SOUIX CITY, Iowa – David Miller, pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church was elected the president of the SBC Pastor’s Conference, June 13.
An unusual move, because of the relative small size of the Sioux City church, the vote signals a willingness to try some new directions with the traditional preaching conference that precedes the SBC Annual meeting. The Southern Hills church runs about 250 in attendance most Sundays.
Miller was reached by The Pathway and released the following statement: “We are wanting to have pastors of churches that run 500 or less, average churches. We believe there are some good preachers out there. It will be a biblical exposition based pastor’s conference. We will pick the text and assign passages to the chosen preachers.”
He said the idea came to him with a friend, Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church, Farmersville, Texas, as they were ministering on a mission trip in Senegal, West Africa. “We said ‘Why couldn’t we just preach through a book of the Bible?’”
Miller was nominated by Pastor Todd Benkert, messenger from East Lake Baptist Church in Crown point Indiana.
In his nomination speech Benkert said, “I represent a collection of friends who are faithful Southern Baptist pastors in our convention. We come to the convention every year. We attend this Pastors’ Conference every year, and we like to attend. But we have an idea for a different kind of pastor’s conference in 2017.
“We are proposing a pastor’s conference of preachers from average-sized churches led by a conference president who himself pastors a small church. The focus would be on faithful expository preaching and by every day pastors.”
Miller said a couple of the challenges he faces will be to narrow down the Bible book for the conference and to raise approximately $400,000 in expenses from sponsors and underwriters.