SHAWNEE—A crowd estimated at 450 was exhorted to maintain “Gospel Integrity in Today’s Pulpit” during the 2010 State Pastors’ Conference, Nov. 15.

Meeting in Raley Chapel on the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University, pastors and others heard from four state pastors and featured speakers Larry Thompson, pastor of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., First, and David Allen, dean of the School of Theology at Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Also speaking were Monty Baggett, pastor of Muskogee, Southeast; Jeremy Freeman, pastor of Newcastle, First; William Noel, pastor of Oklahoma City, Grace and Glory, and Tim Russell, pastor of McAlester, First.
Worship was led throughout the conference by Matt Roberson of Broken Arrow, Liberty.

During the afternoon session, president-elect Joe Ligon, pastor of Marlow, First, was elevated to the position of president of the Pastors’ Conference for 2011, while 2010 second vice president Scott Watkins, pastor of Terlton, First, was elected president-elect for 2011, and Will Wilson, pastor of Tecumseh, New Hope, was elected 2nd vice president, both by acclamation.

Allen, who said he was called to preach at age 16, is also a professor of preaching at SWBTS, is director of the Southwestern Center for Expository Preaching and holds the George W. Truett Chair of Ministry at the seminary.

He stressed that God spoke His final words not through prophets, but through His Son.

“I love the prophets; they each spoke with a different accent,” Allen said, “But God spoke His final words through His Son.”

“God does not mutter or mumble,” he added. “If there is a problem in communication, it is on the receiving end.”

Using Heb. 1:1-3 as his text—“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, Whom He appointed heir of all things, and through Whom also He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven”—Allen said the verses point out seven things about the son, or “seven wonders, or modifiers, of Jesus.”

He said it’s wonderful to know about God, but it’s a far more wonderful and precious thing to know God presonally through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Thompson, who serves at a church in a Broward County, Fla., where only 14 percent of the population is in church on Sunday, chose I Cor. 9:19-23 as his text as he spoke about “How to Be a Leader with Respondability.”

After showing a video presentation on how quickly society is changing in different areas such as demographically and advancing technologically, Thompson encouraged pastors to be on the “cutting edge” of their culture, just as the Apostle Paul was.

He said good leaders will take risks, not chances.

“Risks are based on carefully calculated knowledge, while chance is based on ignorance and happenstance,” he cautioned, as he focused on three risk-taking leadership principles of prayer, preparation and perspiration.

“This world is looking for leaders, not managers,” Thompson said. “The difference between leaders and managers is managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing. Daniel was an example of a leader. No matter what they threw at him, he wouldn’t give up his moral compass.”

Thompson said conventional wisdom is committed to programs, while convictional wisdom is committed to people.

“Leaders in the 21st Century respond to change effectively when their priority is people, rather than programs,” he said. “One of the greatest gifts you can leave behind you is a legacy, not a resume.”

Editor’s Note: Space limitations prevent the Messenger from highlighting all eight sermons presented during the Pastors’ Conference. However, MP3 versions will be available for download on the BGCO website by Dec. 8 at