November conference urges pastors on in their race

When Richard L. Richie was in seminary, one of his professors told the classroom full of students that only two or so of them would stick with ministry full-time.

“I think back on that and he was truly correct,” Richie said. He’s been in ministry 24 years and is currently treasurer of the 2017 Alabama Baptist Pastors Conference, but the ministry tenure for many seminary grads is just a handful of years.

That’s why he and the other conference officers are looking forward to what God is going to do through the Nov. 13 event at Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville.

Rob Jackson, president of the conference, said of the theme, “Finish!”: “It’s a call for all ministers, whether young or old, to finish the race Christ has set before us and finish it well.”

It’s not an easy call, Richie acknowledged, but it’s a call worth all the effort.

“How powerful that is to hear a calling from the Lord but then to embrace that fully and try to stay in our lane and keep our eyes on the Author and Perfector of our faith,” Richie said.

Part of fighting the good fight, as 2 Timothy 4:7–8 references, is reaching the lost for Christ and making disciples.

That’s why two breakout sessions have been added to the normal conference format:

• “Becoming a Disciple-Maker Workshop,” with Billie Hanks Jr. and Robert Coleman, Nov. 12, 4–8:30 p.m. To sign up, call 256-353-5912.

• D-Life (disciple-making) Demo, Nov. 13, 8 a.m.

Refreshments will be provided at both breakouts, and both will be held in Room 221 at Whitesburg Baptist. (TAB)


Pastors Conference schedule

Morning Session — 9 a.m. to noon
9:30 a.m. Message: Teman Knight
10:25 a.m. Message: Scott Guffin
11:20 a.m. Message: Jimmy Jackson

Afternoon Session — 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
1:35 p.m. Election of Officers
1:55 p.m. Message: Robert Coleman
2:50 p.m. Message: Billie Hanks Jr.
3:50 p.m. Message: David Uth

Evening Session — 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
6:50 p.m. Message: Phil Waldrep
7:40 p.m. Prayer Emphasis: Compassion International Inc.
8:05 p.m. Message: J.D. Greear

The Alabama Baptist is co-sponsoring a D-Life disciple making demonstration at 8 a.m. prior to the morning session.

To download the Pastors Conference program, click here.


Various annual meetings set for November in Huntsville

Each year prior to and during the Alabama Baptist State Convention annual meeting, various groups across Alabama Baptist life meet to connect and conduct business. Meeting alongside this year’s annual meeting, which will be held at Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville, on Nov. 14–15, are:

• Alabama Church Planter Network — The Alabama Church Planter Network will have a dinner Nov. 12 at Essential Church, Huntsville, 4:30–8:30 p.m. The guest speaker will be Tommy Duke, connection pastor for Calvary Baptist Church, Savannah, Georgia, and a planter of churches in Pennsylvania and Florida. Since 2014, Duke has trained more than 175 men in coaching networks across Alabama. Child care will be provided. For more information or to register, visit

• Volunteers in Missions — The Volunteers in Missions will host a light “pick-up lunch” at Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville, on Nov. 14 in Room 160 at noon. The Volunteer of the Year will be announced during the state convention annual meeting. For more information, contact the State Board of Missions at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 238.

• Alabama Network of Christian Community Ministers (ANCCM) — ANCCM will meet Nov. 13 at Inside-Out Ministries at 103 Gin Oaks Court in Madison, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m. The leaders of the ministry will speak and lead a tour of the facility. Lunch will follow the tour. For more information, contact Kristy Kennedy at or 1-800-264-1225, ext. 311. Kennedy requests that those attending would RSVP by Nov. 6.

• Directors of Missions and Mission Belles — The Alabama Conference of Directors of Missions (DOM) and Mission Belles will hold its annual meeting Nov. 13 at Hillwood Baptist Church, Huntsville, 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Directors of missions Kevin Ward and John Granger will share their stories prior to the 11:45 a.m. lunch and Todd Unzicker, associate pastor for The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and former DOM, will speak after lunch. The Mission Belles will hold separate meetings prior to and following lunch. Deadline to register is Nov. 7. For more information or to register, contact Eddy Garner at or 256-335-0691. Send payment for the meeting to Barry Cosper, c/o Bessemer Baptist Association, 1630 Powder Plant Road SW, Bessemer, AL 35022.

• Pastors Conference (see story above).


Messenger cards: To request messenger cards for the state convention annual meeting, go to For more information, contact Sandy Harmann at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 266, or (TAB)