News Articles

SBC DIGEST: 2022 Black church conference; Falls Creek camper hospitalized; McLaurin receives Dodd Award

2022 Black church conference July 18-22 at Ridgecrest

By Diana Chandler

RIDGECREST (NC) – The 29th annual Black Church Leadership and Family Conference will be held July 18-22 onsite at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Ridgecrest, N.C., with select program activities concurrently online at Live.Lifeway.com.

‘Faith Tested’ is the theme for the event offering dozens of classes, Bible study, fellowship, praise and worship and family-centric activities for adults and children, announced event host Mark Croston Sr., Lifeway Christian Resources national director of Black Church Ministries.

“This year at Black Church Leadership and Family Conference we are celebrating the resilient strength of our faith and offering several specific courses to help church leaders navigate this new post-COVID, post-Christian age,” Croston told Baptist Press. “We are so excited for pastors and church leaders coming from across the country. What makes this conference unique is that you can bring the whole family and when the week is over you will feel both enlightened and refreshed.”

James 1:2-3 is the conference Scripture.

Preachers for the Monday-Thursday evening worship services are Frank Williams, president of the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention (NAAF) and lead pastor of Bronx Baptist Church and Wake Eden Baptist Church, both in New York; Tommy Green, executive director and treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention; Breonus Mitchell, lead pastor of Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn.; and Fred “Chip” Luter, senior associate pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans.

Tuesday – Friday morning Bible exposition leaders are Nate Bishop, lead pastor of Forest Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky.; Daryl Jones, president of Point Ministries and lead pastor of Rock Fellowship Church in Miami; Larry Johnson, senior pastor of Middlebelt Baptist Church in Inkster, Mich.; and Steve Acklin, manager of Lifeway Church Sales Solutions and Customer Acquisitions.

Among other key leaders and speakers are Ken Felix, senior pastor of Bethel Evangelical Baptist Church in Miami Gardens, Fla.; Jerquentin Sutton, senior pastor of Lebanon Baptist Church in Westwood, N.J.; Muriel Taylor, coordinator of Contending for the Faith Expository Preaching and Teaching Conference and a Bible teacher at Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven, Miss.; Elizabeth Woodson, a Bible teacher and author from Dallas; Russell M. Andrews, minister of music at East End Baptist Church in Suffolk, Va.; Glenn-Alan Shelton, minister of music and performing arts at Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, Md.; and Bianca R. Howard, youth ministry director at Zion Baptist Church, Marietta, Ga.

Joining Lifeway as event sponsors are Charles Grant, SBC Executive Committee; Jason Thomas, International Mission Board; Dithson Noel, North American Mission Board; Shawn Dorrough, GuideStone Financial Resources; Valerie Carter Smith, Woman’s Missionary Union; Frank Williams, NAAF; and Gateway Seminary, Journey’s Unlimited, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse.

Registration and additional information are available at Black Church Leadership and Family Conference | Lifeway.

Falls Creek camper hospitalized after ‘cardiac event’

By BP Staff

DAVIS, Okla. (BP) – A camper at Falls Creek, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s renowned youth camp and conference center, was taken to the hospital Tuesday (July 5) after what was described as a “major cardiac event.”

A post on Oklahoma Baptists’ Facebook page July 5 said: “PLEASE PRAY: Earlier today a camper at Falls Creek had a major cardiac event and is currently in the hospital. The family has asked that Oklahoma Baptists pray for the camper and for God to do a miracle. Let’s all join together in prayer this evening for this camper.”

An update July 6 said the camper had improved somewhat overnight but was still in serious condition.

“Please continue to join with us as we pray for this camper and family,” the update said.

The SBC, M.E. Dodd and Willie McLaurin

By Todd Brady/Union University

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) – If M.E. Dodd were living and were to come to the Southern Baptist Convention in Anaheim, I think Willie McLaurin would hug Dodd’s neck and take him to a long, long lunch so he could pick his brain.  

As the oldest institution related to the SBC, Union University is grateful for men like Dodd and McLaurin. Dodd was a 1904 Union graduate, and McLaurin is a current trustee. 

Union University is grateful to provide the M. E. Dodd Denominational Service Award each year which recognizes service, leadership and commitment to the Cooperative Program on behalf of Tennessee Baptists and the Southern Baptist Convention. McLaurin is the recipient of the 2022 M.E. Dodd Denominational Service Award.

The Cooperative Program is the funding mechanism for the over 47,000 churches affiliated with the SBC and is the financial avenue through which the denomination conducts ministry and missions efforts. Churches pool their monies to cooperate with other churches so that they may do more together than individually. 

Union University’s annual denominational service award is named in honor of one of its distinguished alumni — Dodd.

Dodd is recognized as the Father of the SBC’s Cooperative Program, and Jewel Mae Daniel’s biography of Dodd chronicles him as “The Heart of the Cooperative Program.” 

In the past, Union University has given the M.E. Dodd Denominational Service Award to those like Adrian Rogers, Morris Chapman, Albert Mohler, Randy C. Davis, Steve Gaines, Paul Chitwood, David S. Dockery and others. 

Now, McLaurin joins this prestigious group of Baptist leaders.

While the Executive Committee of the SBC is in a time of interim leadership, we are thankful that McLaurin stands at the helm. 

McLaurin, who has served as the vice president for Great Commission relations and mobilization of the Executive Committee of the SBC since December 2019, was named the interim president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee in February of this year. 

He gives leadership to the fiscal, fiduciary and executive responsibilities of the SBC.

In a tenuous world where uncertainties and confusion abound, Union is glad to recognize McLaurin for his gracious, stable, competent, and integrity-filled leadership in service to Southern Baptists.   

Union University is grateful to God for the legacy of M.E. Dodd and the leadership of Willie McLaurin. So should all Southern Baptists.

Read the full story here.

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