Eddie Bevill, pastor of Parkridge, and I joined up at the Baltimore airport. Justin Woods, Baptist Campus Ministries director at the Naval Academy and Joey Nickerson, who works with discipleship, met us and ferried us to our hotel. After checking in, we left for the convention and got something to eat. While there, Eddie was able to introduce me to some old Gulf Stream contacts! Many of you will remember Phillip Shuford, who served our association in the early 2000s and on staff at First, Weston. He is now the Director of Missions at Tri-County Baptist Association in Branson, Missouri. It was wonderful to meet him and his wife! Soon John Revell and his wife came by. John's nephew, Nathan, has been part time at Parkridge as youth director and will go fulltime in July. John served the former First Baptist Church of Coconut Creek (now Living Hope Baptist) as pastor a number of years ago. Later he served Southern Baptists as editor of SBC Life. The church he now pastors was founded by a Baptist pastor who served as the chaplain to the continental army and baptised George Washington. Quite a story!
Pastor Eddie and I attended the NAMB presentation about SEND Baltimore. It was a positive explanation of what God is doing through Baptist work here in our host city.
Afterwards we attended a session of the Pastor's Conference. Matt Redman led in worship: pretty cool to sing "How Great is our God" with the writer! JD Greear preached in that session. He worked pretty hard from three contexts: scripture, culture and personal experience to convince pastors that the greatest work we will ever do is equip disciplemaking leaders and release them to do kingdom work. I was impressed by his clarity. We need to be constantly reminded that the mandate is not to build our personal kingdoms, but His kingdom.
Later this evening I will attend a special dinner for the IMB. More about that tonight.....