‘Strategic moments’ take center stage at Send: North America luncheon

Meredith Flynn —  June 10, 2013

HOUSTON | A luncheon hosted by the North American Mission Board today had one foot planted in the past – celebrating Southern Baptists’ Conservative Resurgence of the 1970s and 80s – and one foot in the future, highlighting church planting as the most effective way the denomination can penetrate spiritual darkness.

“We feel like this is a strategic moment for Southern Baptists,” NAMB President Kevin Ezell said to the crowd gathered for the Send: North America lunch. But this strategic moment wouldn’t be possible without other moments from Baptist history, he added. Ezell invited Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler, knwon as the architects of the SBC’s return to conservative doctrine, to join him on the stage and thanked them on behalf of church planters and younger Southern Baptists.

The presentation that followed mixed old-school sleight of hand with modern technology. Illusionist “Harris III” took the audience through a timeline of Southern Baptist history, emphasizing landmark moments like Annie Armstrong’s leadership of Woman’s Missionary Union. The multi-media journey also pointed to the trends, specifically mass urbanization, that are driving NAMB to plant more churches all over the continent, but particularly in cities.

NAMB President Kevin Ezell (right) recognizes Judge Paul Pressler (center) and Paige Patterson at a luncheon for Send: North America.

NAMB President Kevin Ezell (right) recognizes Judge Paul Pressler (center) and Paige Patterson at a luncheon for Send: North America.

Illusionist Harris III presents a history of Southern Baptists, while a ticker moved through the years from Baptists' beginnings to the year 2013.

Illusionist Harris III presents a history of Southern Baptists, while a ticker (in this photo, set at 1845) moves through the years from Baptists’ beginnings to the year 2013.

Banners representing metro areas designated as "Send" cities by the North American Mission Board. Chicago and St. Louis are among the 30 cities.

Banners representing metro areas designated as “Send” cities by the North American Mission Board. Chicago and St. Louis are among the 30 cities.

 

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.