Various groups to host gatherings, give reports during #SBC19

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During the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama, many groups and agencies will host their own meetings, sessions, and luncheons. Here are a few. For the full schedule, click here.

LifeWay to show VBS ‘Worth It’ in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — LifeWay Christian Resources will provide a free breakfast and screen an upcoming film during the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Birmingham this June.

The topic at this year’s LifeWay breakfast in Birmingham will be “It’s Worth It: Uncovering How One Week Can Transform Your Church.” Messengers will learn how this time-tested and statistically-supported Vacation Bible School ministry can continue to reach children and families with the Gospel.

The LifeWay breakfast topic, “It’s Worth It: Uncovering How One Week Can Transform Your Church,” will focus on the long-term impact of Vacation Bible School (VBS). Messengers will learn how this time-tested and statistically-supported ministry can continue to reach children and families with the Gospel.

A discussion panel of ministry leaders and experts will walk through findings from a new research project spanning several years — and thousands of churches and leaders — to provide insight on how VBS can help transform congregations, communities and generations.

LifeWay Films will present “Overcomer,” soon to be released from the Kendrick Brothers. There are two evening screening opportunities on Tuesday, June 11. A special screening for church leaders, which includes dinner with the film’s creators, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Because seating is limited, advanced reservations should be made by emailing

To learn more, read full story here.

GuideStone popular resources available at SBC

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — GuideStone Financial Resources will once again make available the popular Wellness Center June 10–12 during the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference and the 2019 SBC Annual Meeting.

GuideStone Financial Resources President O.S. Hawkins gives a report to messengers at the 2018 SBC annual meeting in Dallas. VAN PAYNE/Baptist Press

Personal health assessments will be available during the sessions each day the exhibit hall is open, Monday and Tuesday until 6 p.m. and until 1 p.m. Wednesday.

GuideStone staff will be available during all exhibit hall hours to meet with participants about their retirement accounts or to speak about insurance coverage.

GuideStone will offer its Preparing for Retirement seminar from 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 in Chamomile Room 407 of the Sheraton Hotel, attached to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Registration is recommended but not required. Attendees can register at

Read full story for more information on other GuideStone events and giveaways.

Messianics to highlight discipleship, cooperation

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — The Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship will focus on discipleship and completing an organizational restructuring effort when the group convenes in Birmingham, Alabama, in conjunction with the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting.

Ric Worshill, executive director of the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship, talks with visitors to the exhibit hall at the 2018 SBC annual meeting in Dallas. VAN PAYNE/ Baptist Press

The SBMF — which comprises largely Messianic Jews (Jews who follow Jesus as Messiah) — will gather Sunday, June 9, at noon for a lunch meeting at The Westin Birmingham’s restaurant, 2221 Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North in Birmingham.

The meeting’s “disciples making disciples” theme, SMBF executive director Ric Worshill said, references both a celebration of what has occurred over the past year and an encouragement to do more church planting and leadership development.

“We’ve got to get the people more active with being involved with the local association,” he said, “being more involved with the state [convention], being more involved with the Cooperative Program. I don’t care if they have five members. They can still be part of the Cooperative Program…. There are missionaries out there that really do a lot of work, and they need to be supported.”

SBMF President Bruce Stokes said this year’s meeting “is particularly important as we begin the process of updating our mission and revising our organizational structure to address Messianic ministry and related issues within the SBC and in association with the larger Messianic movement.”

Following the SBMF annual meeting, fellowship members will help staff the Many Faces of the SBC booth in the SBC exhibit hall, highlighting the various ethnic fellowships within the convention.

For more information, read the full story here.

Native Americans to offer culture, evangelism insight

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — A variety of Native American tribes — Seminole, Pawnee, Choctaw, Navajo, and others — will be represented in each tribe’s traditional garb at the annual meeting of the Fellowship of Native American Christians.

