The Open Door: Savannah annual meeting impact will be felt for a long time

Print Friendly
Georgia Baptist Convention Executive Director J. Robert White brought the Missions Inspiration sermon Sunday evening. JOE WESTBURY/Index

Georgia Baptist Convention Executive Director J. Robert White brought the Missions Inspiration sermon Sunday evening at the annual meeting in Savannah. JOE WESTBURY/Index

Another Georgia Baptist Convention annual meeting is now history, but the impact will be felt in our hearts for a very long time. Our president, Dr. Thomas Hammond, designed a beautiful worship experience for all of us, combining music, preaching of the Word, pastor video testimonies, and more.

As he said, “You came to attend a convention meeting and discovered a worship service.” For me, it was like one great big revival service from the opening gavel to the final prayer.

Our host church, Calvary Baptist Temple, and pastor Kenny Grant, could not have been more generous and gracious. They anticipated and met our every need. Buddy Wasson, the associational missionary for the Savannah Baptist Association, greeted the crowd in the church’s sanctuary to begin the first session. We could not have had the annual meeting if it had not been for the many volunteers and resources of the local association and the church.

No doubt, as messengers and guests left the meeting they still had ringing in their ears and hearts the amazing performance of “How Can It Be” by Elizabeth Bailey. Dressed in her cowgirl outfit with her countenance reflecting joy in Christ, Elizabeth sang like an angel and brought the entire crowd to their feet. It was a moment that many of us will never forget.

It was my privilege to present the Mission Georgia focus on Tuesday afternoon. Highlighted were a Georgia Baptist Egyptian pastor, a special two-year partnership with the Augusta Baptist Association, a medical student impacted by collegiate ministry, and a Georgia Baptist missionary couple serving with the International Mission Board in North Africa. This vibrant young couple serving in one of the toughest places in the world today is a beautiful reflection of who we are as Georgia Baptists. We are a missionary people with a commitment to reach those without Christ in Georgia, North America, and the world.

I have often said that we would not have the international missionary force we now have across the world if it was not for the local churches, associations, and Baptist state conventions. We are a breeding ground for missionaries and they are literally all across the world. Their inclination toward missions and their call from God, in many cases, began early in their life and culminated in full surrender and submission to God’s call to missionary service.

Once again, Georgia Baptists responded to the encouragement to prepare backpacks for the children of Appalachia. Reaching toward 30,000 backpacks, by the time the convention began, there were 23,000 collected and awaiting distribution. That truly is amazing. We can do so much to the glory of the Lord when we join hands to accomplish great things for Him.

Serving Georgia Baptists for these 24 years has been a true blessing to Janice and me. Thank you for another great year.

Jubalheirs minister, present concerts in New Orleans
Seventeen men saved at North Georgia Men’s Conference
Brewton-Parker wrestling shows out at Nationals
Intercultural Leadership Conference holds annual meeting
Georgia Baptists join others responding to ERLC, Moore statements with optimism 
March Mildness?: Americans share views on sports
Plans look to the future in Executive Committee meeting 
Truett McConnell University Announces New Master of Science in Biology Program
Brewton-Parker wrestling shows out at Nationals
March Mildness?: Americans share views on sports
This Thursday legislation will seek to legalize gambling that violates Georgia law. Here’s how you can stop it.
The Clemson legend from the 40s you haven’t heard of, but earned a call from Dabo Swinney at his funeral
Brewton-Parker wrestling shows out at Nationals
Students present outgoing youth pastor with quilts from T-shirts representing nine years of ministry
Valdosta BCM raises nearly $5,000 for Send Me Now missions
Wisdom from 18-year-old Wil Nolan
Bible Study for March 26: Victorious Faith
Daily Bible Readings: March 16-31
Bible Study for March 19: Victory over Sin 
Bible Study for March 12: Victorious Hope