Oklahoma Baptists hope to 'Immerse' people in the Gospel
Oklahoma Baptists will host the faith group's annual Oklahoma State Evangelism Conference under a new name.
The evangelism event has been renamed the Advance Conference, and it's set for Jan. 27 and 28 at First Southern Baptist Church of Del City.
Alan Quigley, Oklahoma Baptists' associate executive director for church resources, said the event will include both plenary sessions and 12 breakout sessions. The conference is free, and registration isn't necessary.
He said nationally known speakers, as well as Oklahoma leaders and preachers, will help convey the conference theme of "Immerse."
Oklahoma speakers will include the Rev. Doug Melton, senior pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church; the Rev. Stephen Rummage, senior pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church; the Rev. Nick Garland, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow; the Rev. Tom Elliff, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board and former pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Del City; Mona Sabah Earnest, a metro-area human resources/corporate trainer; the Rev. Joe Ligon, senior associate executive director of Oklahoma Baptists and former pastor of First Baptist Church of Marlow; and Heath Thomas, president of Oklahoma Baptist University.
Nationally known speakers will include Alan Greenway, president of Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, and Ed Stetzer, teaching pastor of Highpoint Church in Illinois, dean of the Wheaton College School of Mission, Ministry and Leadership and executive director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism on Wheaton's campus. Other speakers are Noe Garcia, senior pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona; Greg Stier, founder and chief executive officer of Dare 2 Share Ministries; Sammy Lopez, pastor of Mighty Fortress Church in San Antonio; and Shane Pruitt, Next-Gen evangelism director for the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board and director of evangelism for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
Quigley said the theme "Immerse" was chosen to encourage Oklahoma Baptists and other believers to not only lead people to Christ and baptism but to continue to disciple them so that they are immersed in the Gospel.
"Baptizing means immerse so we're saying that our responsibility is not just to share the Gospel of Christ and see them walk through the baptismal waters," Quiqley said.
He said all of the conference speakers are dynamic, and he spoke of two in particular — Stier and Stetzer.
Quigley said Stier primarily works with next-generation leaders. He said Stetzer has been a longtime student of culture.
"He's going to talk to us about taking the Gospel to our communities in a changing culture and changing world," Quiqley said.
Sessions will be 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., 1:30 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 and 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. and 1:30 to 5 p.m. Jan. 28.
Quigley said the wide variety of speakers will give conference attendees a chance to hear perspectives from a diverse group of leaders, from small, medium and large churches, organizations and platforms, in both rural and urban settings.
"I think that one of the interesting things about this conference is it gives us a picture of what's happening in all types of stages," he said.
2020 Advance Conference
When: Jan. 27-28.
Where: First Southern Baptist Church of Del City, 6400 S Sooner Road.