This week I had the expressed pleasure of attending the E.K. Bailey Expository Preaching Conference, held at both the Fairmont Hotel Downtown Dallas, and the Concord Baptist Church, also in Dallas, and it was an experience that will shape the growth and development of my continued attempts at biblical exposition.
I was introduced to biblical exposition by my pastor Joe Carter, and it was strengthened by my friendship with Pastor HB Charles Jr, and exposure to other exceptional expositors like Joel Gregory, Ralph West, Maurice Watson and others. My exposure to them heightened my desire to attend conferences that place a great emphasis on verse by verse biblical exposition.
This is the second time I have been able to attend this conference and I want to extend a word of appreciation to Bryan Carter, Pastor of the Concord Church and leader/host of the conference for his commitment to bringing the brightest expositors to Dallas to help reinforce the need for strong biblical exposition in pulpits across America.
The theme of the conference this year was Preaching 360: How To Preach the Genres of Scripture. Dr. Steven J. Lawson was exceptional in both his presentation and lecture. I had heard of Dr. Lawson, who has his own Expositor’s Conference in September in Mobile, AL (which I want to attend as well), but to actually hear him in person was phenomenal. Dr. Bryan Loritts did a great job with personal application through illustrations, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
To have Dr. John MacArthur teach us on a verse by verse exposition of the book of John, words really cannot express how impactful he was. But his willingness to stand and talk to conference attendees was also impressive and well received. HB Charles Jr. did a masterful job with John 15, where Jesus said I am the true vine. I am always encouraged to study more and preach harder after I hear HB preach.
Wednesday night was epic! E. Dewey Smith blessed the house in a “lecture” and the legendary Dr. Jasper Williams, who was being honored as the Living Legend, was classic JW! Almost every Black Baptist preacher has at some point, mimicked Dr. Williams’ style, sermon or close in their lifetime, and we were witnesses to him giving us everything we wanted. Dr. Donald Parsons, who is my personal favorite preacher, blessed the banquet on Thursday morning honoring Dr. Williams. What a week!
My only criticism I would have is that not more younger pastors/preachers came or were able to come. In this generation of microwave church, prosperity preaching, and to be honest, clowning in the pulpit, we need to become more committed to fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20, where Jesus commands us not to make members but to build disciples. The best way to accomplish that feat is by giving those who listen to us on a weekly basis, a steady diet of verse by verse biblical exposition. I am even more committed to becoming a better expositor and to developing disciples for Jesus Christ.