Jerry Vines Blog
Janet and I attended our first Southern Baptist Convention together in 1969. Held in New Orleans, W. A. Criswell presided as president. The highlight for me was the Pastors’ Conference.
I heard quite an array of speakers. Wayne Ward and Gray Allison, Seminary professors. Testimonies and addresses by Miss America Vonda Kay Van Dyke, Alabama Governor Albert Brewer and Bob Harrington, the Chaplain of Bourbon Street. Young up and coming Alabama pastors Charles Carter and John Bob Riddle. Black pastor Manuel Scott (I still remember his outline—we must EVANGELIZE the gospel, ETHICATIZE the gospel and ESCHATALOGIZE the gospel!!).
The preaching highlight for me was one of my heroes, R.G. Lee. He was an annual fixture in the Conference. Dressed in his white suit, he spoke for over an hour on the return of Christ. Talk about sitting in heavenly places! I resolved to attend every year he was preaching.
And the glorious music. Soloist Martha Branham and the First Baptist, Dallas, choir and orchestra. Talk about gospel music with a flare that lifted our souls heavenward! It was the first year of 40+ years of Southern Baptist Convention attendance.