More than 1,100 messengers preregistered for Georgia Baptist Convention's annual meeting


SNELLVILLE, Ga. — More than 1,100 messengers have preregistered for the Georgia Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, which kicks off next Sunday at the Church on Main in Snellville.

Fayetteville pastor Josh Saefkow, who will be seeking re-election to a second term as president, said the emphasis of the three-day gathering will be on Calling Out the Called, the title of a broader initiative aimed at identifying the next generation of church leaders and helping them navigate pathways to ministry.

“Whether they would be deacons, whether they would be Sunday school teachers, whether they would be missionaries, whether they would be pastors, I believe they’re in our pews right now,” said Saefkow, pastor of Flat Creek Baptist Church.

The number of messengers signing up has been growing daily leading up to the annual meeting of the 1.2 million-member Georgia Baptist Convention.   

“It’s always like a homecoming, a family gathering,” Saefkow said last month. “It’s the one time of year that we come together from the four corners of the state, and we celebrate what we’re doing together for the kingdom of God.”

The get-together includes powerful preaching and singing mingled among an agenda that will include the election of officers as well as a vote on a proposal to update the convention’s 200-year-old governing documents.

Messengers will choose the president as well as vice presidents, all of whom serve in voluntary capacities.

The Georgia Baptist Mission Board began an initiative last year that’s geared toward preparing the state’s next generation of pastors, missionaries, evangelists and other church leaders.

“I am confident this process will help us raise up a new generation of leaders to help strengthen churches,” Levi Skipper, who leads the Mission Board’s church strengthening team, told Georgia Baptist leaders at the initiative’s rollout. “When it comes time for you to look for a staff member, there’s actually going to be a pond filled with great, great leaders for you to fish from.”