At the Southern Baptist Convention, it did not take long to see people we knew. Early Tuesday morning the 13th, Dennis Aggrey, our church planter friend from Liberia, West Africa, and I drove together, picked up our church moderator, Dr. Robert Rector, an associate professor of history and political science at Louisburg (NC) College (his specialty in colonial history), and then drove to Durham to meet our deacon chairman William Vaughan (oversees Liteonit's servers for IBM & Lenovo worldwide).
Once we got in line to register about 8:30am, William ran into Rev. Jim Pollard, a former pastor at Amis Chapel Baptist Church, now an associational missionary down east NC. He had left Amis Chapel to go as a missionary to Chile with the SB Foreign Mission Board for six years.
Then we turned around and ran into Rev. Tony Crouch, my pastor at Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church in Laurens, SC, the man who ordained me in 2003, and his daughter, Anna Paige. We talked awhile and shook hands all around and dispersed.
At the bathrooms there stood Rev. Shannon Long, the associational missonary from Laurens, SC, Baptist Association, waiting on his wife Loraine. They are my wife Amanda's great uncle and aunt. While we talked, Tony and Anna Paige reappeared along with Jim Pollard. Then we found out that Shannon, Loraine, and Jim all served as missionaries in Chile together.
Toward the end of the convention, I briefly ran into Rev. Bob Lowman of Metrolina Prayer Network and interim associational missionary for Metrolina Baptist Association. We used to serve together in Mission Carolina, and his friend Rev. Johnson Dorn (son of late SC Senator William Bryan Dorn) just finished his interim ministry at the church my parents attend in SC, Siloam Baptist Church in Ninety-Six, SC. Dennis also ran into a number of Alabama folks he knows connected with Liberty Baptist Church, in Chelsea, AL, Dennis' home church in the US.
On Wednesday Amanda and Luke came to see Shannon and Loraine, and we went out to lunch at Po Folks -- good eating and good fellowship!
Dennis Aggrey spoke to our members of our church on Wednesday night who were interested in funding a church planter in Liberia. These folks pledged $400/month for the next two years to Christian Revival Fellowship Churches to plant churches in Bong and Bomi Counties. He flew early Saturday morning to Alabama where he plans to remain until he returns to Liberia in August.
We're having Bible School this week at Amis Chapel. Next Sunday June 25, Amis Chapel is having Jonathan Lotz fo Raleigh speak. He is the son of Dan and Ann Graham Lotz and the grandson of Rev. Billy Graham.
Amanda, Luke, and I leave Tuesday night for Florida. Amanda's sister Carmen is getting married at Fort Desoto State Park on the beach in Tampa on Friday. Fort DeSoto was named America's #1 Beach 2005. I am officiating and Amanda is matron of honor. But there's something I'm worried about on that beach. Since my back will be to the water, I just hope they either tell me when a big wave is coming or give me the $10,000 for being on America's Funniest Videos.