I am honored to be preaching in a few weeks at the 26th annual South Georgia Bible Conference. Pastor Wayne Robertson and the wonderful family of faith at Morningside in Valdosta have hosted this dynamic conference for more than a quarter of a century. Over the years I have enjoyed attending the conference for a time of renewal and personal refreshing. Now this will be my 5th year on the program. I could not be more humbled.
I dearly love Pastor Wayne. When people learn that Valdosta is my home they often assume I grew up at Morningside. I am tempted to let their assumption go unaddressed! Of course I am grateful for the Godly men and women that did shape my life in other churches as a young boy. But Brother Wayne Robertson has proven himself to me to be “12 inches to the foot and 3 feet to the yard” as the saying goes.
This year’s program on July 17-20 is a special blessing to me. In addition to the staff evangelists (Sam Cathey and Bill Sturm) and gifted musicians from MBC, Brother Wayne always puts a great program together. Let me introduce my church family to a few of these guest preachers in hopes you will be able to drive over to Valdosta for one or more of the preaching sessions.
Gerald Harris is one of my favorite people on this planet. A scholar’s scholar, he is the editor of The Christian Index. Brother Gerald is a veteran pastor, a former president of the GBC, and unquestionably one of the greatest preachers of our day. The last several times I’ve heard him preach he has demonstrated the passion of a pastor and the power of a prophet. As a footnote, my only hesitation about preaching at this conference is that I share one of the preaching sessions with Dr. Harris…an unenviable position to say the least!
Herman Parker leads the congregation at First Baptist Church in Bremen, GA. The first time I recall hearing him preach was at the annual session of the GBC. If my frail memory is correct, it was the day that Adrian Rogers passed away. Brother Herman’s powerful sermon on the ministry of John the Baptist is still etched in my mind. No place for rivalry! No place for jealousy! No place for sympathy! It really is just the sovereignty of God that every Southern Baptist doesn’t know the name “Herman Parker.” I eagerly await hearing him expound God’s Word.
Clifford Palmer will be with us from Rogers, Arkansas. He is the former pastor of First Baptist Church of Springdale (now Cross Church). I am told that Adrian Rogers once stated that if he could only subscribe to the cassette ministry of one preacher he would choose Clifford Palmer. After hearing Brother Palmer preach last year on “The Doctrine of Imputation” it’s easy to see why that statement could be true!
John Waters has been a friend of mine for over a dozen years. I met him through our mutual friend, Don Hattaway. Brother John has done a superlative job serving as pastor of First Baptist Church in Statesboro. Many of our college students attending Georgia Southern have benefited from the ministry of that wonderful fellowship. Earlier this year it was announced that John would be the conservative candidate for our state convention presidency. As of now no other candidate has been announced but I believe John will do an outstanding job. I look forward to hearing him preach in Valdosta.
Jack Price, David Tew, Martha Sturm and the music ministry from MBC will provide soul-stirring music. It really would be worth the drive to Valdosta if you get a chance to go! The sessions on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are at 9:30am and 7pm. Emmanuel family, if you can’t make it please pray for your pastor that I may preach with boldness and compassion.