A diverse group of more than 200 pastors and their wives gathered for an evening of fellowship and encouragement at New Testament Baptist Church in Miami for the Southeast Pastors and Wives Appreciation Banquet themed One in Christ.
It was an evening filled with worship, prayer, encouragement and fellowship. English, Spanish and Creole were heard spoken simultaneously and interchangeably throughout the evening as pastors greeted each other with handshakes and hugs.
“This is the first time we bring all pastors [of different backgrounds] together for this event,” said Al Fernandez, Southeast Regional Catalyst of the Florida Baptist Convention (FBC). “It is our hope that through this time of fellowship we will see our commonality; that we all have been called to this city to spread the Gospel.”
Worship was led by Iglesia Bautista Northside, Kingdom Covenant Baptist and Haitian Evangelical Baptist. Each church’s worship team sang in Spanish, English and Creole and pastors prayed in their native language. It was a truly multicultural experience.
After dinner the pastors and wives heard a message from Tommy Green, Executive Director-Treasurer of the FBC. Green titled his message Vision and Systems and read out of Nehemiah chapters two and four. In his message, Green encouraged pastors to remain loyal to the vision God gave them rather than the systems they had in place in their churches. “Systems are tools to get to where you are going in your vision, they are not to keep you where you are,” he said.
He made three specific points on that theme: inspiration, perspiration, and organization. He encouraged pastors to remain inspired with the vision God gave them. “That vision is God’s word to you and it’s your responsibility to fulfill it…Seek the Lord, wait and commit.” He also reminded pastors and wives that ministry is hard work. “Nehemiah had no resources, but the entire wall was built in 52 days. If God is giving you a vision, He is also speaking to the people you are ministering to.” Finally, he encouraged them to be organized like the few men that made up the wall-building team in Nehemiah. “They were few, but they were mindful to work.”
Following Green’s message, pastors and their wives stood and prayed to recommit to the vision God placed in their hearts.
Jonathan Palaci, pastor of Christ Family Church, said that the event felt like everyone was truly one family with the purpose of reaching Miami.