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State convention annual meeting in Mobile aims to give encouragementcomment (0)

October 6, 2011

By Grace Thornton

Mike Shaw hopes this year’s state convention annual meeting “gives everyone a big dose of vitamin E — encouragement.”

“The economy, storms, spiritual apathy in society, attacks on traditional morality, violence in so many places and health issues like cancer all tend to discourage, disillusion and depress all of us,” said Shaw, president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church, Pelham. “I hope this convention will encourage every person who attends.”

The theme for this year’s convention meeting — set for Nov. 15–16 at Dauphin Way Baptist Church, Mobile — is “Great Commission Ministries … Together.”

What Alabama Baptists do for the Great Commission, they do together and to get together and share what God is doing will encourage everyone, said Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

“The Alabama Baptist State Convention is basically a family of churches, and our annual meeting is like a family reunion,” he said. “We want to hear from each other as to how things are going in ministry across the state.”

Host pastor Adam Dooley, senior pastor of Dauphin Way Baptist, said, “Hosting the Alabama Baptist Convention is a great honor and privilege. This year, we are particularly excited to hold the pastors conference in the same location so that pastors are not divided between two places. Monday through Wednesday will be inspiring and informative for all who attend.”

Whether having informal conversations in the halls or hearing reports from entities at the pulpit, state Baptists encourage each other at the meeting through testimonies of how the Lord is blessing and using their ministries, Lance said.

“We work with each other in the spirit of 1 Corinthians 3:9. We are laborers together with God,” he said. “We are in partnership with each other in reaching Alabama as a missions field. Yet those boundaries do not define us — we work together as partners to reach North America and around the world.”

Other meeting highlights:
• The Tuesday night session will feature preaching from Fred Luter Jr., pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, and first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). “He is the personification of inspiration and motivation,” Lance said. “Having faced the challenges of (Hurricane) Katrina, he can assist us in our post-tornado recovery endeavors.”

VOICES of Mobile, a 16-member vocal ensemble from the University of Mobile, will lead in worship during that session.

• Business matters to be presented include a budget change designed to favor more funding to the SBC, Lance said. A new paradigm for global missions partnerships may be discussed, too. “This is something we have been giving much thought to in recent years,” he said.

• Sermons will include theme interpretations by Dooley; Charles Carter, pastor emeritus of Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Vestavia Hills; and Rob Jackson, senior pastor of Central Baptist Church, Decatur. Rick Evans, pastor of Dalraida Baptist Church, Montgomery, will preach the convention sermon.

For more information about the meeting, visit alsbom.org

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