SBTC annual meeting theme “Belong” to feature sermons from Eph. 4-5

Tony Evans to deliver guest sermon

DALLAS Messengers to the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention annual meeting in Dallas this November will gather around the theme “Belong,” based on Ephesians 4, SBTC President Nathan Lino told members of the convention’s executive board, Aug. 15. 

The primary focus of the Nov. 13-14 meeting at Criswell College, in addition to accomplishing convention business, will be on creating an “environment of encouragement” for pastors and church members, Lino said.

“We have been very intentional about designing an environment of encouragement for our pastors. It’s a burden that many of us share to encourage the laborers, the leaders of Christ’s churches in our state, to send them back to their churches for another year of ministry. We have this vision for the annual meeting to be a place of renewal and refreshment in every way, genuine renewal and refreshment in the Lord, so that our pastors can go home invigorated and re-inspired, believing that the Holy Spirit is for them and with them. ”

In a similar fashion to last year’s annual meeting, eight convention sermons will be preached sequentially through Ephesians 4 and part of Ephesians 5 during the meeting. The expositional sermons will be preached by Juan Sanchez, pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin; Nathan Lino, pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church in Humble; Andrew Hebert, pastor of Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo; J.R. Vassar, pastor of Church at the Cross in Grapevine; SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards; Criswell College President Barry Creamer; Josh Smith, pastor of MacArthur Blvd Baptist Church in Irving; and a concluding guest sermon by Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas.

SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards expressed his excitement over this year’s meeting, noting it will position the convention well as it celebrates its 20th year of ministry next year.

“Although this is not a pastors’ conference,” Richards said, “it’s definitely going to be something that is going to help our pastors and will help our laypersons who attend to be strengthened, encouraged and inspired.”

Sunday, Oct. 22, has been designated as a Day of Prayer for SBTC annual meeting, and churches are encouraged to set aside time during their worship services to pray for the meeting and the work of the convention.

Housing Assistance Available for SBTC Annual Meeting

In order to assist bi-vocational pastors and other pastors who might be unable to attend the SBTC annual meeting this year for financial reasons, the convention is making a limited number of rooms available to address the need. Pastors needing housing assistance can contact SBTC Chief Financial Officer Joe Davis,, for details. The 2017 SBTC annual meeting will take place at Criswell College in Dallas, Nov. 13-14. 

For more information about the annual meeting, visit  

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