Louisiana Home & Foreign Missions Baptist State Convention
1401 Moeling Street
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70601
Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr.
2nd Annual President’s Annual Message & Report
July 26, 2007 7 PM
Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
Lake Charles, LA
Rev. Elmore Garner, Host Pastor
Thank you Bro. John & Sis. Cecelia Joseph for that gracious introduction. You all have
known me since I was a child growing up in Southwest Missionary Baptist Association,
that was named by your late & sainted mother Sis. Julia Joseph the wife of the late Dr.
Adam Joseph, who assisted in ordaining me back in 1984.
HOST PASTOR And CHURCH
To our host, Pastor Elmore Garner, Sister Renee Garner and the Mt. Calvary Baptist
Church, thank you for accepting the challenge to host this historic session. Your hours of
praying and planning have paid off and you have our gratitude. Mt. Calvary Baptist
Church has been a strong convention supporter for many years under a number of
pastors. Pastor Garner I thank you for continuing such a neccesary legacy & committed
partnership. We need Mt. Calvary to make us who we are. Thank you Pastor and the
entire local entertainment committee for overcoming many obstacles to ensure that
Pastors & delegates this week received premier hospitality.
Thanks goes out to our last year’s host, the one and only Rev. Leroy Taylor, of the Little
Zion Baptist Church, and other Pastors and Churches of Kenner, LA, who proved to be
extraordinary host in spite of the Katrina factor.
RECOGNITION OF FAMILY & CONVENTION OFFICERS
To my wife of 20 years, Matilda Tolbert and the children that God has blessed us with,
Candace and Kayla. To my Church family, the Greater Saint Mary Missionary Baptist
Church, who has been so supportive of me as I take on this new challenge.
To our national President Dr. Stephen John Thurston who honors us with his presence
tonight; Vice-President-at-Large, Rev. Solomon Shorter, Sr.; 1st Vice-President, Rev.
Mallary Callahan 2nd Vice-President, Rev. M. L. Thomas, 3rd Vice-President, Rev. John
C. Raphael. What a leadership team we have in this grand ole convention.
To the General Secretary, Rev. S.C. Dixon; Recording Secretary, Rev. Bobby Showers;
Corresponding Secretary, Rev. Robert Owens; the Finance Chairman, Rev. Sidney
Fontenot; Vice-Chair of Finance, Rev. Albert Sykes; Financial Secretary, Rev. Jerry
Hannible; Treasure, Rev. Eradly Ben; Statistician, Rev. Leroy Taylor, and to the
Historian Rev. Joseph Martin.
To the Congress of Christian Education Director Rev. J.D. Dupre; Dean, Rev. Darwin
Lazard; Registrar, Dr. Margaret Anderson; Brotherhood Union President, Brother
Earnest Freeman; President of the Women’s Mission Union, Sister Bernadine Gibson;
Rev. Elmore Garner, Director of the Children and Youth Convention; the President of the
Children & Youth Convention, Sister Natasha Landry; President of our Ushers’
Auxiliary, Sister Earlee Young; Music Department President, Brother Hardy Davis;
Preachers’ Wives & Widows Conference President Sis. Eartha Cross; & Preachers’
Conference President, Rev. Eugene Williams, Young Preachers’ Conference Chairman
Rev. Larry Turner and Moderators’ Conference Chairman Rev. Gregg Jackson.
Rev. Larry Cross, Home Mission Board Chairman; Foreign Mission Board Chariman,
Rev. Reginald Nicholas; Education Board Chariperson, Sis. Hattie Shorter; Evangelical
Board Chairman, Rev. Michael Otkins; Committee Chairpersons, Commission
Chairperson, Convention Administrator, Sis. Cynthia Jones; President’s Consultant,
Brother Johnny Anderson; Special Assistants to the President Rev. Mitchell Stevens &
Rev. Carlos Ross, Convention Staff, Workers, Instructors, Officers and Members,
greetings! I am glad to have the convening of this convention in my hometown of Lake
Charles, LA. I grew up and was nurtured just about 10 to 12 blocks from this church.
The Primary CAUSES of Our Convention
Evangelism, Missions & Education are the primary focus of Louisiana
Home & Foreign Missions Baptist State Convention, Inc. (LHFMBSC) &
they are being strengthened. We are a convention of CAUSES & for that
you ought to be proud. The mandate of the Master extends far beyond
buildings, worship and fellowship. Those are important but let’s not leave
out our convention’s CAUSES. Our Parent Body, Auxiliaries, Departments,
Boards, Commissions and Committees should measure our planning by how
we will enhance & elevate our investments in the CAUSES of the
convention. We have not reached all the goals that we set out to reach but I
thank God that we were not just shooting but aiming.
The Evangelical Board has sponsored two Tent Revivals this past
convention year. One with the Olive Branch Baptist Church in Algiers, Rev.
Reginald Nicholas pastor, in an effort to encourage & evangelize in the New
Orleans areas. Souls were reached for the Lord! The other Tent Revival was
held with the Resurrection Missionary Baptist Association, Rev. Aaron
Germany, president in St. Joseph, La. This is a new Association in a new
area for our convention. A prisoner was baptized as a result of that revival.
Whose to say that that prisoner was not left behind to reach that prison for
Christ. I commission the Evanglical Board to seek to develop a strong
training module that is practical in order to equip our member churches
evanglism teams in the work. The courses can be offered at an annual
evangelism conference, Annual Session, or Board meetings with courses
being certified by Shaw University.
