WARNER ROBINS – This time next week about 1,500 Georgia Baptist messengers and their family members will be gathered at Second Baptist Church to worship, conduct business, and deliver backpacks for underprivileged children in Appalachia and south Georgia.
As of this morning, 831 messengers had preregistered for the 197th annual meeting, which is tracking slightly below last year’s numbers. State Missionary Kevin Wilson, who oversees the registration process, noted that 1,305 messengers attended last year’s gathering at North Metro First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville.
This is the third year for the new registration process, which has proved to be highly popular.
The meeting, as in past years, will be live streamed from the Georgia Baptist Mission Board website here. Messengers will also be able to follow along with the
Georgia Baptist Mission Board app for Mac and Android users.
Among business items to be acted on by the close of the gathering on Tuesday evening will be the adoption of the 2019 budget, election of a new president following the announcement that Stone will not seek a second term, and recognition of the retirement of Executive Director J. Robert White.
Sunday evening inspirational rally
As is tradition, the annual session will begin with an inspirational rally from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Sunday evening.
Worship Leader will be Rhon Carter of First Statesboro, followed by the Missions Interpretation by Executive Director J. Robert White. The Inspirational Message will be delivered by Evangelist Rick Coram. Hammond will present the benediction.
Monday morning Executive Committee; Monday Afternoon Preaching Conference
The Executive Committee meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday in Youth/Activities Building across from the church. The afternoon will feature the annual Preaching Conference from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the church. Guest speakers include James Merritt, Rick Coram, Jeremy Morton, Rhon Carter, and Barry Snapp.
Monday evening Opening Session
The Convention session will open at 6 p.m. that evening and conclude around 9 p.m. The welcome will be delivered by Host Pastor Jim Perdue, with the opening prayer by Host Associational Director of Missions Tim Millwood. Special music will be presented by the Emmanuel Church Worship Team.
The theme for the gathering will be “Mission Possible” and will be interpreted by Keith Boggs of Real MoMENtum Ministries.
The 6:50 p.m. sermon will be delivered by David Miller, an evangelist from Heber Springs, AR, followed by 7:50 p.m. Words of Greeting co-delivered by J. Robert White and Thomas Hammond.
The program will then follow with the launch of “This is My Story,” which will be introduced by outgoing President Mike Stone and presented by Scott Smith, state missionary in Church Revitalization and Evangelism. A short video of the student focused outreach can be viewed here.
The 8:25 p.m. missionary sermon will be brought by Royce Hulett, pastor of Oakland Baptist Church in Hazlehurst. The benediction will be delivered by James Lightsey of Offerman Church.
A reception for incoming Executive Director-Elect Thomas Hammond and his wife, Kerri, will follow in the worship center lobby.
Tuesday Morning Session
Tuesday’s session will begin at 9 a.m. and break for lunch at noon.
Following reports and memorials, the Doctrinal Sermon will be delivered at 9:45 a.m. by Matt Peek of First Pelham. It will be followed by the Executive Committee Report by White and Executive Committee Chairman Andy Childs of Ebenezer Church in Toccoa, at 10:20 a.m. The duo will present the proposed $41.3 million budget for 2019, up just $100,000 from the current year.
Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, AR will deliver the 11:20 a.m. sermon, followed by the benediction from Austin Burgess of Elim Church in Ludowici.
Tuesday Afternoon Session
After lunch, messengers will return from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. for additional worship, election of officers, various reports such as WMU, Committee on Nominations, and Committee on Resolutions. A Reaching Next Gen Panel will begin at 4:45 p.m. and be moderated by Vice President of Staff Coordination and Development Steve Parr.
Special music for the session will be delivered by the Jubal Chorus.
The election of officers is slated for 5:03 pm., with a Retirement Recognition and Celebration of the 26-year ministry of White at the Mission Board. In January, following his Dec. 31 retirement, he will assume the role of president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation.
The annual meeting will conclude with a benediction by Assistant Executive Director Bobby Boswell, and be followed by a retirement celebration for White in the Youth and Activities Center.