Warren “Junior” Pratt performs with his children during the 2018 SBC annual meeting in Dallas. The dancers are part of the Tribe of Judah Native Dance Ministry and will be performing again at this year’s meeting of the Fellowship of Native American Christians in Birmingham. VAN PAYNE/Baptist Press

The event, set for 10 a.m.-noon Monday, June 10, is open to all Southern Baptists with an interest in Native Americans or in ministry with Native Americans.

The meeting of the group, known as FoNAC, will be in conjunction with the 2019 SBC Annual Meeting June 11-12 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham, Ala., and will take place in the BJCC Forum Building, Room J, on Level 3.

A highlight from last year — Junior Pratt and his family dancing, drumming and singing in Pawnee to convey the Gospel — will return this year.

FoNAC President Ledtkey “Lit” McIntosh of the Creek tribe, in his report during the meeting, will describe three levels of partnership with FoNAC that can contribute to significant assistance in ministry with Natives in the United States and Canada.

Since its organization in 2012, FoNAC has served in a non-funded capacity as a North American Mission Board networking entity, connecting people wanting to serve Native Americans with those churches requesting a hand-up, Hawkins said.

FoNAC’s annual gathering will include an overview of activities over the last year, such as post-Hurricane Florence assistance to Burnt Swamp Baptist Association of Native American churches in North Carolina. Among other business: Hawkins’ executive director’s report about ministry and new opportunities in urban areas and in Canada; leaders who will be joining and leaving the executive board and advisory council; and a financial report by FoNAC treasurer Tim Chavis of the Lumbee tribe.

For more information, read the full story here.

Filipinos to stress partnership, church planting

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — “Partnership in the Gospel” will be the theme and church planting a main emphasis when the Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of North America convenes in conjunction with the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Ala.

Pastor Felix Sermon Jr., vice president for the East Coast Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship, prays for Pastor Alvin Camota of Suffern, N.Y., at the 2018 SBC annual meeting in Dallas. Camota was elected vice president of the Second-Generation Asian American Fellowship. KATHLEEN MURRAY/Baptist Press

The fellowship will shift its traditional Tuesday meeting time to Monday so fellowship members also can participate fully in the SBC annual meeting, which convenes June 11-12. Filipino Southern Baptists will gather Monday, June 10 from 1-5 p.m. in East Ballroom B at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

Guest speakers will include Allen Hill, director of missions for the Appalachee Baptist Association in Monroe, Ga., and Rick Wheeler, lead missional strategist for the Jacksonville (Fla.) Baptist Association. Hill, a former missionary to the Philippines for more than 20 years, will address the meeting’s “partnership in the Gospel” theme while Wheeler will present a seminar on servant leadership.

Fellowship president Dan Santiago hopes the emphasis on partnership will inspire new levels of commitment by Filipino churches.

In other business, the fellowship will elect a new slate of officers to serve for the next two years. Filipino Baptists also will recognize new church planters as well as pastors who have served for at least 20 years.

For more information, read the full story here.

2nd gen. ministry update at Asian American meeting

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — When the National Asian American (NAA) Fellowship holds its annual meeting June 10 in Birmingham, Chris Wong will report on a NAMB initiative he leads to help reach second generation ethnic groups in the U.S. with the Gospel. The Second Generation Asian American Fellowship, which the NAA Fellowship launched in 2017, will also attend. The meeting will be held prior to the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting.

Members of the Second Generation Asian American Fellowship discussed ministry opportunities at this panel discussion during the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Dallas. The National Asian American (NAA) Fellowship, which founded the group, will hear an update on initiatives to reach second-generation ethnic groups when the NAA Fellowship meets in Birmingham in June. SAMUELLE GROVE/Baptist Press

Other speakers will include Ronnie Floyd, president-elect of the SBC Executive Committee, and Doug Carver, NAMB executive director of chaplaincy. The NAA Fellowship President Sammy Joo, Asian church consultant with the North Carolina Baptist Convention, will preside over the 7 p.m. meeting in East Ballroom B on the first level of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

The NAA Fellowship will present plaques of appreciation to Ashley Clayton, SBC EC vice president for Cooperative Program and stewardship; Bill Townes Jr., SBC EC vice president for convention finance; and Art Toalston, BP senior editor, according to Paul Kim, SBC EC Asian-American relations consultant.

