Jerry Vines Blog
Things were heating up in the SBC controversy by the 1979 Pastors’ Conference at Houston. Southern Baptist periodicals had come to realize that the Pastors’ Conference was a rallying place for conservatives. Baptist pastors and lay people always come where there is great gospel music and fiery preaching.
A book not widely read (but should be) “In The Name Of The Father: The Rhetoric of the New Southern Baptist Convention,” (Kell and Camp, University of Tennessee Press) takes the position that the conservatives won the battle for the Bible because they had the strong preachers. I think the assessment is correct.
The 1979 Pastors’ Conference certainly had an array of preachers. Jim Henry, Bobby Welch, Bill Ricketts, Richard Jackson, Eddie Martin, Jimmy Jackson, James Robison, Charles Stanley, W. A. Criswell, James Robison, Adrian Rogers and yours truly were among the preachers. That’s enough preachers to beat down any opposition!
Baptist Press said “the previous year’s conference drew a rash of negative comments from readers of state Baptist newspapers who said pastors were unduly criticized by preachers at the sessions and not uplifted.” So president Homer Lindsay, Jr. said the conference would “encourage the pastor.”
After a day and a half of rousing preaching and God-honoring music W. A. Criswell electrified the audience Monday night when he said it was great to be in Houston, if for no other reason than to elect Adrian Rogers president of the SBC.
Most of you know the rest of the story.