Thursday, February 21, 2008

Winter Conferences

Well the winter Evangelism Conference season is over for me. The Barry County Association will meet Feb 23-26 in Cassville, MO but I will not be there. For the past four weekends I have been in four different conferences and had a great time with old friends and met many new friends. I have been a guest preacher in seven different churches, two conferences and been able to share the gospel message in magic at three conferences.

I have been blessed to book several dates for revivals, pulpit supply, camps and VBS through these events. I have been greatly inspired by some of the best preachers that I have ever heard.

The Pulaski Association's Conference was their first such event. They pulled out all the stops and invited some great evangelists. I was honored to be counted with them.

Ron Mills has always been a friend, mentor and encourager. He has given my name to pastors many times. He has helped and encouraged me more than I can express or repay. His 20+ years of ministry have allowed him to preach in nineteen states and twelve foreign countries. If you ever get a chance to hear him, do so. You'll surely be blessed...and tell him I said Hi.

Don Walton is another man that I always enjoy hearing preach. He is a Southern Gentleman through and through and a man that you can't help but like. He has also been an encourager and has helped me get exposure to pastors and church workers.

Harold Mathena is one of my favorite preachers to listen to. His easy country manner is contrasted by his great passion for unashamedly presenting the gospel. He is witty and has countless stories to share. While Harold will claim to be a simple, uneducated man of God, he knows as much about the Bible as anyone I know. Though I have met him through these conferences and see him just annually when we meet, I have a great amount of respect for him and proudly number him among my friends.

James Ogan has the smoothest voice you'll ever hear. And he not only sings wonderfully, he is a fine preacher as well. I have enjoyed the times that we've shared over a meal or in between sessions. It has been my great privilege to get to know him these past few years.

Ron Howard is one of the most talented people I know. He writes much of the music that he and his wife Haven sing. Ron and Haven make a great ministry team. Their ministry includes concerts, revivals and camps. They have been invited to sing for both small groups and large conferences and conventions. Haven plays piano/keyboard and sings. Ron plays horn and guitar (not at the same time), sings, preaches and makes us simple folks extremely jealous. I like his wit and sense of humor. They have much to offer in the way of ministry. Check them out.

Diane Edwards is a singer and has been involved with Women's Ministry for many years. Her husband, Gene, pastors the First Baptist Church of Mountain Grove. Although we have been at a couple of the same conferences, I haven't gotten to know Diane very well. It is obvious that she loves her Lord and wants to be of service to Him.

Phil Hamilton. This is the first time I have been at a conference with Phil and had some time to get to know him. Phil "sees" the world quite clearly for a blind man. He writes music, sings, plays the guitar and preaches. (Another one of those guys!) He can also tell you what day of the week you were born on (in the time it takes him to repeat the date) and can tell you something that happened to him on any date past the age of about five. I can't even remember what I did yesterday...and I'm not sure I could tell you what the date was!

Kudos to Jim Seago, Bill Dudley, Dwain Carter and all of the others that put together the Conference. I know that next year's will be even better! And a very special thanks to State Director of Evangelism, Gary Taylor and his wife Cindy for being a part of the week's events.

God is good.

John

4 comments:

Amanda said...

WOW! That was a busy month but it sounds like it was really worth it. The people you have blogged about sound like wonderful people to know.

Gooseberried said...

I don't know why, but I get this crazy thought that you might have your public speaking skills mastered. Not sure where that thought comes from!?

John said...

Michelle,
My mother simply calls it the gift of gab. At nine years old I won the Peoria (IL) County 4-H Public Speaking Contest. I was the youngest of all competitors ranging up through high school. The following year they divided the competition into junior and senior divisions.

God has blessed me with the ability to speak as comfortably with one person across a dinner table as I am before an audience of 1000.
Though I have had no formal training, I try to listen to myself whenever I am recorded and am probably my own worst critic.

I'm guessing that you are also comfortable speaking in public, although personal appearances are a little different than talking on the radio.

Kevin said...

John...you've been busy for sure. I can guess which of your jobs gives you the most satisfaction. I'm sure you're a voice of reason wherever you work.