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‘Loving God by loving others’ NAAF focus

ST. LOUIS (BP) — Promoting personal holiness, strengthening church ministry, and equipping pastors to navigate the Southern Baptist Convention are goals of the National African American Fellowship as it gathers June 11–13 in conjunction with the SBC Annual Meeting in St. Louis.

Praying, fasting and obeying God, while seeking “implicit and inexplicable love and unity in the church will hopefully bring revival” and a national spiritual awakening, NAAF President K. Marshall Williams told Baptist Press.

“We are calling for a Greatest Commandment revival,” Williams said, to impact the church and culture by modeling love and unity in the church that will encourage national revival and spiritual awakening.

“My prayer for every God-called pastor, preacher-prophet and person in the pew,” Williams said, “is to personally and passionately pursue transparency with the Prince of Peace, in repentance for renewal, that will equip and encourage us to be ocular demonstrations and pictorial illustrations of incarnational truth, manifesting the power of God in a unified prophetic voice as Kingdom citizens of all ethnicities.”

“Loving God by loving others,” based on Micah 6:8, Matthew 22:37-40, and 1 John 3:14, is the annual meeting theme of the leaders from the 3,500–4,000 Southern Baptist African American churches and church-like missions.

NAAF will continue its mission to strengthen church ministry by hosting conferences and kingdom symposiums, and will pursue a “united prophetic voice in the body of Christ in policy and practicum,” Williams said.

NAAF will elect new officers at its business meeting June 13 at 4:00 p.m. in Room 242 of America’s Center. The slate of officers recommended at NAAF’s spring board meeting are Byron Day, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Laurel, Md., president; Marshall Ausberry, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, in Fairfax Station, Va., vice president; Erik Cummings, pastor of New Life Baptist Church in Miami, secretary; Frank Williams, pastor of Wake-Eden Community Baptist Church in the Bronx, N.Y., treasurer; Bucas Sterling III, pastor of Kettering Baptist Church, in Upper Marlboro, Md., parliamentarian, and Robert Wilson, pastor of Light of the World Baptist Church in Atlanta, historian.

Ausberry will preach at NAAF’s annual worship service June 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Beth-El Baptist Church, 1809 New Jamestown Rd. in Spanish Lake, Mo. Emmett Baker Jr. is the host pastor.

K. Marshall Williams, senior pastor of Nazarene Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pa., will deliver his final presidential address at the NAAF annual banquet, June 13 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 276 of America’s Center. Banquet tickets are $60, available at naafsbc.org.

NAAF will recognize Elgia “Jay” Wells upon his retirement as NAAF executive director, Williams said, a post Wells has held since 2013. Wells is pastor emeritus of Simeon Baptist Church in Antioch, Tenn. and former director of black church relations for LifeWay Christian Resources.

Participation in Crossover St. Louis, an evangelistic outreach in the annual meeting’s host city, and attendance at the 2016 National Conversation on Racial Unity, featuring SBC President Ronnie Floyd and National Baptist Convention USA President Jerry Young, are also on NAAF’s agenda.