I am excited for the 2017 SBC Pastor’s Conference in Phoenix, AZ. As we gather together in Phoenix June 11-12, we will have the opportunity to hear from twelve excellent expository preachers as they preach through Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi. These preachers all come from average-size Southern Baptist Churches. They also represent the diversity of our convention in ethnicity, age, worship style, soteriology, and in many other ways as well.
This all began, of course, at the 2016 SBC Pastor’s Conference in St. Louis when Dave Miller was elected President of the 2017 conference. The platform was simple: Let’s have a conference focused on expository preaching done by the pastors of 12 average-size Southern Baptist Churches. Conference attendees affirmed this vision with their votes, and the work began.
We began receiving nominations across our convention on Monday, September 12. We didn’t know what to expect. How many nominations would we receive? 100? 1,000? We had no idea. By the time nominations closed at the end of September, we had received over 200 nominations representing over 150 different preachers. I think I speak for the entire team in saying that 150 was more than enough when it came time to evaluate sermons.
After the nominations closed, we began the hard work of listening to sermons from all 150 preachers. While we were looking for excellent expository preaching—and we certainly found it—our goal was not to award a prize to the 12 best preachers in the convention. Our goal was to identify the 12 preachers who should speak at the conference.
We began by making sure that every preacher was listened to by at least two members of our team. From there we were able to narrow the list of approximately 150 preachers down to about 40 preachers. These 40 preachers received additional consideration from some of the members of our team. We then gathered together in a hotel conference room in St. Louis, listened to sermons, discussed what we heard, and put together a list of 12 speakers for the conference.
Dave then called each speaker to invite them to preach at the conference. As you might imagine, all 12 accepted the invitation, and now will be preparing to preach at this year’s SBC Pastor’s Conference.
The Speakers for the 2017 SBC Pastor’s Conference
Jose Abella (Providence Road Church in Miami, FL)
Michael Allen (Uptown Baptist Church in Chicago, IL)
Jamar Andrews (Word Baptist Church in Jonesboro, AR)
Bart Barber (First Baptist Church of Farmersville, TX)
David Choi (Church of the Beloved in Chicago, IL)
Chris Davis (Groveton Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA)
Shane Hall (First Southern Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, OK)
Jimmy Meek (Immanuel Baptist Church in El Dorado, AR)
John Onwuchekwa (Cornerstone Church in Atlanta, GA)
Spencer Plumlee (Riverview Baptist Church in Osage Beach, MO)
Ryan Rice Sr. (Life Church in New Orleans, LA)
Nathan Rose (Liberty Baptist Church in Liberty, MO)
We will be well-served by these pastors as they stand to preach God’s Word in Phoenix in June. These men love the Lord. They are devoted to His Word. And they are each very gifted expositors.
However, the spotlight will not be on these men in Phoenix. While they are all excellent preachers, the spotlight will shine brightly on the Word of God as they walk us through Philippians. We’ve certainly had great Southern Baptist Pastor’s Conferences in the past, but this one will be different. We hope you will plan to join us in Phoenix, Arizona June 11-12 for the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Pastor’s Conference.
It should also be noted that these are not the only 12 excellent expositors we found through this process. While this project is only a one-time thing, we could fill the slate of speakers for 3 conferences without any drop-off in the quality of preaching with just the nominations we received. Southern Baptists should be encouraged that faithful men of God are standing in pulpits across our convention Sunday after Sunday to preach the Word of God to their people. My heart was certainly encouraged through this process.
Will you now join me in praying for these men as they prepare to preach God’s Word to us in Phoenix?
A Note from Dave Miller: I greatly appreciate Adam Blosser and the rest of our Pastors Conference team (we’ve gone through several names, but recently, I’ve gone biblical with “Dave’s Mighty Men”).
I asked Adam to head up the selection process and he did a great job. The final responsibilities of making the choices rested with me, but we worked as a team and arrived at the decisions as a group.
Adam and the “Mighty Men” have been a blessing from God in this process of selecting preachers. The number of man-hours required in this endeavor was massive.
I echo Adam. We have great preachers and the Pastors’ Conference will be a great encouragement as we study Philippians together.