As if a rousing two-hour Sunday worship service was not enough, the Southern Baptist Evangelists fellowship added a two-hour sing-along Monday afternoon as part of their gathering in conjunction with the 2019 SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala.
The June 9 worship service took place at McElwain Baptist Church in Birmingham; the sing-along was June 10 in the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
“We’re here for one reason: to worship Jesus Christ,” Sammy Tippit told the Sunday morning congregation. Tippit is president of the Southern Baptist Evangelists, the new name for what has been known as the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists, or COSBE.
Joe and Kim Stanley of Fayetteville, Ga., led in worship with “Heaven Came Down,” “Holy Spirit” and “How Great Thou Art.” A soul-stirring piano solo of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” was offered by Jeff Cleghorn of Bonaire, Ga., during the offertory, and Amy Stockwell of Katy, Texas, sang “It Took a Lamb” in a high soprano before the morning’s main message.
Time was set aside for the testimony of a new evangelist, Luke Hockenjos of Ruston, La. His mom prayed for him during several years of an addiction to meth, and one day on a bridge in 2014 he heard a voice say, “This isn’t the life I’ve planned for you,” Hockenjos recounted.
“When Jesus saves you, He saves you from hell,” Hockenjos said. “Church, it is time to stop playing games and start leading people to Jesus.”
Tippit introduced the morning’s main speaker, Junior Hill of Hartselle, Ala. “Junior, you’re one of our heroes,” Tippit said, as he presented Hill a plaque in honor of his 52 years in evangelistic ministry.
Hill drew from Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:28 about the lilies of the field in a message directed toward those who want to serve the Lord.
Asking about their willingness to serve the Lord in obscurity or not be popular, Hill reminded that lilies are content as they are, and God takes care of them.
The Southern Baptist Evangelists group met for lunch and a business meeting Tuesday at the Redmond Hotel in downtown Birmingham.
“Nobody understands an evangelist like an evangelist,” Frank Shivers of Columbia, S.C., said at his table during lunchtime conversation. “We’ve all walked that path.”
Vocational evangelists, according to the SBCEvangelist.org website, are men and women who feel a special call from God to serve in a way that “entails the freedom to go anywhere at any time and to serve as a harvest evangelist, a music evangelist, as a revivalist, or as a special conference or evangelistic event leader.”
A total of 96 people or couples are members of the evangelists’ organization. Most preach, sing or lead conferences. Laura Torres of Georgia adds a twist, combining her skill as a potter with leading people to Christ. A complete list of Southern Baptist evangelists on the website provides their contact information.
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Source: Baptist Press