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Liberty hosts its first moderator conference
In the pulpit
ea Pulpit0429
Ministers who participated in the conference included (l-r) Dr. James Potts, the Revs. G.L. Avery, Dr. L. Perry McNeal, Dr. C.L. Anderson, Hugh E. Byrd and Sinclair Thorne, pastor of First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church that hosted the conference. - photo by Photo provided.
Members of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia converged in Liberty County April 24-26 for the seventh annual Moderators/Ministers Conference.
It was the first time the event took place in Southeast Georgia.
People from throughout the state gathered at First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Hinesville. The Rev. Dr. Sinclair Thorne, the church’s pastor, serves as president of the GMBC’s first district.
Among those present was the Rev. Dr. Clarence Moore, who heads the convention. Also in attendance were host moderators the Revs. Dr. C. L. Anderson of the Tattnall Missionary Baptist Association and GMBC first vice coordinator for the moderators division, and Dr. L. Perry McNeal of the Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Association and GMBC regional vice president for Districts 1, 2 and 11.
A moderator was described as a pastor who presides over an association connected with his church.
McNeal taught a class on unity in the church, Anderson presented a class on ministerial ethics, and the Rev. Dr. James Potts, GMBC regional vice president, taught a session about overcoming church conflicts.
Pastors Artis Carswell, Johnny Lavant and Freddie Hodges of the Tattnall Missionary Baptist Association delivered devotional messages during the session.
On April 24, the host presented a musical program with the First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church male choir, God’s Men of Integrity.
Elected officials from the county and city participated. Rep. Al Williams of District 165, Sheriff J. Don Martin, board of education Chairwoman Lily Baker and Hinesville Police Lt. Chris Reid gave greetings. Superior Court Judge D. Jay Stewart also gave greetings and accompanied the male choir on the guitar.
Many of the visiting moderators and pastors commented on the hospitality they were shown while in Hinesville and especially by the host church.
“We have been around the state, and we have not been treated more hospitable,” said the Rev. G. L. Avery of Washington, Ga. He is GMBC coordinator of the moderators’ division.
The participants seemingly enjoyed the preaching and teaching sessions, but also looked forward to the breakfast and lunch meals served by the host church.  Another highlight was an elegant moderators banquet on April 25 at the Marne Club. The Rev. Dr. Nim Russell, GMBC regional vice president for Districts 5, 7 and 9 of Rome, was guest speaker.
During the three-day session, several preachers gave sermons that were well received. Not to be outdone, Avery preached the final sermon of the session on the topic, “Church members that the devil is proud of.”
The Rev. Hugh E. Byrd, recording secretary for the moderators’ division, and his wife, Juanita, sang a rousing song, “Give Me Just a Little More Time.”
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