The Haitian Sunday School and Leadership Conference at the South East Regional Center on March 2nd drew more than 700 Florida Baptists from all over the Sunshine State for a training day themed “Aiming for Excellence.”
The Saturday started with attendees arriving as early at 7:30 a.m. and coming from as far as Delray Beach and Ft. Pierce. The Hialeah block which is usually quiet on weekend mornings was alive as the attendees arrived in cars and church buses and filled the air with chatter and song.
After a short worship session, prayer and introductions, pastor Erik Cummings of New Life Baptist Church in Miami Gardens shared a message out of 2 Thessalonians 1. Cummings, who is also serving as president of the Florida Baptist State Convention, encouraged participants to aim for excellence in their service by growing in their faith, “having a growing love for our Savior, our brothers and sisters and the lost,” and “remaining steadfast in the midst of challenges, passionately conveying the Gospel.” He ended his message telling those gathered (as his father use to tell him), “I love you, I thank God for you, I’m proud of you. Let God use you.”
Al Fernandez, Southeast regional catalyst of the Florida Baptist Convention, greeted everyone on behalf of the FBC and encouraged them to continue to work together. “We are in a war, in a battle but together we are better. That’s what being Southern Baptist is about…We are autonomous churches who realize we are better when we work together.”
During the two hour-long breakout sessions participants had the opportunity to choose from among 16 different classes covering topics like Sunday School administration, church security and safety, church multimedia ministry among many others. Most classes were full and some even ran out of seats.
“I’m pleased with the turnout and happy to see how far some of our churches have come,” said John Voltaire, Haitian church catalyst of the FBC. “And that shows,” he continued, “how much they desire to do ministry more effectively.”
By Keila Diaz, Florida Baptist Convention, March 7, 2019