I am looking forward to the 2013 E.K. Bailey Preaching Conference in Dallas, July 8-11.
This conference was the vision of the late, E.K. Bailey, founding pastor of the Concord Church. Dr. Bailey is the “godfather” of expository preaching among African Americans. Outside of Dr. A. Louis Patterson, Jr., I do not know of any Black pastor/preacher that has pointed more brothers toward Bible exposition than Dr. Bailey.
The Bailey Conference is now in the capable hands of Pastor Bryan L Carter, who also leads Concord. Under Carter’s capable leadership, the Concord Church is alive and well, and so is this important conference. Bryan Carter is a friend and peer for whom I have the utmost respect. I am proud of all that the Lord is doing in and through him.
There are a lot of conferences on preaching these days. But the Bailey Conference has stood out among African American preachers for its emphasis on Bible exposition. The principles of exposition are taught in this conference and some of the strong preaching voices model it.
This year’s conference will focus on preaching the different genres of scripture. Scripture has different types of literature – history, poetry, proverbs, parables, prophecy, epistles, etc.
Faithful preaching requires that a pastor expose his congregation to these various types of scripture. But care and precision is required in handling the various genres.
During the conference, there will be classes that will help the attendees leave with material to get them started to do consecutive exposition through a particular book or genre. For instance, I am scheduled to teach four sessions on preaching through the Epistle of Philippians. I will introduce the book, overview its contents, and give suggestions for preaching through it, along with general preaching tips.
I am especially excited about the guest speakers this year. One of my preaching heroes, Ralph Douglas West, will preach and teach. So will Robert Smith of Beeson Divinity School and Kevin Smith of Southern Seminary. Steven J. Lawson, one of the best expository preachers in the country, will speak. Other speakers include Bryan Loritts, William Curtis, & E. Dewey Smith.
My biblical convictions have been shaped by the teaching of John F. MacArthur Jr., more than any other man. Having preached through the entire New Testament (and well on his way to completing commentaries on the entire New Testament), MacArthur is rightly the most respected Bible expositor of our time. Since I have followed Dr. MacArthur’s ministry, I have not known him to speak a predominantly African American conference like this (This observation is admittedly from my limited perspective on his ministry work). Yet the influence of his commentaries is wide in our circles. So I am honored to have him speak at this conference and looking forward to his contribution.
Each year, the Bailey Conference honors a “Living Legend” from the Black preaching fraternity. This year, the conference will honor Jasper Williams, Jr. Williams is known for his “whooping,” the melodic way he concludes his sermons. But that is not the feature of his preaching. However, he has truly influenced many by his biblical focus, narrative style, note-free delivery, clear and creative messages. It is right that we say thank you to Pastor Williams for his faithfulness down through the years.
Another preaching “legend,” Donald L. Parson is scheduled to speak at this year’s Living Legends Luncheon.
This should be a great meeting. And I pray that it will be fruitful for all the attendees.
Please pray that the Lord will raise up even more men who are totally committed to rightly handling the word of truth!