Originally published in Western Recorder – www.westernrecorder.org
PRINCETON-“The reason that some churches get it and some don’t is the presence of God,” Bob Morrison, pastor of Grapevine Baptist Church in Madisonville, said at the West Kentucky Evangelism Conference on March 6 in Princeton.
Morrison continued, “If you don’t have the presence of God in your life and your church, you’re never going to do anything, and I don’t care how many KBC programs you can get. It’s just not going to matter.”
The West Kentucky Evangelism Conference is in its 30th year. The conference, hosted by Southside Baptist Church, Princeton and organized by Rick Reeder, director of missions of Caldwell Lyon Association, saw around 200 people in attendance.
Conference speakers included Steve Hale, founder of Steve Hale Evangelistic Association in Georgia, Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary in California, Kevin Hamm, pastor of Gardendale First Baptist Church in Alabama, and Bob Morrison. Music for the conference was provided by “Sons of the Father.”
Morrison, the only Kentucky Baptist pastor to speak at the conference, held a special place in the heart of many who heard his speak, because he had recently fought and won a battle with Leukemia.
Morrsion’s message, “The Value of God’s Presence,” noted that the reason why some churches grow and others don’t is because many churches are missing the presence of God. He drew his message from Exodus 32-33.
However, likening many of today’s churches to the Israelites after they left Egypt and before they entered the promised land, Morrison noted that these churches often have God’s protection, His provision, and His promise, and this is why they can even survive.
“Until the church of America repents in a genuine way, I don’t think we ever will understand the importance of the presence of God,” he said.
“Today, more than anything else in the world, we should, as a church, as a corporate body, apologize to the Holy Spirit for grieving Him, for quenching Him,” Morrison added. “We should understand that the greatest thing we can do is not to hold a worship service…but it is to figure out as an entire congregation, with the pastor on deck, how to live in the presence of God and you won’t have to worry about anything else.”
Iorg followed Morrison’s first message with “the New Testament version of what was just preached,” he said.
Drawing from Acts 11 and 13, Iorg’s one point he emphasized was, “A church that makes an impact is a church empowered by the Holy Spirit.”
“We’re encouraged by the people that came. It’s been a blessing… We’ve sensed the Lord’s presence here,” Reeder added. He extends an invitation to all to attend in the following years. The annual conference is held each March. (WR)