The 21st session of the Pennsylvania Eastern Keystone Baptist Association (PEKBA), is scheduled for Nov. 14-18, 2012. The overall theme is Healthy Churches for Unhealthy Times. The host location for the annual session is Prince of Peace Baptist Church, 1844 N. 32nd St. where the Rev. Dr. Robert Shipman is pastor.
The Moderator-at-Large for PEKBA is the Rev. Dr. Damone B. Jones, Sr., senior pastor of Bible Way Baptist Church located at 52nd and Master streets.
“I am a Vice Moderator for Pennsylvania Eastern Keystone Baptist Association, I am also serving as the chairperson for the 21stt annual session, this year,” said the Rev. Edmund Sherrill, pastor of Mt. Enon Baptist Church located at 5th St. and Snyder Ave. The PEKBA region that Sherrill serves is South Philadelphia.
According to Sherrill, this year’s session will include workshops for “laymen, women, youth and pastoral ministries.” The goal and purpose of this session is to equip participants with information and resources to help them become a blessing to the respective ministries, congregations and people that they represent and serve.
PEKBA, is an organization of Baptist churches with a purpose of developing effective and efficient ministries within churches located in the Philadelphia region. Some objectives are to establish, train, and indoctrinate churches of the missionary Baptist denomination for the purpose of promoting Christian education, and to encourage concern for and support of home and foreign missions projects.
“We also strive for the unity, in faith and practice, of the principals of the Baptist church, as set forth in the teachings of the [Bible’s] New Testament,” said Sherrill.
Some of the workshop speakers will include some of Philadelphia’s most renowned teachers and pastors such as the Rev. Dr. Wayne Croft, Sr., Pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in West Chester; Min. Elanisa Reed, of St. Phillips Baptist Church; Bishop Keith W. Reed of Sharon Baptist Church; the Rev. Dr. J. Wendell Mapson, senior pastor of Monumental Baptist Church; and the Rev. Willette Bryant of Palmer Theological Seminary.
“My role with the Pennsylvania Easter Keystone Baptist Association, is [serving as] the vice moderator of the North [Region], my responsibility is to communicate to all of the Baptist churches, who are members of PEBKA, the vision and goals of our moderator,” said the Rev. Dr. Wayne Weathers, pastor of Miller Memorial Baptist Church, 1518 N. 22nd St. Weathers is also charged with the responsibility of encouraging new membership/enrollment of churches in the North Philly region to join PEBKA.
“This particular conference will bring together lay persons, ministers, pastors, women, children – to provide some resources how churches can become healthy, in these times where it’s very unhealthy, with immorality, violence, conflict, etcetera,” said Weathers.
“We are working to see that all of our constituent churches are healthy to make an impact in our society,” said Jones.
According to Jones, PEKBA has member churches from the Philadelphia area, “there’s probably about, somewhere between 100 and 125 churches that are a part of our network. Many of them have been a part (of PEKBA) for years and years, and there are some that just became a part of it.”
Jones said “initially (PEKBA) was two different associations” and the organizations merged together to formed what is now the PEKBA.
Jones urges the public to come out and participate in the ministry workshops.
“We’re going to be doing a whole lot of workshops for all ages, all groups – in terms of church life,” he said. “We have some good workshops, especially for the ministers, but we also have sessions for the young people, we have music workshops. Anything that you may be connected to with a church, we have some workshops for that.
“We want [participants] to walk away with a sense that we can do church much more effectively… healthy churches, we believe, will impact the community to make good communities healthy, as well.”
Each night, dinner will be served at 4:30pm-6:30pm, followed by workshops every night at 6:45pm (except Nov. 17). The general public is invited to attend all events. A brief itinerary of the workshops and special events includes:
1pm: Pastors, Ministers and Wives Luncheon. Keynote preacher: Dr. Cleophus LaRue, Princeton University. Tickets: $25.
6:45pm: Women’s Division workshops (all invited)
7:30pm: Guest preacher will be the Rev. Dr. John Adolph, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, Belmont, TX.
6:45pm: Laymen Division workshops (all invited)
7:30pm: Guest Preacher will again be Rev. Adolph.
Saturday Morning Youth Extravaganza
6pm: Moderators’ Night
For more information about the 21st annual session of PEKBA, call Jones at Bible Way Baptist Church, (215) 477-0778.