Valdosta Daily Times

July 18, 2013

A gathering of the multitudes

1,500-2,000 visitors expected next week for church conference

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — An estimated 1,500 to 2,000 visitors from across the state are expected to arrive next week in Valdosta for the 2013 Georgia Missionary Baptist Convention Congress of Christian Education.

Pastor William C. Morgan of Morning Star Baptist Church and Pastor Lee Henderson, Second Oak Grove Baptist Church, discussed the details of the conference which runs Monday through Friday, July 22-26.

Morgan says this is possibly Valdosta’s first time hosting the annual conference, which brings Baptists throughout Georgia for a week of classes, activities, music and worship. If Valdosta has hosted the conference previously, he says, it would have been decades in the past.

Last year, Morgan and Pastor Edgar Roberts, Thomas Chapel Baptist Church, attended the conference in Dublin. They noticed that Valdosta has as much to offer as Dublin. Morgan and Roberts prayed on the possibility of bringing the event here for the 2013 conference.

Organizers visited Valdosta and found that the region has enough hotels, restaurants and other activities to support the event.

Locally, the pastors approached the Valdosta Board of Education about using Valdosta High School’s classrooms and Performing Arts Center to meet throughout the week. With school teachers not scheduled to report to work until after the conference date, Valdosta City Schools gave permission to use VHS.

Dr. B.T. Rose Jr. of the churches’ 11th District and numerous South Georgia churches have helped prepare for this event.

In addition to seeing a great economic impact on the region, the conference should also have a deep spiritual impact.

Throughout the days next week, more than 70 courses will be offered to adults and youths. These courses will be taught by teachers who have led classes at the National Baptist Convention and the State Baptist Convention.  

Adult courses include Introduction to the New Testament, Creative Ways of Teaching, the History of Christianity, Becoming an Effective Deacon, the Church Speaks to Substance Abuse, the Church Leadership and Administration, the church facing youth violence and more.

Youth courses include Teaching Youth Stewardship, Dating & Still Being a Christian, Developing Christian Morals, the Parables of Jesus.

At 7 p.m. Monday, a public welcome program and musical will be held in the Valdosta High School Performing Arts Center, 3101 N. Forrest St. Minister Ronnie Brinson has spent the past several weeks preparing a mass choir composed of South Georgia church singers to perform for this event.

At 10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, unique late-night services will be held as part of the conference at Morning Star Baptist Church, 1051 Howell Road.

These evening events are open to the public. Local people may also register to attend courses, Morgan said. Adults, ages 25-up, registration fee is $35. Registrants who are 24 and under, $50, the higher fee comes from more youth and young-adult activities being planned.

To register or find more information: Visit gmbcofgeorgia.org