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Evangelists to proclaim Gospel’s power

NEW ORLEANS (BP) — Messengers arriving in advance of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in New Orleans are invited to worship at a June 17 service hosted by the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists.

COSBE will feature three evangelists who will emphasize the theme “The Gospel: the Power of God Unto Salvation,” in the 9:30 a.m.–noon service in the Napoleon Room of the New Orleans Hilton Riverside, Two Poydras St. The theme is drawn from Romans 1:16 and embodies the evangelist’s call, COSBE President Dean Forrest said.

“That’s what our ministry is about. It’s our heartbeat,” Forrest said. “Our cry to our convention and to ourselves is we need to remember to keep the main thing the main thing. Stay focused on the Gospel.”

COSBE will announce at the worship service its latest Hall of Faith inductees, who will join Billy Graham, Mordecai Ham and 33 others honored as stalwarts of the faith and the cause.

COSBE former presidents Keith Fordham of Fayetteville, Ga., and Braxton Hunter of Evansville, Ind., will preach, along with evangelist Eric Ramsey of Mountainburg, Ark.

“They’ll each have individual sermons surrounding the importance of the Gospel,” Forrest said. COSBE music director Russell Johnson and his wife Kristi of Conway, S.C., will lead music for the worship.

COSBE will hold a mini-retreat from 1:30–3:30 p.m. and its annual business meeting from 4-5 p.m., both at the Hilton.

Various COSBE members will speak during the retreat, and it will be a time of fellowship and networking for COSBE members, Forrest said. The group will elect officers during the business meeting.

“We are on the road and it’s rare that our paths cross,” Forrest said. “It’s a time for us to get together and fellowship as well as learn from each other.”

He said about 100 COSBE members are expected for the retreat and business meeting.

COSBE recognizes the gifting and calling of evangelists and shares with the SBC evidence of the spiritual gift of evangelism in daily life, Forrest said.

“It’s always a goal of COSBE to relate that information to the convention, that God is calling evangelists and it takes all of us for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry,” Forrest said, referencing Ephesians 4:11. While COSBE is composed of vocational evangelists, “its members most often minister alongside local church pastors to equip believers in evangelism and help them reach their communities with the Gospel,” Forrest said.
Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ staff writer.