Senior Adult Evangelism Conference inspires, challenges attendeescomment (0)
May 16, 2013
By Anna Keller
Each year, the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM) hosts its Senior Adult Evangelism Conference at churches in either Montgomery or Birmingham, and this year’s event took place at Heritage Baptist Church, Montgomery. The event — held on May 6 — drew participation from more than 700 senior adults from across the state, and Heritage Baptist even had to open their balcony area to accommodate all in attendance.
“It was a great success — just tremendous,” said Sammy Gilbreath, director of the SBOM’s office of evangelism. “The congregation was plugged into every speaker, and it was a good, positive day.”
Speakers included Daniel Wilson, pastor of West End Baptist Church, Clanton; Dale Huff of the SBOM and Bobby Welch, former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president who currently serves with the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
All three speakers “hit home runs,” Gilbreath said, but attendees were especially challenged by Welch’s message.
“He took the SBC statistics on baptisms and showed the terrible decline we’ve been facing since 1972 and he said, ‘You’re the group to turn this around. If this age group doesn’t turn that around, it will be too late to stop it. You’ve got to get re-engaged. It’s easy to think, I’ve done my thing and lived my life, but you’ve got to get back up to the plate and you’ve got to do this,’” Gilbreath said of Welch’s message. “It just took the air out of the room.”
In addition to the speakers, the conference included musical performances by Karen Peck and New River and the senior adult choirs of Heritage Baptist and Eastern Hills Baptist Church, Montgomery.
“The musicians were outstanding,” Gilbreath said. “They related to the people, and they stayed and fellowshipped. They stayed around during the break time and got to know the people.”
Teman Knight, pastor of host church Heritage Baptist, said he received positive feedback from the event.
“We were privileged to host such a strategic event that both inspires and challenges our senior adults to continue to be faithful instruments of God to bring people into a life-changing relationship with Him,” Knight said. “I am so thankful for Bro. Sammy and his leadership in helping Alabama reach those who are lost without Christ.”
Gilbreath is already looking forward to next year’s conference, which will be hosted by Lakeside Baptist Church, Birmingham.