Spring Gathering Recap

by Laura Barclay
KBF Communications, Networking & Interim Missions Associate

Kentucky Baptist Fellowship and Broadway Baptist Church welcomed more than two hundred Fellowship Baptists to Louisville, April 25 and 26, for the annual KBF Spring Gathering. From workshops on preaching, laity, spiritual formation, Morocco and Islamic-Christian dialogue to worship sessions featuring CBF Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter and CBF Field Personnel Karen Thomas Smith, there was something inspiring for everyone.

Festivities kicked off Friday with a lunch for pastors, chaplains, and pastoral counselors, which featured remarks by Baptist Seminary of Kentucky President Greg Earwood. Visitors received face time afterwards with Suzii Paynter and CBF Ministry Coordinator Bo Prosser during pastor, associate pastor, and laity mixers.

Attendees also had many opportunities to find great resources in the Exhibit Hall, which featured booths from the Baptist Joint Committee, the Oates Institute, Georgetown College, and Truett Seminary, to name a few. Highland Baptist Church created a display of items from their congregation's multiple mission trips to Morocco, and various church members stayed to share stories and experience with passers-by.

John Lepper, KBF Coordinator and workshop leader on interim ministry stated, "There was a day when the KBF Spring Gathering was a reunion of people who were bruised and battered from previous experiences (usually middle aged and older).  It’s such a joy to see this evolve into an intergenerational love fest!  The various aspects of the meeting were done with excellence: preaching, worship, music, workshops, food and even exhibits. But greater than these was the opportunity to make new friends and to connect and reconnect with old friends from far and near."

In fact, dozens of young ministers and laity attended the event. Current, a ministry which seeks to connect young Baptists, organized an after party at the Bluegrass Brewing Company restaurant. Not only did over thirty young ministers and laity come to fellowship, but many older ministers came to introduce themselves as well.

The highlight of many who attended were the worship sessions. Led with beautiful music conducted by Seth Hix of Calvary Baptist, worshipers were ready to receive the message of Suzii Paynter, who proclaimed, "The spirit of God's formation is deep within us...God is about to empower us to do something." She also reminded the congregation that "remembering Scripture will build the seeds of leadership."

Saturday morning worship was filled with inspirational words from preacher Karen Thomas Smith, who affirmed all in saying, "In God's house, each member is valued. They bring their gifts and they are shared." She went on to tell stories of her time in Morocco and in the U.S., concluding with a call for us, especially in the U.S. to care for one another, warning, "Our passion for the individual can keep us from seeing that we are connected through Christ in profound ways."

Next year's KBF's Spring Meeting will rotate to Danville and be hosted by Lexington Avenue Baptist Church on April 24 and 25, 2015.

Miss the Spring Gathering? Catch up with blog articles on breakout sessions here:

Ecclessia--Spiritual Formation for Ministers
Academy of Preachers Session #2
Bo Knows Laity
A Peek at the Future of Preaching
Academy of Preachers Session #3

See more posts as they are loaded and other breaking stories at: http://www.kybf.org/news/.