The E.K. Bailey International Conference of Expository Preaching is taking place this week in Dallas (July 11-14). It is a great week of study, fellowship, and good preaching!

The conference is named after its founder, the late Dr. E.K. Bailey, founding pastor of the Concord Church in Dallas. Dr. Bailey was a noted African-American expositor. And God used his ministry and this conference to introduce many to the principles, tools, and disciplines needed to preach what the text means by what it says.

I was drawn to expository preaching by divine conspiracy. I was hearing preachers, reading books, and having conversations that were all calling me to it. But hearing Dr. Bailey sealed the deal. I walked out of the service after hearing him for the first time and said, “That’s what I want to do.” I was not talking about his style or delivery or anything like that. I was talking about how he simply explained the meaning of the text.

This preaching conference is now lead by my friend, Pastor Bryan Carter, who now leads the Concord Church. In his capable hands, this conference continues to be a premiere meeting on biblical preaching. At the same time, Dr. Sheila Bailey leads the Stand Women’s Conference, and continues to honor the legacy of her late husband with her love for ministering to the word of God to women.

The conference kicked off last night in a great way. Dr. Michael Duduit, editor of Preaching Magazine, lectured on the conference theme – Preaching Under Pressure. It was a very thoughtful, challenging, and encouraging message. Pastor Jeffery Johnson delivered the evening message.

I am scheduled to teach on expository preaching this afternoon, teach and preach Wednesday evening, and teach and participate on in a panel discussion Thursday, along with other commitments. It will be a long week. But I am looking forward to it. May the Lord give me strength.

Crystal is here! She flew in yesterday from Los Angeles, where she and the kids are spending several weeks with family and friends. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to see her. When she arrived, I shaved for the first time since she left!

Likewise…

My brother, Pastor Kevin Willis and his wife, Linda, are here.

Four of my pastoral staff members – B. Perry, D. Beckwith, A. Robinson, and A. Letson – are here.

My pastor from Los Angeles is here. My adopted dad from Oklahoma City is here.

Several of my closest friends from around the country are here.

There are quite of few preachers from both Los Angeles and Jacksonville here.

And this all up and what you get is very little sleep for H.B. Charles, Jr. this week. But I should be a great time of fellowship.

Please remember this meeting in your prayers.