Elizabethtown—With a theme of “An Identity Worth Preserving,” drawn from 2 Timothy 2:2, the 2015 Kentucky Baptist Pastors’ Conference will feature keynote addresses by Evangelist Bailey Smith and Seminary President Paige Patterson.
Smith and Patterson, both former presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention, will deliver the opening and closing addresses for the evening session, Nov. 9, at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown.
“I believe our identity as Baptists is slowly being forgotten,” said Conference President Ben Stratton, pastor of Farmington Baptist Church. “This year I hope the conference reminds Kentucky Baptists that we have an identity that needs to be preserved in the 21st century.”
Speakers for the afternoon session, which begins at 2 p.m., include Ron Noffsinger, a pastor in western Kentucky; Jeff Faggart, founder of the Baptist History Preservation Society; and Adam Greenway, professor and dean at Southern Seminary.
Also speaking during the evening session will be Moses Radford, an African-America pastor in Kentucky.
This will be the first time for Kentucky pastors to hear Radford, Faggart, and Noffsinger, Stratton noted. “All four are dynamic preachers with a passion for Christ, His word and the New Testament church,” he said.
As one of the founders of the J.H. Spencer Historical Society, Stratton has a passion for Kentucky Baptist history, and as a special attraction, this year’s program will contain a history of the Pastors’ Conference.
“The Kentucky Baptist Ministers’ Meeting was started in 1835, two years before the KBC,” Stratton noted, adding that the event has changed much over the years.
“At one time, it was common to have 15 or more preachers in a two day period,” he said.
Another highlight at this year’s meeting will be an historical table displaying past presidents, all the way back to 1835, Stratton added.
“For example, V.I. Masters, former editor of the Western Recorder, was president of the conference on nine different occasions,” he noted.
This year the conference will follow the old Bible Institute model, Stratton explained. The model was popularized by H. Boyce Taylor, pastor in Murray and founder of the Coo
perative Program, and for more than 100 years was a mainstay of the Pastors Conference, Stratton said. “A Bible Institute seeks to have various men preach on different biblical and doctrinal issues,” he explained, pointing to one example from 90 years ago found at baptisthistoryhomepage.com/ky.mercer.h-burg. bib.inst.html
“These Institutes were once very common all across the state,” he said. Like previous years, Stratton hopes this year’s conference with provide a great time of fellowship, encouragement and instruction for Kentucky Baptists.
“We have much to be thankful for, including all that God has done for us through Jesus as well as the great legacy our forefathers left us,” he said. “I pray pastors will go back to their churches and challenge their members to preserve our identity as Kentucky Baptists for future generations. ” (WR)