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GBC staff retreat/revival results in changed lives and spiritual renewal

 

J. Gerald Harris/Index

Employees of the Georgia Baptist Convention come together in song at the GBC staff retreat April 18-20 under the large tent set up in the Baptist Building parking lot.

The Georgia Baptist Convention staff, including the Ministry Resource Consultants and the Baptist Campus Ministers from across the state, met at the Baptist Center April 18-20 for a Staff Retreat/Revival; a genuine spirit of spiritual renewal swept across the hearts of those involved.

The days of spiritual renewal featured messages from Richard Blackaby, president of Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary in Cochran, Alberta; Steve Echols of New Orleans Seminary’s North Georgia Campus; and Frank Cox, pastor of Lawrenceville’s North Metro First Baptist Church.

Blackaby has recently published a book entitled Putting a Face on Grace: Living a Life Worth Passing On. In his messages he used powerful and poignant illustrations from his book to emphasize the importance of living a grace-filled life.

Steve Echols

Michael Gravette, specialist in Mission Volunteers Ministries, stated, “Richard Blackaby was right on target in helping us each to live out grace daily in our lives. I also appreciated the transparency from Frank Cox. It was truly inspirational to see this man share his heart to us especially though his personal testimony. He was a living example of how God can always bind up the broken to prepare them for even greater things. God’s grace and love are more real now after this week of inspiration.”

A large tent was set up in the parking area of the Baptist Center and an old-fashioned-revival type atmosphere was created as the GBC employees assembled for spirited singing led by Keith McBroom and a vocal team from the North Metro Church. Cox preached powerful Biblical messages challenging the staff to walk in godliness and completely surrender to the will of God.

J. Gerald Harris/Index

Frank Cox, pastor of North Metro First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, challenges the crowd to walk in godliness and completely surrender to the will of God. Messages brought throughout the week exhorted those listening to live God-filled lives.

Ron Little, a consultant in collegiate ministries, commented, “I believe the most encouraging part of our retreat for me was the number of staff members who were earnestly seeking direction from the Lord. This was communicated through prayers, casual conversations and the overall atmosphere of our time together.”

Kim Cumbie, Disaster Relief secretary, explained, “With all the ‘busyness’ of the disaster relief ministry and the follow-up required in our work, my mind had been focused on just that: busyness, not on what the Lord is doing through this office or even through this Convention. He reminded me that the work will get done, but not to miss the privilege of accomplishing His tasks. He also reminded me that He has chosen me, chosen each of us for this time and place.”

Echols presented a sound discourse on the fruit of the spirit from Galatians 5 in two sessions on that last day of the retreat. Ray Newman, specialist in Ethics and Public Affairs and Convention Meeting Planning, declared, “The retreat this year blessed me with the great Biblical preaching of Frank Cox each day and the timely devotional appeals of Richard Blackaby. Steve Echols was on target with his reminder to all of us concerning the fruit of the Spirit.”

An atmosphere of spiritual renewal prevailed during the special emphasis as the staff prayed, studied God’s Word and worshipped together. The altar was filled at each worship service as many GBC employees made new commitments to Christ.

J. Gerald Harris/Index

A member of North Metro First Church’s vocal team leads GBC employees in song. Worshippers gathered under the tent expressed personal renewal during the retreat.

Diane Reasoner/GBC Communications

During the course of the staff retreat/revival, many GBC employees made new commitments to Christ. Here, a small group takes a few minutes to pray while touring the new Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center on Sugarloaf Parkway in Gwinnett County.