Noted expositor, martyrs advocate to fill pulpit at pastors conference
By Allen Palmeri
April 5, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – Expository preaching and reports on worldwide Christian persecution will mark this year’s Missouri Baptist Pastors Conference, Oct. 24, Second Baptist Church, Springfield.
Steven J. Lawson, who is in the process of writing a third volume of the popular Holman Old Testament Commentary series, will be the featured speaker at the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Pastors Conference Oct. 24 at Second Baptist Church, Springfield.
Lawson is senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Mobile, Ala. He is a trustee at The Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley, Calif., and author of 11 books including Famine in the Land, a call for pastors to be involved in expository preaching. He has written the Holman Old Testament Commentary on Job as well as one on Psalms 1-75. Psalms 76-150 is due out sometime this year. Lawson also has participated in the Distinguished Scholars Lecture Series at The Master’s Seminary, lecturing in 2004 on “Preaching the Psalms.”
Monty Dunn, president of the Pastors Conference and pastor of Pleasant View Baptist Church in Highlandville, said he is giving Lawson four of the seven preaching slots for the conference. Two slots are being given to Tom White, executive director, Voice of the Martyrs, Bartlesville, Okla., with one slot remaining open at this time.
“I wanted to have someone I felt like was really high quality and basically give them the lion’s share of the Pastors Conference,” Dunn said.
Dunn said he has asked Lawson to do a blend of messages from 1 and 2 Timothy along with the Psalms. The theme is still being developed, but Dunn said it likely would touch on the supremacy of God.
White, who was imprisoned in 1979 for distributing Christian literature in Cuba when his small plane went down, should be an ideal complement to Lawson, Dunn said. Voice of the Martyrs has been serving the persecuted church around the world for more than 35 years and remains riveted on the cross of Christ. White was released from Combinado del Este Prison in 1980 after receiving brutal treatment from secret police.
“I can’t think of a better theme than the supremacy of God for someone who seals his testimony and ministry with their very lifeblood as the martyrs have done,” Dunn said. “Many of our churches here in Missouri are unaware of the ministry of Voice of the Martyrs. I know that as Southern Baptists we have picked up the tempo of praying for the persecuted church typically in November. I can’t think of a better organization to come and present what they’re doing. I think they do it about as well as anyone.
“Dr. Lawson is passionate, relevant and historic. By that I mean he’s in touch with the legacy of faith that we’ve inherited. He’s very engaging in the pulpit. He’s not a dry, dusty theologian. He’s really received the baton from the church leaders behind him and he’s ready to pass it on to those of us in the arena today.”
Dunn said he wants to introduce something to the Pastors Conference by reading the Scripture before each session of preaching. Plans call for one chapter of First Timothy to be read before Lawson rises to teach.
Dunn said he needs to meet with the other officers of the Pastors Conference, President-Elect Vic Borden, pastor, Red Bridge Baptist Church, Kansas City, and Secretary-Treasurer Joe Braden, pastor, First Baptist Church, St. Peters, to finalize the theme.
The Pastors Conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 24 and is held annually in conjunction with the Missouri Baptist Convention’s annual meeting.
“For this Pastors Conference, we want our pastors to hear the Word, the whole Word, and nothing but the Word, so help us God,” Dunn said. “We want to encourage our pastors to regulate their ministries by this standard.”