration and Revival Through Prayer.
“We have not had a theme that focused on prayer and revival for many years,” said Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans.
“I pray that God will send revival across America and particularly among Southern Baptists.”
Psalm 80:18–19 is Luter’s selection as the biblical text to support the theme: “Then we will not turn away from You; revive us, and we will call on Your name. Restore us, Yahweh, the God of Hosts; look on us with favor, and we will be saved” (HCSB).
Luter will preach during the June 10 evening session, marking his last presidential address.
No other business will be presented or discussed in the evening session, adhering to last year’s annual meeting format, said David Smith, chairman of the SBC Committee on Order of Business and executive director of the Austin Baptist Association in Texas.
“It obviously had such a great response last year that we decided we wanted to do it again,” Smith said of the evening session.
“We just think it’s going to bring back something that folks go to convention for – to hear the Word, to be inspired and to worship. And we’re looking forward to it.”
Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd is expected to be nominated for SBC president at the annual meeting. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, announced Floyd’s nomination Feb. 20.
During the nearly 28 years Floyd has led Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, it has become “one of the most evangelistic, visible and innovative congregations in our convention,” Mohler said. The church encompasses campuses in Springdale, Rogers, Fayetteville and Neosho, Mo.
Clint Pressley, senior pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., is expected to be nominated for the office of first vice president, and Oklahoma City Pastor Hance Dilbeck is expected to be nominated for second vice president.
Pressley has served as pastor of Hickory Grove since 2009. The church is one of the largest churches in North Carolina with more than 17,000 members. Hickory Grove has five worship services that meet weekly on two campuses and two Hispanic services, in addition to a Christian school with more than 940 students on the main campus.
Dilbeck has been senior pastor of the 4,600-member Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City since 2003. Dilbeck has been called the American “Hispanic” pastor by Hispanic church planters. Quail Springs is involved in planting 14 Hispanic churches in North America. Last year, the church set aside $1 million to plant Hispanic churches and contributed more than $3.7 million to the Cooperative Program in support of Southern Baptist missions and ministry in Oklahoma and around the world.
SBC Pastors’ Conference
The 2014 Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference will be held June 8-9 at the Baltimore Convention Center. The theme of the conference is Show Us Your Glory. Bruce Frank, pastor of Biltmore Baptist Church in Arden, N.C., is serving as president of the conference.
Conference speakers will include Floyd; Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Community Church, Lake Forest, Calif.; Francis Chan, pastor of Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley, Calif.; Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Ga., and David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Ala., as well as others.
More information about the Pastors’ Conference is available at www.sbcpc.net.
As in previous years, Southern Baptists will coordinate a variety of events in the city beginning June 7 through Crossover Baltimore.
Bob Mackey, executive director of the Baltimore Baptist Association, said his team is working hard to prepare for the event.
“We visited a lot of different events taking place as a part of Crossover Houston,” Mackey said. “It was exciting to see what God can do for a city through service and partnership. I left with a great sense of hope and expectation for what God will do when Crossover comes to our city this year.”
The day of evangelism takes place the Saturday before the SBC and invites visiting Southern Baptists to serve alongside Baltimore churches by hosting block parties, evangelism outreaches, health clinics, sports camps and various other outreach events. Mackey and his team already have participants scheduled to serve from more than 12 states, including Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Maryland and Delaware, as well as commitments from many sister associations.
For more information about Crossover Baltimore, visit www.embracebaltimore.com/crossover.
New messenger rules
The SBC Executive Committee is scheduled to consider a proposal June 9 to update the SBC constitution regarding qualifications for churches to send messengers to the annual meeting.
Under the new proposal to be considered, each cooperating church that contributed to convention causes during the preceding fiscal year would automatically qualify for two messengers.
Additional messengers would be recognized from a cooperating church by one of two options, whichever allows the greater number of messengers: (1) One additional messenger for each full percent of the church’s undesignated receipts through any combination of gifts through the Cooperative Program, designated gifts through the Executive Committee for convention causes or to any SBC entity; and (2) one additional messenger for each $6,000 the church contributes in the preceding year through the same combination of the Cooperative Program, designated gifts through the Executive Committee for convention causes or to any SBC entity.
Members of the SBC Committee on Resolutions for the annual meeting were named by Luter March 28.
Luter announced the appointment of the committee in keeping with the provision in SBC Bylaw 20 that its members be named 75 days prior to the start of the annual meeting.
