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March 2015

Living Trust


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news about the denomination

The following news items apply to (or affect) the Free Will Baptist denomination scattered across the nation and around the world.To read more about Free Will Baptists and the various departments that make up the national organization, visit

Read a brief history of Free Will Baptists in the United States.



2014 Leadership Conference Affirms Biblical Marriage

Nashville, TN—One hundred twenty-five pastors and church leaders from 19 states and Canada gathered December 8-9, at Nashville Airport Marriott Hotel, for the 2014 Free Will Baptist Leadership Conference. The conference explored and affirmed biblical marriage, from the scriptural basis and historic Free Will Baptist beliefs and practices to strategies to strengthen and defend marriage in today’s increasingly hostile culture.

Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, provided the keynote address. He was joined by speakers Matt Pinson, president of Welch College; Eddie Moody, pastor of Tippett’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, member of the Welch College Board of Trustees, and chair of the Department of Counselor Education at North Carolina Central University; and Phillip Whiteaker, a judge serving on the Arkansas Board of Appeals and chairman of the Free Will Baptist Foundation Board.


The meeting featured more than keynote sessions, with plenty of time for conversation and networking during banquet-styled meals. Each service featured music provided by Welch College, including Rejoice ensemble and the 42-voice College Choir directed by Dr. James Stevens. A number of national boards met in conjunction with the conference, including the Executive Committee, Board of Retirement, Free Will Baptist Foundation, Home Missions, International Missions, Randall House, and Welch College.

“In an age where marriage is being attacked from every side,” noted Ryan Lewis, conference director, “this conference equipped pastors and churches to stand for biblical marriage while attempting to bridge the gap between churches and the culture in a redemptive way.” 

Dr. Moore (pictured below) is a widely sought cultural commentator who speaks frequently to issues of theology, culture, and public policy. He has been quoted and published by many of the nation’s leading news agencies and periodicals including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and the Associated Press.


He blogs frequently at Moore to the Point, and has authored or edited five books, including Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ and Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches. In addition, Moore has authored dozens of academic articles and essays on systematic theology and Christian ethics. He is senior editor of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. Dr. Moore earned a B.S. in history and political science from University of Southern Mississippi, an M.Div. in biblical studies from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

An ordained Southern Baptist minister, Moore has pastored a number of churches, most recently serving Highview Baptist Church from 2008-2012. He is a four-time member of the SBC Resolutions Committee and a regular columnist for Baptist Press.

“Dr. Moore has made a profound impact on today’s church,” said Executive Secretary Keith Burden. “He understands the challenges churches face in trying to reach a suspicious and sometimes hostile culture, and he shared practical advice to help Free Will Baptists minister with compassion while remaining true to the Bible. We were honored to have him at this year’s conference.”

The 2015 Leadership Conference will return to Nashville Marriott Airport Hotel December 7-8.


©2013 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists