SBC BALTIMORE: Luter ready for revival through prayer
BALTIMORE (BP) -- With a desire to keep the focus on the power of revival and prayer, Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter expressed excitement about this year's SBC annual meeting June 10-11 in Baltimore. Messengers also will elect a new president as Luter wraps up his second term.
Pointing to the annual meeting theme "Restoration and Revival through Prayer," Luter noted the return of a Tuesday evening revival service -- similar in style to last year's -- that has drawn positive feedback from participants.
"I wanted to again stay with the theme revival, but let's undergird it with prayer," Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, told Baptist Press. "Last year in Houston ... it was phenomenally successful. It was standing room only.... All we had was music and preaching.
"That was something that we thought went so well that we wanted to do that again. [On that Tuesday evening,] we just come for worship and the word. That's it. No business will be conducted."
Luter selected the theme verse Psalm 80:18-19: "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).
As the first-ever African American to lead the SBC when he was elected in 2012, Luter will give his last message to the convention as SBC president June 10. Luter also will address Southern Baptist associational leaders June 6 at a banquet at the Inner Harbor Holiday Inn. Tickets are still available by going to http://www.sbcal.org/.
Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd will be nominated for SBC president by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. Floyd's nomination for president is the only one that has been announced so far for this year's meeting.
Floyd has led Cross Church in northwest Arkansas -- with campuses in Springdale, Rogers and Fayetteville -- for 27 years.
Floyd led the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force for the SBC in 2009-10. The task force report called for international missions to receive 51 percent of all Cooperative Program gifts. Last year, Cross Church contributed more than $700,000 to the Cooperative Program, Mohler noted in his a letter announcing Floyd's nomination.
Floyd is a former chairman of the SBC Executive Committee and was a member of the SBC's Program and Structure Task Force during the mid-1990s. In recent months, Floyd helped spearhead two pastor/leader prayer gatherings -- one in Atlanta and the other in Ft. Worth. Each drew participants from about 30 states. In addition to serving as general editor for LifeWay's updated "Bible Studies for Life," Floyd has authored 10 books. His latest book, which was released in 2011, is "Our Last Great Hope: Awakening the Great Commission."
Two other nominees for SBC offices have been announced:
-- Clint Pressley, senior pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., will be nominated by Ted Traylor, senior pastor of Olive Baptist Church, Pensacola, for the office of first vice president. Pressley serves as vice president of the SBC Pastor's Conference and is a former vice chairman of the trustees for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
-- Hance Dilbeck, senior pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, will be nominated for the office of second vice president by former SBC president Johnny Hunt. Dilbeck has led the 4,600-member church since 2003 and has been a pastor for more than 20 years.
The Baltimore Baptist Association, the North American Mission Board, local churches, associations and other volunteers are working closely as they gear up for this year's Crossover Baltimore.
The outreach -- with its block parties and door-to-door evangelism efforts -- joins Baptists together in evangelism in the host city of the annual meeting.
"Our churches are excited about the unique opportunity to share Christ with our city that Crossover will bring," Bob Mackey, executive director of the Baltimore Baptist Association, said in a March 10 article released by Baptist Press.
"Baltimore is not like a lot of other places in the country," Mackey said. "We're not in a predominantly Christian region of the country; we don't have a church on every corner or throngs of people actively seeking out Christianity. Our hope is that, through the partnership of others in the SBC, Crossover will represent Christ to the people of Baltimore and our region and lay a greater foundation for our local churches."
Baltimore is one of NAMB's key 32 cities in the Send North America strategy to plant more churches in the largest and least-reached cities in North America. Some of the Crossover Baltimore projects will directly benefit local church plants in the city.
For more information on Crossover Baltimore, visit www.namb.net/crossover and http://embracebaltimore.com/crossover/. Or, contact Cindy Irizarry, director of mobilization and logistics at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-219-2543.
Qualifications for churches
The Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee will consider a proposal June 9 to update the SBC constitution regarding qualifications for churches to send messengers to the annual meeting.
During its Feb. 17-18 meeting in Nashville, the Executive Committee decided to place the item on its June 9 agenda prior to the SBC annual meeting in Baltimore to allow Southern Baptists time to discuss the proposed change and provide feedback. The committee's deliberations, then, will determine whether the proposed revision will be presented to messengers during the annual meeting. Read more about the proposal here and here.
