2016 National Convention Preview
Meeting in the Midwest
In July, Free Will Baptists will return to Kansas City, Missouri, for the fifth time in the convention’s 80-year history. Settled at the junction of Interstates 70, 35, and 49, this Heartland city lies within a day’s drive of most Free Will Baptist churches. Attendees can expect sunny July days and Midwestern friendliness in the largest city in Missouri.
Speakers Ben Evans (MO), Wayne Miracle (GA), Cory Thompson (OK), Brad Ryan (IL), Richard Robinson (MO), and Marc Neppl (VA) will address the theme, “The Path to Revival” from 2 Chronicles 7:14. Those unable to attend the convention are encouraged to take advantage of online streaming at www.nafwb.org, courtesy of the Free Will Baptist Media Commission. The theme will also be emphasized by a prayer rally on Tuesday morning, when convention-goers will gather to ask God for revival.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive a day early to participate in Impact Kansas City, a one-day evangelistic campaign of service and outreach. Volunteers will spread across Greater Kansas City, working with local Free Will Baptist churches to share Christ with the community.
Delegates are expected to approve denominational budgets of more than $25 million as Moderator Tim York guides delegates through Tuesday and Wednesday business sessions. This year’s slate of business includes election of board members, general officers, and commission appointees. In addition, all national agencies and commissions will submit annual reports.
National Youth Conference
Meeting simultaneously with the National Association is the 49th annual National Youth Conference. Planners expect more than 2,500 registrants who will participate in national competitive finals in Bible and fine arts, seminars, and services designed especially for youth.
In addition to youth services and competitive activities, students from across the nation will participate in “Reach That Guy” projects, serving Kansas City with time, volunteer labor, and kindness.
Welcome to the Fountain City
Attendees will enjoy a cutting-edge streetcar system opened May 5, just in time for the convention, providing fun and speedy transportation around downtown Kansas City with stops directly in front of the convention center and area attractions.
“The Fountain City” is home to hundreds of fountains (some over 300 years old) the Kansas City Zoo, and a variety of museums, from the Harry S. Truman Museum to museums featuring the histories of jazz and steamboats. Thrill-seekers may want to try their hand at zip-lining, or drop 200 feet at 75 miles per hour on the Mamba, one of Worlds of Fun’s largest roller coasters.
Many convention-goers will catch a Royals game at Kauffman Stadium and take time to reflect at the National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial, between meals of fantastic local barbecue, of course. Famous for wet (basted in sauce) barbecue, Kansas City rivals Memphis and Austin for the best American barbecue.
Doing God's Business
The last convention in Kansas City produced historic decisions such as the combination of Contact magazine and other national publications into a single publication—ONE Magazine. Randall House introduced the CLEAR learning system for Sunday School curriculum, which later evolved into the popular generational discipleship-centered D6 curriculum we use today.
Twelve years later, Free Will Baptists will arrive in Kansas City with high expectations for doing God’s business and exciting and uplifting worship.
Convention Musicians Needed
The 2016 Mass Choir and Orchestra, sponsored by the
Music Commission, needs vocalists and instrumentalists
(15 and above, with at least third-year skill level) to
participate in convention music. The ensemble will accompany congregational and choir selections during each service. If you would like to be involved or have questions, contact the
commission: email@example.com or visit fwbmusiccommission on Facebook.