David Dykes, pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas, was named committee chairman.
The other members named to the committee were: Jay F. Shell, member of West Baptist Church, Batesville; Whitney Alexander, member of First Baptist Church, Gadsden, Ala.; Matthew Arbo, member of Redeemer Fellowship, Kansas City, Mo.; Greg Belser, pastor, Morrison Heights Baptist Church, Clinton, Miss.; Roger Freeman, pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Nashville; Matthew Hall, member of Clifton Baptist Church, Louisville; Chris Osborne, senior pastor, Central Baptist Church, College Station, Texas; Ramon Osorio, member of First Redeemer Church, Cumming, Ga., and Kevin Smith, assistant professor of Christian preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.
The committee’s composition, according to Bylaw 20, must include at least two members who served the previous year, with Dykes and Arbo meeting this requirement. Bylaw 20 also stipulates the committee include at least three SBC Executive Committee members. This year they are Dykes, Shell and Osborne.
The procedure for submitting resolutions is as follows according to Bylaw 20:
– Proposed resolutions may be submitted as early as April 15 but no later than 15 days prior to the SBC Annual Meeting, giving the Resolutions Committee a two-week period in which to consider submissions. The committee also may propose resolutions for consideration during its deliberations. Resolutions may not be submitted during the annual meeting.
– Proposed resolutions must be accompanied by a letter from a church qualified to send a messenger to the SBC Annual Meeting certifying that the individual submitting the resolution is a member in good standing.
– Proposed resolutions preferably should be submitted by email or mailed to the Committee on Resolutions in care of the SBC Executive Committee, 901 Commerce St., Nashville, TN 37203. The drafts must be typewritten, titled, dated and include complete contact information for the person and his or her church.
– No person will be allowed to submit more than three resolutions per year.
– If a properly submitted resolution is not forwarded by the Committee on Resolutions to the SBC Annual Meeting, a two-thirds vote of messengers would be required to bring the proposed resolution to the convention floor.
Camps registration opens
Registration is open for preschool childcare, Children’s Conferences International, Children in Action Missions Camp and Youth on Mission in conjunction with the annual meeting.
Southern Baptist disaster relief childcare volunteers will care for preschoolers, while Children’s Conferences International and Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) will guide the Children in Action Missions Camp and Youth on Mission curricula and activities.
Preschool childcare and activities for children who have completed grades one through six will be housed at the Baltimore Convention Center. Youth who have completed grades seven through 12 will begin their days at the convention center with worship before going into the community for hands-on missions work.
Preregistration is required and will be accepted online at www.sbcannualmeeting.net under the “Children/Youth” tab. All participants should register as soon as possible because space is limited.
Due to space limitations and worker-to-children ratio objectives, on-site registration will not be accepted. For more information about each of the camps or to register, visit www.sbcannualmeeting.net and click on the “Children/Youth” tab.
Preschool childcare for newborns through 5-year-olds will be available during the SBC Pastors’ Conference and annual meeting. Parents should pay all related fees when registering to insure their child’s participation. The SBC will verify registrations with an emailed confirmation packet, including a parents’ handbook.
Children’s Conferences International will offer the adventure “Christ Who Strengthens Me” for children ages 4-12 during the Pastors’ Conference.
Children in Action Missions Camp, for children who have completed grades one through six by May/June, will be offered June 10-11. The camp theme Gotta Tell It! is designed to challenge children to tell God’s story to people who need to hear it.
“Children attending the Children in Action Missions Camp will learn that they can know God and have a relationship with Him,” said Cindy Bradley, Michigan WMU executive director and camp coordinator.
“In addition to Bible studies, children will visit with missionaries representing both the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board,” Bradley said. “Children will also participate in worship sessions, games and recreation, crafts and mission projects. These Bible study and missions experiences will show children that they are a part of God’s story and have a place in His story.”
Youth on Mission, for students who’ve completed grades seven through 12 by May/June, will be provided June 10-11.
“Youth on Mission will learn that they can know God and have a relationship with Him. They will be encouraged to be bold in telling His story and by serving others. The youth will serve through hands-on missions projects in Baltimore,” said Kristy Carr, National WMU ministry consultant and Youth on Mission coordinator. “Each morning mission studies will be presented by both International Mission Board and North American Mission Board missionaries.”
For additional information about the SBC Annual Meeting in Baltimore, visit www.sbcannualmeeting.net.
Information for this article was compiled from various Baptist Press reports.