We're experiencing some persecution at our church for our reformed beliefs so it the conference was especially wonderful and poingiant. The gentleman who started this conference (this was the 25th anniversary) was Elder D.J. Ward. He went home to the Lord in April 2008. The sentiments expressed and the heavy loss that was felt during the conference helped me come to the realization that a Pastor/member relationship is so important. Being a fairly new Christian, I particularly feel the loss and desire to have that relationship. One who knows me personally, shepherds, instructs, rebukes etc.
I was so impressed with the conference, it was excellent. I appreciated that there was certainly a schedule, however the direction was driven by the spirit. It was not uncommon to have a soft music interlude break into standing, singing, clapping, praising the Lord. I learned quite a few new songs that I won't soon forget. The website for the conference has the music from last year, I urge you to check it out (Deeper than the Stain has Gone) is one of my favorites.
The teaching for the week was done by Dr. Stephen Wellum (Professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Dr. Roger Skepple (Pastor/Teacher at Berean Bible Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA). Dr. Wellum taught on the Gospel of John and 7 of the "I AM" statements. Dr. Skepple taught for 6 hours on Propitiation. This is from the Stone Mountain Conference.
The preaching was dynamic, spirit filled and true to the Word. Elder Jim McClarty (Grace Christian Assembly) was fabulous. I have seen and heard so many of his sermons and true to form he faithfully exposited the text, all to the Glory of God. Elder Jim should be posting on his bloggy-spot soon about the conference if you're interested.
...and there was "the love"... this conference was filled with so much love and grace and HATS! Did I mention the hats?
The 2008 messages should be posted very soon. In the meantime, check out the 2007 messages. You will be greatly blessed.