Preachers took turns challenging Kentucky Baptists to be witnesses for Jesus Christ in their local communities, across the country and around the world.
"You have already been a witness for Christ today," Eastwood Baptist Church Pastor Tom James told hundreds of church leaders gathered at Living Hope Baptist Church for the Kentucky Baptist Pastors' Conference. "The question is what kind of a witness."
Jerry Vines urged Kentucky Baptist ministers to share the gospel with persistence and tears in his sermon at the 2014 Pastors' Conference.
Vines, pastor-emeritus of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., was the final of six speakers at the event held at Living Hope Baptist Church in Bowling Green.
Kentucky Baptists will be helping AIDS victims by sending nearly $125,000 in hospice supplies to Sub-Saharan Africa, an area more heavily affected by the virus than any other part of the world.
Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, challenged churches earlier this fall to pack 800 buckets with hospice supplies as part of a Baptist Global Response initiative. Each five-gallon bucket is tightly packed with clean sheets, vitamins and personal hygiene items worth about $85.
Sharing inspiring stories of their salvation in convention addresses and ministry reports, keynote speakers and ministry leaders encouraged their fellow Kentucky Baptists to "Tell Your Story."
The 748 registered messengers had a busy agenda for their Nov. 11 annual meeting at Bowling Green's Living Hope Baptist Church, which included parting company with one of its universities and severing ties with a Louisville congregation over its stance on homosexuality.
The Bowling Green pastor elected last Tuesday as president of the 750,000-member Kentucky Baptist Convention has long been known for his strong support of missions.
Tom James said that will remain his primary focus during his one-year term at the head of the state's largest religious organization.