In his sermon Fred Luter says, "Nothing can be politically right if it is biblically wrong."
Tonight the Southern Baptist Convention is holding a revival service with Charles Billingsley leading the music. Pastor Fred Luter, Jr. will preach the sermon. The sermon can be watched here.
The registration secretary reports 5,062 messengers registered for the convention. Pastor Adam Cruse gives the benediction prayer.
Dr. Ronnie Floyd explains that the curriculum was developed with church input over three years.
The new curriculum is designed to help families and will assist parents in having conversations with their children.
Geiger: "We are going to disciple people with wisdom."
Geiger says the curriculum will connect the unconnected.
Dr. Eric Geiger introduces the new Bible Studies for Life.
Messenger asks question about why LifeWay Resources books are sold that promote sodomy and dual covenant theology.
Rainer asks the messenger to email information about the books to his assistant.
Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Resources, gives a report on his agency and introduces a video about Ministry Grid, an online training program for ministers.
Rainer also recommends the book Melissa which is about the suicide of Frank Page's daughter.
Convention attendees sing the song Forever Reign.
I'm running to Your arms
I'm running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign
Messengers present more motions on convention seating and stem cell research policies.
A messenger asks why the Seminaries didn't follow a request to re-allot some of their funds to missions.
Patterson says that the seminaries are already committed to missions and that Southwestern has adopted an unreached people group in Madagascar.
Paige Patterson of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary gives his seminary report. Patterson says that every student is required to share the gospel and that professors are also required to do mission work.
Bart Barber is elected unopposed as First Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Steve Gaines nominates Bart Barber, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas, as First Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention. This church is working to reach a people group in Senegal.
Luter says that the ERLC is in good hands after hearing Moore speak.
Moore: "If the Gospel can change us, it can change anyone."
Moore says Satan is undisturbed by protests. Since the gates of hell can't hold Jesus back, we shouldn't be afraid of the Supreme Court.
Moore says the Gospel doesn't need government subsidies or government supervision.
Moore recognizes how the Southern Baptist Convention changed on racial issues to the point it now has a black president.
Moore says too many children are being robbed of parents in a divorce culture.
Russell Moore grew up attending Vacation Bible School and describes how children will hear the same Bible stories but will face a different culture.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Russell Moore is introduced as the new president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
A messenger asks if program funds will be used as a pathway for immigrants to become citizens. Land says the ERLC is following the direction of recommended by the messengers. Russell Moore says the commission supports principles, not specifics.
Land says the Senate legislation must include better border security or it won't pass the House of Representatives.
Land: "We have promises to keep before we sleep."
Land says America needs a revival and it must be applied to the evils of the culture. Land quotes Martin Luther King Jr.'s words that the Church will be thermostats not thermometers.
Richard Land gives the report for The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Land talks about the need for churches to help people escape the harm of pornography. One program the denomination is sponsoring is One Million Men Porn Free.
According to Land, America's problems can only be fixed by God.
The crowd sings Bless the Lord acapella.
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Pucik recommends that the report on nominations be approved. Messengers approve the report.
Don Pucik says the largest Buddhist temple is in Colorado and the largest Islamic training center in the world is in New York City.
Pucik says the Great Commission requires cooperation, Christians working together.
Since there is only one person nominated for president, the denimation rules allow the recording secretary to cast the vote re-electing Fred Luter, Jr. to a second term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
After the Golden Gate Seminary report was concluded, nominations were opened for the 2013-2014 convention president.
Seminaries will work with churches to provide church-based training programs.
Iorg says that the digital revolution is here to stay. Seminaries of the future will be resource centers.
Iorg says that his planning is focused ten years ahead and to anticipate key trends that will influence the seminary. Iorg says that the culture will be increasingly hostile to Christianity. Another trend is global lostness.
Golden Gate Seminary President Jeff Iorg gives the annual report for his seminary. New programs for Korean students have been offered. The seminary is also expanding its training program for chaplains and biblical counseling.
Page tells the story of a church in Oklahoma expanding its giving to missions and how it helped the denomination's seminaries and other agencies.
