2nd Pastors’ Wives Sessionto spread ‘Contagious Joy’
GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)--“Contagious Joy” is the theme for the secondannual Pastors’ Wives Session of the Southern Baptist Convention’sPastors’ Conference in Greensboro, N.C., and the program features severalnoted pastors’ wives sharing ways God has given them joy in their lifeexperiences.
The session, which is Monday, June 12, from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m., is freeof charge and no registration is necessary.
Doors open at 8 a.m. at the War Memorial Auditorium, adjacent to the Greensboro Coliseum.
“Contagious Joy” is based on 1 Peter 1:8, which says in part, “... you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible full of glory.” Donna Gaines, wife of Steve Gaines, pastor of the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church inCordova, Tenn., said the session is designed to address some of the needsindicated on a survey that last year’s participants completed.
“Sometimes the circumstances of our lives and the trials we encounter candampen our joy,” Gaines, the meeting’s organizer, said.
Speakers will include Anita Renfroe, a regular humorist at “Women ofFaith” conferences, who will speak on having joy in worship and laughter;Liz Traylor, wife of Ted Traylor, pastor of Olive Baptist Church inPensacola, Fla., speaking on joy in darkness; Jeana Floyd, wife of Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., speaking onjoy in healing; Carol Ann Draper, wife of James T. Draper Jr., retired president of LifeWay Christian Resources, speaking on joy in learningfrom the past; Ginger Spradlin, wife of Roger Spradlin, co-pastor of Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, Calif., speaking on joy in ministering outside the Bible Belt; Elizabeth Luter, wife of Fred Luter,pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, speaking on joy in restoration; and Teresa Brown, wife of Joe Brown, pastor of HickoryGrove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., speaking on joy in peace.
A panel discussion will address “Hot Topics in the Ministry.”
In addition to Gaines, Traylor, Floyd and Draper, other women serving onthe ministry’s board include Susie Hawkins of Dallas; Diane Nix of Tulsa,Okla.; Barbara O’Chester of Austin, Texas; Joyce Rogers of Memphis,Tenn.; and Janet Wicker of Naples, Fla.--30--
Now, this is actually much better than Dorothy Patterson's programming contribution. It does actually, from the look of it actually address some real issues.
However, notice the laundry list of pastors and their wives. Each and every one of these churches on this list well known large SBC churches. For example, Joe Brown is pastor of HGBC in Charlotte, the largest SBC church in the state of NC. Steve Gaines is pastor at Bellevue Church in Memphis/Cordova, TN. He is Dr. Adrian Rogers' successor. Fred Luter will be preaching at the Convention itself. I believe Sister Hawkins is O.S. Hawkins wife. Brother Hawkins is past pastor of FBC Dallas, where W.A. Criswell served until his retirement and passing, the church where Paige Patterson served at the start of the Conservative Resurgence.
The problem I have here isn't the content, rather it is who is planning the content and executing it. This is the same small circle of leaders of statistics obsessed churches run by "the Good Ol' Boy" network in the SBC. Would it really hurt the SBC to actually plan a Convention event that doesn't come with the marks of this body of persons? It only lends credibility to the notion that power is being increasingly restricted to a few insiders. The majority of SBC churches are small. Let's let the pastors' wives from these small churches contribute to these events in each phase. Let them feel a sense ownership for the programming at the Convention. Otherwise, it begins to look like the Plantation owners' wives are having a nice program for the share-croppers' wives.
I know some of these pastors. Brother Ronnie Floyd is a fine man who does some good work in Arkansas. Brother Traylor is prominent in the FL Convention and on the Pastor's Conference circuit. My home church is one of the large churches in the SBC. I interned under one of the leaders in the SBC many years ago, so I'm not speaking as one who doesn't know the system or admire these ministries in some fashion. I give credit where it is due. By the same token, you can bet your bottom dollar that if I asked just about any of these men where they stand on the doctrines of grace, I'd hear an anti-Calvinist rant. Steve Gaines has given one from his pulpit in the past year. Brother Brown hosts a Bailey Smith Conference at his church every year when he can, and James P. Boyce would not be made welcome, nor would John Broadus. You see...it's all the same people...every year...patting themselves on the back...again.
This does not help, when the younger leaders in the SBC are feeling more and more disenfranchised and are wondering if there isn't an implicit class system at work in the Convention.