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SBC Pastors’ conference theme: prepare for revival
May 05, 2008
By Mark Kelly

Pastors planning to attend the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference in Indianapolis June 8-9 will need to leave earlier this year, according to Pastors' Conference President Michael Catt. In an unusual move, the Pastors' Conference will open early — on Sunday afternoon — to screen "Fireproof," a new movie on unconditional love and covenant marriage produced by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga.

"The SBC pastors will be the first large group of people to see a screening of Fireproof before it is released in September in about 1,000 theaters around the country," said Catt, pastor of Sherwood Baptist, which produced two earlier movies, "Flywheel" and "Facing the Giants." "This is the first time the Pastors' Conference has screened a movie and we've only started the conference on Sunday afternoon a handful of times in the last 40 years."

This year's Pastors' Conference will focus on a call to prepare for revival — and the outpouring of witness and ministry that results. Gathering under the banner, "Prepare for Rain," participants will focus the role of prayer and brokenness in spiritual renewal.

"What we've done at times is we've hit our preachers over the head and said we need to be more evangelistic, but the reality is we don't have praying churches that are longing for revival," Catt said. "If there's not prayer and brokenness in revival, our churches are not going to do a better job of evangelism because carnal people don't have a burden for lost people."

Working from that premise, each of the four conference sessions will focus on an element of that process: prayer, brokenness, revival and evangelism, Catt said.

Featured speakers for the Sunday evening session, June 8 will be Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., Daniel Simmons of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., and Tom Elliff, senior vice president for spiritual nurture and church relations at the International Mission Board.

The three June 9 sessions will feature Alan Day of First Baptist Church in Edmond, Okla., Hayes Wicker of First Baptist Church in Naples, Fla., George Harris of First Baptist Church in Kerrville, Texas, and Ed Litton of First Baptist Church in North Mobile, Ala.

During Monday afternoon's session, James T. Draper Jr., former president of LifeWay Christian Resources, Southern Baptist evangelist Bill Stafford, Stuart Briscoe of Telling the Truth Ministries and James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Ill., will speak on the theme of revival.

Monday evening Charles Lowery, president of the Lowery Institute for Excellence, Kerry Shook, pastor of Fellowship of the Woodlands in Houston, and evangelist Jay Strack will deliver messages on evangelism.

A 40-day prayer guide that began with April 29 is available at to help pastors prepare spiritually for the conference.

Music for the conference will be led by Mark Willard, worship leader at Sherwood Baptist Church, accompanied by a praise team and a 16-piece band. (BP)

For a complete schedule of events for the SBC Pastors' Conference, visit


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