October 21, 2002
Plans for the 2003 Missouri Baptist Convention’s Evangelism Conference have been finalized, and Dr. Jerry Field, evangelism coordinator for the MBC, thinks it will be one of the most exciting ever.
The conference, scheduled Jan. 13-14, 2003, at Concord Baptist Church, Jefferson City, will feature messages by some of the Southern Baptist Convention’s most popular and powerful preachers, including Dr. Fred Luter, Dr. Jerry Johnston and Rev. Vance Pitman.
Other speakers on the program include new MBC Executive Director David Clippard, Dr. Gerald Davidson, pastor of First Baptist Church, Arnold, and Dr. Jerry Field, who heads the MBC evangelism department.
"I really do feel good about this conference," Dr. Field said. "It’s located in the central part of the state, and we’ll have as fine a group of preachers as we’ve ever had. As I think it’s really going to add something with our new executive director on the program.
Field said the purpose of the evangelism conference is to motivate and inspire. "I hope the conference will rebuild a flame and a passion and concern for lost people. There’s something about the very nature of what we do–the business of what we do in life and in church–we lose sight of the lost people in our community. A lot of times we’re not intending to do that, but that’s what this is all about calling us back to reaching the lost."
Dr. Luter is pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, LA. Described by many as one of the finest preachers in America today, Dr. Luter inspired Southern Baptists who attended the preachers’ conference last June at St. Louis. He delivered the annual sermon at the 2001 Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans.
Franklin Avenue is one of the fastest growing churches in Louisiana. The church has grown from a membership of 87 when Dr. Luter became the pastor to a current membership of more than 3,000. With a commitment to Biblical Authority, leadership accountability, disciplining and developing men, God has blessed the ministry. The church has three exciting morning worship services to accommodate its growing membership.
According to Dr. Luter, the church offers more than forty ministries so members can use their God-given spiritual gifts as well as grow to become committed followers of Jesus Christ.
"An African American, Dr. Luter is one of the really fine preachers in the Southern Baptist Convention," Dr. Field said. "I’m convinced those who attend the evangelism conference will be blessed by his preaching."
Dr. Johnson is a native Missourian. One June 21, 1973, after being hospitalized twice due to drugs, he accepted Christ on the final night of a camp at the Windemere Baptist Assembly. The following Sunday, after hearing their son share his testimony, Dr. Johnson’s parents also accepted Christ.
Later that same year, young Jerry started a Youth for Christ club at the public school he attended. Within the year more than 200 classmates found Jesus Christ as Savior. He later started Jerry Johnson Ministries and has spoken in more than 1,200 churches of all denominations along with speaking to more than 4 million young people on 3,200 public school campuses.
Five years ago, Dr. Johnston started the First Family Church in Overland Park, KS. It is one of the fastest growing churches in America.
Rev. Pitman moved to Las Vegas two years ago to start a SBC church. He was licensed and ordained at First Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals, AL and later became the valedictorian of his seminary class at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis.
The reputation Rev. Pitman brings to the conference is that he is passionate about sharing Christ with every person and believes strongly that the Bible is inspired by God and is without error.
Special music is planned throughout the conference. James Bradford, First Southern Baptist Church, Del City, OK will serve as worship leader of all sessions. Greg and Jamie Hitt, First Baptist Church of O’Fallon, will provide special music at the Monday afternoon session. Mark Mathis, Oak Grove Baptist Church, Salem, will sing Monday evening.
Special music at the three Tuesday sessions will be James Goforth, First Baptist Church, Ferguson; Praise Song, Hannibal LaGrange College; and the host Concord Baptist Church choir and orchestra.
Nine Jefferson City hotels and motels will be offering special room rates for the conference. They are:
- Ramada Inn (573-635-7171)
- Monroe Plaza Hotel (573-636-5101)
- Capitol Plaza Hotel (573-635-1234)
- Days Inn (573-761-3600)
- Holiday Inn Express (573-634-4040)
- Hotel DeVille (573-636-5231)
- Super 8 Motel (573-636-5456)
- Fairfield Inn (573-761-0400)
- Hampton Inn (573-634-7440).
Because the Missouri Legislature will be in session, Dr. Field said room reservations should be made no later than Dec. 14, 2002.
"The Concord auditorium will seat almost 1,000 and they have an overflow area (the old auditorium) were there will be closed-circuit television," Dr. Field explained. "A lot of Concord people will be there, too, so my advice is come early to get seat."