EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated in the seventh paragraph to reflect that only Hall F in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will be part of the security zone where access will be restricted.

DALLAS (BP) — Vice President Mike Pence will address the Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday (June 13).

The announcement of Pence’s 11 a.m. address to messengers and invited guests at the June 12-13 annual meeting in Dallas was made by SBC President Steve Gaines and Grant Ethridge, chairman of the convention’s Committee on Order of Business, in a joint press release today (June 11).

“We are excited to announce Vice President Mike Pence will be attending this year’s SBC annual meeting to express appreciation to Southern Baptists for the contributions we make to the moral fabric of our nation,” Gaines said.

Southern Baptist leaders estimate the number of messengers from the convention’s cooperating churches may approach 11,000 with an additional 4,000 invited guests on the final day of the two-day convention.

“It’s an honor to welcome Vice President Pence,” Ethridge said. “While the Southern Baptist Convention aligns itself with no political party, our program recognizes and honors local, state and national leaders in keeping with 1 Timothy 2:1–2” (1)

Strict security measures will be in place prior to Pence’s arrival at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Doors to the convention hall will open at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday with metal detectors in place for screening messengers and guests. Access to convention Hall F will close at 10 a.m.; anyone still in line will be unable to enter the convention hall for the remainder of the morning session. Other areas of the convention center will be open as usual.

Messengers should allow up to two hours to enter the convention hall and should carry their ballots as the annual meeting will be in session, beginning at 8:05 a.m., conducting business according to an adjusted order of business to be presented to messengers Tuesday morning.

No containers of any type — water bottles, glass bottles or cans — will be permitted, nor laptop computers or other large digital devices; cameras, except by invited, credentialed members of the media; sharp or pointed objects including umbrellas; large purses or handbags (though small ladies’ clutches will be acceptable); backpacks, briefcases, computer or camera cases; large bags of any type, including messenger bags; or unopened packages of any type.

Also prohibited: guns or ammunition; knives, including pocketknives or penknives of any size; Leatherman or multipurpose tools; laser pointers; mace and pepper spray; glitter, spray containers, aerosols, flammable liquids; or fireworks or explosives.

If a messenger needs to leave the convention hall for any reason, he or she must be rescreened prior to reentering the hall.

(1) 1 Timothy 2:1-2 reads, “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (CSB).