Various entity staff members and Asian Baptists will share testimonies. “We will meet there to give updates [on] what God has done since last annual meeting at Dallas,” Kim said.

The NAA Fellowship encompasses eight Asian Southern Baptist fellowships, many of which hold separate annual meetings in addition to gatherings surrounding the SBC annual meeting. Among meetings announced this year, Kim told BP, the Cambodian Baptist Fellowship will meet in Macon, Ga. in late June, and the Vietnamese Baptist Fellowship will meet in early July in Atlanta.

For more information, read the full story here.

Korean Council to hear from IMB’s Paul Chitwood

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood is slated among the speakers Tuesday evening, June 11, during the annual meeting of the Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches in America.

James Kang, executive director of the Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches, gives a report during the group’s 2018 meeting in Dallas. MARC IRA HOOKS/Baptist Press

The gathering — known informally as the “Korean Council,” encompassing about 800 churches that worship in a Korean context — will be June 10-12 at First Baptist Church of Pleasant Grove, a suburb west of Birmingham. The council meets each year in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, set for June 11-12 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

Meeting under the SBC annual meeting’s theme of “Gospel Above All,” the Korean Council will start with a worship service at 7 p.m. Monday and will conclude by 10 p.m. Wednesday.

No activities are scheduled Tuesday afternoon so messengers can “exercise their voting rights” in the SBC’s business deliberations, Kang said.

In addition to Chitwood, Mark Clifton, senior director of replanting at the North American Mission Board, and Hyeok Kim, pastor of Noeun Church in Daejun, South Korea, also will address the Korean Council’s main sessions.

The Korean Council’s three-day meeting will include reports from each of its departments — foreign and home mission boards, Sunday School, WMU and others — plus worship, preaching and Korean food at every meal prepared in part by Alabama’s 10 churches that worship in a Korean context.

Business including the election of officers is schedule during the Wednesday afternoon session. Up for discussion, the request from an association in Georgia to become two associations.

Read the full story for more information.

Chinese fellowship event precedes 2020 biennial

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Strengthening churches, encouraging church plants and supporting pastors and their families are continuing priorities as Chinese Baptists hold an informal fellowship June 11 in Birmingham.

About 200 Chinese Baptist pastors, leaders and family members attended the 2018 biennial conference cruise of the Chinese Baptist Fellowship of the USA and Canada aboard the Carnival Inspiration. The group will meet again June 11 in Birmingham. AMOS LEE/Baptist Press

The Chinese Baptist Fellowship of the United States and Canada (CBF) will gather from 3-7 p.m. in Forum Room E on Level 2 of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, the fellowship’s Executive Director Amos Lee announced. The gathering is scheduled in conjunction with the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting June 11-12 in Birmingham.

Representing about 325 churches in the U.S. and Canada, the fellowship conducts official business in biennial sessions, the next scheduled Sept. 28–Oct. 2, 2020, at Crosspoint Church of Silicon Valley in Milpitas, Calif.

Current fellowship officers are president Benny Wong, pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church, Los Angeles; vice president Alan Chan, pastor of Mandarin Baptist Church, Los Angeles; vice president Peter Liu, pastor of Chinese Christian Church of Greater Jackson, Jackson, Miss.; vice president Jack Yuen, pastor of Richmond Hills Chinese Baptist Church, Ontario, Canada; secretary Andrew Tong, pastor of Hawaii Chinese Baptist Church, Honolulu, Hawaii; treasurer Howard Li, pastor of Trust in God Baptist Church, New York; financial secretary Jady Lo, a deacon at Vancouver Chinese Baptist Church, British Columbia, Canada; and English/next generation ministry leader, retired pastor William Eng.

