[SLIDESHOW=40473,40474,40475]COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) — Philadelphia pastor K. Marshall Williams cried out to God to mold Christians to stand as Christ’s ambassadors in these last days, as he closed his remarks with prayer during the National African American Fellowship annual banquet June 15 in Columbus, Ohio.
“Lord, break us, that You can make us, that we might be the people of God that You’re calling for in these last and evil days,” prayed Williams, NAAF president and pastor of Nazarene Baptist Church. “God, the people of God need to come together, but until we lay flat on our face and cry out to You, and allow You to do a work in our hearts that we might be that which You’re calling for in these last and evil days, neither revival nor spiritual awakening will come.”
Williams drew from several Scripture passages in a message titled “The Prerequisite for Revival and Spiritual Awakening,” pointing to fear of the Lord and a humility born of brokenness. Speaking to pastors, pastors’ wives, other ministers, SBC entity leaders and guests in a ballroom of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Williams interspersed prayer with a call to Christians to surrender to God.
“We need to surrender from the pulpit to the door, from the ceiling to the floor. We need Jesus to fill us that we might be children of the Most High God,” Williams said, also voicing thanks to God for NAAF and the SBC.
“Thank You for what You’re going to do in our lives and in this nation, and even in this eon,” he prayed. “Allow a fresh wind to blow through America and turn this nation right side up for Christ.”
SBC leaders greeting the group included Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; O.S. Hawkins, president, GuideStone Financial Resources; Keith Jefferson, International Mission Board African American missional church strategist; Mark Croston, LifeWay Christian Resources national director of black church partnerships,; Gary Frost, vice president of the North American Mission Board’s Midwest Region; Daniel Sanchez, missions professor and director of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Scarborough Institute for Church Growth; Ken Weathersby, SBC Executive Committee vice president for convention advancement; Bob Sena, Executive Committee Hispanic relations consultant; and Valerie Carter, executive director and treasurer of the Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia.
Frank S. Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, also expressed his love and appreciation, making reference to Micah 6:8.
“There are times we have a right to do something, but it’s not the right thing to do. And I’m glad that we’re finding out and learning what is right and hopefully starting to do that which is right,” Page said. “I want us also to be a people who love mercy, who treat each other with mercy as you have to me, and to walk humbly before our God.”
NAAF honored the late Samuel G. Simpson with its Legacy Award. Simpson, who died in February at age 83, served two terms as president of the Baptist Convention of New York, was the founding pastor of the Bronx Baptist Church and Wake-Eden Community Baptist Church, both in New York, and was a Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) missionary. He was often called the “Bishop of the Bronx.”
NAAF reelected its slate of officers to serve another one-year term, during its annual business meeting preceding the banquet.
In addition to Williams, they are vice president Byron Day, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Laurel, Md.; treasurer Frank Williams, pastor of Bronx Baptist Church and Wake-Eden Community Baptist Church in Bronx, N.Y.; secretary Erik Cummings, pastor of New Light Baptist Church, Miami; parliamentarian Michael Pigg, pastor of Philadelphia Baptist Church, Lithonia, Ga.; and historian Robert Wilson, pastor of Light of the Word Baptist Church, Atlanta. Presidents of state African American fellowships serve as vice presidents at large.
Returning regional directors are Brian D. King Sr., Eastern Region, pastor of Ezekiel Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pa.; Jeffery Friend, Central Region, pastor of Suburban Baptist Church, New Orleans; Garland Moore, Mountain Region, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, Milan, N.M., and A.B. Vines, Western Region, pastor of New Seasons Baptist Church, Spring Valley, Calif.
Ray Gaffney, president of the Ohio African American Fellowship and pastor of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Defiance, delivered the business meeting devotion.
Croston, preaching pastor of the Living Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., preached during NAAF’s annual worship service the morning of June 14 at New Antioch Bible Fellowship in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Croston preached from 1 Samuel 16:1-14 on “The Power of God’s Anointing.” Trent Hayes was host pastor.