The Home Mission Board has assisted us in closing out our Hurricane
Response strategy and working to acquire disaster relief vehicles &
equipment that could be easily staffed by convention volunteers &
dispatched to areas where disasters may strike. We have not achieved our
goal in this area but this dream will become a reality in the not too distant
The Foreign Mission Board of our convention has worked the quarters
across the waters and promoted Foreign Missions in a way that should make
you proud. In National Baptist Convention of America (NBCA) last year we
were the top state convention giver in Foreign Missions. We have already
given over $50,000 this year to Foreign Mission. If 100 churches gave
$1,000 per year to our State Foreign Mission Board we could easily reach
the $100,000 mark in the next 3 years to our NBCA Foreign Mission Board.
The Education Board yet seeks to expand our work in the area of
scholarships & becoming a reservoir of information for our young people
preparing for and attending institutions of higher learning. I am
commissioning tonight this Board to assemble a group of experienced
educators in a conference to train leaders how to improve test scores amoung
our children. We must find resources whether they be government, private
or church that provide for Learning Centers to be set up in our churches
across the state to assist our children.
Men, Women & Young People’s Work
Men & Boys
On June 2, the Pastors, Ministers, Men & Boys conference rejoiced in
having 205 in attendance in Baton Rouge. We need to double that by June
2008. I am tonight officially appointing Rev. Frank Davis, III as Chairman
of this conference and ask that he would work with the Pastors Conference,
Brotherhood Union, Young Ministers’ Conference, and the Youth
Convention to further develop this into a first class meeting. I am
recommending that the conference be officially named the B.J. Maxon Men
& Boys Conference. We should consider going to New Orleans next year
with this conference in an effort to support the efforts our Vice-Preisdent
Rev. John C. Raphael as he works against the violence in the streets of New
Orleans. I challenge the leadership of this conference to seek out nationally
recognized leaders who are doing extraordinary work with men & boys to be
presenters. A well developed brochure with a registration blank attached is
to be distributed in the February Board each year promoting this conference
beginning February 2008.
The Women had some 300 women in Baton Rouge this year in their annual
conference. I challenge them to double their attendance and reach out to our
smaller congregations of 50 members or less for two representatives from
their church. This group is planning an additional gathering this year that
will enhance their work of equipping women to do the Lord’s work. The
convention will stand behind them in this effort to make it a success.
Youth & Children
We cannot overlook this important work in the area of Youth & Children’s
ministry. We had 650 attendees at our overnight retreat earlier this year for
our youth & children. That figured basically more than doubled our previous
year’s attendance. I challenge this group to continue to (1) create networking
opportunities amoung our youth (2) enhance their efforts in providing
opportunities for young people to exercise their gifts through activities, and
provide training of youth workers that exposes them to fresh & innovative
I have attended our three NBCA Annual meetings which included the annual
session in Phoenix, Arizona, September 2006, the Mid-Winter Board in
Kansas City, Mo, February 2007 and the Congress & Youth Convention in
Orlando, FL, June 2007.
In August 2006 the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention met in
Richmond, Virginia in their 109th annual session. The convention elected me
as a regional Vice-President at that meeting to fill the vacancy created by the
passing of Dr. B.J. Maxon. In a couple of weeks, August 13-17, 2007,
LHFMBSC & Louisiana Missionary Baptist State Convention will host the
110th Annual Session of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention.
This is the first time that Lott Carey has been hosted by two state
conventions. I want to thank Pastor Mitchell Stevens & New Orleans Host
Committee in preparing for this meeting. We expect some 5,000 delegates to
gather in New Orleans for this meeting for a time of Mission work, worship,
fellowship, missionary reports and the likes.
October & November 2006, I traveled for two weeks to the countries of
Zimbabwe & South Africa with Dr. David Goatley, Executive/Secretary
Treasurer of Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention. This was an
eye opening trip that I will never forget. I preached at the Baptist Seminary
of Zimbabwe that is training a large percentage of the pastors in Zimbabwe.
I also had the blessed privileged to preach at the Teen Challenge Center in
Cape Town, South Africa, that is giving young people a second chance at
fruitful living. Both of these are supported largely by the Lott Carey
Convention. Lott Carey supports mission thrust in 24 countries around the
world by giving about 80% to 85% of their revenues directly to the mission
field. LHFMBSC has become a supporter of the work of Lott Carey. We
gave $5,000 in their annual session for missions.
September 2006 I was invited to participate in an Ecumenical Church
Leadership and Public Policy forum held at the Interdenominational
Theological Center in Atlanta, GA and I presented a lecture on Public Policy
& Poverty on the campus of Morehouse College.
We launched a “Road Trip Campaign” that was worked in conjunction with
other initiatives in an effort to get 90 new participating churches by this
week for the celebration of our 90th annual session. We have realized 69
new participating churches to the Glory of God!
Finally, LHFMBSC is now at the point where we have been blessed to
become the type of Christian business enterprise that must have full-time
competent staff to facilitate our day-to-day operations & sustain our efficient
work in Evangelism, Missions & Education. Therefore; I recommend we
officially create the full-time position of Convention Administrator to be
supervised by the Convention’s President to execute our day-to-day
operations & to carry our objectives of this convention. I have already had a
person doing the work just want to make it official.
Now concerning the Gospel in the book of:
Text: Acts 4:13-22
Subject: “When You Have Been With Jesus”
1. Witness of God is in the Believer
2. World Goes into Conference to Block
3. Work Going to Continue on as Before