2014 SBC Baltimore: Revival, Prayer the Focus of Annual Meeting; Fred Luter Prepares to Wrap Up 2nd Term

Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter delivers his presidential sermon at the 2013 SBC Annual Meeting in Houston. (BP file photo by Thomas Graham)
Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter delivers his presidential sermon at the 2013 SBC Annual Meeting in Houston. (BP file photo by Thomas Graham)

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.

Crossover Baltimore
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 cindycrossoverbaltimore2014@gmail.com or 443-219-2543.

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Shawn Hendricks

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