LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–The Southern Baptist Convention’s exhibit hall seeks “to promote and celebrate SBC work on the national and international level.”
The words of R. Clark Logan Jr., SBC convention manager and Executive Committee vice president for business and finance, reflect how the exhibit hall complements the SBC annual meeting. The exhibits’ focus is on the work of the SBC’s entities and seminaries, not as a profit-making venture for scores of vendors.
The exhibit hall will open Monday morning, June 22, in advance of the SBC’s June 23-24 annual meeting in the Kentucky Exposition Center. The hours will be 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday.
Plans for the various SBC entities’ booths follow:
INTERNATIONAL MISSION BOARD — The 2009 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering emphasis, “Who’s Missing? Whose Mission?” will be unveiled at the International Mission Board’s booth, focusing on the part that the Great Commission calls every believer to play in reaching people groups overseas despite geographical, cultural, political and governmental barriers prohibiting access to the Gospel. Missionaries who are seeking to overcome such barriers and pastors and church members who have adopted various people groups will be available to talk with messengers and convention attendees. Interactive software also will be featured that connects churches to unengaged people groups, those without church-planting methodologies in place, and a Google Earth-based program that provides people group data. A kit of customized guides to help churches promote the 2009 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering will be available, including four DVD-ROMs tailored for pastors, missions leaders, children’s leaders and student leaders. A free Christmas ornament will be given to those who visit the booth to learn more about adopting people groups and how the IMB can assist their churches.
NORTH AMERICAN MISSION BOARD — In addition to a 45-by-60-foot display area, this year’s NAMB exhibit will include a stage featuring NAMB missionaries from across North America who will be on hand to speak about their ministries, including Gary Smith, a church planting missionary in Canada; Brenda Crim, a collegiate evangelism missionary in Alaska; and Willie Jacobs, a church planting missionary in Memphis, Tenn. NAMB will also provide and staff the evangelistic tract booth for the SBC annual meeting.
LIFEWAY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES — LifeWay’s exhibits will feature the popular 10,000-square-foot LifeWay Christian Store, along with interactive displays highlighting LifeWay Research, LifeWay Church Resources, B&H Publishing Group, LifeWay Conference Centers and direct sales.
Of special interest:
— Church Resources will offer ministry experts for one-on-one discussions.
— LifeWay Worship will demonstrate the latest features of LifeWayWorship.com, including SongMap technology and WorshipMap Pro, the new advanced worship planning application.
— B&H Publishing Group will focus on the HCSB translation and the popular “Love Dare” products, in addition to introducing CrossBooks, a new print-on-demand service.
— Author signings will be scheduled by B&H and LifeWay Christian Stores, including Thom and Sam Rainer (“Essential Church”); Brad Waggoner (“The Shape of Faith to Come”); Ed Stetzer (“Lost and Found”); Johnny Hunt (“Building Your Leadership Resume”); and Stephen and Alex Kendrick (“The Love Dare”).
— LifeWay Conference Centers will hold drawings for gift certificates for overnight stays at Ridgecrest and Glorieta.
ETHICS & RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION — Through the “If My People …
” initiative featured in the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission booth, the ERLC will call Southern Baptists to humble themselves before God and cry out in prayer, as described in 2 Chronicles 7:14, in order to be changed and poised to have an impact on their communities and the nation’s culture. “Repenting, praying and seeking God must begin with people being converted,” ERLC president Richard Land said. “But the converted then have an obligation to minister in all spheres of life, because we have a Gospel that penetrates and changes all spheres of life.” A highlight of the booth will be daily interactive trivia games on a variety of issues assigned to the ERLC, such as the sanctity of human life, gambling and hunger. Staffers from both the Nashville and Washington, D.C., offices will be available throughout the convention, along with complimentary copies of ERLC publications.
GUIDESTONE FINANCIAL RESOURCES — GuideStone’s wellness center once again will provide a free health screening valued at $150. Messengers and family members can have their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar checked, along with bone density and body mass index. At GuideStone’s main booth, participants can stop by for a personal review of their investment account and learn more about GuideStone’s life and health products. A one-hour class on retirement benefit options provided by GuideStone will be available to participants. Times and locations for the seminar will be posted in the GuideStone booth. Resources for Mission:Dignity Sunday also will be on hand at the booth.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE — Messengers can sign up at the Executive Committee’s booth to receive Volume 3 of the popular “Every Number Has a Story” series produced by the EC’s Cooperative Program and stewardship division. The features focus on the fruit of Southern Baptists’ cooperative efforts. Various Cooperative Program, stewardship and SBC resources also will be available. Messengers can update their church information on SBC.net; order a bulk subscription to SBC LIFE for their churches; and learn more about It’s A New Day for Financial Freedom, which was launched at the 2006 SBC annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C. Messengers can register for a Wii entertainment system, including the Wii Fit pack. One system will be given away each day; you must be a registered messenger to enter. Other groups that have an alliance with the Executive Committee will have exhibits adjacent to the EC booth, including Crown Financial Ministries, Unlimited Partnerships, Holman Bible Outreach International, the Southern Baptist Foundation and PhilanthroCorp. The goal of the Executive Committee is to “inspire confidence in cooperation.”
