by Jamie Lynn
NASHVILLE, TN – The SBC Annual Meeting that met in Nashville Tennessee last week had been talked about with uncertainty in the media for a few months leading up to the gathering. There were so many things happening simultaneously, but this is just a glimpse of the activities. The crowd of messengers and guests representing the approximately 50,000 Great Commission churches swelled to almost 21,000. The possibility of several heated issues had been murmured about as to how and when they would be brought up during the meeting. Everyone seemed on edge.
But God! The SEND Conference, June 12-13, was started with an all-inclusive hour-long prayer time with Pastor Robby Gallaty (Long Hollow Baptist Church Hendersonville, TN). That heartfelt time of pouring ourselves out to God seeking forgiveness and asking Him to fill our hearts with His love and unity in Christ set the tone for the remainder of the time in Nashville. A true peace about the upcoming days of the Annual Meeting came over the huge crowd.
The NAMB (North American Mission Board) and the IMB (International Mission Board) had been invited to have a SEND Conference in the two days prior to the Annual Meeting that was usually for the Pastor’s Conference. NAMB and the IMB worked together to host representatives from thousands of SBC churches. Sunday evening lifted worship with Michael W. Smith, David Crowder and Pastor Tony Evans preaching a powerful message. Monday was filled with a Women’s Track with excellent speakers, Donna Gaines, Shelia Walsh and Katie McCoy and for the Pastor’s Track, David Jeremiah.
NAMB had a luncheon which honored one church planter and his family. He had contracted COVID and had to have a double lung transplant. He was so blessed when he received word that his hospital bill was paid-in-full, and his wife received a new vehicle to transport him back and forth to his many doctor checkups.
The IMB had a SENDING Celebration. It was so inspiring hearing all the new missionaries that were preparing to go to their field of service, tell their 1-minute testimony of how God had worked radically in their lives to call them to serve Him.
Tuesday morning the SBC Annual Meeting began with President J.D. Greear presiding. His emphasis on prayer and the Gospel of Jesus Christ continued the spirit of accord that had begun in the prayer time with Pastor Robby Gallaty. J.D.’s easy-going manner, levity and always giving respect to the representative at the microphones carried the business sessions.
The Minister’s Wives were treated to a special luncheon filled with inspiration and encouragement. Sabrina Patterson hosted a table full of Michigan pastor’s wives who had such fun visiting and listening to the speaker while enjoying a delicious lunch. The National Women’s Missionary Union report was given by Sandy Wisdom Martin and they were commended for how they support the Mission Offerings and Studies. The National Send Relief report given by Bryant Wright, National Director, and was uplifting in how Southern Baptist are known and have such a good name around the world in their relief ministries.
The Resolutions were led by Dr. James Merritt. With several extensions of discussion times, the resolutions were amended or added until the voting messengers would come to an agreement to approve or refuse. This was the liveliest times of discussion. Dr. Merritt and the resolution team did an excellent job handling the resolutions.
There was a Michigan Fellowship Dinner hosted by the Baptist State Convention of Michigan churches at a restaurant (Merchants) in downtown Nashville. The restaurant had a limit of 83 people, and it was filled to capacity! The tables were brimming with Michiganders sharing their thoughts on the Annual Meeting and what’s happening in their lives and churches. The food was delicious, but the kinship was sweeter.
The SBC Annual meeting was closed with grace and the smack of a gavel. The new President, Ed Litton, 1st VP-Lee Brand Jr, 2nd VP Ramon Medina, Recording Secretary-John Yeats and Registration Secretary-Don Currence will now be helping Great Commission Baptist Churches across the US work together to reach our world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jamie M. Lynn, I'm married to a God warrior, have 3 wonderful married children and 9 super grandkids. I love working at the BSCM office to help the churches in the Great Lakes area to thrive, serve God by drawing others to Him and to love their communities.