CABOT, Ark. – The 168th Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention convened last week, Oct. 26-27 at First Baptist Church in Cabot. The annual Pastors’ and Ministers’ Wives Conferences took place Oct. 25.  

Monday, Oct. 25 

As always, the Pastors’ Conference kicks off the day before the annual meeting as a time to gather pastors together for fellowship and networking. After being away for a year, the atmosphere was joyful as men met at the Veterans Park Event Center a few blocks away from First Baptist Church in Cabot to receive a lunch prepared by Disaster Relief volunteers and the feeding unit. They were able to hear from Nick Floyd, President of the Pastor’s Conference, and one of the speakers, Noe Garcia, in a sit-down discussion setting.  

The Cross Church worship band kicked off the afternoon and evening sessions of the conference. Participants were able to hear messages from Noe Garcia, H.B. Charles, Jr., Robby Gallaty and Nick Floyd  

To read more on the Pastor’s Conference, click here 

To watch the full afternoon/evening sessions, click here 

The ministers’ wives met at First Baptist Church in Cabot for a lunch fellowship and to hear from Aamie Mason, with Living Well Counseling – an agency of the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Home & Family Ministries. Melanie Jenkins led worship throughout the afternoon. They ended their time with an hour of networking and connecting with other wives to establish friendships and mentors in ministry. Being a pastor’s wife isn’t always easy, but it’s a little lighter to carry when you have friends who are in the same shoes as you are.  

Church Planting Dinner  

Church planters and their sending churches were treated to a dinner on Monday evening, Oct. 25 at First Baptist Church in Cabot. The dinner was hosted jointly by the Arkansas Baptist Foundation (ABF) and the Church Planting Team of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC).   

Church Planting Team Leader Vince Blubaugh welcomed attendees and introduced representatives from the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board.   

Dr. J.D. “Sonny” Tucker, ABSC executive director, encouraged the church planters as he said, “God is working all over, drawing people to Himself. God is doing an incredible thing in Arkansas.”  Tucker then exhorted the planters as he said, “Don’t ever lose your passion to plant churches.”   

Arkansas Baptist Foundation President Bobby Thomas explained a new partnership with WatersEdge, a ministry to help churches with financial matters.  

Tuesday morning/afternoon, Oct. 26 

The Annual Meeting officially kicked off with Andrew Chandler of Hot Springs Baptist Church leading in worship for the day. Terry Bostick, pastor of First Baptist Church in Cabot, welcomed everyone and Don Moore, retired ABSC executive director, led a focused time of prayer through 1 Peter 4. Moore used this chapter of 1 Peter to talk about unceasing prayer and how we need to “stay awake and be sober minded in prayer” because the end could be near.  

Following, appointments of committees were read off by their respective representatives. Throughout the day, different agencies and institutions gave reports to the attending messengers in what’s been happening in their ministries.  

To read about those reports, click here 

Along with agency and institution reports, the Executive Board presented three recommendations to the convention. Another item brought to attention was the creation of a sexual abuse task force. This was also voted and approved.  

To read the recommendations presented by the Executive Board, click here.  

To read more on the task force, click here  

Sermons 

Amidst the Annual Meeting’s business, Arkansas Baptists had the chance to hear three sermons from ABSC Executive Director Dr. J.D. “Sonny Tucker,” ABSC Convention President Manley Beasley, Jr. and Kyle Reno of The Summit Church. 

Going along with the Pastors’ Conference and Annual Meeting’s theme of “Compelled,” each pastor narrowed in on the purpose of it all: Jesus. 

“Folks, I’m standing in this room today because of His faithfulness. You’re in this room today because of His faithfulness. We all have hope because of His faithfulness,” Beasley said in his message Tuesday afternoon.  

Related Events 

Various luncheons took place on campus during the mid-day break on Tuesday. Disaster Relief provided a free lunch to those not attending seminary alumni luncheons or other lunch meetings scattered across the campus.  

Arkansas Student Pastors Network 

Youth Ministers from across Arkansas gathered at lunch on Tuesday of the Annual Meeting for a great time of encouragement and sharpening. Julia Baird, a student mobilization associate with the International Mission Board (IMB) shared how youth ministries can train and send their students internationally. Julia served as missionary team leader in North Africa, in Egypt and Sudan. She has been the mid-South regional IMB Student Mobilizer for the last two years. She leads a regional mobilization team to serve state conventions and churches as they engage their young adult, collegiate and youth groups in discovering their role in the missionary task. She, along with her husband and daughter, are based out of Little Rock.  

  

These leaders also spent a significant amount of time discussing student evangelism. In a roundtable format, over 80 ministers shared ideas of how to be effective in student evangelism, what to work towards in evangelism strategies and how Arkansas Baptists can collectively band together to reach students in Arkansas.  

  

The lunch serves as a connecting point for ministers to build strong ministry relationships. New youth ministers to the state and brand-new ministers on the field were introduced and connected.  

Tuesday evening, Oct. 26 

First Baptist Cabot’s worship team, led by Ken Holland, opened the evening session. Craig Jenkins, Director of Convention Advancement & News, began the Cooperative Program Celebration.  Jenkins elaborated on what the Cooperative Program is, what it does and how it affects Arkansas Baptists in the state, nation and the world.  

Dr. J.D. “Sonny” Tucker, Executive Director of the ABSC, spoke about being in debt to Jesus for all that He has done for him and us during his message.  

“I’m a debtor to the Lord Jesus Christ,” Tucker said. “I’m a debtor to the local church.” 

The night ended with a Cooperative Program fellowship out in the commons for people to connect and network while enjoying light refreshments.  

To watch Tuesday’s sessions, click here 

Wednesday, Oct. 27 

On the last day, Kyle Reno, Directional Pastor at The Summit Church, gave the closing message of Annual Meeting from 2 Chronicles 20, longing for a movement of God to take place in our culture and history today.  

“We need to feel the urgency of this moment,” Reno said. “The church of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot sleep through this moment. We need a real movement of God.” 

The election of convention officers also took place. Larry D. White, pastor of Woodland Heights Baptist Church in Conway, was elected President of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention for 2022. David Mitchell, pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Cabot, was elected First Vice President and Johnny Harp, pastor of Lakeview Baptist Church in Cave Springs, was elected Second Vice President. 

elected officers

The Resolutions Committee presented six resolutions for the convention to consider for approval.  

To read more on the resolutions, click here. 

With prayers for revival, spiritual awakening and that our new officers lead us well with the Holy Spirit, the Annual Meeting ended. We appreciate those who attended in person and watched online and hope to see you at First Baptist Church in Hot Springs, Oct. 25-26, 2022 for the 169th meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.  

To watch Wednesday’s session, click here 

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