Reaching Neighbours and Nations With the Gospel is Main Focus at 2018 Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia Annual Homecoming

Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia 2019 officers are (from left) secretary Tim Ma, second vice president Charles Maney, first vice president Rob Pochek and president Eric Thomas. At far right is SBC of Virginia Executive Director Brian Autry.
SBC of Virginia photo

Cooperation aimed at reaching neighbors and nations with the Gospel was the focus of the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia Annual Homecoming Nov. 11-13 in Hampton.

Effective since an October vote of the SBCV executive board, the state convention retains its founding name of Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, but in business matters refers to itself as the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia and SBC of Virginia.

“They are Not Alone” was the theme, capping a 2017 theme of “We are Not Alone.”

“Over the past few years, the SBC of Virginia has stated clearly and emphatically that churches are not alone,” said Brian Autry, SBC of Virginia executive director. “However, we join in Gospel partnership not just for our mutual benefit but to reach our neighbors and the nations with the good news of Jesus Christ. We are not alone so they are not alone.”

Worship, sermons, breakout sessions and business meetings were part of the event at Liberty Baptist Church with 1,691 registered attendees, including 803 messengers and 888 guests from 263 churches.

Guest speakers

The Gospel was shared throughout three days of meetings with worship and keynote speakers including David Platt, teaching pastor of McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Va., and former president of the International Mission Board.

“If you want to live, you have to die to sin,” Platt preached Nov. 11. “We are prone to sin, but that’s just it. We hate that. We hate that we are prone to sin.
“We don’t want to sin. And when we do, we confess it before God and before others, and we repent, we turn from it. We don’t toy with it,” Platt said. “We run from it.”

Other speakers were Fred Luter, senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans and former Southern Baptist Convention president; Edgar Aponte, IMB vice president of mobilization; David Wheeler, professor of evangelism and executive director of the Center for Ministry Training at Liberty University; and Ben Gutierrez, a Liberty University School of Divinity professor.

SBC of Virginia President Eric Thomas, senior pastor of First Norfolk Baptist Church in Norfolk, Va., and Brian Autry, SBC of Virginia executive director, also spoke.

The event included 19 breakout sessions and more than 40 exhibitors including LifeWay Christian Resources.

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SOURCE: Baptist Press, Ishmael LaBiosa