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SBC President Fred Luter, Florida pastors bring “Fresh Ideas” to 2013 Evangelism Conference

By Barbara Denman

January 30, 2013

JACKSONVILLE—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. “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 6 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.

On Monday afternoon “evangelism in action” presentations and dialogue will be presented by four pastors who minister in diverse settingsBaker, Hyatt, Chandler, and Maynard; followed by a “camp meeting” discussion with three Florida pastors—Yirka, Gage and Rummage.

Tuesday morning seminars will look at strong effective church evangelism on a minimum budget led by Jeep Sullivan, First Baptist Bonifay; Evangelism Response Center ministry, led by ERC consultants Jerry Passmore of Pensacola and Robin Jumper of Graceville; and social networking and creative technology for local churches with Tom Cheyney and Mark Weible of the Greater Orlando Baptist Association.

Then Tuesday afternoon, another fresh idea roundtable will be offered and is expected to include Luter, Nolan, Gramling and Cummings; and a “camp meeting” discussion with a variety of other Florida Baptist leaders.

The meeting will conclude following the Tuesday evening session.

Lunch on Monday and Tuesday will be available for purchase on site.

North Jacksonville Baptist Church is located at 8531 N. Main Street in Jacksonville. Click here for a list of hotel accommodations near the host church. This Cooperative Program sponsored event is free to all participants. 

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