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2023 SBC Annual Meeting childcare, messenger registration now open

Don and Lanail Hamilton from Veer Church in Kansas City, Kansas, register for the one hundred and sixty third Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting June 13, 2021, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn. BP file photo

NASHVILLE (BP) — Those wanting to pre-register as messengers and/or register for childcare at the upcoming SBC Annual Meeting can now do so at sbcannualmeeting.net.

Both became available this morning (Feb. 1) in anticipation of the gathering slated for June 11-14 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The theme is Serving the Lord, Serving Others.

The annual meeting returns to New Orleans for the first time since 2012. At that gathering, Fred Luter was elected to become the first African American president in SBC history.

As he walked through an airport, current SBC president Bart Barber took the opportunity to urge Southern Baptists to pre-register in a video he posted to Twitter.

“Get to your computer and sign up for those childcare spaces and get your church-approved messenger credentials all lined up so we can gather in New Orleans and celebrate what God is doing in the Southern Baptist Convention,” he said.

Giant Cow and Giant Calf return in the children’s area, featuring Christ-centered drama, music, interactive memorization, kid comedy, life lessons and more in high-energy “Round-Ups.” Participants will also get the chance to compete with a team in group games, relay races, obstacle courses and craft and art projects. Some locations will include group and talent shows and potentially a movie night.

Giant Calf will offer childcare for newborns through age 4 from June 11-14. Giant Cow will lead children ages 5-12. Teenagers up to 18 will participate with Youth on Mission for hands-on mission projects June 13-14, with lunch and snacks provided both days.

The Road to New Orleans, a weekly video series hosted by SBC Executive Committee VP of Communications Jonathan Howe, will provide background not only on the annual meeting but information for Southern Baptists to enjoy their time in New Orleans.

“The goal of this series is to introduce the city of New Orleans to Southern Baptists from around the country so that when they arrive in June, they feel at home at the annual meeting,” said Howe, a Louisiana native.

Many ancillary meetings and events such as the Pastors’ Conference will precede and coincide with the annual meeting. Others include the June meeting of the SBC Executive Committee, meetings of various SBC fellowships and various events hosted by SBC entities and the Woman’s Missionary Union. Separate registration is required for some ancillary events.

Hotel registration for the annual meeting opened Oct. 1.

After pre-registering, individuals will receive an email with a QR code and a registration number, explained Don Currence, registration secretary. That code can be presented on the messenger’s phone at registration to complete the process.

The process requires prospective messengers to present their church’s SBC identification number as well as confirmation the church has chosen them as a messenger. Southern Baptist churches that contributed to the Cooperative Program from Oct. 1, 2021-Sept. 30, 2022, are allotted two messengers with some allowed as many as 12, depending on the amount the church gave toward SBC mission causes through the Cooperative Program.

Completing the registration process on site wouldn’t be possible without the approximately 125 volunteers who paid their own way to be there, Currence said. Many of those volunteers are college students joining others to do things like arriving the preceding Saturday to sort items that will be handed to registered messengers.

The registration committee, made up of 25 people appointed by Barber, will assist in any questions in the registration area.

“The thing I like about the college students being there is it helps them see an aspect of the SBC they may have never seen before,” Currence said. “They see what makes up the Southern Baptist Convention, and they see who is involved.”