“Shift,” is the theme of the 2009 Pastors’ Conference, which will precede the Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, Nov. 9 at Moore, First, 301 N.E. 27.
The conference begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at 4:40 p.m. The meeting features six speakers this year: Mike Booth, pastor, Oklahoma City, Emmaus; Kevin Ezell, senior pastor, Louisville, Ky., Highview; Wendell Lang, pastor, West Jackson Church, Jackson, Tenn.; Calvin Miller, writer in residence and professor, Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Ala.; Jim Prock, Encouragement Ministries, Oklahoma City and Walter Wilson, pastor, Lawton, Friendship.
Pastors’ Conference president Rusty Fuller (Ada, Trinity) said the theme “reflects the fact that anywhere from 10-20 percent of churches are growing and the rest are plateaued or declining, we have a downward trend in baptisms and membership and to focus on what we have to do to shift things in the other direction.”
Booth, a former youth and singles minister at Moore, First and singles minister at Edmond, Henderson Hills, was called by Emmaus as pastor in 1993.
“I wanted Mike to encourage pastors with the story of what is happening at his growing church at Emmaus,” Fuller said.
Ezell is president of the SBC Pastors’ Conference. He also has served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Midwestern Seminary. He has been pastor of Highview, “One Church with Seven Locations,” since 1996.
“It’s exciting that Kevin is coming to be with us,” Fuller said. “He’s going to wrap it all up for us at the end of the day and present a final challenge to us to shift our churches forward.”
Lang is very familiar to Oklahoma Baptists. He is a former president of the BGCO and served as pastor of several Oklahoma churches, most recently, Pryor, First. He also served as executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association before moving to Jackson. He is a member of the North American Mission Board of Directors and has a long list of state and national denominational service.
Miller, a native of Enid, retired from full-time teaching at Beeson in 2007. He also served on the faculty at Southwestern Seminary and as a pastor in Nebraska. He is a prolific author.
“I asked him to speak about the shift in communication styles and how we may need to communicate in more creative ways,” Fuller said.
Prock, who served as a member of the Oklahoma Insurance Commission from 1975-77, now serves as vice president, Nationwide Planned Giving Business Unit for the American Cancer Society. He has 23 years of pastoral ministry experience, mostly in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. He now serves as a minister of encouragement to churches and pastors and as an interim pastor and supply preacher. He will present the case for a need to shift, Fuller said, with facts and statistics.
Wilson was one of 15 pastors involved in forming the African American Fellowship within the Baptist General Convention of Texas. An expert in black church administration, he is director of the L. Collins School of Theology, also in Lawton.
“I asked Walter to speak about dealing with the conflict that sometimes arises with shifting,” Fuller said. “He’s going to talk about the biblical basis of shifting.”
In addition to the featured speakers, presenting testimonies will be Carlos Caceras, pastor of Norman, Emanuel Hispanic, and Bob Waitman, pastor of Madill, First.
Leading worship will be Randy Presley, pastor of worship at Norman, Trinity.
In addition to Fuller, other Pastors’ Conference officers include Floyd McKee, Oklahoma City, Rancho Village, president elect (First vice president), and Garry McDevitt, Prue, second vice president.