ST. LOUIS – This past February marked the 25th consecutive year of the Founders Midwest Conference. The yearly conference provides sound, theological teaching and genuine fellowship to pastors and laypeople in the Midwest.
Meeting at the First Baptist Church of Fenton in St. Louis, Founders Midwest welcomed attendees from across Missouri and the surrounding states of Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas, and Texas.
The Founders Midwest Conference offers a unique opportunity for pastors to encourage one another. This year’s keynote speaker was Greg Gilbert, author of the popular book, “What is the Gospel?”
The Exhibition Hall offered attendees opportunities to interact with booths from various evangelical institutions such as the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Missouri Baptist Children’s Home, and Missouri Baptist University (MBU).
Whereas MBU recently rejoined the Missouri Baptist Convention, the ties between the Founders Midwest Conference and MBU has remained steadfast for over two decades. The Founders Midwest Conference founder, Dr. Curtis McClain, is also the Director of Christian Studies and Professor of Bible at MBU.
Though Missouri Baptist University has no formal relationship with the Founders Midwest Conference, McClain explained, “other [MBU] Bible faculty and I decided twenty-five years ago that this conference was the kind of ministry in which we would like to participate.” He continued to describe this close relationship by saying, “Many MBU adjuncts participate in this conference…and many [MBU] alumni report that this conference has been, and sometimes still is, a blessing to them.”
Dr. McClain spoke twice at the conference, as did Dr. Terry Chrisope, former Professor of Bible and History at MBU for 26 years. In the Exhibition Hall, MBU was represented by Senior Admissions Counselor, Mary Kate Walton. Representing MBU for the previous 4 years at the conference, Walton stated, “It’s really a joy to once again represent MBU at this conference.”
The Founders Midwest Conference’s ties are not only strong with MBU, but also with the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC). Dr. Bob Curtis, former President of the Missouri Baptist Convention and current Director of Missions for the Mineral Area Baptist Association, encouraged pastors to look to God’s faithfulness in times of discouragement. “On your lowest of days, don’t ever forget who entrusted that ministry to you. No matter what your day holds, your ministry has been given to you by God, who manifests his glory through us.” Dr. Curtis’ message and the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home booth both well represented the Missouri Baptist Convention’s ties to the Founders Midwest Conference.
One of the greatest joys evident at the Founders Midwest Conference 2020 was the Gospel centrality in every aspect of Christian life. Whether through the various connections to Missouri Baptist University and the Missouri Baptist Convention, the Founders Midwest Conference was a joyful partnership for the sake of the Gospel. As the Lord continues to bless Southern Baptist ministry in Missouri, the Founders Midwest Conference remains committed to partnering for the Gospel and serving the local church through biblical encouragement.
Dr. McClain’s prayer started 25 years ago continues on today – “I pray that any spiritual blessings here extends to the local churches whom we serve.”
Next year’s Founders Midwest Conference will be held on February 23-24, 2021 with Dr. Tom Schreiner and Phil Johnson as the keynote speakers. More information can be found at www.sbfcmw.com.