Go the Extra Mile
86th National Association | Birmingham, Alabama | July 24-27, 2022
The 86th Free Will Baptist National Convention will meet July 24-27 in Birmingham, Alabama. As the denomination returns to Birmingham for the fourth time (previously 1957, 1987, 2006), attendees will accept the challenge to “Go the Extra Mile.”
Sunday morning, Rett Floyd (SC) and Chris Todd (SC) will explore going the extra mile to practice forgiveness (Luke 15:11-32). Sunday evening, Tim Baumgarten (AL) will look at going the extra mile by protecting our Christian family (Romans 14). Monday evening, Jim McComas (TN) will challenge listeners to go the extra mile by reaching the hurting (Luke 8:40-46), followed by Kent Barwick (GA) Tuesday, who will examine going the extra mile to reach those difficult to reach (John 4). During the Wednesday evening missions service, Fernando Bustamante (SC) will offer a final challenge to leave our comfort zones and go the extra mile to take the gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 10).
For a second year, attendees will take part in the Washing of the Saints’ Feet on Sunday afternoon, followed by the Lord’s Supper during the Sunday evening service. Dr. Eddie Moody, executive secretary, notes the importance of these moments: “Sharing in the ordinances together at the beginning of the convention sets the right tone of humility for the rest of the meeting, carrying over into business sessions, board meetings, and all other activities. I encourage everyone to join us.”
During Tuesday and Wednesday business sessions, delegates are expected to approve denominational budgets of nearly $32 million. Moderator Tim York will guide delegates through the election of board members, general officers, and commission appointees. In addition, national agencies and commissions will submit annual reports.
Attendees are encouraged to participate in IMPACT Birmingham, the annual, one-day evangelistic campaign of service and outreach. Saturday, July 23, IMPACT returns to the city where the program started in 2006. This year, IMPACT will focus on serving the homeless community in and around Birmingham. For more details about Impact, read Joel Franks’ article, Homeless in Birmingham. To register, visit fwbmastersmen.org.
In addition to worship and business, attendees will enjoy scores of seminars, panels, and workshops presented
by various departments and agencies of the National
Association. Find schedule updates: nafwb.org/convention.
A Convention Choir and Orchestra will return in 2022, guided by the Free Will Baptist Music Commission. Music coordinator Kevin Justice notes, “We are thrilled to once again have a live choir for worship. If you want to be in the choir, watch for details about accessing music prior to the convention at fwbworship.com. Once onsite, the choir will rehearse each evening before worship services.”
The convention will also feature a live orchestra and praise team. Contact Joshua Riggs (email@example.com) for participation requirements. If you’re interested in singing with the praise team, contact Kevin Justice (firstname.lastname@example.org) to submit a video for consideration by convention music planners.
During its simultaneous meeting with the national convention, the 54th Vertical Three Conference will explore the 2022 theme “14:6,” emphasizing Jesus is the only way to salvation. This year’s conference will feature keynote speakers Kristi Johnson (TN), Caleb Milling (OK), Tommy Franks (AL), Chris Edwards (SC), and Jeffrey Dean Smith (TN).
Between CTS Expo events, seminars, and worship services, student attendees are sure to grow as their faith is challenged at the conference. Tuesday evening, Vertical Three will host comedian Byron Trimble for a special late-night event. Learn more about the conference: verticalthree.com.
Making the Most of the “Magic City”
Birmingham has seen many changes since Free Will Baptists first met in the city in 1957. Today, the downtown area has been revitalized, including a fresh facelift for the 2022 World Games, hosted only days before the National Convention. Take advantage of several new and exciting features across the city. The 31-acre CityWalk BHAM has become an outdoor gathering place, with a quarter-mile walking trail. The city has constructed a challenge course, amphitheater, and sports area with artificial turf. From 16th Street to 18th Street, space has been created for food trucks, a roller-skating rink, and an activity zone. Explore the unfolding master plan for Birmingham at citywalkbham.com.
The Uptown District, located on the campus of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (convention meeting place), features new restaurants and cafés within walking distance including pizza, hot chicken, burgers, and other local flavors. Also in the Uptown District, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame gives fans an opportunity to explore 5,000-plus sports artifacts. Interested in getting in the game instead of reading about it? TopGolf™ is located nearby and is perfect for people of all skill levels.
For those who enjoy free, educational activities, visit the Civil Rights District, with six blocks of free historical sites, including the Civil Rights Institute and Museum, Kelly Ingram Park and Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame boasts exhibits to honor musicians such as Nat King Cole and Lionel Hampton. Other free attractions include the Birmingham Railroad Park and Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The Birmingham Zoo also offers a large zoo featuring 230 species of animals across 122 acres.
If you enjoy unusual attractions, check out Sloss Furnaces, a free national historic landmark, currently the only 20th century blast furnace preserved in the United States. View the city from amazing heights atop the observation deck at Vulcan Park, home of the world’s largest cast iron statue, built for the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
If you prefer the great outdoors, head to Red Mountain Park with hiking trails to explore, aerial adventure tours, and team building activities. Play golf? Take advantage of one (or more) of several pristine courses near Birmingham, all part of Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
Find information about these activities and many more at VisitBirmingham.org.
Circle July 24-27 on your calendar and begin praying now for the annual meeting of Free Will Baptists. We look forward to seeing you in Birmingham.