Published Oct 04, 2022
This is it! It’s time to vote on those messengers and register them for our California Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, October 24-26 at Bryte Church in West Sacramento. This year it is being held near the state’s capitol, Sacramento! If there is any place, we should all be gathering to pray for California it is there!
I had the chance to visit with so many of you this year as the CSBC president and what an amazing time it was. It is a blessing to see how God makes everyone so different and how He makes so many of our churches different and yet unites them in His Love and according to His purpose! I am excited to preside over our meeting this year in an epic time of worship, exciting updates from our CSBC teams, great reports from our partners, and hear from our new executive director Pete Ramirez. We also will spend time praying for the unrest around the world, especially between Russia and Ukraine. I get to present the report you asked me to oversee this past year from our own California Sexual Abuse Task Force. I am proud of the work this group of seven did this past year and I think it will be foundational in the battle to keep our churches truly safe places for people to worship.
The Sacramento area is a great place to visit as exemplified by student field trips to explore the rich history. Why not bring the family to see these historic sites such as the railroad museum, old town Sacramento, Sutter’s Fort, and the State Capitol building. You can do so while taking the time to prayer-walk a city that desperately needs it not only for our state officials but for their basketball team the Sacramento Kings. Come in on Saturday and enjoy these sites while getting ready for the Pastors’ Conference which begins on Monday!
I am excited that we have invited many of our rookie pastors to enjoy the annual meeting. When you put veterans and rookies together in ministry it is much easier to create a championship team and for us a championship family. The thick of the pandemic is over and it is time to gather together again. So, why not come up and love on our Northern California brothers and sisters and meet some family you never knew that you had? I’ve signed up for the Baptist Foundation of California Breakfast as well as the Gateway Seminary alumni dinner. I heard I get six dinners because of the six degrees I got from there. The Minister’s Wives Luncheon is going to be great as the ladies get to spend time hearing from two very special women to me and Pete Ramirez, my wife, Theresa, and his wife Anabella. What you thought I wasn’t married? You thought wrong! I am proud of Theresa making her speaking debut alongside some precious friends. Great job Cathie Smith!
As a DOM, I am looking forward to seeing other DOMs. As a pastor I am looking forward to seeing other pastors. As the president I am looking forward to seeing the team come together. As the first vice president of the SBC, I am looking forward to seeing what the Send Network California movement is all about. Yet as a child of God I am looking forward to standing before our Lord and Savior and sing with my brothers and sisters with united hearts and a united purpose.
Finally, I am grateful that as a messenger I have a vote that I get to use for important motions that will be presented and for the election of president and vice president. I am glad to seek a second term as your CSBC president, but understand these things are up to God’s will and sovereignty.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Jesus is coming soon and there are so many that don’t know Him, so let’s come together and inspire one another to go the distance in serving Him in our mission field of California! God Bless you. See you in Sacramento!