It had been my goal to live blog the conference this year, but it turned out to be quite an overwhelming task for one not disciplined in such a practice. I have decided to give reflections on different parts of the conference I attended and some of the unique people I have met there. I have been to many Baptist conferences as well as a few other denominations but have not yet come across one so organized and maintained as SBCD 2008. I have not had the fortune of attending one before, but was very impressed. Jim Walterhouse, Pastor of McAllen Baptist Temple and missionary to Mexico, told me he had the same first impression. Hats off to President Aric Randolph and the executive committee and trustees as well as the host church FBC Arnold.

Some Reflections:

The atmosphere at SBCD was mainly that of brotherly love for each other. Many had been coming to SBCD for years. When Larry White’s son was giving a prayer, Tim Bender Pastor of Louisville Baptist Deaf Church,  told me that he remembered Aric when he was that age and standing up speaking at SBCD and now he is the president. Carter Bearden was there as well and when Donnie Wiltshire gave the history of SBCD he showed Carter pictured standing with the group at the 4th conference 56 years ago.

One of the joys of SBCD I experienced was seeing all the missionaries home. I wish I could name them all, but am really terrible with names. If you ever go to SBCD, be sure to listen to what they say. I know it is a joy to serve the Lord in foreign lands, but it can be very, as one missionary said, lonely. I believe that is why the missionaries enjoy coming to the SBCD so much as Paul said, “that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” (Rom 1:12) I actually believe this is true for everyone who attends SBCD, but expecially for the missionaries.

It was a joy seeing many old friends again and meeting new ones who share the same passion for Christ. I believe I have made some very strong friendships and strengthened others I have had for years. I could not grow weary of hearing the testimonies of so many who gave their lives to Christ for his work. I have really been encouraged by their faith and I pray I can encourage them some way as well.

Donnie Wiltshire was the speaker to the Pastor and Missionaries Fellowship and I really enjoyed his leadership. He is a great example of humble leadership through service. He spoke to the pastors and missionaries regarding their health; physically, spiritually, and in the church. It was a great time together encouraging eachother in the Word.