I left the SBCV Homecoming more in love with Jesus and more committed to His mission than when I arrived.” — Rob Pochek, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Charlottesville, VA
Pochek was one of the more than 1,500 people who attended Annual Homecoming for the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia. The gathering was filled with worship, sermons, breakouts, and business meetings at LibertyLive.Church in Hampton, VA.
Church messengers brought more than 3,900 backpacks with them for the Christmas Backpacks mission project. These backpacks provided impoverished children in Appalachia with school and hygiene supplies, gifts, and the Gospel message just in time for Christmas.
“We join in Gospel partnership not just for our mutual benefit but to reach our neighbors and the nations with the Good News of Jesus Christ,” reported Dr. Brian Autry, executive director of the SBC of Virginia. “We are not alone, so they are not alone.”
Praise and worship were led by LU Praise from Liberty University in Lynchburg and the worship team and choir of LibertyLive.Church in Hampton. Keynote speakers included David Platt, teaching pastor of McLean Bible Church in Vienna, VA and former president of the International Mission Board (IMB), who led Sunday night. His message included a Spirit-led moment of the congregation praying and crying out to the Lord.
“If you want to live, you have to die to sin,” Platt shared on Sunday evening. “We are prone to sin, but that’s just it. We hate that. We hate that we are prone to sin. We don’t want to sin. And when we do, we confess it before God and before others, and we repent, we turn from it. We don’t toy with it. We don’t treat sin. We run from it.”
“Our Annual Homecoming is so vitally important,” shared Pastor Eric Thomas of First Baptist Church in Norfolk. “Perhaps my favorite moment was listening to Pastor Billy Gwinn from Saltville talk about sharing the Gospel and seeing God do amazing things through his church. What an inspiration to see what God can do through His people simply sharing the Gospel!”
SBCV welcomed 28 new church affiliations at Annual Homecoming, which brought our total to 740 churches. The event also provided 19 ministry topic breakout sessions, which were well attended, and 43 exhibitors, which included a LifeWay store and a mission trip scholarship drawing.
The 2019 Annual Homecoming will be held at First Baptist Church in Roanoke, VA on November 10–12. Keynote speakers slated to take the stage include O.S. Hawkins, H.B. Charles, Vance Pitman, and Ken Whitten.