Dr. Alan Day, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Edmond, and the congregation of the church have hosted an annual Bible conference for the past five years with the intention of reaching ministers and lay people in the Edmond area. This year as the sixth time for the conference, the church extended an invitation to Baptist pastors and their wives throughout the state to join this congregation March 7-10 in “Getting Refilled with the Holy Spirit: recharge, refresh and rejuvenate.” The Bible conference brought intensive Bible teachings to the heart of Oklahomans by messages from Dr. Michael Catt, senior pastor of a church in Albany, Georgia, the Rev. Bill Stafford, an evangelist for the past 40 years, and Ken Jenkins who enhances his messages with his gift of professional photography. Jenkins is a nationally known natural history photographer, writer, lecturer and outdoor adventurer.
Conference sessions were scheduled for Sunday morning and evening, Monday-Wednesday morning, at the luncheon and in the evening. Music was provided at the evening services by the church choir and a guest choir.
The unique feature of this year’s conference was that pastors and their wives from across the state were invited as a way to expand the blessing of this event to more people outside of the Edmond area as was the conference for the past six years. To inform pastors and wives throughout the state, a special invitation was sent asking pastors of small churches and rural churches to attend along with their wives as guests of the Edmond church.
“Our desire is for you and your wife to have some time away at no expense to yourself or your church," Day said.
Thirty-six families offered to host a pastor and his wife in their home for the duration of the conference. The families provided the breakfast while the church provided lunch and dinner. Pastors and their wives could come for Sunday and stay through Thursday morning or come for one or more nights. Pastors received a goody bag of books or CDs or DVDs of the sermons and music along with other useful items. Wives received a colorful metal bucket containing items of special interest to ladies. While the pastor and others attended the Monday morning sessions, the wives were treated to a tour of places of interest in the Oklahoma City area: Botanical Gardens, Murrah Memorial Plaza to see the chairs, reflecting pool, and memorabilia hanging on the wall, the canal and other areas in Bricktown, POPS shop on State Highway 66, and lunch from Paneras but eaten at the Round Barn.
Hundreds of people attended this conference and as this event was the first year to include pastors and wives from across the state, three pastor couples accepted this invitation: The Rev. Larry and Cathy Jackson from Big Cabin Baptist Church in the Craig/Mayes Association; the Rev. Wesley and Elizabeth Graver from Twin Oaks Baptist Church in the Muskogee Association, and Dr. Eddie and Catherine White from First Baptist Church of Sasakwa in the South Canadian Baptist Association.
The seventh annual Heartland Bible Conference is scheduled fro March 6-9, 2011, at First Baptist Church in Edmond with another invitation to pastors and their wives throughout the state.