David R. Currie
A Rancher's Rumblings
May 22, 2007

Last week, I traveled to Atlanta for a meeting of the committee co-chairs of the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant meeting, which is to be held in Atlanta from January 30 through February 1, 2008. It was exciting to hear about the progress and to better understand my own assignment for this important meeting.

This is truly going to be a historic event, with Baptists gathering from all over North America to celebrate our common values and vision; what unites us rather than what divides us.

Some great preachers are going to preach, including two from Texas: Joel Gregory, professor at Truett Seminary; and Julie Pennington-Russell, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco. Tony Campolo will also be speaking, along with my friend, Bill Moyers, as well as two famous African-American pastors: Bill Shaw from Philadelphia and Charles Adams from Detroit. Unquestionably, the preaching of God’s word at this meeting will be an amazing experience!

And yes, there will also be some well-known politicians who happen to be Baptist. Republican Senators Charles Grassley from Iowa and Lindsey Graham from South Carolina will speak about their faith, as will former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, along with former Vice-President Al Gore.

Why is it important for us to have politicians speaking? Let me reply frankly. We can have a great meeting with inspiring preaching, and we will personally be fed and excited—BUT. . . part of what will make this event historic will be to tell North America, and maybe the world (with enough press coverage), what real Baptists are really about: unity, service, missions, cooperation, compassion, and love.

The press will not cover great preaching alone. They will, however, cover a Baptist event that features two former presidents, a former vice-president, and two senators speaking about what it means to them to be Baptist. That is just the real world, and Mother has often said to me, “David, you have to live in the real world.”


In January, when I first wrote of this event, I stressed that it would be a nonpartisan Baptist meeting focusing on Jesus, not politics, and that has proven true. This is an event that you will not want to miss. Please make plans to be there.

Besides great preachers and speakers, there will be practical, helpful workshops on many subjects that are important to both you and your church. The entire meeting will focus on Luke 4:18-19; all events and activities will revolve around this passage of scripture.

Now what task have I been given? A task that I need your help to accomplish! I am co-chair of the Recruitment Committee, which translates as, “David, help get 10,000 people there.” The four historic African-American conventions are meeting in Atlanta during the same week, and they have committed to having 10,000 to 15,000 people at this meeting. Their national conventions often have 30,000 people in attendance!!!

With that kind of commitment as inspiration, I have set a goal of 3,000 people attending this meeting from Texas alone, and I’m asking you to make a personal commitment—now—to attend. Please go to the Web site at www.newbaptistcovenant.org, and read all about this historic meeting. You will soon (after June 15) be able to make your hotel reservations; TBC also plans to make a block of hotel rooms available to its membership, but do not wait for us. There will be a large demand for rooms.

I also urge you to go to the Baptist Standard Web site at www.baptiststandard.com and read the news stories about this event. Truly, it is again exciting to be a Baptist!!!