On Sunday, June 2, I preached twice for Dr. Reggie Weems, senior pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Johnson City, Tennessee. About 500 people attended in the morning and 125 in the evening. Afterward, I spoke briefly on Hebrews 12:1–2 and fellowshipped with a group of fifteen ministers and elders who peppered me with edifying questions. We talked for some length on time-management and on how ministers should respond to the homosexual movement.
On Monday, I studied in the morning, went out to lunch with Dr. Weems at noon, perused a large used bookstore in the afternoon, and in the evening gave the first two opening addresses for the Biblical Worldview Student Conference (BWSC), held at Milligan College. About 250 people (mostly students) were present. The purpose of this conference is to train young men and women (age 15 through college years) to know and grow in the faith and be better equipped to face the challenges of an increasingly hostile world by developing a Christian worldview of every area of life.
My daughter Esther and Elizabeth Carlson arrived safely from Michigan with a van load of RHB books. Throughout the week they sold hundreds of books to dedicated young people as well as to many parents who attended the evening sessions.
The conference sessions from Tuesday through Friday were packed tight in the schedule (averaging eight sessions a day!), and flew by. Douglas Bond, high school teacher and author of numerous books published by P&R, spoke four times in areas related to English, church history, and writing. Dr. Del Bailey, a seasoned internist, spoke four times in areas related to medical issues. Sye Ten Bruggencate spoke four times on doing apologetics. Dr. Matt Bell, well versed in financial issues, spoke four times on matters related to money. And I spoke eight times—four of which focused on developing a global Christian worldview, and four that stressed developing Christian perspective on specific areas, including prayer, discerning God’s will, coping with afflictions, and how to handle lust.
The students responded well to the sessions. Most of them were serious-minded Christians who came from well over a dozen states, ranging from Maine to Florida to California. They came prepared to learn, and asked about 150 written questions, to which the speakers responded in three Q and A sessions.
Strengthening old friendships and establishing new ones, as well as counseling people individually, are always a tremendous benefit of conferences. I enjoyed fellowship with the two pastors of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Brent Bradley and Steven Warhurst, who make a great team, working well together. Pastor Bradley, who has served this church for 31 years, served as MC of the conference. I also had good fellowship over meals with Doug Bond, Dr. and Mrs. Del and Debbie Bailey, and David and Sue Temple (whose father I know from South Africa). I was also privileged to offer counsel to a variety of young people, including issues that touched on fears of hell, returning from backsliding, courting an unbeliever, courting in a non-parent approved relationship, and struggling with a call to the ministry and for studying theology. It was also encouraging to see and hear how God was impacting many of the young people even before the conference was over. May eternity reveal the fruits!