Black network theme: 'The Father's Business'
By Diana Chandler
Apr 27, 2012


NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- The Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network will focus on "The Father's Business" and issue its annual awards June 17 in conjunction with the 2012 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in New Orleans.

The network's theme, drawn from Luke 2:49, is aimed to encourage its members as vital servants in Kingdom building, network President Willie McLaurin said.

"Everyone who is engaged in the Father's business is ... significant," said McLaurin, strategist for leadership development/seminary extension with Tennessee Baptist Convention. "I really want to remind our network that our journey is not a journey to find significance."

The group's June 17 meeting, from 25:30 p.m., will be at Suburban Baptist Church, 10501 Chef Menteur Hwy., with Jeffery Friend as host pastor.

"The Father has chosen each of us for such a time as this to transact business on His behalf," McLaurin said in reference to the focus of his scheduled presidential address. The Holy Spirit has authorized, endowed and entrusted the network members to conduct the Father's business of spreading the Gospel, McLaurin said.

The network will honor several Southern Baptist Convention servants, presenting the awards at both the network meeting and the June 19 National African American Fellowship banquet.

Jay Wells, director of African American ministries in LifeWay Christian Resources' church resources division, will receive the Sid Smith Denominational Leadership Award, given in honor of the network's late founder.

Robert Anderson and Dexter Hardy will receive Denominational Appreciation Awards. Anderson is pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, Md., and a member of the SBC Executive Committee; Hardy is an African American church starter strategist with the Baptist State Convention of Michigan in Fenton.

Ken Weathersby, North American Mission Board presidential ambassador for ethnic church relations, will receive the Kennedy-Boyce Award, named for the pastors of the first two African American churches to join the SBC in 1953.

McLaurin said he hopes the network's June fellowship will give members an opportunity to reenergize and reconnect in advance of the annual Black Church Leadership and Family Conference in July at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina.
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Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' staff writer.

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