on Thursday, August 18, 2022

The inaugural Prepare Here Conference for Church Leadership at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Oct. 14-15, features plenary speakers Jim Henry, Frank Williams, and NOBTS President Jamie Dew.

The conference is hosted by the newly-established Jim Henry Leadership Institute. The NOBTS Jim Henry Leadership Institute honors the ministry of Jim Henry, an NOBTS graduate and longtime pastor of First Baptist Church, Orlando.

A pre-conference Alumni Reunion, Oct. 13, includes dinner on the grounds and fun for the whole family.

“We want to help you. We want to serve you,” Dew said in a recorded video invitation to church leaders. In the recording, Dew noted the seminary’s role in serving the local church. “That’s what we exist to do, to encourage and strengthen.”

With a focus on preparing and encouraging pastors, church staff, and key church leaders, the conference includes breakout sessions on ministry areas such as youth, women, children, and other ministries. Sessions for administrators, pastors, and church leaders are featured.   

“Every pastor search team I talk with when asked ‘What are you looking for in a pastor?’ usually says three things; a pastor to love us, preach the Bible and lead us,” Henry said. “The world in general and the church specifically is in desperate need for pastoral leadership. One of the prime goals in my life is to encourage churches and equip leaders.”

Under Henry’s leadership, First Baptist Orlando grew to a membership of over 10,000. During Henry’s student days, he pastored churches in Alabama, Mississippi and Nashville. Henry served as SBC president, 1994-95.

Frank Williams, pastor of Wake-Edens Community Baptist Church, Bronx, New York, and president of the National African American Fellowship, SBC, is a featured plenary speaker.  Williams leads a congregation active in community service and missions.

Reggie Ogea, long-time pastor, NOBTS professor of leadership and pastoral ministry, and director of the Jim Henry Leadership Institute, said the annual Prepare Here Conference will lead out in addressing the convention-wide need for trained and effective pastors.

“The Jim Henry Leadership Institute will position NOBTS to impact strategically the crisis of pastoral leadership in the SBC,” Ogea said. “The five strategic initiatives of the Institute will create synergy in the areas of research, peer-group learning, resource development, and church consultations.

Time is allotted at the conference for church staff and lay leaders to meet together to plan and implement ideas.

Early Bird group pricing is available until Aug. 31. Group pricing beginning with groups of three is available. To learn more and to register, click Prepare Here.