Roger Willmore said he inherited the association’s new style of annual meeting when he became director of missions for Calhoun Baptist Association a couple of years ago.
And so far, he said, it’s been excellent.
Much like some others in the state (see story, page 4), Calhoun Association opted to rethink the traditional business meeting format in favor of a celebration service that invited area churches to praise God for what He’s doing through local and state ministries.
This year Calhoun Association will hold its meeting Oct. 14 at Golden Springs Baptist Church, Anniston. There will be a business session in the afternoon, but the main event will be a missions fair.
The association’s disaster relief team also will have its trailers and equipment on site for messengers and guests to tour and see. “The fair will display and highlight the many ministries of Calhoun Baptist Association and the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions,” Willmore said. “For many of our people, this might be the first time they’ve gotten to go inside a disaster relief trailer and see what they do.”
On the surface it might seem like not allowing entities to give reports would take away from state ministries, but Willmore said he’s found the opposite to be true.
“What really excites me about that is that through visual aids, resources and personal contact we can communicate so much more than you can in a three-minute spot in a business meeting,” Willmore said. This year the evening worship rally will feature Richard Blackaby as guest speaker. It also will feature a combined choir.
“The last two years we’ve done that, and the choir and music leaders have hit home runs,” Willmore said.
In 2017 they hit some bumps in the road with severe weather, but the year before, 580 attended the worship rally.
“We are expecting a good attendance this year too,” Willmore said, noting that he’s already heard people in the community expressing excitement over Blackaby coming.
Blackaby also will lead a Monday morning pastors’ and church leaders’ conference the following day, an event to which directors of missions and others from the surrounding area are invited to attend.
That will be held at Iron City Baptist Church, Anniston, which is led by Cody Hale — a pastor currently involved in Blackaby’s mentoring program.
“I’m excited about that and so is Cody,” Willmore said. “We’re going to try to make that a good discipling hour.”
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