SBC Pastors Conference messages to explore Beatitudes and Kingdom character

By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist

Danny Wood says in recent years he’s been hit hard by headlines of church leaders failing to live up to the integrity of the Word.

So when he was tasked with developing the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Pastors Conference he decided the theme — Kingdom Character — would face that head on.

“To help us advance the kingdom of God we need to have Kingdom character,” said Wood, Pastors Conference president and pastor of Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Birmingham. 

Prior to SBC meeting

The conference, held in conjunction with the SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, will start Sunday, June 9 at 6 p.m. and run until about 9 p.m. Then Monday, June 10, it will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

While the event’s aim is to encourage pastors it is open to the public.

“My hope is that it would give us a renewed commitment to living out the gospel, that we would be committed to seeing our lives transformed with the character of Christ,” Wood said. “We are seeing Satan getting more and more active — his desire is to see pastors fail. We need to finish strong and cross the finish line, and to do that we’ve got to maintain Kingdom character so we can live out the gospel and reach this world for Christ.”

Speakers’ messages will be based on the Beatitudes, and Wood said he prayerfully selected pastors he felt embodied the Beatitudes about which they would be speaking.

“I felt God gave me a great list of men to contact,” he said. “We’ve got 10 speakers, and five of them have never spoken at a Pastors Conference before so there will be a lot of new voices there too.”

Several speakers with Alabama ties are scheduled:

  • Robert Smith Jr., the Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham
  • Ed Litton, pastor of Redemption Church, Mobile
  • Jay and Katherine Wolf, founders of Hope Heals and son and daughter-in-law of Jay Wolf, pastor of First Baptist Church, Montgomery
  • David Platt, pastor of the Washington, D.C.-area McLean Bible Church and former pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham

Also in the lineup of speakers are:

  • Andrew Brunson, a church planter and pastor who was imprisoned for two years in Turkey
  • Dhati Lewis, pastor of Blueprint Church, Atlanta, and vice president of Send Network with the North American Mission Board
  • Ben Mandrell, pastor of Storyline Fellowship, Denver
  • Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC
  • Jimmy Scroggins, pastor of Family Church, a West Palm Beach, Florida-based church with 11 campuses
  • Martin Young, senior minister of Rising Brook Community Church in Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

In addition to the main speakers the conference will offer several roundtable discussions including:

Blessed are the Peacemakers, a talk on racial reconciliation that will include black and white pastors from the Birmingham area who came together after the shooting at the Riverchase Galleria on Thanksgiving Day 2018. 

Noe Garcia, a Hispanic pastor who leads North Phoenix Baptist Church in Arizona, will also speak about racial reconciliation in his church.

Global persecution

Blessed are the Persecuted, a discourse on different kinds of persecution around the world, including Brunson’s story from Turkey and stories from Nik and Ruth Ripken, who have traveled globally to understand the plight of persecuted Christians. Jack Phillips, a Colorado cake artist who was sued after he declined to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, will share his story. 

The Pastors Conference will be held in the Legacy Arena of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center. 

For more information about the Pastors Conference visit