SBC smartphone app
Messengers to the annual meeting once again can stay up to date with an SBC annual meeting smartphone app, which will include more than a dozen features, including maps, alerts, the Book of Reports and the Daily Bulletin. More information will be available about the app in the weeks ahead.
-- With the theme "Show Us Your glory," the June 8-9 Pastors' Conference will welcome pastors and their wives for a two-day event of preaching, worship and prayer. The sessions will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center.
Southern Baptist Pastors' Conference President Bruce Frank has said he chose speakers who "have a heart to pour into pastors."
The Pastors' Conference is free and requires no registration. To learn more about this year's schedule, sponsors and theme, visit sbcpc.net.
Childcare for children ages birth through 12 years will be offered during all Pastors' Conference sessions. Children ages 4-12 may register for a conference provided by Children's Conferences International. Register at www.childrensconferences.com. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief childcare volunteers will offer childcare for newborns through age 5 during the Pastors' Conference.
-- During its fourth annual Send North America luncheon, the North American Mission Board will once again highlight its partnership with Southern Baptists to push back lostness throughout North America. The event will be held at noon Monday, June 9, in the Ballroom on Level 400 of the Baltimore Convention Center. There is limited seating for this free Baltimore-themed lunch. Attendees must register and have a ticket to attend. Tickets are available at snaluncheon.com.
-- With the theme "Go Forward," the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting will take place June 8–9 in Baltimore. WMU will wrap up a yearlong celebration of its 125th anniversary. "What better place ... than the home of Annie Armstrong!" Debby Akerman, president of national WMU, said in reference to Baltimore and Armstrong, who was instrumental in the missions organization's founding in 1888 and was its first corresponding secretary. This year's Woman's Missionary Union celebration will feature a joint commissioning service (June 8) of about 100 new field personnel representing the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board.
-- With the theme, "No Fear. No Excuses. He is Able" from 2 Timothy 1:12, the Ministers' Wives' Luncheon will be held June 10 in the Key Ballroom at the Hilton Baltimore. The event will feature Priscilla Shirer, author of several books, including "One in a Million," "The Resolution for Women" and most recently "God is Able." Advance tickets are $15 at LifeWay.com/sbcwives; $20 at the door.
-- The National African American Fellowship will celebrate its 20th anniversary June 7-9 at the Baltimore Convention Center. The fellowship is working to establish a partnership with the North American Mission Board to plant churches. It would focus on utilizing models that are culturally relevant and raising money to fund church plants.
-- Two weeks following the SBC's annual meeting, the Korean Council of Southern Baptist Churches in America will hold its 35th annual meeting June 23-26 at the Hilton Washington Dulles hotel. The meeting is expected to draw 800 or more attendees.
-- GuideStone Financial Resources will again offer a wellness center during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Messengers can visit the exhibit hall in Baltimore to take advantage of the wellness center's services, valued at $150. GuideStone will offer retirement and insurance meetings during the SBC annual meeting and Pastors' Conference June 9-11.
Register online at www.sbcannualmeeting.net under the Messengers tab. After completing online registration, each messenger will receive an eight-digit registration code to present at the annual meeting's Express registration lane. There, the registration code can be entered into a computer and a nametag will be printed. The traditional registration method also will be available.
Messengers planning to propose resolutions must submit them no later than 15 days prior to the annual meeting. Detailed guidelines on submitting resolutions are available at www.sbcannualmeeting.net under the Messengers tab. Resolutions may be submitted online but must be followed up by a letter of credentials from the submitter's church.
Children & students
Preschool child care and activities for children who have completed grades 1-6 will be housed at the Baltimore Convention Center, the annual meeting site. Youth who have completed grades 7-12 will begin their days at the convention center with worship before going into the community for hands-on missions work.
Pre-registration is required online at www.sbcannualmeeting.net under the "Children/Youth" tab. All participants should register as soon as possible because of limited space. Due to space limitations and worker-to-children ratio objectives, onsite registration will not be accepted.
To read more about child care options offered during the SBC Pastors' Conference and annual meeting click here.
Shawn Hendricks, managing editor of Baptist Press, wrote and compiled this story. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).