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JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter will for the first time since his election address Florida Baptists during the Convention-sponsored 2013 Evangelism Conference March 17-19 at North Jacksonville Baptist Church.
David Burton, lead strategist for the Florida Baptist Convention Evangelism Group, invited Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, to speak at the conference even before his election as SBC president.
“His passion is contagious,” Burton said of Luter. “He loves people and he loves pastors. He has a heart for soulwinning. He will stir the coals of evangelism as he sends us out Tuesday night to take back what we have allowed Satan to steal away.”
Burton continued, “He will challenge all present through the preached Word of God. Few can do it like Dr. Luter.”
Luter will speak during the Tuesday evening session and earlier that afternoon will join in a roundtable discussion.
Also on the program are a dozen Florida Baptist pastors and practitioners who will showcase how they actively engage their communities while leading evangelistic efforts in their own congregations.
These include Rick Blackwood, pastor of Christ Fellowship in Palmetto Bay; Troy Gramling, pastor of Potential Church in Fort Lauderdale; Lynn Hyatt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Callahan; Ricky Powell, pastor of Fort Caroline Baptist Church in Jacksonville; Justin Kirksey, pastor of Madison Street in Starke; and Rodney Baker, pastor of Hopeful Baptist Church in Lake City.
Other practitioners slated to speak are: Tim Maynard, pastor of Fruit Cove Baptist Church in Jacksonville; Shelly Chandler, First Baptist Church in Bonifay; Rodney Gage, pastor of Fellowship Church of Orlando; Scott Yirka, pastor of Hibernia Baptist Church in Green Cove Springs; Stephen Rummage, pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon; and Erick Cummings, pastor of New Life Baptist Church in Carol City.
The Florida pastors from diverse settings and locations will lead seminars and discussion panels designed to help those in attendance return to their congregation with new and fresh ideas, explained Burton.
“All attending will get hours and hours of direct teaching and training in practical and very much needed Biblical principles of evangelism for personal and church application,” said Burton. “Participants will be able to meet and talk personally to some of the strongest preachers and leaders of church growth this denomination has to offer.”
During the three-day meeting, the conference theme, “Fresh Ideas” will be interpreted by John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, in the Monday and Tuesday night sessions.
The conference will begin Sunday night at 7 p.m. with Blackwood, pastor of the multi-site congregation in Miami-Dade, as keynote speaker.
Monday evening speakers will include Atlanta evangelist Tony Nolan and Herb Reavis, pastor of the host church. Then Tuesday evening will feature Luter and Sullivan.
Throughout the two days, seminars and roundtable discussions will provide insights and ideas to take back to churches.
On Monday morning, the meeting will kick off at 8:45 a.m. with Fresh Ideas Focus seminars led by Ken Ellis of the North American Mission Board, who will give an overview of 2014 Day of Service, and Callahan pastor Hyatt, who will focus on evangelistic messages and giving evangelistic invitations. A variety of other topics will be presented by Florida Baptist Convention staff.
Fresh Ideas group sessions will highlight the church growth design of Potential Church and its multiple sites; along with First Baptist Church of Plant City from its traditional setting. Michael Lewis, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Plant City, will present that congregation’s growth successes. Recently Lewis was named as executive director of Church Revitalization and Pastoral Relations for the North American Mission Board.
Also Powell and Kirksey will explain how their churches successfully used the evangelistic emphasis “Love Your Neighbor, Share Christ” in their churches—Powell in suburban Jacksonville and Kirksey in the county seat town of Starke.
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