From the point of being gaveled into session to the concluding benediction, the 2009 meeting of Alabama Baptists was one focused on Great Commission Ministries. The featured speakers – Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board; Ed Cruce, director of missions, Bessemer Association; Shannon Ford, mission strategist in Centrat East Asia; and Danny Wood, pastor, Shades Mountain Baptist Church – all delivered messages right on the Great Commission target.
President Jimmy Jackson of Whitesburg Baptist Church and Pastor Steve Scoggins of First Baptist Church of Opelika sought to encourage pastors and others as they labor for Christ in Great Commission Ministries. These veteran pastors were voices of pastoral encouragement to those discouraged by the various circumstances of life. They were well received by those in attendance.
Tuesday evening, the Whitesburg Youth Choir was simply superb in its presentation of music and drama. The Gettys, Keith and Kristyn, were special guests on the program too. The Gettys are contemporary hymn writers who have made a tremendous impact on our worship music today. Their signature hymn, “In Christ Alone,” is already a favorite of so many, including yours truly.
The reports from the entities were the very best I can remember. Each entity and auxiliary sought to tell their Great Commission story. The messengers responded well to these timely reports.
I was particularly touched by the testimony of Junior Hill. He offered an affirmation of The Alabama Baptist, which was among the best affirmations I have ever heard. Junior Hill represents the best of the best in Alabama Baptist life.
This was a Great Commission convention meeting. It was informing, inspiring and encouraging. Thanks to all who contributed to the annual gathering and to those who came as messengers and guests. I am grateful to be an Alabama Baptist. We are on mission with the Great Commission. We are people who support the one program: the Cooperative Program. We are committed to be faithful in doing Great Commission Ministries. That is who Alabama Baptists are in heart and soul.