Theme of 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting Is ‘Pray! For Such a Time as This’

Phoenix Convention Center

As this year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting approaches, SBC President Steve Gaines says fellow Baptists should anticipate emphases on prayer, evangelism and financial stewardship at the June 13-14 gathering in Phoenix, where the 2003 and 2011 annual meetings also were held.

This year’s annual meeting theme is “Pray! For such a time as this” based on Luke 18:1 and Esther 4:14. Gaines hopes that through a commitment “to fervent, frequent, faith-filled prayer,” the SBC will become “a catalyst for spiritual awakening and revival.”

“I believe Southern Baptists can be used of God to spark a mighty movement of prayer, evangelism and discipleship across our nation and around the world,” said Gaines, pastor of Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn. “If we will pray and abandon ourselves to the Lord, He will use us exponentially to take the Gospel to people.”

In addition to several seasons of prayer, Gaines said, annual meeting highlights will include a personal evangelism emphasis Tuesday evening (June 13) led by California pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie and a Wednesday afternoon (June 14) panel discussion on financial stewardship.

Southern Baptists have held their annual meeting in Phoenix twice before, in 2003 and 2011.

Regarding stewardship, Gaines said Southern Baptist churches cannot give more to SBC missions and ministries than church members give through their local congregations.

“The solution for increased funding for world missions begins in the heart of every individual believer in Christ,” Gaines said. “Southern Baptists need to get our financial houses in order.”

Crossover Phoenix

This year’s Crossover evangelism efforts in Phoenix will center on a June 11 Harvest Crusade led by Laurie. Crusade organizers will work with volunteers to help local churches conduct door-to-door visitation across the city, engaging residents in Gospel conversations and extending personal invitations to attend the Sunday night event.

Event coordinators with the North American Mission Board and Arizona Southern Baptist Convention are praying the crusade and other outreach efforts, which will lead up to the SBC annual meeting, will result in more than 5,000 decisions for Christ.

For information about volunteering at the Sunday crusade, visit For information about outreach opportunities on Friday and Saturday, visit For more information about Crossover and how you and your church can be involved, visit

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Shawn Hendricks & David Roach