Hardy Estes, whose sermon at last year’s LBC annual meeting infused the event with new life, is to be one of several guest speakers Sept. 19-20 at a gathering here for bivocational and smaller-church pastors.
DRY CREEK – Hardy Estes, whose sermon at last year’s LBC annual meeting infused the event with new life, is to be one of several guest speakers Sept. 19-20 at a gathering here for bivocational and smaller-church pastors.
The LBC’s Information Services department says last year’s ACP information shows 1,397 smaller churches – fewer than 125 average attendance in Sunday morning worship – in the state.
It’s a Building Relationships Pastors’ Retreat, said Gary Mitchell, event organizer and smaller-church strategist on the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s Pastoral Leadership Team.
“This is to help bivocational and smaller-church pastors to reach out and touch – or be touched by – someone,” Mitchell said. “Probably the complaint most often heard from smaller church pastors is there are too few events planned for the smaller church [and] this event has been planned by smaller church pastors themselves. This event is just for you and your spouse. Good preaching! Good Singing! Good Fellowship! Casual Dress – jeans are fine.
“If you like this event, we will sponsor more in different areas of our state for next year,” Mitchell continued. “You may want to plan the next one.”
The Building Relationships Pastors Retreat starts with registration at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at Dry Creek Baptist Camp, and concludes several speakers and worship times later with lunch at noon Saturday. No accommodation has been made for children.
“We want this to be a time of refreshing for you and your wife,” Mitchell said. “She’s probably busier than you are, so if you’re thinking you are too busy to get away, think again: Your wife needs this!”
The Willis Family from DeRidder is to open the after-supper session Friday. Hardy Estes, bivocational pastor of Marlow Baptist Church in Pitkin, Beauregard Association, earns a living house-painting and Sheetrocking. He’s to be the evening’s first speaker.
After a second time of worship by the Country Gospel singing Willis Family, Step Martin, long-time pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Shreveport as well as a frequent evangelist across the nation, is to be Friday evening’s second speaker.
Fellowship and refreshments are to round out the evening’s activities.
It all starts again with breakfast at 7 a.m. – biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls and much more; this camp is known for its “good cookin’” – and the first gathering at 8 a.m.
That’s when the now-deceased SBC Superpastor Adrian Rogers via video will explain “What every pastor ought to know.” The Slaughter Family will lead in a time of musical worship before Buddy Airhart, from the Vernon Baptist Association, speaks.
Keith Manuel, associate in LBC’s Evangelism/Church Growth Team, will lead in a breakout session on the new One on One Evangelism. At the same time, Linda Gill, frequent women’s conference leader and pastor’s wife of Unity Baptist in DeRidder, is to lead a pastor’s wives roundtable discussion.
The Slaughter Family is to bring an additional round of music at 10 a.m. Jason Hoychick of Mt. Olive Baptist Association, and Francis LaRocque of Carey Baptist Association, will speak next, followed by Bill Robertson, LBC pastoral ministries director, showing a video of scenes from last spring’s Jena Revival.
Bivocational Pastor James Greer of Pineville, who was the very first president of the Southern Baptist Bivocational Minister’s Association and the first president of the Louisiana Baptist Bivocational Minister’s Association, is to be the final speaker of the Building Relationships Pastors’ Retreat.
In addition to guest speakers, worship leaders, LBC staff and bivocational/smaller-church pastors and their wives from across Louisiana, representatives will be on hand from LifeWay Christian Resources, GuideOne Insurance, and Tatum’s Clothing.
Cost for the three-meal event ranges from $24 to $96, depending on variables: single or couple; commuter, camper/RV, dorm or Whitehouse lodging. Scholarships are available by contacting Gary Mitchell at 318.446.3844.
“This event is for every bivocational pastor in the state, every smaller-church pastor in the state,” Mitchell said. “Cooperative Program dollars from churches across Louisiana – including your church! – have made this event possible. Honor their giving with your presence.
“This event has been planned for the smaller church pastor, by pastors of smaller churches – those with 125 or fewer in average worship attendance,” Mitchell continued. “It’s not meant to teach. The goal is to build relationships and to share ideas with each other.”
Registration for the Building Relationships Pastors Retreat is by telephone only to Dry Creek Baptist Camp: 337.328.7531.