ST. LOUIS – Missouri pastors and wives benefitted from respective conferences at the SBC annual meeting June 12-13.
Jonathan Wallenbach and Bryce Kristoffereson were among first-time national annual meeting attendees.
“We run 35 people in our church. It was economical for me to come to St. Louis,” Wallenbach, the pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist in Deep Water, said.
“For me, I get fed as a pastor’s conference just like at the MBC annual meeting. We need to get back to the business of what Jesus called us to be – the church and do what God calls us to do, however it works out in our environment.”
It’s encouraging to hear speakers challenge us to do what we’re supposed to do – evangelize and have our congregations evangelize,” said Kristofferson, pastor of Centennial Baptist, Mexico. “It’s always great to network with other pastors. We can talk of their successes and apply these in our own church.”
John Haislip, associate pastor of House Springs Baptist and his wife Candace-Rae Haislip were also present for the first time at a national convention.
“I look forward to the state annual conference as a getaway. It’s refreshing. It is rare to sit in worship without having to worry what comes next. It’s refilling to listen to good preaching as a congregation and not as church leadership,” Haislip said.
“I went to the pastors’ wives conference. Anne Graham Lotz led a Daniel prayer. In Daniel 9, one man’s prayer affected a whole nation,” said Candace-Rae Haislip, a pediatric critical care NP. Selma Wilson talked about what God calls you to do to develop yourself. Another speaker said to learn a new language so you can deal with those of other cultures.”
Jonathan Haislip feels more people coming to state and national conventions would slow down or stop the decline in church baptisms.
“It’s nice to see more younger people at the conventions,” Candace-Rae Haislip said.
Wally Long, pastor for two years at Northside Baptist in Mt. Vernon and his wife Silvia were also first time attendees to a national convention.
“Our church has been around for a long time and we were in decline before I took over. This conference got me to start thinking about the process to rebuild with an evangelism emphasis with discipleship.
“I like the church plant idea, a long term vision to grow and start another church,” Long said.
“There is a lot of information. I like a demonstration that was shown of green and red apples. Make sure the fruit is ripe for the harvest,” Silvia said.