Florida Baptist Diversity Celebrated During Florida Baptist State Convention

0 1,077

LUTZ — The 161st annual Florida Baptist State Convention at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz showcased a vivid tapestry of the diverse Baptist family in Florida.

Drawing 1,484 attendees, including 955 messengers from 491 churches and 529 guests, the November 2023 gathering was a vibrant mosaic of multiple cultures and ethnic backgrounds, featuring Haitian, Asian, Hispanic and Black communities, among others.

Dinner on Monday, Nov. 13, provided a unique space for various ethnic fellowships to connect. Attendees enjoyed dining together, hearing biblical messages, and exploring the myriad opportunities and resources offered by the Florida Baptist Convention and the broader Southern Baptist Convention family.

Pablito Lucas (far left), Asian-American multicultural consultant and Asian-American Baptists at the Florida Baptist State Convention.

At the Asian fellowship dinner, around 20 pastors, their spouses and church leaders gathered to strengthen bonds and build new connections. “This is an excellent occasion to form relationships and unite with other Asian believers,” remarked Lito Lucas, pastor of Philippine International Christian Fellowship in Lakeland, and recently elected second vice president of the 2024 Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference. “With each year, our numbers grow,” he added.

The Haitian dinner, with an attendance of approximately 200, welcomed Tommy Green, Florida Baptists’ executive director-treasurer, expressing heartfelt camaraderie. “I’m so glad you’re here to fellowship, and I’m grateful for our partnership in the kingdom,” he said, encouraging Haitian Baptists to actively seek support for their missions.

Haitian Baptists gather for a dinner fellowship during Florida Baptist State Convention in Lutz.

At the Hispanic dinner, Green praised the group’s robust engagement, asserting, “Your Hispanic Fellowship is leading the nation and setting the pace. We are fully committed to supporting you.”

Myles Dowdy, Florida Baptists’ lead catalyst for missions and ministries, unveiled a new mission partnership with the Ohio Baptist Convention. He commended the Hispanic community for its dedication to missions both locally and internationally, saying, “Thank you for your efforts, whether they take you across the street or across the globe.”

Edgar Aponte, lead pastor at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, preaches at Hispanic Fellowship Dinner during annual Florida Baptist State Convention.

The event’s culmination was marked by a message from Edgar Aponte, senior pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church. Addressing the Hispanic gathering, he underscored the importance of faithfulness amid a culture that often strays from such virtues. He called for trust in God’s sovereignty, adherence to God’s word, a life set apart from worldly influences, and a missionary mindset in all aspects of life.

“We serve a God who is good, sovereign and powerful,” he concluded.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.