Page gets conference rolling by lifting up name of Jesus
SPRINGFIELD – Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), set the tone for the State Evangelism Conference Jan. 22 at Ridgecrest Baptist Church by pleading with Missouri Baptists to do one thing.
“I believe it’s time to lift up Jesus in the Southern Baptist Convention,” said Page, who is pastor of the First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C. “It’s time to lift up Jesus in the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC). It’s time to lift up Jesus in your church. It’s time to lift up Jesus in your family and in your heart.”
Page, who was elected to the office of SBC president outside of the power base within the Southern Baptist conservative resurgence, is settling on a few keys as he goes about getting to know the people of the denomination. He calls them the three R’s: rightness, relevancy and revival.
“Praise God that we believe in an inerrant, infallible Word of God, but we must equally attack with passion the issues of relevance,” he said. “Also I beg you to join me in begging our Lord God for a Holy Ghost revival.”
His text for a 27-minute message that kicked off the conference was II Kings 7:3-20. Four lepers went from great poverty to great riches. Page preached that they took advantage of the great opportunity that existed in Samaria that day to go from famine to great plenty. He then asked if we are doing the same today as it relates to sharing the Gospel.
He said one of the great lessons of his election as SBC president is that “God can do whatever He wants to do.” His election is a clear example that everyone has worth in the kingdom, Page said.
Page has learned that various important people want to speak with the SBC president. For example, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, one of the top contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, asked for, and received, a two-hour private breakfast with Page to discuss how Southern Baptists might take to his candidacy. Page turned it into an appointment to share the Gospel with Giuliani, who, while Catholic, does not profess to have “a passionate love relationship” with Jesus like Page does.
“Rudy said, ‘You know, my Daddy loved Jesus like that,’” Page said, relaying how Giuliani was able to sense that he might be lost.
Before Page left the sanctuary in Springfield, a group of about two dozen Missouri Baptists laid hands on him and prayed for his primary needs. They prayed for the health of his oldest daughter, Melissa, who has cancer, and also for his wife, Dayle. Other prayers were for his protection, for safe travels, for wisdom in his decisions, and for good advisors to surround him.