WOMAN’S MISSIONARY UNION — Building on the tag line WMU launched last year, “Change a Life. Change the World,” the missions education organization will showcase missions involvement initiatives for preschoolers, children, youth and adults. In addition to church-based approaches, the WMU booth will feature a new Bible study series from New Hope Publishers, along with WorldCrafts products handcrafted by artisans from around the world. Visitors also can enter a drawing for a Nintendo Wii Fit.
SEMINARY EXTENSION — Seminary Extension’s booth will focus on the Southern Baptist Contention’s commitment to make theological education and ministry training available to everyone in the churches. The booth will display examples of individual courses in addition to highlighting diploma and certificate programs. Copies of the Seminary Extension catalog will be available. Seminary Extension staff also will look forward to visiting with former and current students as well as the many volunteer instructors who have served faithfully through the years.
SOUTHERN BAPTIST HISTORICAL LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES — Copies of images and documents illustrating the rise and growth of Baptists in Europe and early America will be on display in conjunction with various Baptist traditions’ celebration of the 400th anniversary of Baptists, dating back to John Smyth and Thomas Helwys fleeing religious persecution in England to establish a church in Amsterdam embracing believer’s baptism. Informational brochures on the library and archives, microfilming church records, publications related to church archives and church history, and information on the Baptist History and Heritage Society will be available. Also planned for the dining area in the exhibit hall will be Baptist classic films, where attendees can view selected early Baptist-produced motion picture films such as the “Jot” cartoon episodes and the dramatic series, “This is the Answer and Human Dimension.”
GOLDEN GATE SEMINARY — Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is celebrating its 65th year in 2009 — and its 50th year on Strawberry Point at the Northern California Campus by honoring alumni from the graduating classes of 1949-59. Tickets for the Alumni and Friends Luncheon may be purchased at the booth. Representatives will be available to discuss the benefits of a Golden Gate education, including master’s and doctoral degrees offered at the five Golden Gate campuses in the West: Northern California (San Francisco area), Southern California, Rocky Mountain (Denver), Phoenix and the Pacific Northwest.
MIDWESTERN SEMINARY — “Thy Word is Truth” will be the theme of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary & College’s exhibit featuring items from The Rawlings Foundation, including historically significant Bibles and a letter from the Inquisition. The foundation’s holdings, based in Florence, Ky., illustrate the development of the English Bible. Free booklets titled “Answering the Call” will be provided to those considering a seminary education. Faculty and student representatives from the Kansas City, Mo., campus will be on hand to answer questions from alumni and prospective students about MBTS’ various degree programs.
NEW ORLEANS SEMINARY — Faculty members from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary will be on hand in the NOBTS booth to answer questions from alumni and potential students about the current degree programs as well as new initiatives at the main campus or the seminary’s extension centers. In keeping with tradition, NOBTS also will give away small bottles of Louisiana hot sauce to those who visit the booth.
SOUTHEASTERN SEMINARY — Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s booth will focus on what the seminary is doing to equip students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission. The seminary also plans to use its exhibit space to thank Southern Baptists for their support of the Cooperative Program and to give alumni and friends of Southeastern as well as potential students a place to relax for a few moments during the convention and Pastors’ Conference.
SOUTHERN SEMINARY – With Southern Baptist Theological Seminary marking its 150th anniversary this year, its exhibit will reflect the sesquicentennial celebration. Several events related to the anniversary will be held during the convention featuring seminary faculty. At the booth, faculty members also will be on hand to discuss the anniversary and SBTS academic programs. The “Albert Mohler Program,” a daily broadcast featuring SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr., will broadcast live from Southern’s booth at 5 p.m. on June 22 and 23.
SOUTHWESTERN SEMINARY — Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s booth will reflect the seminary’s ongoing passion for taking the Gospel to the world’s unreached peoples. The booth will feature several seminary-produced videos conveying stories of students, highlighting Southwestern’s heritage and a campus tour. Additionally, seminary representatives and faculty will be available to discuss Southwestern’s programs and to answer questions.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.