Florida Baptists to celebrate/conduct business at 2023 annual meeting

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LUTZ–Florida Baptists will gather to conduct business and celebrate churches working together to expand God’s kingdom when the 2023 Florida Baptist State Convention convenes at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz Nov. 13-14.

The theme for the annual gathering, Manifest, was selected by Paul Purvis, FBSC president, and is a continuation of last year’s For the Kingdom mandate. “We live in a world of chaos and confusion, but thanks to Jesus we have kingdom clarity,” said Purvis.

“Our call is to Manifest the kingdom of God right where we are every day.”

Purvis, lead pastor of Mission Hill Church in Temple Terrace since 2011, said he will challenge annual meeting messengers and attendees to follow the example of the Apostle Paul in Acts 28:31,” He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!”

As he anticipates the annual gathering, Purvis said, “Our annual meeting is like a family reunion. I look forward to gathering with Florida Baptists from the Panhandle though the Peninsula to worship together, be encouraged by great preaching, and celebrate God’s kingdom activity all across our state. We have a lot to celebrate; it’s not like this everywhere!”

Tommy Green, Florida Baptists’ executive director-treasurer, agreed, saying that the annual meeting “will be a dynamic time of prayer, of worship, of preaching, of fellowship, of taking care of matters that keep us on mission in Florida to reach Florida and beyond with the gospel.”

Purvis expressed gratefulness for his two years serving as FBSC president.

“Serving as the president of the FBSC has been one of the greatest joys and tremendous privileges of my ministry. I’ve had a front row seat to see what God is doing across our state for His glory. I’ve been able serve with the best state leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention under Tommy Green. I’ve been blessed to walk with pastors and church leaders as we seek to reach our communities. I’ve seen us seek godly wisdom and unity while navigating challenging moments.

“Kimberly and I have especially enjoyed several opportunities to encourage Florida Baptist pastors and wives. Most importantly, however, I’ve treasured the opportunity to help us stay focused on our kingdom mandate. While much of the world and even some in our larger denomination seem to struggle to stay on track, I am grateful to know that Florida Baptists are committed to manifesting the kingdom,” Purvis said.

In addition to conducting business, electing officers and enjoying fellowship meals, messengers to the 2023 annual meeting will hear numerous biblical messages. Speakers for the two-day event are:

November 13

Monday Afternoon:

Daniel Henderson, president, Strategic Renewal

Monday Evening:

Paul Purvis, lead pastor, Mission Hill Church, Temple Terrace

Jim Cymbala, senior pastor, The Brooklyn Tabernacle, New York

November 14

Tuesday Morning:

Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer, Florida Baptist Convention

Alan Brumback, pastor, First Baptist Church, Naples

Tuesday Afternoon:

Larry J. Mouton Jr., pastor, No Greater Love Baptist Church, Tampa

Tuesday Evening:

International Mission Board Sending Celebration

The Sending Celebration will include stories of how God called His missionaries to serve overseas and a challenge from IMB President Paul Chitwood.

“The Florida Baptist Convention reflects the very heartbeat of Southern Baptists: our local churches. And what better way to join together at your annual meeting than in the very cause around which our convention was started? The SBC came together to send and support missionaries to take the gospel to the nations,” said Chitwood.

“As Florida Baptists gather for your annual meeting, we bring not only our thanks for your faithful praying and giving in missions support, but we also bring the very people going — Southern Baptists’ newest missionaries — to your meeting for a Sending Celebration. Your presence will be a visible sign of your commitment to continue to undergird them in the days to come as they embark on a life-changing journey to address the world’s greatest problem — lostness. I hope you will join me in celebrating God’s work in their lives as they go to the nations,” he said.

The IMB has been conducting Sending Celebrations in conjunction with state convention annual meetings since 2019, including Oklahoma in 2019; Alabama in 2020, cancelled because of COVID; South Carolina in 2021, and Georgia in 2022. Plans to continue to do so are set forth through 2027.

“When IMB joins with State Conventions for a Sending Celebration during the annual meetings, it clearly represents God working throughout every element of Southern Baptists’ cooperative efforts to engage missions from local neighborhoods to the most isolated locations on earth. Churches experience the joy of living out the Great Commission by celebrating God’s incredible plan of evangelizing, discipling and equipping individuals to be sent into ministry service through partnership with the IMB,” said Chris Martin, IMB’s director of convention, associations and network partnerships.

Attendees will have opportunity to pray for these missionaries as they are sent with the gospel to solve the world’s greatest problem of lostness.

“What an amazing moment this will be as we’re able to pray over these individuals as they are being sent to the nations,” said Green.

Messengers are encouraged to register for the 2023 FBSC annual meeting.

Immediately preceding the 2023 FBSC annual meeting, the Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12, and conclude at 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13, at Idlewild Baptist Church.

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