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Baptist Streams Converge in the Arizona Desert

By March 23, 2016April 12th, 2016No Comments

Photography by Vicki L. Tayloe, Victoria Designs Photography. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

CHANDLER, Ariz.—“As leaders confront the challenges of the present, the benefits of a shared testimony and collective gathering around gospel fundamentals, hermeneutic principles, and Baptist church distinctives are as needed today as they have ever been,” wrote Pastor Greg Linscott in his Baptist Bulletin article “Independence Is Not Isolation.” In that article he reported that Dr. Michael Sproul and Tri-City Baptist Church would host a national conference “involving several leaders from across the spectrum of Baptist fundamentalism.” The conference would be a venue “to explore the possibilities and benefits” of fellowshipping, working, and standing together.

On March 7–9, that conference, called The Gospel Proclaimed, became reality. Attenders represented a variety of geographical locations, Baptist associations and fellowships, institutions and agencies, and individual congregations. They rejoiced together at the unity they found in gospel truth and ecclesiastical principles. That unity was a key goal of the conference. “Now more than ever, it is vital for distinct groups of independent Baptists to demonstrate that we are just as committed to the unity of those who love truth as we are to separating from those who distort the Gospel,” says the conference website. “We must avoid the disasters of the past that led to the destruction of sound doctrine and practice, while effectively communicating the unchanging gospel of God in a changing world.”

Sproul introduced the conference, and several Baptist fundamentalist leaders preached on pertinent questions, such as “Why a Baptist?” Nineteen men and two women led workshops on subjects such as evangelism, administration, Baptist history, ladies in ministry, and various church outreach ministries.

John Sauser of Baptist Church Planters expressed delight at the hope the event offered. “I’m rejoicing, seeing God’s hand at work bringing these different streams together in this setting. There’s a sense that this mutual awareness and fellowship around God’s truth provides strength to advance His agenda for our various churches.”