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Family expert James Dobson will close Salt Lake SBC

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)-James C. Dobson, president of Focus on the Family, will bring the concluding message for the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Salt Lake City June 9-11.
Dobson, nationally recognized expert on the family, will be the keynote speaker for the Thursday, June 11, final session. Focus on the Family is a Colorado Springs, Colo.,-based organization “dedicated to the preservation of the home.”
Dobson’s appearance on the SBC program adds strength to the 141st session of the nation’s largest evangelical body. The meeting is in the Utah capital’s Salt Palace Convention Center, across the street from the Mormon Temple. Utah is the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Also on the agenda for the SBC meeting is the election of a president to succeed Tom Elliff, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Del City, Okla., who has served two one-year terms. The only publicly announced candidate for SBC president is Paige Patterson, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.
The election of the president is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, following Elliff’s concluding message as president Tuesday morning.
Theme for the Utah meeting is “Exalting the Unchanging Christ,” taken from Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever.”
Bringing the annual sermon for the convention meeting will be James G. Merritt, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Snellville, Ga.
The annual meeting will be preceded by a number of satellite events, such as the annual meeting of the Woman’s Missionary Union and the SBC Pastor’s Conference. One earlier event is an evangelistic emphasis, called Crossover Salt Lake City, which occurs in each city where the annual meeting is held. Longtime Utah religious observers say it will be the first time a large door-to-door witnessing campaign by a group the size of the SBC will be held in Salt Lake City, noting the door-to-door witnessing is a strategy often used by Mormons in other cities.
Other highlights of the annual meeting include mission emphasis nights with the North American Mission Board’s presentation on Tuesday night and the International Mission Board highlighting international missions on Wednesday night. Also, highlighting the music portion of the annual meeting will be The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, a group of more than 280 ministers of music in that state, and the Oklahoma Baptist Symphony, with more than 60 musicians from Southern Baptist churches in Oklahoma.
Messengers also will hear reports from the various SBC entities and vote on several business items and resolutions, according to Rick E. Ferguson, pastor of Riverside Baptist Church, Denver, and chairman of the SBC Committee on Order of Business.

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  • Herb Hollinger