Sunday, March 16, 2008

Annual Meeting is an Opportunity to Celebrate

In just a couple of weeks, April 4-5, 2008, we will gather at Fee Fee Baptist Church for the 6th Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri. It seems incredible to me that it has already been six years since the organizational meeting at Fee Fee. The Baptist General Convention of Missouri came into existence because Baptist congregations and individuals across the state had a commitment to cooperation and a commitment to our Baptist heritage. The founders wanted to affirm their commitment to and historic relationships with our Baptist institutions. Most of all we had a commitment to serve churches

Our mission is to serve churches and church leaders as they fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Our vision is to be an organization that gives first priority to serving churches. God has truly blessed the vision that gave birth to this new Baptist family. Every year we have experienced growth in participation and resources, but more importantly we have experience new opportunities for collaboration and partnership. We have built new avenues for serving churches.

Our Great Commission initiatives are Leadership Development, Congregational Health, Church Planting, and Missions Mobilization. It has been exciting to see our teams develop new resources as they seek to serve local congregations. I shared with our Board of Directors a couple of weeks ago at our retreat that I have never served with a more gifted or committed team. It is truly a personal joy for me to serve the Baptist General Convention of Missouri.

I am looking forward to our Annual Meeting. Our convention operates with a fresh paradigm related to our Annual Meeting. We have minimized the business and report sessions, and we emphasize worship and fellowship. This year’s meeting will again feature some outstanding speakers, great preaching and inspiring music and worship. Dr. Scott Harrison, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lee’s Summit, will deliver the annual sermon. Scott is gifted pastor and leader, and he serves one of the great churches in our state. Harlan Spurgeon will share the president’s address. We have been blessed to have Harlan as our leader for the past two years.

We have two special guests coming to preach at this year’s meeting. We have the wonderful privilege of having one of keynote speakers, William J. Shaw, from the New Baptist Covenant Celebration preaching. Earlier this year more than 15,000 Baptists gathered for the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a historic gathering as Baptists from approximately 40 Baptist bodies and conventions participated in one of the most diverse and inspiring gatherings in the history of Baptist life in North America. Dr., Senior Pastor, White Rock Baptist Church in Philadelphia and President of The National Baptist Convention, USA., Inc., will be speaking on Friday afternoon and Friday evening.

William R. O’Brien, Co-Director of BellMitra Associates, Frisco, Texas, will be preaching Friday evening and also on Saturday morning. Bill and his wife, Dellanna O’Brien, former Executive Director of Woman’s Missionary Union, were missionaries to Indonesian. Bill later served as Executive Vice President of the Foreign Mission Board.

The theme for our meeting this year will be Faith in Action: Making the Most of Every Opportunity from Ephesians 5:15-17. Prior to the Friday evening worship we will our have our Annual Missions Banquet and hear reports from our mission partnerships. Gary Snowden, our Missions Mobilization Team Leader, and Jose Samol, President of the Guatemalan Baptist Convention, will be speaking. The cost of the banquet is $15.00, and you may make your reservations online or by calling the convention office. The Annual Meeting will also feature a Christian bookstore and a large exhibit area at the church. I hope you will make plans to join us for a time of celebration and worship.

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