The 2017 Georgia Baptist Convention Annual Meeting will take place at North Metro First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Nov. 13-14. The theme for the 196th annual meeting of the convention is “The harvest truly is plentiful,” taken from the text Matthew 9:37. We are anticipating a great meeting with a lot of outstanding preaching and inspiring music that will bless us all.
We are grateful to our host pastor, Frank Cox, and the North Metro First Baptist Church for their extensive efforts to make this the best annual meeting we have ever had.
Our president, Thomas Hammond, has provided outstanding leadership throughout his two years of service. I am grateful for Thomas’ friendship, for his constant support, and for the way he has reached out to pastors all over Georgia to bless them and their ministries. Under his leadership the annual meeting last year was one of the most inspiring I have ever experienced and I anticipate the same this year.
Our missionary sermon will be preached by Robby Foster from Northside Baptist in Valdosta and the doctrinal sermon will be preached by Anthony George from First Baptist Atlanta. These two men will inspire all of us as they bring these key messages for our annual meeting.
The pre-convention inspirational rally will be Sunday evening, Nov. 12 from 6-7:30 p.m. Our special guest for this service will be David Platt, president of the International Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention. David is a man with the world in his heart and a heart for the world. I know that you have been praying for him as he leads this very strategic ministry of Southern Baptists. Now, I encourage you to come and hear him during this Sunday evening service.
Music guests include Al Denson, worship leader in Grapevine, TX; Keron Jackson, from Dallas, TX; and Rodrigo Rodriguez, from Simpsonville, SC. Georgia Baptists love to sing and they love to hear inspiring music. Our hearts will be lifted in song through these fine musicians.
There will be two special choir groups that will join us. One is an international choir and another choir made up of college students. These two groups are strategic in the life and ministry of Georgia Baptists. As you may already know, we worship in over 50 languages every week and are thrilled to be involved in the ministry of three outstanding Baptist colleges in Georgia. We are thankful that these two choir groups can be a part of our annual meeting.
As you know, every convention meeting must include certain business matters that must come before the convention. Mike Stone, who serves as chairman of the executive committee, will bring his report in the Tuesday morning session. Vital information will be shared which will be important to our future work. Various reports will be scattered throughout the convention schedule including the Mission Georgia report, which I look forward to sharing with you.
Please keep our president, Thomas Hammond, in your prayers as we approach this annual meeting and pray for our vice presidents, Rick Statham, Levi Skipper, Jim Perdue, and Joey Taylor, as these men provide leadership for our meeting. I know that they will greatly appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
I am very excited to share with you that at this year’s annual meeting a new history of the Georgia Baptist Convention, authored by Dr. J. Gerald Harris, will be made available to those who attend the annual meeting. Dr. Harris will also make himself available for a book signing during the course of our meeting. This history is a large volume and has been exceedingly well-written by Dr. Harris. You will find that it contains a very interesting parallel of history between the Georgia Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention as well as many anecdotes that add humor and interest to the book.
I have read every word of this volume and found it to be one of the most interesting history books I have ever read. I believe that you will enjoy it and it will give you a complete view of our Georgia Baptist history from the early 1970s to the present time in 2017. I am very grateful to Dr. Harris for writing this book.
In the midst of all the wonderful events that will take place at the annual meeting, one of my favorite parts is always the fellowship that we have with each other when we get together. I look forward to seeing you there and ask that you pray with me that God will bless us with an outstanding annual meeting.