Above: The Anaheim Convention Center will host the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, June 14-15.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (BP)—Messenger pre-registration and childcare registration opened Tuesday, Feb. 1 at sbcannualmeeting.net for the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Annual Meeting June 14-15 in Anaheim, Calif.

June will mark the first time in more than 40 years the meeting will be held in California. The last time was 1981 in Los Angeles.

“Having the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting in California provides Southern Baptists from all over the country to experience how and where ministry is done out West,” said Jonathan Howe, vice president of communications with the SBC Executive Committee. “We are blessed to have nearly 1,800 churches in California living out the Gospel and striving to reach the more than 35 million people in the state without a relationship with Christ. We look forward to thousands of Southern Baptists joining us in Anaheim as we celebrate what God is doing in and through Southern Baptists.”

Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary in southern California, has described the meeting as a “rare opportunity” for the seminary to participate in the meeting.

“We are very enthusiastic about the Southern Baptist Convention coming to Anaheim,” Iorg said. “Most employees at Gateway, including many of our faculty members, have never attended a Southern Baptist Convention. It’s just simply too far and costs too much for them to make that trip from California to the typical meeting locations in the South.”

In a first-person piece published at Baptist Press, Richard Spring, pastor of Hesperia, Calif., First, addressed those who feel like California is the “uttermost part of the earth.” He urged Southern Baptists to come see what God is doing in the state.

“For us, California is our home,” Spring wrote. “Consider this your invitation. Come on down to Anaheim, in Orange County, June 14-15, and see for yourself. I can promise you sunny skies and a fresh Gospel view beyond what many of you may be used to.”

To pre-register, prospective messengers must include their church’s SBC identification number and confirmation that their church has chosen them as a messenger. Each cooperating Southern Baptist church is allotted two messengers, with some allowed as many as 12, depending on church size and Cooperative Program giving.

Weekly “Road to Anaheim” video updates, sponsored by California Baptist University, will release each Tuesday leading up to the meeting.

Many ancillary meetings and events will precede and coincide with the annual meeting, including the June meeting of the SBC Executive Committee, meetings of various SBC fellowships and various events hosted by SBC entities and the Woman’s Missionary Union. Separate registration is required for some ancillary events.

Childcare registration

Childcare registration also opened Feb. 1 for the June 12-13 SBC Pastors’ Conference as well as the June 14-15 annual meeting. Options include Youth on Mission for teenagers, led by WMU; Giant Cow Ministries for children 5 to 12 years old, and preschool childcare for newborns through 5-year-olds.

All childcare activities will be held onsite at the Anaheim Convention Center with youth participating in community-based mission projects.

Fees, payable upon registration, include a $10 non-refundable payment per child, and separate $30 charges per preschooler for each event, whether the SBC Pastors’ Conference or the annual meeting. Daily lunch will be available June 13-15 for preschoolers for $6 per child each day.

Hotel registration has been available since Oct. 1, 2021.