By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor
[img_assist|nid=7695|title=It's Time|desc=LBC President Rod Masteller, pastor of Summer Grove Baptist Church in Shreveport, will preside over his final annual meeting Nov. 14-15 at First Baptist Church of Covington.|link=none|align=left|width=425|height=640]COVINGTON – The countdown has begun. “It’s time,” the theme of the 2011 annual meeting of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, sets the stage for “Awaken 2012.”
The scriptural foundation: Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up …. – Romans 13:11 NLT.
“God is doing great work here amongst Louisiana Baptists, and the time is right for a spiritual awakening,” said LBC President Rod Masteller, pastor of Summer Grove Baptist Church in Shreveport. He has traveled across the state several times during the two years he has served as president. “I have sensed a true desperation for God among those pastors and directors of missions … something I’ve never sensed before.”
The annual meeting is set for Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 14-15, starting at 5:15 p.m. Monday at First Baptist Church of Covington, where Waylon Bailey is pastor. The LBC annual Pastors Conference is to take place Sunday evening and earlier in the day Monday at First Covington.
A 30-minute mini-concert opens the annual meeting at 5:15 p.m. Monday, featuring the NOBTS Chapel Band, Ronald Laitano, Crescent City Praise Choir, Benjamin Harlan, Jennifer Hoover and Nick Weaver.
Greg Woodward, chair of the division of church music ministries at NOBTS, is to lead worship during the three sessions of the annual meeting. Craig Price, associate dean of online learning at NOBTS, is to lead in a Bible study at each of the three. Following the introduction of motions and the report of the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries, a Solemn Assembly is to take place during the Monday evening session. Louisiana College and its president, Joe Aguillard, are to focus on “It’s time – to Remember.”
David Hankins, LBC’s executive director, is to speak on “It’s time – to Awaken,” followed by Masteller on “It’s time – to Respond.”
“It is my prayer the Holy Spirit will grab people and people will fall on their face, praying to God, and God will begin to move,” Masteller said. See article on page 10 for more of the LBC President’s thinking on the Solemn Assembly.
The Tuesday morning session is to begin at 8:20 a.m. with praise and worship led by Woodward. Before the annual convention sermon is preached by Dustie Dunn, pastor of First Baptist Church of Vivian, several reports are to be given:
Committee on Order of Business, CrossOver, WMU, Baptist Message, Committee on Nominations, Committee on Committees, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Executive Board, Foundation, and the Moral and Social Concerns Committee.
The election of the convention president is to take place at 9:40 a.m. Tuesday, and that of the vice president, at 10:40 a.m. Tuesday.
Following a break for lunch – several groups plan fellowship luncheons – the 2011 annual meeting will reconvene at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday with praise and worship led by Woodward and Jason Brooks, worship leader at First Covington.
Reports during this session are to include those from Southern Baptist seminaries, LBC Missions and Ministries team, Resolutions Committee, SBC Executive Committee, International Mission Board, LBC History Committee, and the Pastoral Leadership team.
Among business items, election of a second vice president is to take place, new ministers, retirees and officers are to be introduced and outgoing officers recognized.
Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, a Dallas suburb, is to preach at 4 p.m.
A “meet and greet” pastors reception is to begin at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, in the fellowship hall at First Covington. Worship begins at 6 p.m., led by Sam Perry and the LIVE Band from East Bayou Baptist Church in Lafayette.[img_assist|nid=7696|title=Pastor's Conference|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=356]
Michael Catt, pastor of Sherwood Baptist church in Albany, Ga., is to be guest speaker at the Monday evening session of the annual Pastors Conference, which has “Fill My Heart” as its theme, and Nehemiah 2:12 as its scriptural underpinning: “… What my God has put in my heart to do ….”
Catt is senior pastor – since 1989 – of the church that produced Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof and its latest: Courageous. The church has 3,000 members and averages 100 baptisms each year.
Sherwood Albany has changed from being a neighborhood church to a regional, multi-ethnic congregation that stretches out to include people from 29 communities across southern Georgia.
Catt plans to respond to questions after he preaches.
The Pastors Conference has been designed to lead men to God’s vision for the churches they pastor, said Mike Walker, pastor’s conference president and pastor of East Bayou Lafayette.
“I believe when pastors have a vision, it drives the passion for reaching people with the gospel,” Walker said. “Nehemiah accomplished an incredible task because God burned a vision in his heart. At this year’s Pastors Conference, I’m praying God will burn a fresh vision in all our hearts.”
Each of the speakers was selected to touch at least one segment of pastors in Louisiana, Walker said.
Michael Catt, for example, ministers in a town the size of Alexandria, and he is reaching the entire nation – changing for the better people and family relationships across North America.
The only other out-of-state speaker is to be Mike Fritscher, pastor of Cottonwood Baptist Church in Dublin, Texas.
A New Orleans native, in 1985 Fritscher began pastoring a small, rural church when he was a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
Cottonwood Dublin remains a rural church, but today, about 900 people participate in Sunday morning worship services. Pastors of Louisiana’s many rural churches will be able to relate to Fritscher, Walker said.
“Big church” pastors will be able to relate to Fred Luter Jr., pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans. Pastors with a heart for international missions will be able to relate to Dennis Watson, pastor of Celebration Church in Metairie.
Pastors who are church planters or who are sponsoring church plants will be able to relate with Tony Bourque, pastor of the fast-growing Waters Edge Church in Lake Charles.
“What I want our Louisiana pastors to do is to say, ‘Hey, these guys are doing it!’,” Walker said. “My desire is to see our Pastors Conference encourage, inspire and challenge all of our ministers to a greater vision than they currently possess.”
After Sunday evening’s preaching by Michael Catt of Sherwood Albany, the Pastors Conference picks up again at 8:45 a.m. Monday, Nov. 14 with worship led by Sam Perry and the East Bayou LIVE Band.
David Hankins, LBC executive director, is to speak at 9 a.m. on “Fill my heart for Louisiana.”
Dennis Watson, pastor of Celebration Church in Metairie, is to speak on “Fill my heart for the world.” Mike Fritscher, pastor of Cottonwood Baptist Church in Dublin, Texas, is to speak on “Fill my heart for the rural.”
Lunch has been set for 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Monday, when worship is to be followed by an election of officers for the 2012 Pastors Conference.
Tony Bourque, pastor of Water’s Edge Church in Lake Charles, is to speak at 1:10 p.m. on “Fill my heart for church planting.” Fred Luter Jr., pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, is to close out the Pastors Conference at 1:55 p.m. with his talk on “Fill my heart for the City.”
“I firmly believe this Pastors Conference emphasis coupled with our LBC ‘It’s Time’ theme is providential,” Walker said. “Together they will ignite a mighty move of God’s Holy Spirit across our state that should impact all LBC churches.”