Evangelism conference draws near
JEFFERSON CITY – As Gary Taylor prepares for his first State Evangelism Conference as Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) state evangelism director, the plight of America weighs heavily on his shoulders.
Taylor said he is burdened by the fact that there are 332 million Americans, with an estimated 250 million of those in an unregenerate condition. Cutting into that mountainous unbelieving number is what the Jan. 28-29 conference at First Baptist Church, Arnold, is all about.
“It really moves me to think about that,” Taylor said. “It breaks my heart.”
But reducing the lostness of America is only half of the conference’s theme. Restoring passion within Missouri Baptists for the work of the Great Commission is the other half. Taylor is thinking about how Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, John 20:21 and Acts 1:8 ought to all work together in the life of the believer to ignite a sense of urgency.
“That has really impacted my heart, to think of all five of them being there,” Taylor said. “That again says to me that’s what we’ve got to be about as a church – to go.”
Sammy Gilbreath, state evangelism director for the Alabama Baptist State Convention, and Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, will be the main speakers. Gilbreath will close the program Monday night and Luter will preach the final message on Tuesday.
Reggie McNeal, missional leadership specialist for Leadership Network of Dallas; Gary Hollingsworth, pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark.; Jimmy Kinnaird, North American Mission Board personal and event evangelism manager; and Bob Caldwell, pastor of outreach for the host church.
“My prayer is for them to implant within us that passion of loving God,” Taylor said.
Iris Blue of Lucas, Texas, will give a special testimony, and music will be delivered by Charles Billingsley, worship leader of Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Va. The choir of the host church will also participate.
It has been said that the majority of the Baptist churches in Missouri are on life support in that essential body systems are not functioning sufficiently to sustain life unaided. Taylor subscribes to this theory and notes that the cure is to be found in prayer.
“James 4:2 says you have not because you ask not,” he said. “I think all of our problems are prayer problems.”
There are four hotels located near First Arnold. They are: Best Western St. Louis, (314) 416-7639; Comfort Inn, (636) 296-3000; Drury Inn, (636) 296-9600; and Ramada Limited, (636) 282-2400. Blocked and group rates are available under the MBC.
For information, call (800) 736-6227, ext. 656, or go to mobaptist.org.