August 1, 2014
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2014: SBC Annual Meeting Preview
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Luter reflects on presidency, remains hopeful for future
NEW ORLEANS (BP) - On the cusp of completing his two-year presidential tenure as the first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention, pastor Fred Luter sat down for a question-and-answer session with the Baptist Message, the newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. "My prayer and hope is that this diversity will continue once my term ends at the Baltimore convention," Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans. "I truly feel strongly that it will." President Luter's answers to Baptist Message questions MESSAGE: Would you reflect on being president of the Southern Baptist Convention for the past two years? LUTER: It has truly been overwhelming to serve in such a position. On one hand, you are doing your best to visit as many churches, associations, state conventions, seminaries, colleges and entities as your time and schedule permit. On the other hand, you are getting phone calls, emails, texts from people all across the country making all kinds of requests from book endorsements, writing letters for all types of events, to media requests for interviews on current events happening in our country as well as throughout the world. Then, to add to that I have to still maintain my most important roles as a husband, father and pastor. Whew! MESSAGE: What do you think you were able to accomplish during your time as president? LUTER: I have been truly proud to visit a lot of smaller churches, associations and conventions where it is the very first time an SBC president has been there. I also think I was able to accomplish more diversity in meetings across the country and our convention. There is more participation from ethnic groups getting involved in the SBC. Finally, I believe I was able to remind our churches and convention of how important revival and prayer are to us carrying out the Great Commission. MESSAGE: What were the greatest challenges you faced during your terms? LUTER: My greatest challenge was trying to accommodate all of the requests for speaking engagements. I could have used at least three more of me the past two years. MESSAGE: In your opinion, what is the state of the SBC at this time? LUTER: I believe the state of our convention is good; however there is a saying that goes, "We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go." We as a convention have to address our declining numbers in church attendance, baptism, reaching our young people and CP giving. Until we can do better in those areas there will always be room for improvement. That is why revival and prayer are so critical at this time. MESSAGE: Does the Cooperative Program remain strong and viable today? How do you see the CP's future shaping up? LUTER: The Cooperative Program is not only viable but also critical to this convention if we are going to impact our world with the Gospel. Because of our CP giving we are able to put missionaries all over the world to share the Gospel with unreached people groups.
Greens, Abedini to be honored at SBC meeting
The Greens "rightly recognize that the government is not lord of the conscience."
-- Russell D. Moore
NASHVILLE (BP) -- The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will honor at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting a family and a prisoner who are demonstrating faithfulness to Christ in the face of governmental pressure.
CP, baptisms for SBC nominees' churches
BALTIMORE (BP) -- The churches of three nominees for SBC president reflect much of the uniqueness of the Southern Baptist Convention, including their giving through the Cooperative Program, baptisms and other facets of church life.
Great Commission Advance to beckon Baptists to 'do more'
BALTIMORE (BP) -- SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page will issue a challenge to Southern Baptists at the SBC annual meeting to "do more" to reach the world with the Gospel.
Page will set forth his vision for Great Commission Advance, an initiative to increase missions involvement among individuals and churches, during his report to the convention on Tuesday afternoon, June 10, in Baltimore. C. Ashley Clayton, EC vice president for Cooperative Program and stewardship, told SBC LIFE, journal of the Executive Committee, "In its most condensed and basic form, Great Commission Advance calls for Southern Baptists to simply 'do more.'" Page will call on all Southern Baptists -- individuals, families and churches -- to sacrificially do more to advance the Great Commission "so that every person has the opportunity to hear the Gospel," Clayton said. Page told SBC LIFE that "doing more" in the area of personal stewardship is essential to missions involvement. He will urge Southern Baptists to commit to establishing a biblical standard of giving and generosity. Page also will encourage Southern Baptists to participate in missions at the local, state, national and international levels. For some, "doing more" may mean surrendering to God's call to vocational ministry as a pastor, chaplain, church planter or international missionary, he said. In addition, Page will challenge churches to increase their level of support through the Cooperative Program for Southern Baptist missions and ministries. Since being elected EC president in 2010, Page has emphasized that the Cooperative Program is about missions and ministries, not numbers and percentages, Clayton said. Southern Baptist missions and ministries at the state, national and international levels are fueled by the Cooperative Program. Ministries like disaster relief, international missions, church planting, collegiate ministry, theological education, care for neglected children and moral advocacy are supported by dollars contributed through the Cooperative Program, he said. One of the primary objectives of Great Commission Advance is to address the decline in Cooperative Program giving over the past two decades, Clayton said. In 1982, churches were giving an average of 10.7 percent of their undesignated receipts to cooperative missions and ministries through the Cooperative Program. That number has dropped to 5.4 percent, declining by an average of about 0.2 percent each year. In 2012, the average percent of churches' Cooperative Program giving held steady for the first time since the 1990s and slightly ticked upward.
