The Norman Transcript

Religion

July 26, 2013

Hundreds gather for ministers conference at Embassy Suites

NORMAN — Gospel music could be heard slipping through cracked doors of an Embassy Suites conference room Tuesday evening as Christian ministers from across the country gathered to sing and learn.

Approximately 200 people from about 14 states filled the hotel Monday through Wednesday to attend the annual Independent Assemblies National Ministers’ Conference. The conference included workshops and speakers to teach attendees how to serve their churches and perform world missions.

“We felt like we needed to provide a venue for guidance and missions,” the organization’s president, Mickey Keith, of Ada, said.

Independent Assemblies is a nondenominational Christian organization created in 1967 by Keith’s father, John.

The organization’s purpose is to teach ministers and help them get involved in world missions.

On Tuesday evening, Big John Hall, a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and Ken Anderson, of Lexington, led attendees in gospel music, followed by a sermon from Bob Yandian, pastor of Grace Church in Tulsa.

Yandian spoke about what the Bible says about “works,” or good deeds, and how they fit into the Christian life.

“Works have nothing to do with being saved and going to heaven,” Yandian said in his sermon.

Rather, when people become Christians they’re indebted to others to convert them to Christianity, he said. Their debts won’t be completely paid until Jesus Christ returns to earth.

To join Independent Assemblies, individuals and churches can register online at independentassemblies

.org/membership-payment, with fees starting at $50 for individuals and $100 for churches.

The August Independent Assemblies meeting will include a message from minister and author David Ravenhill at 7 p.m. Aug. 11 at Grove Christian Center in Grove.

The general meeting will be at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 12.

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