For more information, read the full story here.

SBC George Liele Day among NAAF goals

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Honoring George Liele, a former slave and the first North American missionary, is among initiatives the National African American Fellowship (NAAF) of the Southern Baptist Convention will pursue at its 2019 annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala.

Marshal Ausberry, seated far right at the National African American Fellowship 2018 annual meeting in Dallas, will deliver his first annual sermon as NAAF president when the group meets in Birmingham, Ala. in June. At the podium is former president Byron Day. MATT MILLER/Baptist Press

NAAF will submit a resolution to add a George Liele Day to the SBC calendar and will ask SBC seminaries to consider creating Liele scholarships, NAAF President Marshal Ausberry told Baptist Press.

Evangelism, church planting, missions, continued outreach to Southern Baptists on the U.S. Virgin Islands, and greater opportunities in SBC life for African Americans are also among NAAF priorities in the coming year, said Ausberry, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Fairfax Station, Va.

Recognizing Liele’s contributions, which predate those of Adoniram Judson and William Carey, will help diversify the SBC, Ausberry said. NAAF has named its 2019 banquet in Liele’s honor.

A 2012 SBC resolution formally recognizes Liele as the first overseas missionary from the U.S. Scholarships in his name could help train future African American missionaries, Ausberry said.

NAAF will hold its annual business meeting at 4 p.m. and its banquet at 6:30 p.m., both June 10 at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, 1101 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. The business meeting’s devotional speaker will be Adron Robinson, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Country Club Hills, Ill., president of the Illinois Baptist State Association and a member of the SBC Executive Committee.

Promoting the “Who’s Your One?” evangelism outreach, collaborating with the North American Mission Board in church planting, and working with the International Mission Board (IMB) to increase church involvement in IMB-sponsored missions are avenues NAAF has tapped to achieve its goals.

NAAF continues to encourage pastors to attend the annual Black Church Leadership and Family Conference, a LifeWay Christian Resources event in its 26th year. Slated for July 22–26 at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Ridgecrest, N.C., the event is the largest gathering of Southern Baptist African American pastors, church leaders and families, offering training, development, worship, recreation and fellowship.

Retired pastor Dennis Mitchell continues as NAAF executive director.

For full info, read the story here.

Hispanic leadership council ready to advance unity

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Unity among Hispanic Baptists continues to gain momentum.

Spanning diverse cultures and countries of origin, the newly formed Southern Baptist Hispanic Leaders Council is sponsoring “Celebrating Our Diversity and Unity in Christ,” a June 10 gathering in Birmingham, Ala., prior to the June 11-12 SBC annual meeting. BAPTIST PRESS

It will be evidenced again when Hispanic pastors and leaders gather for “Celebrating Our Diversity and Unity in Christ” June 10 in Birmingham prior to the Southern Baptist Convention’s June 11-12 annual meeting.

The June 10 Hispanic gathering, from 5:30-8 p.m., will be held in the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex’s Forum Building in Rooms G/H/I on Level 3.

The program will include messages by Felix Cabrera, “A Call to Unity,” and Daniel Sanchez, “Hispanic Reality.”

Cabrera is the SBC’s second vice president, executive director of the Puerto Rico Baptist Convention, lead pastor of Iglesia Bautista Ciudad de Dios in San Juan and co-founder of the Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance. Sanchez is distinguished professor of missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Also slated:

— a panel discussion on preventing sexual abuse led by Ramon Osorio, ethnic relations director for the North American Mission Board.

— posthumous recognition of two Hispanic pastors who were among the early leaders in leading their churches to affiliate with Southern Baptists: Daniel Sotelo, who served churches in several California cities and later worked with the California Southern Baptist Convention’s Hispanic churches, and Walter Montalvo of Iglesia Bautista Peniel in Queens, N.Y., an Ecuadorian native who also planted three Kichwa-language churches in the Bronx and Spring Valley, N.Y., and Irvington, N.J. Sotelo died Jan. 31 at age 84; Montalvo died on Aug. 27 of last year at age 74.

