WOODSTOCK, Ga. (BP)–More than 12,000 men from 30-plus states attended a two-day conference at the Atlanta-area church where Johnny Hunt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is pastor.
The men’s conference, in its 17th year, had been held during one weekend in the past but was expanded to two weekends this year to accommodate crowds of more than 6,000 Jan. 30-31 and again Feb. 6-7 at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga.
With the theme “Temptation Island,” the event offered three keynote addresses from Hunt as well as breakout sessions on leadership and development, marriage and family, and spiritual growth and obedience. Tracks also were available for youth and Spanish speakers.
“I came expecting God and I got Him,” Adam Moore, from Birmingham, Ala., said. “I came home wanting change not only in my personal life but my relationship with God and my wife. What I came away with was restoration.
“This conference really hit home with me since I was addicted to pornography for so many years,” Moore said. “It is a very shameful thing to admit to my wife, but I did. I am now being held accountable by her as well as my preacher with software on my PC. Since coming home I have started my quiet times in the morning, reading God’s Word and actually learning.”
Hundreds of volunteers from First Baptist helped make the two-weekend conference a reality. They managed traffic flow, guided people around the church campus and served a steak dinner to thousands of men prior to the conference.
“This was our group’s third trip, and our group continues to be impressed with not only the quality of the event but with how well you move men from location to location, especially through the feeding lines on Friday afternoon,” Keith Inman, from Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., wrote on a feedback form. “In all three trips, we have never waited in line for eating, and that includes last year when the campus was literally overrunning with men.”
Men were led in worship during the conference by Scott White, minister of music and worship at First Baptist Woodstock. Hunt’s messages were interpreted in Spanish as well as for the hearing impaired.
“As long as we are in our mortal bodies, we will experience the presence of sin within us,” Hunt told the men. “But at no time does a Christian have to yield to sin’s power. Because we have the provision of Christ’s own nature and Spirit within us, we do not have to make provision for the flesh by fulfilling its lusts.”
Inman expressed gratefulness for the enrichment.
“I was moved by the music and motivated by Bro. Johnny’s messages,” Inman said. “He truly has been given a much-needed word for men in this day and time.”
David Bartlett, pastor of Hill View Baptist Church in Greenwood, Miss., said he was blessed by a breakout session called “7 Ways to Avoid a Cast and Crutches for Your Life and Leadership.”
“I saw areas in my own ministry that would benefit from this teaching. I couldn’t write fast enough to get all the tips and teaching,” Bartlett said.
Jerry Sherrell, pastor of Cottage Hill Baptist Church in Pleasant Grove, Ala., took several men from his church, one of whom asked how he could access recordings of all of the breakout sessions regarding marriage and family.
“He told me that he had promised the Lord that from this point on he would learn to be the father, husband and man of his family,” Sherrell said. “He also asked for offering envelopes, stating that in all his years of membership he had never given. He has pledged to tithe. Stories like this bring joy to the heart of a pastor.”
Next year’s conference is scheduled for Jan. 29-30 and Feb. 5-6.
Complied by Baptist Press staff writer Erin Roach with reporting by Paul Hahn, adult ministry director at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga. For more information, visit www.johnnyhuntmensconference.com.