One of the great experiences of my life was the opportunity to attend New Orleans Seminary (NOBTS). The theological education was exceptional, but the cultural experiences were beyond compare. For this Okie, experiencing the city of New Orleans and the Cajun parts of Louisiana was awesome.

Polla and I came to love the city, its people and the challenges of ministry there. The French Quarter, which is so filled with darkness, also has wonderful restaurants, Preservation Hall Dixieland Jazz and Café Du Monde. One cup of café au lait and a beignet, and you will be in love with the city. Add a muffaletta, gumbo or crawfish etouffee and your life will be changed forever!!!

New Orleans has been one of the central focuses of domestic missions throughout the history of Southern Baptists. Pioneers went to New Orleans to etch out a foothold for the Gospel and today, there is a strong Baptist presence. The remarkable ministry performed after Hurricane Katrina by Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers opened new doors for the Gospel in this great city and its environs.

Southern Baptists will gather in just a few weeks for the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans. This year’s convention will be historic as fellow NOBTS grad and dynamic pastor of New Orleans’ Franklin Avenue Church, Fred Luter, will be elected as the first African-American president in the convention’s history. He will be elected not because he is African-American, but because he is a great preacher, pastor and leader.

The evening of June 19 will be a very special time. The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma Baptist University invite Oklahoma convention messengers for an evening of dinner and Dixieland Jazz on the Steamboat Natchez. What a wonderful opportunity for us to fellowship together in this great city!

You can reserve your tickets online at or I hope you and your family will join us for a time of fellowship as Okies enjoy the Crescent City and the mighty Mississippi.

I close this article by calling us to prayer as the summer season of Falls Creek begins. The spiritual genius of Falls Creek lies in the fact that no place on Earth has more prayers lifted to the throne of God on its behalf as does Falls Creek. Pray for the musicians, preachers, staff and volunteers who serve. Pray for the youth who attend. Make an effort to pray by name for a young person attending from your church. If you provided a seat in the tabernacle, pray weekly for the individual who will sit each night in that seat. I would also invite you to watch services throughout the summer online at