ALTON, Ill.—Brown Street Baptist Church held its Second Annual Missions Conference Feb. 27–May 3. The theme focused on believers’ “Greater Responsibility” to preach the gospel around the world as well as locally. Featured missionaries included Jonathan and Holly Boyd, serving with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism in Colombia; Sam and Jamie Hornbrook, serving with Baptist Mid-Missions in Mexico; and Nahum and Arin O’Brien, on deputation to serve in Norway with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism.
The conference began with the Boyd family spending time with the children at Brown Street Baptist Church’s Wednesday night children’s program. The children had been in recent correspondence with the Boyds leading up to the evening and were excited to be able to make the connection with their pen pals, says Pastor Greg Linscott. Friday night featured a pizza dinner and trivia challenge, with church members and missionary families testing their knowledge on facts about the different countries the missionaries served in. Gifts collected in advance were given to the missionary families to encourage them in their labors for the Lord. Jonathan Boyd concluded the evening with a report of his family’s ministry in Colombia.
Saturday’s events included a men’s breakfast at the church, with Nahum O’Brien challenging his audience with testimonies of methods of sharing the good news of Christ. That evening his wife, Arin, gave a similar challenge to the ladies at a local restaurant.
Sunday began with the missionaries speaking during Sunday School to a combined group of children and adults. Then during the worship service, Sam Hornbrook brought a heartfelt message on suffering, based on 1 Peter. An evening session featured a relaxed conversation-style panel discussion with the Hornbrooks and O’Briens, concluding with a Café Night fellowship.
The conference events challenged and encouraged the church members. One member, Jim Funkhouser, especially enjoyed the fellowship on Friday night. “I sat at the kids’ table, and I fit right in,” he says. “We all had a great time.” Others appreciated the topics that the missionaries discussed on Sunday evening. “The open forum Sunday night was very informative,” says member Diana Wilson.