By Staff, Baptist Message
WEST MONROE – Louisiana Baptists will celebrate 200 years of ministry as they gather for their annual meeting, Nov. 12-13 at First Baptist Church in West Monroe. Former SBC President Johnny Hunt, pastor of Woodstock (Ga.) Baptist, will serve as one of the keynote speakers.
Hunt, described as a “passionate and powerful speaker” by LBC Communications Director John Kyle, joins two other noted communicators from Louisiana. Waylon Bailey, pastor of First Baptist in Covington as well as LBC president, and Chuck Pourciau pastor of Broadmoor Baptist in Shreveport, also will address messengers – on Monday evening and Tuesday morning respectively.
‘We have much to celebrate and much to communicate,” LBC Executive Director David Hankins said. “Our desire is for people to walk away grateful for what God has done over the last 200 years, and help them understand they are the key to what God wants to do moving forward.”
Highlights on Monday evening include music from LC Voices, a drama with a 200th anniversary focus, a feature spotlighting the ministry of Joseph Willis, challenges from Hankins and Bailey, and a video focusing on the continuing need for spiritual awakening in Louisiana.
The bulk of business and reports are to take place Tuesday, with Pourciau’s message late Tuesday morning, and Hunt’s message coming late that afternoon.
The 2012 annual meeting is to start the weekend of Nov. 10-11, with Crossover activity — door-to-door canvassing – at several of the 46 churches in Northeast Baptist Association’s churches that have a Monroe or West Monroe address. Members of Louisiana Baptist churches outside the area are invited to connect with Monroe-area churches to participate in the evangelistic neighborhood thrusts, said NELBA Evangelism Team Leader Bodie Spicer. Contact him for a list of the churches seeking Crossover partners: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We have been doing Crossover events for quite some time,” said NELBA Director of Missions Jerry Price, listing block parties, a bass tournament, and the Real Encounter powerlifting team as examples. “We felt this [longer time period] would be a way of reaching a larger community of people.
“The opportunities for evangelism are wide open in our area and we need to tap into that,” Price continued. “We want to reach the greatest number of people possible.”
With its “Overcome” theme from John 16:33 and impressive line-up of speakers, the Pastors Conference was designed to meet needs of harried and hurried men of God.
“This scripture was chosen because of its encouraging and hopeful nature,” said Matt Cate, president of the pastors conference and pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Minden. “With all the stresses of ministry, churches plateauing, and baptisms falling, we need to remember that the Lord has already overcome any problem we may encounter. Each speaker was chosen because they have testimonies of how the Lord has enabled them to overcome spiritual and personal obstacles.”
Argile Smith and Gary Frazier are to speak Sunday evening, Nov. 11, at First West. Smith is associate dean of Christian Ministry at Louisiana College. Frazier is founder of Discovery Missions and a teacher/author of End Times prophecy.
LBC Executive Director David Hankins is to speak at 9 a.m. Monday, followed by Richard Gates at 9:50 a.m. Gates is lead ministries pastor at First Baptist Church of West Monroe.
Skip Martin is to speak at 10:45 a.m. He retired as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Shreveport. And after lunch, Fred Luter is to speak at 1 p.m. Luter is pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans and president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Worship at the pastors conference is to be led by recording artist Aaron Watson of Shreveport.
“I pray that pastors will come away encouraged and refreshed in the Lord for this next year,” Cate said. “I pray that they will know the battle is still the Lord’s. And He is always faithful!”
Monday lunch for the first 300 people is to be sponsored by the North American Mission Board, Cate said. Offerings will be taken during the sessions to offset the cost of the pastors conference.
Election of officers for the 2013 pastors conference is to take place just before Fred Luter preaches. This year’s officers in addition to Cate: Roy Davis, pastor of North Shreve Baptist Church in Shreveport is vice president; Wayne Hunt, pastor of Coteau Baptist Church in Houma is secretary; and Josh Adams, pastor of <Big City Church> in <Small Town> is treasurer.
Three gatherings have been set for Monday, Nov. 12:
The LBCEA (formerly LBREA) Christian educators’ luncheon is set for noon in Room A-124-126 at First West. Guest speaker: Steve Layton, minister of education at Brentwood Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn.
The Youth Ministers fellowship is set to follow the close of the evening session of the annual meeting. It is to be in the Transform Center at First West.
The Louisiana College reception is set to follow the close of the evening session of the annual meeting. It is to take place in Room A100-102 at First West.
Four gatherings have been set for Tuesday, Nov. 13:
Bivocational and Smaller Church pastors breakfast is to be at 7 a.m. at Cedar Crest Baptist Church in West Monroe.
Louisiana Baptist Retirees luncheon is to be at noon in Room A-102 at First West.
NOBTS Alumni luncheon is to be at noon in Room A-100 at First West.
SWBTS Alumni luncheon is to be at noon in Room A-124-126 at First West.