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Spiritual leaders gather for renewal
In the pulpit
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Each year, clergy members come from near and far for a time of fellowship and spiritual renewal. On Feb. 6-9, pastors and ministers from various cities and towns in Georgia met in Macon for the annual ministers conference of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia.
The intent of this annual conference is to enhance and expand ministries so there will be a greater impact in churches. Coordinated by the Revs. Theodus Drake, L. C. Teasley and Dr. R. L. White, the conference attracts additional ministers each year. This well-planned event provides important information and strategies to address the challenges of a changing world.
During the four-day period, pastors and ministers were treated to a series of dynamic, soul-stirring preaching and teaching sessions, coupled with moving prayers and uplifting singing. The presenters came from different churches in Georgia, including First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church of Hinesville. 
The theme of the convention was “Christ: The Centrality of Preaching,” which was taken from John 5:39 (“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of me”). Speaker after speaker touched on the importance of Christ being central in preaching.
 On Feb. 6, attendees were treated to the opening sermon by the Rev. H. B. Young of Scott Chapel Baptist Church of Pringle. Other ministers from Georgia who preached during the conference included the Rev. Sarah Hagood of First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church of Hinesville; Dr. Kary E. Harris of Union Baptist Church in Buford; and the Rev. Walter Scott, former pastor of Sunbury Baptist Church who now is the pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Waycross.
Ministers at the national level who also preached at the conference included Dr. H. B. Charles of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla.; Dr. Gregory Moss, pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church of Charlotte, N.C.; and the Rev. O. Jermaine Simmons, pastor of Jacob Chapel Baptist Church of Tallahassee, Fla.
Each day, informative and educational seminars were presented. Charles presented a lecture on “Christ: The Centrality of Preaching.” Moss gave two lectures on “Examination of a Dying Church,” while Simmons presented a seminar on “Preaching the Immutable Gospel to a Changing World.”
Drake conducted a breakout session on “Preaching Power in the Art of Rhetoric,” and the Rev. Nim Russell, a regional coordinator for the GMBC, did a session on “Creative Worship for the 21st Century.” Dr. Ken Miller, a military chaplain, presented a seminar on “Multicultural Preaching.”
The conference culminated Thursday morning, with the closing sermon by the Rev. Jasper Williams of Salem Bible Church of Atlanta. A prolific expositor of the gospel and a recording artist, Williams is a noted pastor with more 60 years of preaching.
Plans already are under way for the 2013 Annual Ministers’ Conference, which will be held Feb. 4-7 at the Macon Marriott.

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