Page says that soon the Supreme Court will decide on the constitutionality of DOMA - the Defense of Marriage Act. One in five SBC churches don't send in reports so the denomination doesn't know about the state of many churches.
"If you heard nothing else about prayer, the issues that are facing us are facing us in the local church." Page says that America's problems are in the pew.
Page talks about the divide over Calvinism in the denomination. Both sides met and they talked to each other rather than at or against each other. "In talking together we developed friendships."
Page is joined on stage by the Calvinism study group and prays for unity in missions so that people will be converted to Christ.
Page says that he enjoys working with the ethnic advisory councils that have been established. Page says there is a great need for educational opportunities for these ethnic groups.
Page for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and unity among Christians.
Frank Page asks if the denomination is progressing in the right direction. Page says that the Southern Baptists are not doing enough and Satan is winning too many victories.
A motion is made for the executive committee to study the requirements for sending messengers to the convention.
Motion made that SBC denominations officials refrain from giving a denomination position on immigration and amnesty.
Messengers approve motions so that they will be sent to committee for study.
Allen says the seminary is now offering dual degrees to prepare bivocational pastors.
Jason Allen reports that Midwestern recorded its largest attendance ever. Allen says the vision of the seminary is to best serve the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Mercy said no
I'm not going to let you go
I'm not going to let you slip away
You don't have to be afraid
Mercy said no
Sin will never take control
Life and death stood face to face
Darkness tried to steal my heart away
Welcome to the first day of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting being held this year in Houston.
The convention live blog will resume at 2:30 Eastern Time.
Wesley Hammond says to look around and see that there was a mass exodus during the prayer time. This says something tragic about the convention. Then Hammond gives the benediction prayer.
While praying continues, the song Somebody's Praying is sung.
Thursday morning session closes in prayer.
Video shown that promotes October 2 pray event.
Gary Frost asks attendees to meet and pray on October 2.
Ezell asks everyone to pray Luke 10:2 which says:
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
Ezell says that Southern Baptists have committed to two more years of disaster relief work on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Video shown about NAMB's disaster relief efforts.
Chaplain asks for us to pray for the chaplains.
Retired Major General Doug Carver recognizes the work of chaplains during the war on terror. The war on terror is the longest war that America has waged.
Ezell says, "We need churches that plant church that plant churches." He also says that 1,000 churches die each year and this rate needs to decrease by revitalizing dying churches.
NAMB has developed an intern program to train church planters.
Scott, a partially deaf pastor, tells his testimony how God uses him.
Ezell: We must plant thousands of churches to reach the millions.
Ezell says NAMB has selected 32 SEND cities. These cities are priorities for church planting. There is a NAMB missionary in each of these cities and they are working with fellow Christians to start 4 churches in the area each year. "Our goal is to penetrate lostness."
A messenger with concerns about churches being elder led asks if the North American Mission Board is partnering with the church planting network Acts 29. Ezell answers by saying that NAMB partners with churches that are members of Acts 29 but doesn't ask if churches are elder lead. NAMB only partners with Southern Baptist churches.
Kevin Ezell gives the North American Mission Board report. Ezell says churches plant churches. The NAMB goal is to plant churches that will last. Ezell says Southern Baptists will fail to reach North America with the gospel if many churches are not revitalized.
Attendees sing God So Loved the World.
Every preacher in the pulpit, every cynic on the street,
Every poet, every pauper, every traitor, every thief,
Every soldier, every lawyer, every TV talk show star;
Anybody teaching students, anybody tending bar
God so loved the world. God so loved the world.
The attendees worship by singing the song God of the Ages.
He is the image of the invisible God,
The firstborn of creation,
He is the First, the Last,
The One who matters most
Messenger asks if it is appropriate to invest in companies that support immorality and asks if the convention is hypocritical and what is the screening process for investing in companies.
Hawkins answers by saying that there would be few companies to invest in if they rejected every corporation that supported immorality.
