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Encouragment to walk the line, with Christ


Sherri Brown

Jerome Shipman, pastor at New Macedonia Church in LaGrange, poses for a photo at a previous evangelism conference.

The annual GBC evangelism conference holds a special place in Aaron McCollough’s ministry.

McCollough, now an associational missionary for Troup County, was first called into full-time ministry during a GBC evangelism conference about 20 years ago.

“I had been a bi-vocational pastor for several churches and just before the evangelism conference that year I had resigned from Stovall Baptist Church. I just felt my ministry was over there,” McCollough said.

But one of the sessions was so moving for McCollough and the three pastors he was with that the group skipped lunch and went to pray.

Sherri Brown

Robert Smith, professor of preaching at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, will be one of the featured preachers.

“All four of us were sharing one hotel room. We were poor back then and that’s all we could afford. But we went back to that one room and started praying. The Lord just broke me like a No. 2 pencil. He told me to go back to Stovall and tell them I was to be their full-time pastor,” he said.

McCollough doubted that would ever happen since the little country church in LaGrange could barely pay him a part-time salary.

“But I went back and told them what God told me and they voted to do it,” he said.

He returned to the church, staying for almost seven years.


Spiritual essentials

“It was one of the best ministries I’ve ever been in. We grew, we remodeled the building and added a new educational wing,” McCollough said. He’s been in full-time ministry since that time.

McCollough will be back at this year’s evangelism conference, called EvangePower.

“It’s a place for pastors – and church leaders – to be inspired and to listen to the Lord,” he said.

This year’s conference will feature pastors and speakers who will address the spiritual essentials to doing evangelism, said David Mills, GBC consultant for evangelism ministries.

Sherri Brown

A group discusses one of the sessions at a GBC evangelism conference.

“Effective evangelism is rooted in one’s personal walk with Christ. In this conference, participants will be encouraged along those lines,” Mills said.

The conference is one way to encourage and train church members in Georgia to share their faith with others.

“We have not perfected evangelism so well that any of us can afford to miss this conference.” Mills said.

J. Robert White, executive director of the GBC agreed.

“There is an increasing number of people in Georgia who need to receive the message of Jesus Christ. We are praying for a great spiritual revival throughout our state,” White said.

The evangelism conference, called EvangePower, will begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27 and end at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28. All sessions are held at Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins. The free conference is open to the public. For more information, see the Web site,, or call (800) RING GBC.

Sherri Brown

A pastor looks over a book at an evangelism conference bookstore. A Lifeway bookstore will be available at this year’s conference, as well as displays from GBC ministries. and the Conference of Georgia Baptist Evangelists.