Bible Conf. aims to help pastors through trials

SAN ANTONIO—“Forged by Fire” is the theme of the 2012 Bible Conference of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. The conference on Nov. 11-12 precedes the convention’s annual meeting Nov. 12-13 at Castle Hills First Baptist Church in San Antonio.

This year’s Bible Conference president is the host church’s pastor, R. James Shupp. Featured preachers are Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas; Danny Forshee, pastor of Great Hills Baptist Church, Austin; Rudy Gonzalez of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary San Antonio campus; Tony Mathews, pastor of North Garland Baptist Fellowship, Garland; Tom Pennington, pastor of Countryside Bible Church, Southlake; and Robert Webb, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Kaufman.

The theme is taken from Isaiah 43:2, 1 Peter 1:6, 2 Corinthians 4:7, and Jeremiah 20:9.

“Each time I’ve walked the hallways during one of our conventions, I come across a fellow pastor who is suffering,” Shupp said of the conference’s theme of “Forged by Fire.”

“We need to encourage those who are giving a pound of flesh each day in their service to the Lord,” Shupp added. “The Ministry Cafés will deal with some of the greatest challenges we face in the ministry. Criticism, conflict, and change are some of the most difficult waters to navigate. The people who are speaking on these issues have walked through these fires and been forged by them. I’m praying that this conference will be a turning point in someone’s ministry. I believe the best way to help a church find health is to heal the man behind the pulpit.”

In addition to the preaching sessions, the Ministry Café from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Monday will feature three different sessions with Floyd addressing the topic “The Fires of Criticism,” Mike Smith, president of Jacksonville College, addressing “The Fires of Conflict,” and Chris Moody, pastor of First Baptist Church of Beaumont, addressing “The Fires of Change.”

Registration for the Ministry Cafes is available at and is $5 per person. Also, a Women’s Luncheon during the Monday Bible Conference will feature Thelma “Mama T” Wells of A Woman of God Ministries in Dallas. Cost for the Women’s Luncheon is $10.

Other related luncheons and gatherings on Monday include:

  • SBTC African American Fellowship Dinner: 4:30-6 p.m. in the Faith Room 203/205.
  • Southwestern Seminary Dinner: 4:30-6 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Ezekiel Project Dinner: A free dinner on church revitalization. Pre-registration is at 4:30-6 p.m. in the Victory Gym.
  • Forge Fellowship for Young Pastors: 9-10:30 p.m. (at the conclusion of the evening session) in the Fellowship Hall.

Tuesday events include:

  • President’s Luncheon: Noon-1:15 p.m. in the Victory Gym with Frank Page, president, Executive Committee of the SBC.
  • Criswell College Dinner and Dialogue: 4:45-6 p.m. in the Victory Gym. Topic: The Sinner’s Prayer and the Public Invitation: An Inquiry by a Calvinist and non-Calvinist. Moderators: Jerry A Johnson & Jim Richards. Includes Calvinist  Tom Nettles of Southern Seminary and non-Calvinist Barry Creamer of Criswell College.

The Day of Fasting & Prayer for the SBTC annual meeting is set for Wed., Oct. 10. The SBTC officers and staff are inviting churches to join in praying that the meeting and related events will be God honoring.

SBTC staff ministers will be available to lead or assist any San Antonio-area church in a prayer service on Oct. 10. On Oct. 11, SBTC will host a fellowship breakfast and luncheon that will provide more details about the Bible Conference and annual meeting.

Registration for the prayer breakfast and luncheon in San Antonio on Oct. 11 is available at A prayer guide to aid your church during the Oct. 10 prayer service is downloadable there as well.

General information about the annual meeting and the Bible Conference is accessible at

The annual meeting, based on the theme “Hearing & Doing,” will feature a guest sermon on Tuesday night from Charles Stanley, longtime pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta and internationally known for his “In Touch” television and radio ministry.

Also speaking during the annual meeting will be SBTC President Terry Turner, pastor of Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church, who will bring his message to the convention on Monday night.

David Fleming, pastor of Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston, will preach the annual Convention Sermon on Tuesday morning, and SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards will bring his report on Tuesday afternoon.

TEXAN Correspondent
Jerry Pierce
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