Wells up for 13th term as registration sec'y
BALTIMORE (BP) -- Jim Wells of the Missouri Baptist Convention will be nominated for a 13th term as registration secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention at the June 10-11 annual meeting in Baltimore.
Dennis Manpoong Kim Q&A for SBC president
BALTIMORE (BP) -- Maryland pastor Dennis Manpoong Kim, one of three people to be nominated for SBC president in June, responded to six questions Baptist Press posed to each candidate.
Cooperative Program to anchor SBC exhibits
BALTIMORE (BP) -- The Cooperative Program exhibit at the SBC annual meeting in Baltimore will feature a diversity of speakers reflecting the multifaceted ministries the CP funds, said Ashley Clayton, SBC vice president for the Cooperative Program and stewardship development.
Ronnie Floyd Q&A for SBC president
BALTIMORE (BP) -- Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd, as one of three pastors to be nominated for SBC president in June, responded to six questions Baptist Press posed to each candidate.
Jared Moore Q&A for SBC president
BALTIMORE (BP) -- Kentucky pastor Jared Moore, as one of three pastors to be nominated for SBC president in June, responded to six questions Baptist Press posed to each candidate.
SBC Credentials Committee named
Tellers Committee named for SBC
Korean pastor is 3rd SBC president nominee
NASHVILLE (BP) -- Dennis Manpoong Kim, pastor of Global Mission Church of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, Md., will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the June 10-11 SBC annual meeting in Baltimore, Texas pastor Dwight McKissic announced yesterday (May 20).
SBC Credentials Committee named
Tellers Committee named for SBC
Lives transformed by Christ through 25 years of Crossover
NASHVILLE (BP) -- For the past 25 years, Southern Baptists have begun each annual meeting by celebrating hundreds -- sometimes thousands -- of new souls won for Christ.
This celebration is the result of Crossover, the evangelistic outreach initiative preceding the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Each year, North American Mission Board partners with state conventions, associations and local churches to saturate the host city of the Convention with evangelistic events. Volunteers from across the country arrive in the city a few days prior to the annual convention to participate alongside local church members. Last year, Crossover Houston marked the 25th year of outreach.
In 1983, when messengers approved Las Vegas as the 1989 SBC annual meeting site, they adopted a recommendation to add "a strong evangelistic emphasis in connection with the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1989." The week prior to the Convention's annual meeting in Las Vegas, more than two thousand volunteers participated in door-to-door witnessing campaigns and revival services. They visited more than 100,000 homes and led approximately 470 people to Christ. The following year, the SBC Home Mission Board (now NAMB) planned a second evangelistic event to coincide with the SBC annual meeting. The annual saturation evangelism initiative became known as Crossover in 1991, when then-SBC president Morris H. Chapman worked with the HMB to expand the one-day outreach into a full week. Crossover Atlanta that year involved door-to-door witnessing, serving meals to the homeless, street evangelism, and prayer throughout the city. The event saw 333 decisions for Christ. The name "Crossover" was inspired by an evangelism conference in Australia where Chapman spoke in 1987. The theme of the conference was "Crossover Australia." In an interview with SBC LIFE, Chapman recalled being struck by the dual meaning of the name.

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