Jerry Vines Blog
Fast forward to 1976.
The 1976 Pastors’ Conference was held at the Scope Convention Center in Norfolk, Virginia. My new friend, Adrian Rogers, was the president. He had been present when I preached a message entitled “Our Ascended Lord” at the Alabama Evangelism Conference earlier that year. He asked me to preach the same message in Norfolk.
Talk about scared out of my wits.
Janet and I arrived in Norfolk. I was clearly shook. My heroes, R. G. Lee and W. A. Criswell were preaching. Walter Judd, U. S. Republican congressman and Anita Bryant were featured. Homer Lindsay, Jr. and Richard Jackson were preaching. Also, Ron Dunn and Peter Lord were to speak.
Did I say I was shook?
Well, the Lord helped me get through the message. Relieved, we headed for lunch.
Upon returning to the Conference, we found seats high up in the Center. Exhausted, I was settling in for the election of my good friend, Bailey Smith, as president of the Conference. He was nominated. I was getting ready to vote for him. Then, a pastor from Alabama stepped forward to nominate someone else. I thought to myself, “Whoever that guy is he’s really going to be embarrassed.” As his speech progressed, I whispered to Janet, “I think he is nominating me!” I bolted down to the platform to withdraw my name.
To my utter astonishment, when I got there they were taking my picture. I had been elected president of the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference! And they say it was all cut and dried.
Thus started a remarkable journey into history.