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Southern Baptist evangelists gear up for worship & youth rally

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–“Anticipating His Return” will be the theme of the worship service sponsored by the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists on Sunday, June 21, from 9 a.m.–noon, in the Kentucky Exposition Center’s Room South C201-204.

Some 1,000 attendees are expected for the COSBE service, the high point of COSBE’s annual evangelists’ retreat preceding the Southern Baptist Convention.

“If the churches of our convention are to increase baptisms, grow churches and change our culture, every spiritual gift among us must be activated by the Holy Spirit and must be utilized in our churches,” said Ron Herrod, COSBE president. The COSBE retreat, he said, “can be a catalyst toward a greater utilization of the gifts and ministries that the men and women of COSBE possess, and can ultimately lead to seeing a great harvest of souls.”

Featured during the worship service (at 9:04 a.m.) will be Jim McNiel, a Christian dramatist known as “The Walking Bible.” Instead of preaching a sermon, McNiel’s presentation on “The Word Speaks” will involve his quoting of large passages of Scripture from memory.

Following McNiel will be Johnny Hunt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., who will preach on “Building the Last Day’s Church” (9:22 a.m.).

International evangelist and author Sammy Tippit will preach at 10:03 a.m. on “Reaping the Last Day’s Harvest.” During his 40 years of ministry, Tippit has proclaimed the Gospel in 80 countries.

Herrod, COSBE’s president, will deliver the presidential address at 10:47 a.m., speaking on “Countdown to Armageddon.” A resident of Sevierville, Tenn., Herrod founded his ministry in 1995, following 36 years as a senior pastor.

Winding up the 2009 COSBE worship service will be Ergun Caner, president of the Liberty Theological Seminary at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. (11:28 a.m.), who will speak on “Engaging the Last Day’s Culture.” Raised as the son of a Muslim leader in Turkey, Caner became a Christian as a young man. A popular speaker and apologist who has debated Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and other religious leaders in 13 countries and 35 states, Caner holds six college degrees and is the author of 17 books.

Bob Smith, a music evangelist and soloist from Huntsville, Ala., will lead congregational singing. Other musical performers will include saxophonist Reggie Lafaye; “Sons of The Father,” a family gospel group of Les Snyder and sons Chris and Brent; Christian keyboard artist Jeff Cleghorn; and singers Cindy Johnson and Gaye Ramsey.

During the COSBE worship service, a special offering will be collected for the Baptism Assistance Project (BAP), a joint initiative by COSBE and the North American Mission Board to use COSBE evangelists to preach at SBC churches throughout the United States struggling with no or low baptisms.

Under BAP, COSBE-certified evangelists (preaching and music) agree to preach/sing at any SBC church needing assistance. Churches commit to a detailed planning and preparation process and agree to take a “sacrificial” love offering, which would not go directly to the evangelists but back to the BAP, which in turn pays the COSBE evangelists a modest, pre-determined honorarium and travel expenses. The BAP process is available to any church, regardless of size or demographics.

At 6 p.m. on June 21, COSBE also is co-sponsoring a “ONE” student rally with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Long Run Baptist Association and the North American Mission Board. The rally will take place at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Rooms South C201-205.

The student rally will feature San Antonio-based evangelist Ken Freeman, Dove Award-winning Christian music group Building 429 and the evangelistic team of Dean, Gayna and Geoffrey Forrest.

COSBE, now in its 51st year, is an SBC-endorsed organization of some 200 full-time vocational evangelists. Billy Graham has said that “no organization has sought to link the ministry of the evangelist and the pastor more than the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists, and I encourage you to prayerfully consider using a member of COSBE in your church and community.”

For more information on COSBE or the Baptism Assistance Project, go to www.sbcevangelist.org or www.baptismassistance.org
Mickey Noah is a writer with the North American Mission Board.

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