Strong churches with a bold commitment to the Great Commission

Empowered Conference - Baptist Press

by Ishmael LaBiosa

This article also appeared on Baptist Press.

GLEN ALLEN, Va. (Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia) -- The former president of the SBC Pastor's Conference is opening up his church for a special conference with the current President of the SBC.

Dr. Grant Ethridge serves as the senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Hampton and the President of the SBC of Virginia (SBCV). He served as president of the SBC Pastor's Conference in 2011. Ethridge and his church will host a new SBCV event - Empowered Conference.

This is a new event that will bring evangelism, leadership, and a Bible conference into one to help strengthen churches. Dr. Fred Luter, the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, Senior Pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, and a personal friend of Ethridge, is one of the guest speakers.

"It is an honor to have the first African American President of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Fred Luter, to meet with us," said Ethridge. "Dr. Luter has a pastor's heart. He has poured his life into reaching his city, New Orleans, where he was born."

Dr. Alvin Reid, the Professor of Evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, will also take the stage at the conference. Reid plans to challenge attendees through evangelism.

"I love leaders," exclaimed Dr. Alvin Reid. "I love encouraging leaders. I love the next generation. I have a real burden to not only help reach the next generation, but also equip the next generation to help reach their friends and to be on mission for the rest of their lives."

"We're calling SBC of Virginia pastors, church staff, church leaders, and members from our churches together to be encouraged and equipped," said Dr. Brian Autry, Executive Director of the SBCV. "We know the Lord Jesus has told us that we will be His witnesses because of the power of His Holy Spirit. "

Ethridge added, "We believe pastors, staff members, and attendees will return to their churches energized and empowered to carry out the Great Commission."