Search Results for: vernon





Thabiti Anyabwile|5:13 am CT

Join Us on The Front Porch!

I love hanging out with pastors, talking about preaching, church, books and the like. And I love talking a little smack with my friends. Put the two together and you have a wonderful time of fellowship, fun and edification.

That’s why I’m thrilled to join two of my best friends and favorite people, Pastor Louis Love of New Life Fellowship Church (Vernon Hills, IL) and Pastor Anthony Carter of East Point Church (Atlanta, GA), in launching a new website called The Front Porch.

What’s The Front Porch about?

We’re about “conversations about biblical faithfulness in African-American churches and beyond.”

We do a lot of laughing… a fair amount of celebrating… and some probing reflection. We do it all because we love that part of Christ’s Church called “the Black Church” and we want to see her thrive, building on the best of her history and reforming weak spots according to the word of God. Tony captures the spirit behind TFP here. The three of us share some of our hopes in this video:

Perhaps you grew up in a house or a neighborhood where people gathered on the porch for the day’s events, a cool drink and a little encouragement. If so, you know what we’re after. If you’re looking for edifying conversation and a lot of laughs with the great and glorious family called “the Church,” then join us on The Front Porch!





Thabiti Anyabwile|9:40 am CT

My Favorite Type of Conferences

Okay, it’s official. I really enjoy “family conferences.” I don’t know if that’s an official category, but I note a pleasant distinction between the typical pastors’ conference and the smaller family conferences. It’s a real joy to see so many families together enjoying spiritual things, and it’s even better when I’m there with my family. I love the sight of strollers, dads carrying infants or wrestling with toddlers, and the sound of little ones singing the great songs of the faith.

This past weekend I had the privilege of being with Voddie Baucham and the saints at Grace Family Baptist Church for their Semper Reformanda conference on church membership. I’m leaving with fresh ideas and visions for shepherding families and encouraging fathers in my own congregation. I’m leaving with a heart full of word (thanks Voddie, Ken Jones, Mike Horton, and Jeff Johnson!), fellowship, and song. I’m also leaving with a belly full of Voddie’s ribs, cornbread, greens, potato salad, and bread pudding with a lovely bourbon sauce. Yeah, I’d come back!

But the Semper Reformanda conference joins a list of memorable gatherings where I’ve either been able to take my family or I’ve had the joy of watching other families enjoy the things of God. If you’re looking for an opportunity to take the family to a spiritually-enriching vacation, you might consider one of these conferences:

The Carey Conference (outside Toronto). I had the privilege of attending in 2009. Sponsored by the Sovereign Grace Churches of Canada (not the same as the U.S. group), this conference meets at a camp ground. Canadians love to camp! There’s tons of stuff to do for the kids and great fellowship between families. In 2013, Conrad Mbewe is the scheduled speaker. A great week-long vacation and spiritual retreat.

The Ocean City Bible Conference (Ocean City, N.J.). One of the best-kept family conference secrets in the country. New Jersey board walk, dry city, carnival, families and fellowship, and a great week of preaching and teaching. It was a joy to join Kevin O’Brien and Ed Moore for the conference in 2010. I didn’t have the family with me and it was one of those events that makes you long for your own family. Load up the kids and go if you can.

New Life Bible Conference (Vernon Hills, IL). Pastor Louis Love has been kind enough to invite me to participate at New Life for the last five years and year is better than the first! Family, laughter–lots of laughter–good preaching, and joyful singing. It’s a great place for kids to run around and play and for parents to hang out over the word and a meal. Very good book selection each year thanks to Reformation Heritage Books. It’s the only conference I’ve attended where I could see a man go from being single, court, marry, and two kids in five years! Now that’s a family conference!

The Legacy Conference (Chicago, IL). Okay, this was probably the biggest surprise to me. Technically Legacy is a discipleship conference and that theme comes through strongly. But I was greatly encouraged to see all the young people there along with a number of young families. Brian Dye and crew put together a wonderful conference experience appropriate to all ages. I had the honor of attending in 2010 and would love the opportunity to take my family one day.

So, brother pastor and conference attendee, consider joining one of these or another Christian family conferences. You and your family will be greatly blessed!





Thabiti Anyabwile|8:23 am CT

New Life Conference Audio

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking at the 10th New Life Fellowship Bible Conference in Vernon Hills, IL.  This is easily my favorite conference of all.  To know why, see here.  I mean, you can’t get much better than hanging out with and sitting under the word with Tony Carter, Reddit Andrews, Ken Jones, and Louis Love and all the saints and pilgrims who make the journey there.  Word.  Spirit.  Laughter.  Joy.  Love.  It’s an awesome time!

