News From The Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting

Our church belongs to the Southern Baptist Convention of about 40,000 churches across the country.  If you are new to our church or don’t know much about the SBC, these news tidbits will give you some insight.  You’ll likely have questions so please ask any time.

The SBC’s unofficial, Phoenix registration of messengers was 5,018, down from 7,321 last year.  Read the story here.

The Pastors’ Conference always kicks off the conference.  Sunday and Monday were filled with 12 expository sermons through the book of Philippians all by pastors from smaller and average size churches.  Keith and Kristyn Getty lead the worship music parts.  Read the story here.

Pastor Steve Gaines of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN was reelected to his second year as president leading a diverse slate of officers.  It is encouraging to see our convention embracing leaders from different ethnic groups and younger generations.  Read the story here.

The International Mission Board has reached financially stability, IMB President David Platt told the entity’s trustees after more than $250 million has been given from Southern Baptist churches for the spread of the Gospel among the nations.  Thirty one missionaries were appointed.  Read the story here.

The National African American Fellowship (NAAF) is a 4,000-church strong organization of black SBC churches which seeks to bring more black churches into the SBC and promote those pastors into positions of leadership within the convention.  This is a result of convention actions in recent past years to embrace greater ethnic diversity.  Thank God for the gospel’s work to transform His people to truly love their neighbors.  Yes, there is still more work to be done but good work is being done.  Read more here.

The National Hispanic Baptist Fellowship is an organization of SBC Hispanic churches that encourages participation of Latino churches and the planting of new congregations.  Augusto Valverde, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Nuevo Amanecer in Miami, was elected as the fellowship’s new president. Valverde served as NHBF president from 2002-2004 and again in 2006.  In 2013-2014 58% of new churches planted in the SBC were non-Caucasian ethnicities.  Read more here.

Pastor Greg Laurie and Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Riverside, California join the Southern Baptist Convention.  I love Pastor Greg though I’ve never met him.  He is a champion of the gospel.  Read the story here.

There was a protest by an LGBT advocacy group.  About 10-15 people handed out fliers to convention goers asking the SBC to remove homosexuality from their list of sins.  Pastor James Merritt from Georgia said he thought it was a blessing from God that they chose to come because it gave many Christians the opportunity to speak peacefully and lovingly with them.  He added, “They really were respectful. They have a right to be here.”  Read more here.

Convention messengers voted to pass resolutions on some important matters.  This means that church members representing their churches spoke officially as the voice of the SBC to say, among other things, the following.

We denounced and repudiated all forms of racism and the alt-right, white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as of the devil.  Read more on it here.

We reaffirm the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement which says Jesus took upon Himself in His death the divine punishment due sinners “as the burning core of the Gospel message and the only hope of a fallen race.”

We denounced Planned Parenthood’s “immoral agenda and practices,” in addition to urging all government defunding and commending the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) for making federal removal of money for the country’s leading abortion provider a priority in its legislative agenda.

We voiced gratitude to God on the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation for its courageous leaders and urged recommitment to its convictions while advocating for religious liberty for all.

For more news stories, go here.