Southern State Baptist Convention Holding Weekend Activities in Bridgeport, West Virginia | New


Church leaders from across West Virginia will descend on Bridgeport this weekend for motivation, evangelism and mission with the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists.

From 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Bridgeport Conference Center, pastors and lay leaders from the church will listen to Dr. Ben Mandrell, President / CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, and Dan Darling, traveling pastor and podcast host, the motivate to assimilate the Gospels to the very food that we need every day.

“We are delighted that they are coming. We’ve brought in good people for the people who come, ”said Tim Turner, director of evangelism and discipleship at the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, “we are moving forward because our pastors really need the fellowship they get from seeing each other in person and the encouragement they receive in person from our keynote speakers.

“We try to encourage them as pastors and leaders in their churches to keep the gospel of Christ at the forefront of their ministries and not to be afraid to share the gospel on an individual basis,” said Turner. “Through COVID-19, there have been a lot of churches that have struggled with ‘how can we move the gospel forward without meeting in person? Many of them are discouraged and church attendance has become smaller because some are still afraid of COVID-19, and rightly so. “

Mandrell’s message will be to encourage greater participation among members.

“In a Lifeway Research study on pastor well-being, 75% of pastors surveyed said the biggest challenge in ministry was the lack of commitment from church members. It is difficult for a pastor to keep his hand to the plow when the members are barely engaged. But we must return to our vocation, ”he said.

“I hope to help give these leaders a new perspective on their ministerial missions by examining Saul’s call and exploring what it really means to live in a mission. I am delighted to see the faces and hear the voices of the pastors in West Virginia that Lifeway aims to serve faithfully, ”he said.

Darling, from Nashville, will speak about the book of Acts of the New Testament. This is a subject he has preached on before, but in a new format.

“I can’t wait to speak with pastors and church leaders,” Darling said. “It’s a really tough time for pastors to lead. There is a lot of division, a lot of stress.

Last year at the INSPIRE conference, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, Ed Stetzer, and associate professor of apologetics and world religions at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr Travis Kerns, practically motivated church leaders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. About 100 people from 30 churches attended the 2019 conference, Turner said.

Bridgeport is an ideal location as a “fairly centralized venue” for the conference, according to Turner, because of access not only to religious leaders from north-central, north and east Panhandle, but also its location. proximity to Interstate 79.

Beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, leaders will travel further into town for the annual mission celebration of the Union of Women Missionaries at Simpson Creek Baptist Church.

As it is hosted by Simpson Creek, Church Women‘s Ministry President Carol Trickett is leading the committee.

“Each year the church where it is held chooses the local mission project, and we suggested Shepherd’s Corner,” said Trickett. “We’ve never organized this before.”

Customers are requested to bring men’s and women’s hygiene items, baby diapers sizes 4, 5 and 6 and baby items including clothes, bottles, hygiene items, towels / washcloths and / or blankets, to help the association. Trickett expected about the same number of church leaders to stay for the celebration.

“We were very happy that they decided to select us and continue to support us,” said Karen Lang, Director of Shepherd’s Corner. “All the churches in Bridgeport are supporting us financially and in kind, so it’s okay (the state convention) to be able to see what we’re doing.”

Leaders at Simpson Creek Baptist Church have been able to plan for the past two years since the 2020 celebration was canceled rather than virtual. 2020 was also scheduled to be held in Bridgeport, and leaders at Simpson Creek Baptist Church had the first choice of whether or not to host this year.

State Missionary Union President Linda Davis of Princeton has been to Bridgeport for other convention events and looks forward to returning.

“We want to encourage women not only to become faithful in their missions and in their studies, but to be active servants,” said Davis. “We look forward to assisting (Shepherd’s Corner) with the financial needs as well as the articles.”

In addition to collecting for Shepherd’s Corner, guests hope to be inspired by National Union of Women Missionaries Executive Director Sandy Wisdom-Martin and Union of Women Missionaries Presidential Assistant Frank Drinkard.

“I can’t wait to hear them speak. It’s a profession for them, so I’m sure they’re good at it, ”Trickett said.

With the theme of the celebration being “Relentless Journey,” Wisdom-Martin will focus its discussion on Isaiah 43: 18-19, which encourages Bible readers not to dwell on past deeds or mistakes.

“As I speak, I plan to share the new thing God wants to do among us,” Wisdom-Martin said. “Often we cannot perceive what God is doing in our midst because we are distracted by too many things. We need to focus on what God wants us to do. We must constantly ask ourselves, “What is God’s priority for my life?” “”

Including Wisdom-Martin in the celebration also allows him to share his vision for leading the organization, Davis said, as well as speaking to heads of state individually.

Wisdom-Martin “is a very expressive person. She captures your interest when she talks and attracts people, ”Davis said.

Drinkard, who will be attending his first conference due to COVID-19, will lead a small educational group among the six available topics. A former international missionary for 21 years, Drinkard retired to Alabama before joining the national team.

“The foundation supports national and state unions with more than 120 different funds and endowments that help projects in which we are involved,” said Drinkard. “I’ll talk about some of the ways that gifts (from attendees) can help not only missions in West Virginia but overseas as well.”

Both will also be available to answer questions individually or in groups.

Music will also be part of the celebration, along with a WorldCraft store and MITME store / auction and book signing opportunities by Alabama-based author Rosalie Hall Hunt, former recording secretary of the National. Women’s Missionary Union.

The celebration ends at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

While there are no state guidelines regarding the ongoing pandemic, face masks will be offered and social distancing permitted where appropriate.

More than 40 percent of proceeds from Thursday’s convention and the state cooperation program are sent to the national convention.

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