Hawkins says that GuideStone already meets some of Obamacare's requirements but that there are unknowns that are affecting churches.
Video presentation of Mission Dignity helping retired clergy.
Hawkins recognizes Sagemont Church for helping widows who were pastors wives.
Hawkins says that Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor will introduce new bill this week in response to flaws in Obamacare.
O.S. Hawkins gives report for GuideStone Financial Resources which offers retirement planning for ministers
Seminary President Daniel Akin says that Southeastern now has 3,000 students and that each classroom is a Great Commission classroom.
Video presentation from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Seminary president describes the work of the seminary and students talk about how they intend to the take the Gospel to the rest of the world.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. talks about the history of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Holly Tucker sings How Great Thou Art.
Charles Billingsley lead the attendees in worship while singing the song Everlasting God.
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
Richard Land thanks his wife and the Southern Baptists for their service.
Richard Land thanked for his years of serving in the convention.
Messengers vote to approve more recommendations.
Jeremy says he is looking forward to the SBC annual meeting to be held in Columbus, Ohio, in 2015. Jeremy asks that messengers pray for workers to labor in the fields of Ohio.
Frank Page prays for Jeremy and his wife.
Church planter Jeremy Westbrook describes how 500 people gathered at their church on Easter to worship. The church is 4 years old.
Jerry Westbrook says "When you give, you pour fuel on the flame of missions."
Page describes the great urbanization of North America. To reach the nation we must reach the cities.
Page says that his family's biggest Christmas gift is to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. He taught his young children to missions at Christmas.
Giving to the Cooperative Program is less than 6% among Southern Baptist Churches and individual Southern Baptists give less than 3% of their income to missions.
Page prays for these North American Mission Board supported missionaries and their work among college students.
Jacob and Jessica, two college students from Washington state, will soon plant a church. They were discipled by the Weisers.
Video of Keith and Paige Weiser who were called to church planter/collegiate ministry in Washington state. The small group started with less than ten and quickly grew and now there are 800 people involved in the ministry.
More recommendations from the Executive Committe are approved.
Video shown to promote the Cooperative Program. The Southern Baptists pool funds to support missions, hospitals, disaster relief and Christian higher education.
Messengers pray for missionaries Gregg and Donna Fort.
Gregg Fort, missionary to Zimbabwe, tells story how child brought their sick son to him. He had good luck charms on his neck. The charms were removed and burned. Then they prayed and his health was restored.
Fort thanks the SBC for giving to the Cooperative Program making it possible to send missionaries around the world.
Page says the Executive Committee is lowering bureaucratic overhead in order to give more to missions.
Recommendations from the Executive Committee are adopted by the messengers including the Cooperative Program budget.
Frank Page describes the mission of the Southern Baptist executive committee which meets 3 times each year. The executive committee does the work of the denomination when the convention is not in session.
Messengers present motions to be voted on at a later time.
Fred Luter recommends using okdisasterhelp.com to donate to the Oklahoma disaster relief efforts.
My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
Report given on Crossover Houston - an effort to share the Gospel in Houston. 27 block parties were held to give volunteers an opportunity to meet people in the inner city and tell them about Jesus.
Video is shown promoting Crossover Baltimore where the SBC will meet next year.
William Townes thanks the volunteers and everyone working to make the convention a success.
Page Patterson, head of Southwestern Theological Seminary, greets everyone in attendence while wearing a cowboy hat.
Vote taken on the order of business is adopted.
Fred Luter, Jr the SBC president calls the convention to order and Jim Wells the registration secretary moves that messengers be accepted as voting delegates. Vote passes.
Military Chaplain prays for the convention and that everyone will be governed by love.
Then the chaplain leads in pledge to the American flag.
Singing the song Our God by Chris Tomlin.
How Great Is Our God
The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice
He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice
How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God
Charles Billingsley, Thomas Road Baptist Church worship leader opens in prayer, and then leads the audience in singing How Great Is Our God.
The Southern Baptist Convention is meeting in Houston, Texas, to conduct the denomination's business, to engage in evangelizing Houston and to network with other believers.