The Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists will honor its founding generation and reach out to a new generation of lost souls as it convenes for a 50th anniversary celebration June 6-9 in Indianapolis, immediately prior to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
INDIANAPOLIS (BP) – The Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists will honor its founding generation and reach out to a new generation of lost souls as it convenes for a 50th anniversary celebration June 6-9 in Indianapolis, immediately prior to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The group will honor the first group of inductees of the COSBE Hall of Faith – recognizing vocational evangelists who have dedicated years of service to the task of soul-winning. Their meeting will conclude with a high-energy youth evangelism event called “ONE: One night … one purpose.”
The annual evangelists’ gathering, with “Running the Race” as the theme, will open June 6 with an evening banquet in the Crowne Plaza Hotel’s Illinois Street Ballroom, honoring the first class of Hall of Faith inductees, said Brian Fossett, president of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists.
Johnny Hunt, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., and a COSBE pastor adviser, will be the featured speaker.
Thirty evangelists will be recognized, ranging from legendary figures like Vance Havner, Hyman Appelman and Billy Graham to active evangelists like Junior Hill, Freddie Gage and Jay Strack.
The evangelists’ annual retreat, Saturday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, will feature evangelists Tony Nolan, Jamey Ragle and Junior Hill preaching and Cliff Barrows of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association leading music and a breakout session. Saturday’s activities will conclude with group members participating in Crossover, the citywide evangelistic outreach conducted each year prior to the SBC meeting.
The evangelists’ Sunday morning worship service will begin at 9 a.m. June 8, in the Convention Center’s Ballrooms 4/5. In addition to music led by Barrows and sermons from Nolan, Ragle and Hill, the program will feature special music by Newsong and a testimony by Sammy Gilbreath, director of evangelism for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.
That evening, the evangelists will host “ONE,” a youth evangelism event geared toward reaching lost young people in Indiana.
“Newsong will be in concert and Jamey Ragle will do some comedy and Tony Nolan will bring an evangelistic message,” Fossett said. “We hope to see 300 to 500 young people saved at that time.”
The youth event also is to take place in the convention center’s Sagamore Ballrooms 4/5.
The evangelists’ retreat will be extended to include a 9 p.m. Sunday reception in the Sagamore Ballroom 6 following the closing session of the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference.
“In honor of COSBE’s 50th anniversary, we are going to have a reception for everybody attending the SBC,” Fossett said. “It will be a great opportunity for pastors and evangelists to meet and get acquainted. We hope it will help facilitate relationships that will encourage pastors to invite vocational evangelists to lead harvest evangelism events in their churches.”
The Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists has developed a resource manual to help pastors plan evangelistic events for their congregations, engaging spiritually gifted vocational evangelists to conduct the services.
The annual COSBE business meeting is to take place 11:30 a.m. Monday in the Crowne Plaza Hotel’s Illinois Street Ballroom.