The Norman Transcript

Religion

January 30, 2014

Serving Oklahoma

NORMAN — With the central theme of “Oklahoma: My Place to Serve,” the Baptist General Conference of Oklahoma (BGCO) hosted its annual Statewide Evangelism Conference Sunday evening through Tuesday evening at First Baptist Church in Moore.

According to Tim Gentry, director of evangelism for the BGCO, this year’s Evangelism Conference featured all Oklahoma speakers.

“Our focus is always on Oklahoma. In the past, we have brought in national and even international speakers to challenge us. I believe this year is the time and season to hear what God is doing across Oklahoma and to hear what God has put on the heart of Oklahoma pastors,” Gentry said.

The key scripture verse chosen for this year’s conference was Matthew 10:45, in which Jesus clearly states the reason He came to earth as the Son of God: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Since the conference drew individuals primarily from Oklahoma, auto license plates in the parking lot render little insight into its participants. However, one can quickly grasp the scope of the annual gathering from identifying markers on the many church vans and buses. With 1,800 Southern Baptist churches in the state — representing cities, towns and rural areas — pastors, staff and laypeople of all genders, ages and walks of life descended on Moore to focus themselves on Christ’s Great Commission.

Monday morning’s opening session was led by the Oklahoma Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (OCOSBE). Uplifting worship and hundreds of voices joined in and singing was layered with challenging preaching. Evangelist Charlie Keim of the OCOSBE shared his vision for spreading the good news of Christ.

“We (OCOSBC) cooperate with Southern Baptist churches and the State General Conference in promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ here in Oklahoma and around the world. Our evangelists have traveled to Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. We have shared the Good News in Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas. Wherever we go, whether it is on the street or in the pulpit, through radio or in printed material, we look for any opportunity to share Christ with people,” Keim said.

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