SBC prez brings evangelist’s heart to confab
JEFFERSON CITY – The State Evangelism Conference is fast approaching its Jan. 22-23 run at Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Springfield.
Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and pastor of First Baptist Church, Taylors, S.C., will set the tone for the conference with the very first message. Page is scheduled to speak after a time of worship beginning at 1 p.m. Jan. 22.
One of Page’s good friends is Ron Barker, Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) personal evangelism / spiritual awakening specialist. Barker described Page as a steady leader who is concerned about ethics.
“He’s very patient,” Barker said. “He has the ability to have discernment to see what’s in an area of people (around a local church) and kind of to unlock the code for those folks, and to reach them.
“He’s a personal evangelist. He always has been. He always will be. Everywhere he goes the church’s baptisms go up.”
Also ready to speak are: Phil Hoskins, pastor, Higher Ground Baptist Church, Kingsport, Tenn.; David Uth, pastor, First Baptist Church, Orlando, Fla.; Alvin Reid, associate dean for Proclamation Studies, professor of evangelism and Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.; and Richard Harris, vice president, church planting group, North American Mission Board.
Music duties fall to Chuck Sullivan of Grayson, Ga., and Hosea Bilyeu, the host pastor. Bilyeu has a gifted musical family that has agreed to help lead worship at various points in the conference lineup.
The theme of the conference is “Rescue.” Its double meaning is that the church ought to be rescued from apathy, and the lost ought to be rescued from Hell. The hope in Missouri is that more true conversions would occur, and Barker noted that the key to that taking place would be to move the focus off ourselves to more of a kingdom mentality.
Last year’s state evangelism conference featured 1,301 registrants.