CAPE GIRARDEAU – No matter where you live, you’ll be less than a two-hour drive from an evangelism conference in February and March.
In lieu of a single, large, statewide gathering, Missouri Baptists for the second year are invited to smaller, one-day “Festivals of Hope” Feb. 4 at Lynwood Baptist in Cape Girardeau; Feb 9 at Grover Park Baptist in Warrensburg; Feb. 11 at Boulevard Baptist in Springfield; March 3 at First Baptist in Macon; March 10 at Parkway Baptist in St. Louis; and March 31 at First Baptist in St. Joseph.
“What are people looking for, if not hope?” asked Gary Taylor, evangelism director for the Missouri Baptist Convention. “They’re looking for hope politically, economically and most importantly, spiritually.”
Each free festival will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Those that preregister at www.mobaptist.org/sec will get a free lunch at the conference site. Each conference will feature three morning speakers, and two afternoon speakers including a keynote speaker as the final speaker for both sessions. Unlike in years past, there will be no breakout sessions. The morning sessions will focus on prayer and evangelism, and the afternoon will focus on personal/church evangelism.
“We wanted to make it easy to come and go in one day,” Taylor said. “I hope this makes it easier for more bi-vocational pastors and laity to come. Even if a pastor comes that Saturday and has to drive two hours to get home, he’s still going to be able to have a little time to prepare for Sunday morning. ”
Ken Weathersby, an expert in ethnic church relations with the North American Mission Board (NAMB), is the featured speaker at the Feb. 4 conference.
At the Feb. 9 conference, it will be Thomas Hammond, team leader in the Evangelization Group of GPS: North American Evangelism Intuitive with NAMB.
Larry Wynn serves as vice president for Evangelization and Leadership Development with NAMB and will be the featured speaker at the Feb. 11 conference.
At the March 3 festival, it will be Al Gilbert, executive director of Love Loud, an evangelism ministry of NAMB.
Steve Davis will be the keynote speaker at the March 10 festival. He serves as the vice president of NAMB for the Midwest Region, which includes Missouri.
For the final conference, the featured speaker is Sonny Tucker, leader for Evangelism and Church Growth at the Arkansas State Baptist Convention.
Each conference’s full slate of speakers is available at www.mobaptist.org/sec.
The Lesters, a Southern Gospel group out of St. Louis, will provide the worship during all but the first and final conference. For the Feb. 4 and March 31 conferences, the worship will be led by Crimson Gold, out of Ironton.
BRIAN KOONCE/staff writer