BARTLETT, Tenn. – Nov. 15, 2012– Union University alumnus Fred Shackelford IV presided over the Tennessee Baptist Convention annual meeting Nov. 13-14 at Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, Tenn., wrapping up his one-year term as TBC president.
“It’s been a great year,” Shackelford said. “God’s been really good this year. It’s exciting to see what God is doing throughout our state. I really think this is a year in which we have adopted our focus, as we’re going to be a convention that is about reaching the nations, starting right here at home, with the gospel.”
Shackelford, a 1999 Union graduate and pastor of Springhill Baptist Church in Paris, Tenn., was just one Union alumnus who had a visible role at this year’s TBC meeting.
Steve Gaines, a 1979 graduate and pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., preached during the pastors’ conference preceding the TBC annual meeting.
Gaines spoke about the certainty of Jesus Christ’s return to earth, and how that doctrine should influence Christians’ lives. Gaines said Christ’s return is uplifting and unstoppable.
“When Jesus returns, Jesus wins, and we, the children of God, win,” Gaines said.
Danny Sinquefield, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett and a newly elected Union trustee, also preached at the pastors’ conference, addressing the beauty of the church.
“We’re never going to turn the world upside down until we learn to turn the church inside out,” Sinquefield said.
Union President David S. Dockery presented his annual report to the convention on Nov. 13, showing a video about the work and impact of the university.
“We come today to express a heart of gratitude to you for your support and encouragement,” Dockery told TBC messengers.
Paul Clark, a 1975 Union graduate and worship specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, led music during some of the meeting’s sessions, while Union’s choral group Proclamation also performed to open the Nov. 13 afternoon session.
Chuck Groover, a Union Doctor of Ministry student and pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., was elected to chair the committee charged with implementing the Vision 2021 strategy that TBC messengers approved. The Vision 2021 committee, chaired by Sinquefield, studied the work of the TBC and recommended ways that Tennessee Baptists can be more effective in their mission and church-planting efforts.
Corey Cain, a 1999 Union graduate and pastor of Maplewood Baptist Church in Paris, Tenn., was also elected to serve on the implementation committee.
Charlie Worthy, a 1994 Union graduate and missionary in Italy, was in attendance at the annual meeting to sign a formal partnership agreement with the TBC.
“It’s a joy to enter a partnership with this state and walk alongside you,” Worthy told TBC messengers.
Dockery expressed his gratitude for the “long-term partnership between Union University and the Tennessee Baptist Convention.”
“For the investment in the life, leadership and work of the TBC by these and so many other faithful Unionites, we are both thankful and deeply encouraged,” he said.