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Evangelists, associational leaders, other SBC groups to reconnect in Nashville

Johnny Hunt, executive vice president of evangelism and leadership at the North American Mission Board, addresses the 2019 meeting of the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Evangelists in Birmingham. BP file photo

NASHVILLE (BP) – Several groups closely connected with the Southern Baptist Convention plan gatherings adjacent to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting June 15-16 in Nashville.

The Southern Baptist Evangelists group plans several activities, as do the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders (SBCAL) and the SBC Senders Network. The Messianic Fellowship’s managers’ team and the Fellowship of Native American Christians both plan to gather as well.

“Reconnecting with longtime friends and making new connections will be a welcome change from the last year, which was hampered by travel restrictions and canceled speaking engagements,” said Richard Hamlet, president of the Southern Baptist Evangelists group and president/CEO of Global Ministries Foundation.


In addition to two private gatherings for evangelists, their spouses and other guests, the Southern Baptist Evangelists have planned three events where all Southern Baptists and their friends are welcome:

  • A block party outreach is planned for downtown Nashville Saturday, July 12.
  • Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, is to be guest speaker and Guy Penrod, former lead vocalist for the Gaither Vocal Band, is to lead worship during the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Worship Celebration service at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, 3475 Lebanon Pike in Hermitage, near Nashville.
  • A Southwest Supper Sing-A-Long is to take place from 4:30-6 p.m. Monday, June 14, in Room 101 A/B of the Music City Center.


A pre-conference for new and prospective associational leaders is set for 6:15-9 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at the Sonesta hotel near the Nashville airport.

With a theme of “The Gospel-Driven Association” and Colossians 1:6 as its scripture, the 62nd SBCAL annual conference will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 13, and 8:45-11 a.m. Monday at the Sonesta. Paul Chitwood, president of the International Mission Board, will address the group at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

Annual meeting activities are to include two plenary sessions, ministry fair, lunch and banquet programs, plus three workshop session times, with a choice of 15 workshops led by Ron Edmondson, Mark Clifton, Kevin Smith and others.

The Baptist Association: Assisting Churches, Advancing the Gospel is the title of a new book published by SBCAL through Rainer Publishing. It “gives motivation and helpful counsel to associational leaders,” Ray Gentry said. Gentry is president of SBCAL and associational mission strategist for the Southside Baptist Network in Georgia.

An AMS Wives workshop track – Building relationships with pastors’ wives – is to take place during each of the three workshop session times.


The fifth annual reception hosted by the SBC Senders Network has been set for 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, June 15, in Room 101 A/B, Level 1 at the Music City Center.

J.D. Greear, president of the SBC and pastor at The Summit Church in Durham, N.C., plus representatives from the IMB and NAMB, will be present to chat about present and future missions possibilities.

“It’s a great time for people to connect,” said Mike Wall, part of the host team and missions pastor at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, Okla. “Making connections and learning from each other is our main focus.”

Messianic Fellowship

Attendance was expected to be so limited at the annual gathering of the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship because of the COVID-19 pandemic that it was canceled, SBMF President Ric Worshill told Baptist Press. The group’s leadership plans to meet informally at a Nashville restaurant.

Native Americans

FoNAC, the Fellowship of Native American Christians, will hold its annual meeting from 10 a.m. to noon on Monday, June 14, in Room 211, Level 2, of the Music City Center. Its theme is Reviving all Nations to His Kingdom; its scripture: Revelation 7:9.

Guests for the second year are to be the popular Pawnee Native drummer Junior Pratt and the Tribe of Judah, a Native dance team. On the agenda: culturally relevant Native songs and dances, testimonies from Native Christians, ministry updates and fellowship. The event is open to American Indians and others who want to minister among them.

One highlight of the last year was the purchase and distribution of 150 water containers to Navajo and Hopi dry desert tribal lands, each holding 275 gallons of water. FoNAC President Jordan Kanuho, pastor of Belvin Baptist Church in Okmulgee, Okla., said the need for water in lands where most people don’t have running water in their homes exponentially increased in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

“FoNAC continually seeks guidance from God to address ‘Barriers to Bridges’ among the Native people of North America, to better share the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Kanuho said, alluding to some of the discussion to take place at the group’s ninth annual gathering.

Global ministries

The 15 self-supporting ministries connected as the Fellowship of Baptist World Ministries plans to host a $30/person breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Monday, June 14, in Music Row 5, Level 2 at the Omni Nashville hotel, adjacent to the convention center. Text or call FBWM Treasurer, Rodney Cavett at 214-478-2639 to register for the breakfast.

With a theme of Urgency, the program will include a message from Todd Lafferty, executive vice president of the International Mission Board, as well as updates and testimonies about what is working well in international missions.

The Fellowship of Baptist World Ministries exists “to help connect and enhance global outreach efforts … being led by various Southern Baptist ministries,” according to the website of the group that started in 1986. Thomas Hatley, senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Rogers, Ark., is president.

    About the Author

  • Karen Willoughby