Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The SBC in Indy

We are attending the Southern Baptist Convention at Indianapolis. They had expected 10,000 messengers, but there are only 7,250 here. I imagine the gas prices and the location being north of the Mason-Dixon line hurt the attendance. The crowd looks good, though, since the size of the convention hall is just right for the size crowd. The facilities are very nice. The weather temperatures are mild, in the 70's and 80's.
The convention elected Johnny Hunt, pastor of FBC Woodstock, Georgia, as convention president. He got about 3,100 votes, followed by Frank Cox of Lawrenceville, Georgia with about 1,286 votes, then Avery Willis (former missionary and author of MasterLife) who got 962 votes, then 255 for Bill Wagner, 188 for Les Puryear, and 45 for Wiley Drake (the man who got Southern Baptists to Boycott Disney-- I guess voters were punishing him).
For first V.P, Bill Henard, former president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, got 1,748 votes, then John Connell of Calvary in Savannah got 377 votes, then Chris Camden got 224 votes, so Henard was elected. I did not hear the election results yet for 2nd V.P.
We heard the Gaither vocal band Tuesday morning, and Tuesday night we heard Mark Harris, former lead singer of 4HIM. The music was wonderful. The North American Mission Board report Tuesday night was very inspiring. They are introducing a new National Evangelism Initiative called GPS (God's Plan for Sharing) that will last until the year 2020 and focuses on getting people to pray for the lost, then engage the lost, then sow down the nation with the gospel, then harvest souls. They have a really good TV spot available to churches for free. You can see it at
We saw a lot of old friends in the exhibit area and around the convention, including friends we knew from our days at Mississippi College: Robin Jumper who teaches at the Baptist College of Florida, and Nathan Cothen who is pastor of Calvary Baptist in Beaumont, Texas. I saw several friends from around the country who serve with the North American Mission Board, and a few Georgia pastors. We had interesting conversations with fellow Baptists that we met, including a young couple planting a new church in Virginia and a young couple planting a new church in Florida. We enjoyed meeting Tommy Fountain from north Georgia, who told us he knows our minister of music.
It has been a very enjoyable convention. While we are far from perfect, it is great to see all of the ministry done by Southern Baptists, and to see old friends and make new ones.

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