June 1, 2014
Hello Southern Baptist Messengers and Guests,
I bring you greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
It is with great joy and enthusiasm that I welcome you to the beautiful city of Baltimore for our 2014 annual meeting. Since our convention ended last year in Houston, the local arrangements committee here in Baltimore has put in hours and hours at meetings preparing to host each of you here for this year’s convention. I have no doubt you will see and experience all their hard work from the beginning to the very end of our meeting. Thank you, local arrangements committee members, for your hard work and dedication!
Messengers, please make sure you arrive at each and every session prepared to hear exciting and inspirational reports from our entities, boards, and seminary presidents. You will be encouraged as we hear the anticipated reports from our Executive Committee, NAMB, IMB, GuideStone, LifeWay, the Seminaries, WMU, and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. You will also have an opportunity to elect a new SBC president and Convention officers who will lead us next year.
Again this year we will have a special Tuesday night service where no business will be presented or discussed. We will be blessed with inspirational music and a message from the Word of God. This service last year had a record turnout of messengers, and we anticipate the same this year. You do not want to miss this special Tuesday night service!
Our theme for 2014 is Restoration and Revival Through Prayer, taken from Psalm 80:18–19. Brothers and sisters, I am convinced that our churches, our Convention, and our country can experience true revival once we as believers make prayer a priority in our personal and public lives. Throughout the convention, as time permits, we will have brief theme interpretations to emphasize our need for revival and prayer in our nation.
As I said last year, revival will not come from the government, revival will not come from politics, and revival will not happen because of religion. However, revival WILL happen when the Church stands up together in one accord and makes a commitment to truly be the Church!
In closing, please be sure to take some time out to enjoy all the wonderful things that this beautiful city of Baltimore has to offer. I am told that the crab cakes are GREAT!
Fred Luter, Jr.