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COSBE ‘recalibrating,’ unveils Gospel fest

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) — The young married woman who came to Goodale Park in downtown Columbus to take a selfie to announce her pregnancy found something else to celebrate when she chose to follow Jesus Christ.

Kay Cox, wife of evangelist Tom Cox, noticed the woman, offered to take her photo, and struck up a conversation that led to the woman’s profession in faith.

“She wanted to send a photo to her mom to announce her pregnancy,” Cox said. “She left with a new relationship with Christ to also celebrate.”

The encounter took place during Saturday’s (June 13) evangelistic festival, the first-ever event organized by the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE) in conjunction with its annual meeting, held the weekend leading up to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

“It was a pretty exciting deal for us to have our own gospel fest in an urban park near the convention center,” COSBE President Richard Hamlet said. “Being part of Crossover is great, but we also wanted to do something specifically with COSBE members.”

The festival drew about 100 people during an hour break between two driving rainstorms. Despite the soggy ground, 15 people made life-changing commitments to follow Jesus.

During COSBE’s annual Sunday morning (June 14) worship service, Evangelist Ron Herrod preached what he said was a “not politically correct and not popular” message to the parents and grandparents who comfortably filled a double-wide section of ballroom space at the Hilton Hotel adjacent to the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

“Does God ever lose his patience?” Herrod asked rhetorically. “We have crossed the line in America. God is already judging America.”

The United States of America is nearing its end for three reasons: the acceptance of homosexuality; the destruction of the family as God designed it; and the nation turning its back on Israel.

“We have crossed God’s line,” Herrod preached. “Obama may be president but Jesus is King. The only hope for America is to be more devoted to the King…. When are we going to take seriously the commands of the Lord?”

He said many of his listeners’ children and grandchildren will be tomorrow’s “remnant Christians” in what already is turning from a post-Christian America to an anti-Christian America.

Christians need to repent of their actions that resulted in the nation’s present condition, Herrod preached. Speakers Bill Britt and Richard Hamlet also spoke of the need for repentance.

“We’ve lost confidence in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Britt preached. The church and individual Christians need to repent, he noted. “God knows what’s going on in your life, and He will expose it….

“If I would get as mad about my sin and everybody else’s sin as I do about Obama’s sin, we might have revival,” Britt said.

COSBE President Richard Hamlet wrapped up the conference with a message of hope. He spoke on God’s ability to use the physical, the ordinary, the natural, to bring out the spiritual, extraordinary, supernatural work of God to redeem the lives of a people and a nation who turn to Him.

COSBE’s worship service included a video presentation of the ministry of Freddie Gage, who died last year after preaching at more than 1,000 crusades with at least one million people making professions of faith.

Larry Walker, who died last year, was another COSBE member recognized during the service. During his life, he led more than 500 international mission trips. Scholarships were presented to honor the lives and ministries of Gage and Walker.

In COSBE’s business session that followed a noon banquet, the relationship between COSBE, an informal collaboration of Southern Baptist evangelists, and COSBE Publishing Inc., a non-profit solely owned by COSBE, was explained, along with the advantages of the partnership to the mother organization’s 149 dues-paying members.

Parsons Publishing Company has agreed to produce books with a COSBE imprint, reported David Ball, managing editor.

The names of three former COSBE presidents were suggested to serve on CPI’s board: Keith Fordham, Ron Herrod and Richard Hamlet.

COSBE noted the COSBE’s Hall of Faith’s new location on the second floor of the SBC Executive Committee’s building in downtown Nashville. Bob Smith is Hall of Faith liaison. Also, Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., has established a degree for vocational evangelists.

“COSBE is not dead,” Hamlet said. “We’re recalibrating, moving forward, preaching the Gospel and reaching the world for Christ.”

Officers were elected for a one-year term, each by acclamation and unanimously: Phil Glisson of Tennessee, in vocational evangelism 44 years, was elected president; David Stockwell of Katy, Texas, vice-president; Amy Stockwell of Katy, Texas, secretary/treasurer; Russ and Kristi Johnson of South Carolina, music director; Lammie Lammersfeld of Tennessee, assistant music director; Kay Cox of Arkansas, recording secretary; and Tom Cox of Arkansas, parliamentarian. Eric Ramsey of Arkansas and Marc Byrd of Tennessee are pastor/advisers to COSBE.

In other business, COSBE bought a used 5×8 trailer to house its supplies for $1,000.