The list of pastors speaking at the 2022 SBC Pastors’ Conference stretches across a variety of backgrounds, from small congregations to megachurches and combat veteran to former Division I college football player.
I’m not planning to attend the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim unless convention expenses drop from the clouds or dollar bills start growing on the trees in my yard. Being retired means a lot of things one of which is that there’s no one paying the bills except me and Biden/Pelosi and I expect them to start picking my pocket through taxes and inflation.
But I am not limited in offering keen, insightful, and unsolicited commentary on the event and speaker lineup.
Matt Henslee, Associational Mission Strategist of Collin Baptist Association in Fairview, TX, is PC President. We haven’t met. I am generally considered to be not-a-friend of AMS’s in the aggregate, they of the overcooked title, but he’s only been an AMS for 120 days. He doesn’t look like a guy who is just happy to have a terminal ministry position. One caveat irrelevant to his job as PC President: I have never considered AMS/DOM/AM’s to be “pastor to pastors” nor “leader of leaders” as his bio so reads…but that’s just me. But he has my full support. Texan. Welcome to the big leagues, the SEC.
PC preachers are (short bio from the BP article):
Mathew Mueller, Valley Life Church, Peoria, Ariz. A veteran who lost his eye in combat, Mueller planted Valley Life just prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. The church currently averages 60 in attendance.
Clay Smith, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, Marietta, Ga. Smith succeeded Johnson Ferry founding pastor Bryant Wright at the megachurch north of Atlanta that sees 2,500 in worship.
Julio Arriola, church planting coordinator. Arriola, recent executive director of Hispanic Relations and Mobilization for the SBC Executive Committee, is currently moving to Texas to serve in a role supported by the North American Mission Board and Southern Baptists of Texas Convention to assist church planting in the Lone Star State.
Mark Clifton, NAMB senior director of Church Replanting and Rural Strategy. In addition to his denominational role, Clifton is pastoring a replant effort in Linwood, Kan.
Marcus Hayes, Crossroads Baptist Church, The Woodlands, Texas. Hayes began as pastor at Crossroads, which averages 700 in attendance, during the COVID-19 shutdown in April 2020.
Al Jackson, recently retired. Jackson served for 42 years as pastor of Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn, Ala., and plans to continue his mentoring ministry of young pastors.
Daryl Jones, The Rock Fellowship Church, Pembroke Pines, Fla. Jones was an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes while becoming the most accomplished track/football athlete in the history of the University of Miami. Today he is planting The Rock Fellowship, which averages 60 each Sunday in attendance.
Omar Johnson, Temple Hills Baptist Church, Temple Hills, Md. Saved at the church he now serves as pastor, Johnson is one of two SBCPC speakers who are former interns of Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington, D.C.
P.J. Tibayan, Bethany Baptist Church, Bellflower, Calif. The other former Capitol Hill intern, Tibayan has earned degrees from The Master’s Seminary, The Master’s University and a doctorate from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Matt Carter, Sagemont Church, Houston. Sagemont averaged more than 2,600 in attendance in 2020. Carter’s previous congregation, Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, began with 15 people and grew to more than 8,000.
Hanley Liu, First Chinese Baptist Church, Walnut, Calif. Liu leads the English-speaking service at First Chinese Baptist, which averages 800 people.
Israel Villalobos, Plymouth Park Baptist Church, Irving, Texas. Villalobos is the pastor of Spanish Ministries at Plymouth, where he leads the Spanish-speaking service that averages 50 people.
Looks like a good lineup. There are a couple of denominational employees, a couple who were interns at Dever’s church in DC, one grad of MacArthur’s seminary. None of the speakers are Mid-America Seminary grads, or if they are it wasn’t mentioned. There are a couple of megachurch guys, some really small church guys, and some large church guys.
As best I can tell, no Conservative Baptist Network guys, at least none on their Steering Council. The CBN has proved that they can gather their own crowd at the SBCAM although I hate to see competing messenger/pastor events, but this is where we are.
And not to be missed: The 2022 Pastor’s Conference will use the format pioneered by Dave Miller in a previous PC. The speakers will be assigned a passage so that the line-up preaches through a single Bible book. How about 2 Chronicles or Leviticus? No? Cowards! It will be Ephesians or another of the Epistles. One note for Henslee (he doesn’t need to be told): Assigning a passage doesn’t mean a lot. The brethren may roam where they wish and there’s not a doggone thing you can do about it – free range preachers, sort of a Texan thing.
My prayers for a resounding success in Ahaheim.
Like my massive pulpit pic above? I bet some of the speakers would treat that like the plague.
The former D1 guy is from Miami, not a resume enhancer although we Dawg fans really liked Marc Richt, still do.
I’ve said this before. The best single sermon I’ve heard in a long time was by Mike Stone and I’m not easily impressed (a product of accreted cynicism and age). It was scintillating. Too bad we have such a divided convention these days.
If the CBN has an event in Anaheim, and I’d bet that they will, I’ll give a review of their line-up.