— an overview of LifeWay Equipa by Ariel Irizarry, director of training for LifeWay Global. The interactive platform offers nearly 20 courses in such areas as leadership, discipleship, biblical worldview, small groups, women and children.

-— “Growing our churches through cell groups” led by Freddie Noble, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautists Hispana de Manhattan in New York and author of “Iglesia Siglo XXI” (“21st Century Church), published by B&H Español.

For more information, read the full story here.

9Marks, B21, FTC among events for SBC attendees

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Several Christian ministries — including 9Marks and Baptist21 — will offer events on topics ranging from growing healthy churches to current issues in the Southern Baptist Convention for messengers and others attending the SBC’s June 11-12 annual meeting in Birmingham.

Among them:

9Marks, a ministry to help pastors grow healthy churches, will hold panel discussions Monday and Tuesday, June 10-11, from 9-10:30 p.m. in the Theater of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. The June 10 discussion will focus on “Are healthy churches enough for today’s problems?” and feature 9Marks editorial director Jonathan Leeman and 9Marks co-founder Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington. The June 11 discussion will focus on the current state of the SBC and will feature Dever; H.B. Charles, pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.; Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin; and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. Admission is free to both events.

Baptist21 (B21) will host a June 11 luncheon and panel discussion on current issues in the SBC, according to an email from the group. The gathering will convene during the SBC annual meeting’s lunch break in the Concert Hall of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Panelists will include Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr.; Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore; SBC President J.D. Greear; author and Bible teacher Jen Wilkin; Vice President of the North American Mission Board’s Send Network Dhati Lewis; and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin. Registration at is $13 until May 12 and $18 thereafter. B21 was founded by younger Southern Baptists to address issues relevant to Southern Baptists in the 21st century.

— Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will host a For The Church luncheon June 11 centered on the theme “Together for the Church: Denominational Unity, Collaboration and Mission.” The gathering will convene during the SBC annual meeting’s lunch break in the South Exhibit Hall, Level 1, at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Speakers will include Midwestern President Jason Allen, SBC Executive Committee President-elect Ronnie Floyd, International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood and North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell. Registration at is $10 through June 1 and slightly more thereafter. The event includes free books for all attendees.

Replicate Ministries will provide a report on “the five surprising reasons your church isn’t as healthy as you think,” the group said in an email. The report will be available in the SBC exhibit hall daily for pastors and church leaders. The Replicate team will be available at its booth to discuss strategies to address the report’s findings with pastors and other church leaders. Details are available at Additionally, Replicate will be giving away “Make Disciples” T-shirts while supplies last.

The Fellowship of Baptist World Ministries (FBWM) will host a breakfast Monday, June 10, at 8 a.m. in Forum H of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. A keynote address will be delivered by International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood. Additionally, FBWM President Tom Hatley will share updates about the fellowship. To make reservations, email Rodney Cavett, the organization’s treasurer, at FBWM is an association of mission organizations who work in covenant with the IMB to conduct evangelism and discipleship throughout the world.

Connect 316 has disbanded as an organization and therefore will not host its traditional gathering at the SBC annual meeting. “On Monday, October 29, 2018, the Connect 316 Executive Board met and discussed direction,” former board member Tim Barnette said via email. “After much prayer and discussion, we decided to dissolve Connect 316 as an organization…. Believing that much of what we did was already being duplicated better by Leighton Flowers of Soteriology 101, we decided to donate our funds to his organization and support his ministry with whatever ‘platforms’ we as individuals might have.” According to the group’s former website, Connect316 was a ministry fellowship that affirmed a doctrine of salvation between that of Calvinism and Arminianism, holding that Christ died for the sins of every person.

Read full story here.