INDIANAPOLIS (BP) — Stephen Rummage remembers the benefits he received as a young pastor from the SBC Pastors’ Conference. He wants those same blessings experienced by attendees during this year’s conference.

“As a beginning pastor … I knew I would hear some exciting preachers, pick up a few illustrations I might use in my messages and have a good time hanging out with my preacher buddies,” said Rummage, senior pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City.

And while hearing legends in the pulpit was certainly a draw, so were the intangibles.

“I’ve learned that the SBC Pastors’ Conference is much, much more than dynamic preaching on a big platform,” Rummage said.

“For so many pastors over the years, it’s become a lifeline of encouragement and inspiration to keep preaching God’s Word, sharing the Gospel and serving the Lord.”

The theme for the event is “Faithful: Pursuing Your Mission,” based on Revelation 17:14.

Rummage pointed to that passage as designating Jesus “Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called, and chosen and faithful.”

“Every preacher will be preaching on some aspect of God’s faithfulness and our call to be faithful to Him as pastors,” he said. “Without exception, as I’ve talked to our preachers for this year, they are deeply passionate about bringing messages that encourage other pastors to be faithful.

“We’ll have living examples of faithfulness in the conference pulpit, including preachers who have walked through serious illness, family trauma, church struggle and so many of the other issues every pastor faces, all with enduring faithfulness to our faithful God.”

A limited podcast series has been developed featuring conversations between Rummage and conference speakers, with new installments being added to the playlist housed on Quail Springs’ YouTube account.

Erik Cummings, lead pastor of New Life Church in Carol City, Fla., is serving as vice president while Michael Stephens, church business administrator at Quail Springs Baptist Church, is serving as treasurer.

Session 1 will begin in Halls H/I/J/K in the Indiana Convention Center on Sunday, June 9, after the Sunday prayer gathering and last from 6-9 p.m. Session 2 is scheduled for the following morning from 8:30-noon, with Session 3 in the afternoon (2-5 p.m.) and Session 4 that evening (6:30-9 p.m.)

Pastors speaking at the event are:

  1. Adam Dooley, Englewood Baptist Church, Jackson, Tenn.
  2. Steve Gaines, Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis
  3. Jack Graham, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas
  4. James Noble, Kingdom Community Church of Anderson, S.C.
  5. Bartholomew Orr, Brown Missionary Baptist Church, Southaven, Miss.
  6. Jimmy Scroggins, Family Church, South Florida

Joining them are:

  1. Greg Mann, Affinity Group leader, International Mission Board
  2. Shane Pruitt, National Next Gen Director, North American Mission Board
  3. Robert Smith, Jr., recently-retired professor of Preaching, Beeson Divinity School
  4. Benny Wong, Chinese-English Bilingual director, Gateway Seminary
  5. Hershael York, professor of Preaching, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Worship will be led by Charles Billingsley, producer of seven No. 1 Inspirational radio hits during a music career stretching nearly 30 years that includes a time as lead singer for Newsong. Billingsley currently serves as teaching pastor at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va.

“Charles is an incredible vocalist and anointed worship leader,” Rummage said. “Anyone who has ever heard him knows that.

“But even more deeply, Charles has an unusually insightful understanding of pastors and ministry families. I’ve been with Charles in settings where God’s Holy Spirit so obviously used him to bring healing, hope and renewed joy and praise before God as he led in worship.

“I’m always amazed at how worshiping the Lord can lift us out of the distraction that we sometimes experience in a large convention hall and bring us right into the presence of God. I know God will use Charles to help us meet with God, to hear His voice and know His heart more deeply as we come together.”