Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference President Responds to Concerns Over Lineup

Hosanna Wong // David Uth

Speakers and music performers confirmed for the 2020 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference have good relationships with First Baptist Church of Orlando and other Southern Baptists, conference president David Uth told Baptist Press Tuesday (Feb. 11).

“My goal, my prayer was that we could open ourselves up to hear from people that maybe were good friends of ours, but not in our Southern Baptist Convention,” Uth said. “I feel like they have a message for us. I feel like God wants to speak to us through them. So my goal and my hope was that we could hear their message, we could learn from them, and we could embrace it.”

Hosanna Wong, a spoken word artist who is also a network associate teaching pastor at the Chula Vista location of the multisite EastLake Church in the San Diego area, is performing a specific selection pertinent to the conference theme of “Beloved,” and is not preaching, Uth said.

“She’s not preaching. She’s not coming as a preacher,” Uth told BP. “She’s coming as a musical artist.”

Wong is active in Celebrate Recovery, Uth said, and has appeared several times at First Baptist Orlando as well as other Southern Baptist churches, including Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., which founded Celebrate Recovery under Pastor Rick Warren.

Only 9 percent of conference speakers will be non-Southern Baptist, he said, including Wong and two preachers, Jim Cymbala, pastor of the evangelical non-denominational Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Wayne Cordeiro, founding pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Both preachers have spoken at First Baptist Orlando and are friends of the church, he said.

All preachers and presenters were chosen after prayer with God’s guidance, with the intention of edifying and encouraging pastors, Uth said. None of the speakers or performers are intended to cause confusion or create dissension, he said.

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Source: Baptist Press

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