Messengers from SBC churches will be headed south to Orlando for the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 15th-16th. I have been able to attend several of these meetings and really enjoy them. However, I have missed the last three (San Antonio, Indianapolis, and Louisville). One highlight of the trip is the Pastors Conference on the front end of the meeting. This conference is a great opportunity to sit, relax, and decompress while listening to some of the nation’s greatest preaching and teaching. Pastors rarely have the opportunity to sit and be “preached to”. This conference allows for a recharging and re-energizing. The theme for this year’s conference is “Greater Things”. You can view the schedule of speakers here. In my opinion, this is the best line-up of speakers in recent memory.
The annual meeting itself is a mixture of business, music, and preaching. The business sessions include the election of officers, offering of resolutions, agency and entity reports, and miscellaneous business items. There is really no way to know what the messengers will be voting on. Motions can be offered on most anything, and usually are. This year, there is one item of business the messengers know they will be voting on. The recommendations from the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force will be presented for approval.
This year is an election year. Messengers will electing a new president. As of today, there are four candidates in the race. Recently all four candidates were asked a series of questions about their candidacy covering subjects such as SBC vision, future challenges, the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, and the Cooperative Program. Here is a brief description of the four.
1. Dr. Bryant Wright: Dr. Wright is the Senior Pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, GA. You can read his interview here.
2. Dr. Jimmy Jackson: Dr. Jackson is the Senior Pastor of Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL and the president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention. You can read his interview here.
3. Dr. Ted Traylor: Traylor is the Senior Pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL and is a former president of the Florida Baptist Convention. You can read his interview here.
4. Dr. Leo Endel: Endel is the Executive Director of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention and a former president of the Baptist Convention of Iowa. You can read his interview here.
As of today, I am planning to vote for Ted Traylor. I was a Florida Baptist for eleven years. Dr. Traylor gave solid leadership to the state convention and I believe he will lead well at the SBC level. This year’s meeting will be eventful and meaningful. It is also a meeting that will set the course of our convention for years to come.