The Tennessee State Association of Free Will Baptists will host the 79th annual meeting November 14 – 16, 2016. The convention will be held at the Mainstay Suites and Conference Center, 410 Pine Mountain Road in Pigeon Forge as it has been since 2008. The location has been well received by delegates from across the state though admittedly the geography of the state poses some challenges for the churches in West Tennessee.
The Executive Committee has chosen “The Healthy Church” as the theme for this years convention. Speakers have been assigned a general topic developing the various aspects of a healthy church but given liberty to choose their own text.
Tommy Swindol will bring the keynote message on Monday evening as he emphasizes the role of the Word of God in a healthy church. Swindol is the lead pastor of The Donelson Fellowship in Nashville. He accepted that role after serving for many years as an assistant to Robert J. Morgan who is now on staff as Teaching Pastor at the church. Tommy is a graduate of Welch College and Liberty University. He is married to his wonderful wife of 12 years, Jessica, and they have two beautiful daughters.
Moderator Dexter Brummitt will bring the moderator’s message on Tuesday morning on the aspect of the healthy church being a church of unity. Brummitt, a graduate of East Tennessee State University and is the pastor of West Greene Free Will Baptist Church in Mosheim. He is married to Phyllis and they have three grown children.
Speaker for the Tuesday morning service is veteran missionary Jerry Gibbs. He will emphasize the role of the Holy Spirit in the healthy church. Gibbs, a native of North Carolina, graduated from Welch College where he met Barbara, a pastor’s daughter from Heiskell, Tennessee. They were appointed to France in 1974 where they started the church in St. Nazaire. The Gibbs have three sons. After spending over 40 years in France, they presently live in Nashville where they still work for International Missions. Jerry is chairman of the Tennessee International Missions Board.
Our Tuesday evening speaker is Noah Taylor, pastor of the Evergreen Free Will Baptist Church in Erwin. He will emphasize the fact that the healthy church is outwardly focused rather than inwardly focused. Noah grew up in Oklahoma under the ministry of Dr. Curtis Linton and a received his training at Southeastern Free Will Baptist College. After serving a number of years in youth ministry, he became the pastor of Evergreen in 2014 where the church has experienced steady growth and a renewed vision for reaching the local community for Christ. Noah has been married to Alexis for nine years and they have two boys.
Corey Minter will speak on Wednesday morning on the topic, “A Healthy Church is a Family Focused Church.” Minter is a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia where he met his wife Rachel. They have two daughters. Corey is a graduate of Gateway Christian College and joined the staff of New Hope Free Will Baptist Church in Joelton, Tennessee in 2009. In 2014, he accepted the role of lead pastor at New Hope.
Pre-registration is not mandatory to attend the state meeting but it is helpful and it’s free. Please do so by sending an e-mail or a note to the address on the back page of Echo with your name(s) and church you are from. Rooms have been blocked for our convention at a special price of $75 per night. Please call the hotel directly to reserve your room. If you try to go online, you will probably be told there are no rooms available. To get the special price and to make sure you get a room, please call the hotel as early as possible and identify yourself with Tennessee Free Will Baptists. The Mainstay Suites is located at 410 Pine Mountain Road, Pigeon Forge, TN. The direct toll-free number for the hotel is (888)428-8350.