Pastor Willy's Blog - Complete Post
Calvary to Host State Convention (November 4)
I attended my first Florida Baptist Convention meeting in the fall of 1981. I flew home from my freshman year at college to deliver a 3-minute speech that had won the Florida Baptist Speaker’s Tournament the previous spring. In those days the contest was sponsored by the state convention to encourage students to learn public speaking skills and somehow I managed to win. The reward was a trip to the convention to deliver the speech. I delivered the speech, remained on the platform and then heard one of the greatest sermons I have ever heard.
Bill Anderson was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church and he was my pastor. That year he delivered the convention address and was later elected President. I still remember his message, the title, the text, and the prophetic truth he shared. I’ve been to a lot of Florida Baptist meetings since, had the privilege of serving as President, 2006-2008, but that moment, 35 years ago, remains one of my favorites.
In just a few days, November 13th-15th Calvary will host the Florida Baptist Convention for the first time. In this 150th year of Calvary’s ministry it is a great privilege to welcome our Florida Baptist family to Clearwater and to Calvary. Many people are already planning to serve as volunteers as we welcome people from all across our state.
Here is why you should be excited. For three days our campus will host some of the finest preachers across our convention. It is a great opportunity for you to hear the word of God powerfully taught and enjoy some wonderful times of worship. For those of you who have never attended a convention meeting, here’s the deal. Everyone is welcome. I hope our Calvary family will come and help fill up the building especially in the evening sessions when the primary focus is worship and preaching. Yes, there are some business sessions but those are primarily during the daytime hours. You’re welcome during the entire convention although we (Calvary) are only allowed 10 messengers with voting privileges. So unless you are a messenger there is no need to register, just show up. Our convention leaders have done a great job scheduling the evening sessions to be times of worship and encouragement and everyone is welcome whether you are registered as a messenger or not.
The Pastors’ Conference will begin Sunday night at 6:00 and go through Monday morning and afternoon. Yes, it’s called a Pastors’ Conference, but everyone is invited and welcome. The Pastors’ Conference is the pre-convention meeting that is just for preaching, worship and encouragement. The actual convention begins Monday night, and then goes through the entire day on Tuesday, concluding Tuesday night. You can check out the schedule for both events here www.flbaptist.org/event/2016-florida-baptist-state-convention-clearwater/
For three days you have the opportunity to hear preachers such as Mac Brunson (FBC Jacksonville), Ken Whitten (Idlewild Baptist Church), James Merritt (Cross Pointe Church), Russell Moore (President of the Southern Baptist ERLC), and Jimmy Scroggins, (Family Church, West Palm Beach).
I’d love to see our Calvary family coming out for Sunday night, Monday night and Tuesday night especially. You’ll be blessed and your participation will help make the meeting one of the greatest ever. I certainly hope you’ll help us fill up the building on Tuesday night. Our worship team will be leading (in partnership with Bell Shoals Baptist Church) and I’ll be preaching the convention sermon that night followed by one of my favorite preachers, Johnny Hunt from First Baptist Woodstock. Please pray for us and your presence would be such an encouragement to me.
This is a great opportunity for you to be taught and spiritually revived and it is a great privilege for our church to host this annual meeting. I hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity.