By Steve McNeil

Do you ever find yourself having an “aha moment?” I had one during the State Convention this year. I was talking to one of our pastors and it hit me. Our SCBI family is 445 churches that have the opportunity to meet together one time each year. One time, for an evening and the following morning. One time each year when our family gets the chance to come together to worship, to celebrate what God is doing, to be reminded of our vision our mission and our values, to share meals with friends and to meet new friends, to learn about potential resources, to be encouraged through worship and the preaching/teaching of God’s Word. We get to this just once each year. That realization made this year’s meeting a little sweeter for me. I believe that was true for a lot of you as well.

The 61st convening of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana is now in the history books. This year’s state convention saw a great uptick in attendance, in heart, spirit and buzz. I am personally grateful for each of you who were able to attend. There was a healthy buzz in the room of people talking, meeting people and reconnecting with people they haven’t seen in a while.  It was fun to observe and partake in these relationships.

We celebrated together for three days of encouragement as the Indiana Baptist family. The Pastor’s Conference was well received as Brian Croft spoke on some needed basic pastoral training. Pastors left feeling encouraged and helped. Thank you to Brad Walker and Noah Debaun who led this year’s conference.

The State Convention meeting tried a new format and the messenger’s evaluations indicated that they liked and appreciated those changes. We were encouraged by the preaching of our State Convention President, Bobby Pell who was also re-elected to a second term. The Annual Sermon was presented by Dr. John Newland and our convention was closed out with the preaching of Dr. O.S. Hawkins. Great messages each and yes, we were challenged and encouraged.

Through the partnership with the North American Mission Board’s E24 Conference and Dr. Johnny Hunt, our three days ended on an evangelistic high note. Thank you to Rick Hillard who helped make this happen for our state. Participants were blessed and encouraged to go back to their mission field and prayerfully look for ways to tell their community about salvation that only comes through Jesus Christ.

I hope you will make a commitment right now to make the 2020 State Convention a priority in your plans. October 19-20, 2020 at Calvary Baptist Church, West Lafayette, Indiana.

I want to say a public THANK YOU to our SCBI staff team and all of their hard work and commitment to make this convention one of the best. Thanks,

Alison Blankenship, Greg Cooper, Mary Brown, Kyle Brennan, Michelle Hillard, Rick Hillard, Terah Adams, Bob Weeks, John Horn, Sarah Bohrer, Allison Kinion, Carol Houpt, Nate Millican, Jesus Pacheco, Doug Jividen, Scott McDowell, Sarah Wickersham, Jim Shields, Rick Porter, Linda Collier and the entire kitchen team.

This group has such a servant’s heart. They love our SCBI churches and people like you who they get to serve  Since our theme is to “encourage each other daily,” let me encourage you to send them a note or an email or text to say thanks. They need to hear that too.

Let me close this month’s article with a sincere wish for God to bless you during this Thanksgiving season. We are just a few weeks away from sitting down with family or friends to express our thanks to our heavenly Father for the ways that He has blessed us. I am grateful for each of you individually and for the churches where you serve and worship. May the Lord Bless you.


Until Next Time,

In Christ,