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Conference renews, refreshes clergyq
In the pulpit
0307 In the pulpit
Evangelist Jacqueline Adams of First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Hinesville and her husband, Clifford Adams. - photo by Photo provided.
Every year in February, pastors and ministers gather to sing, teach and preach. On Feb. 8-11, clergy from across Georgia met in Macon for the Annual Ministers Conference of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia. The attendees’ goal was to enhance and expand ministries for greater impact in local churches. Each year, conference coordinators Dr. Theodus Drake, Rev. L.C. Teasley and Dr. R.L. White put together a program that provides information and strategies to address the challenges of a changing world.
For four days, pastors and ministers were treated to a series of dynamic seminars. The presenters came from different churches in Georgia, including First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church of Hinesville.
The theme of the convention, “Shepherding,” is a derivative of the phrase, “sheep herding.” According to GMBC President Dr. Clarence Moore, “The commission of the under-shepherd of Christ is deeply rooted in our responsibility of leading sheep to green pastures.”
The conference began with a sermon by 24-year-old Rev. Renard Allen of the Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church. Other Georgia ministers who spoke during the conference included the Rev. Willis Smiley of the Greater New Corinth Baptist Church in Cairo, Dr. Marvin Simmons of St. Paul Baptist Church in Jefferson, the Rev. Ananias Hopkins of St. Mary Baptist Church in Baconton, the Rev. Melvin McCluster of Friendship Baptist Church in Americus and Evangelist Jacqueline Adams of First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Hinesville.
Adams was the first female minister to preach at the Annual Ministers Conference. “When Dr. Drake asked me to speak, the first thing I asked God was, ‘Why me?’” she said. “It was very humbling. It was overwhelming. It was so awe-inspiring that God would even choose me. It was nothing I did or said. God chose me and gave me favor.
“I don’t want to boast. I know it was God. I knew over a year ago. When I got the phone call on Jan. 2, I was on the highway in Florida in the middle of traffic and couldn’t pull over. I was so excited. As I prayed about what to preach, God showed me Psalm 23,” she said
 “God gets the glory. I am just a willing vessel who wants to be used by God to see people saved,” Adams said. She was licensed in 2004 and currently serves under Dr. Sinclair Thorne, pastor of First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.
 Adams is married to Clifford Adams, a deacon at First Calvary. “I thank God for my husband. He supports me in everything. When I have to go, he encourages me to attend. He is always there for me,” she said.
Clifford Adams works for EMD Chemical in Savannah, and he and his family came to Liberty County when he was hired at EMD. They are natives of Jeanette, Pa., which is near Pittsburgh. The Adams have three boys and two grandchildren.
Jacqueline Adams is studying for her bachelor’s degree in regligious education at Covington Seminary. She is also a member of the Pastor’s Aid Ministry.
In addition to the conference’s many sermons, nationally known ministers, such as Pastor Harold Ray of Memphis, Tenn., and Bishop Victor Couzens of Cincinnati, delivered seminars. Ray talked about the rules of engagement and pastoral preaching. Couzens lectured on pastoring in diversity and pastoral relations. Two conference coordinators also spoke. Drake talked about courting vacant churches and surviving the first season. White lectured on “what to do when the sheep won’t eat.”
 “This year’s conference was one of the best that I have attended,” Adams said. “I am looking forward to next year’s conference.”

Anderson is the author of “Lack of Knowledge” and “Dare to Soar.”
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