GRAPEVINE—The 2021 Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Annual Meeting Nov. 8-9 at Flint Baptist Church, just south of Tyler, will focus on a short yet powerful theme: “But God,” two words conveying the majesty and power of the heavenly Father in the midst of human struggle.
While the phrase occurs at the beginning of Ephesians 2:4-10—the Scripture for the annual meeting—“But God” appears hundreds of times in the Bible, Jim Richards, SBTC executive director emeritus, told the TEXAN. “Many of these references point us to the assurance that God can change anything regardless of the circumstances. Even when the situation does not change, God can change us,” he added.
SBTC Executive Director Nathan Lorick echoed his predecessor’s thoughts: “Over the last few months there have been many moments when people felt hopeless and weary. However, as difficult as this season has been for so many, God has continued to show himself faithful.”
Indeed, “in the midst of our difficult moments, when all seemed chaotic and uncertain, there have been many ‘But God’ moments,” Lorick added. “This is our heart for this meeting, that we would be ever mindful that in our trials, God will be faithful,” he said.
For Richards and Lorick, the annual meeting will be a celebration of the many “But God” moments in the prior year: a reminder that, as Richards said, “when we face future challenges … God is in control.”
Monday dinner to honor Richards
Monday evening, Nov. 8, will kick off with a celebratory dinner honoring Richards and conclude with a reception welcoming Lorick, both held at Flint Baptist Church, along with the opening sessions of the annual meeting.
The dinner honoring the ministry of Richards will begin at 4:45 p.m. The outdoor event will take place under a tent erected for that purpose on the church property and feature special guests celebrating what God has done during Richards’ lifetime of ministry. The event is free, but space is limited. Those wishing to attend should register as soon as possible.
The welcome reception for Lorick will follow the evening’s program, which will feature messages from Richards and Lorick.
In addition to the business of the convention, Tuesday will feature several special events.
The Tuesday morning schedule includes alumni breakfasts hosted by Criswell College, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. That morning will also feature a panel discussion on “Persecution of the Church in America.”
SBTC President Kie Bowman, pastor of Austin’s Hyde Park Baptist Church, will also deliver his address Tuesday morning.
Guests will grab boxed meals and attend breakout sessions at lunchtime. Bowman will moderate a panel entitled “Keeping the Basic: Evangelism and Prayer.” Tony Wolfe, SBTC associate executive director will moderate a panel discussing “After COVID: Rebuilding the Pastor and the Church.” Spencer Plumlee and Matt Boswell will lead a Young Pastors Network panel on worship.
Tuesday evening will include both a fellowship dinner and a dinner sponsored by Missional Ministries at which Jarrett Stephens will speak. A prayer service that night will feature Boswell leading in praise and worship.
Before the meeting
Prior to the annual meeting, a Spanish session will be held Sunday, Nov. 7, at Primera Iglesia Bautista in Pittsburg. Additionally, SBTC en Español will host a Spanish lunch panel at Flint Baptist prior to the annual meeting events on Monday, Nov. 8.
Speakers for both Spanish-language events will be Rafael Rondón, Spanish associate pastor at Fielder Church in Arlington; George Levant, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida en Jesus in Laredo, and Joshua Del Risco, founder of The Rock Ministries.
IPE—Interim Pastors Equipping—training will also be offered Monday.
Childcare will be provided.
Register at sbtexas.com/am21.