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Future of denominationalism conference begins this week

Robert Smith of Beeson Divinity School will preach Wednesday evening at a special service celebrating Baptists' 400-year heritage.
Robert Smith of Beeson Divinity School will preach Wednesday evening at a special service celebrating Baptists' 400-year heritage.

JACKSON, Tenn.Oct. 5, 2009 – A major conference marking the 400th anniversary of the Baptist movement begins this week at Union University.

“Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism” runs Oct. 6-9 and features addresses from a group of prominent evangelical leaders including Duane Litfin, Michael Lindsay, Timothy George, Albert Mohler and Union University President David S. Dockery.

“This event promises to be one of the most significant conferences to be found anywhere addressing some of the most vital issues facing Southern Baptists and evangelicals as we prepare to move into the second decade of the 21st century,” Dockery said.

Litfin is president of Wheaton College, Lindsay is a sociologist at Rice University and author of “Faith in the Halls of Power,” George is dean of Beeson Divinity School and Mohler is president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Other featured speakers for the conference will be Robert Smith, associate professor of divinity at Beeson; Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research.

In addition, Mark DeVine of Beeson, Nathan Finn of Southeastern Seminary and Union’s Ray Van Neste, Jerry Tidwell, Hal Poe and Jim Patterson will speak.

One of the highlights of the week will be a special Wednesday evening service Oct. 7. Smith will be the speaker for the 7 p.m. service in the Carl Grant Events Center. Union is inviting churches from West Tennessee to participate in the event.

“We are excited about bringing members of the West Tennessee community to join the conferees and Union students in a time of worship and praise together,” Dockery said. “The music, led by Chris Mathews, and the preaching, by Robert Smith, one of the truly great preachers of our day, will help us join together in giving thanks for God’s blessings on our heritage, even as we look forward toward a blessed future.”

A full schedule for the conference is available at www.uu.edu/events/baptistfuture.


Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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