This year’s theme was “A God Like No Other: Expositions of the Book of Micah.”  The site and audio work best with Explorer or Firefox.  Here’s the line-up:

The Glory Comes Down: Micah 1 (Tony Carter)

The Present Darkness: Micah 2-3 (Ken Jones)

The Coming Glory: Micah 4 (Reddit Andrews)

The Shepherd Who Leads: Micah 5 (Thabiti Anyabwile)

The Holiness God Demands: Micah 6 (Ken Jones)

The God Like No Other: Micah 7 (Reddit Andrews)

What a great blessing to preach one of the best known passages (or at least verses) in the Christian world.  Check the audio.  Next year, check the conference itself.  You won’t be disappointed.  Next year’s theme: “Give ‘em Heaven: Expositions of Revelation 19-22.”





Thabiti Anyabwile|1:33 am CT

A Fellowship Not to Be Missed!

For the past five years, it’s been my great joy to gather and fellowship with Pastor Louis Love and the saints of New Life Fellowship in Vernon Hills, IL for their annual family Bible conference.  Without fail, the New Life Conference has offered some of the richest teaching, belly-jiggling laughter, and iron-sharpening conversation of any gathering I’ve had the privilege of attending.  This year promises to be much more of the same!

This year’s theme is “A God Like No Other.”  I’ll have the privilege of joining Anthony Carter (pastor, East Point Church in Atlanta, GA) and Reddit Andrews III (asst prof. of practical theology, RTS) again as speakers.  And this year, we’ll also be joined by Ken Jones (pastor, Glendale Baptist Church in Miami, FL and co-host of White Horse Inn) as we expound the Book of Micah.  We ’bout to get Old Testament!

Pastor Ken Jones, Glendale Baptist Church (Miami, FL)

Whether you’re in the Vernon Hills area or not, you’ll want to consider joining us for this time together in God’s word.  You’ll be loved, encouraged, helped, and welcomed.  I guarantee it.  For those interested, you can find a registration form here.  But believe it or not, the conference is free!  Come join us for a great time in the Lord!

Some Other Links Worth Checking:

2011 New Life Conference Audio (Theme: “Him We Proclaim: The Pre-eminence of Christ in the Book of Colossians“)

Urban Theology and Apologetics with Rev. Reddit Andrews

All the speakers contributed to Glory Road: The Journeys of 10 African Americans into Reformed Theology





Thabiti Anyabwile|12:07 pm CT

Jonathan Edwards, Slavery, and Theology

At 1pm CST, I’ll have the privilege of joining the students and faculty at Trinity Evangelical Divinity school for an event entitled, “Jonathan Edwards and American Racism: Can the Theology of a Slaveholder Be Trusted by Descendants of Slaves?”  How’s that for a provocative subtitle?!

Here’s a description from the website:

Jonathan Edwards is arguably the most important theologian that North America has produced. He is a hero to many Christians. Yet he also owned slaves, a fact that has raised important questions about his moral credibility. Should we really be holding Edwards up as a theological role model? Should we be trying to learn from him? These are live questions here at Trinity and beyond. Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile has thought about these questions-as a pastor, an African American, and adherent to Reformed theology. We invite you to listen in as he reflects about them personally, engaging two other African-American pastors and the audience in an edifying installment of the Edwards Center series ‘Jonathan Edwards and the Church,’ moderated by Dr. Sweeney.

This event is cosponsored by the Henry Center and the Jonathan Edwards Center at TEDS. Pastor Anyabwile’s lecture will take place on Wednesday, Feb 1, 1-2:30pm in the ATO Chapel on the TEDS campus. The responses will be from Pastor Louis Love of New Life Fellowship Church, Vernon Hills, and Pastor Charlie Dates of Progressive Baptist Church of Chicago-Q&A to follow.

If you’re interested, you can check the live-stream here.





Thabiti Anyabwile|9:44 am CT

What I Appreciate Most about Conferences

I’ve been reflecting a fair amount over the last month on conferences and their value.  It’s been a rich time of celebrating the Lord’s grace in many ways.  But the thing that’s come through strongest for me has been the blessing of relationships made and refreshed through these brief meetings.  Here’s a taste of what I mean:

On September 10, I visited Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary for the annual 9Marks at Southeastern conference.  As I reflect on that time, while I really appreciated the rich biblical teaching I received, very precious time was spent catching up with people I love.  I had dinner and breakfast with Stephen, a former staff member now studying at Southeastern.  It was great to see how the Lord has been blessing him, teaching him, challenging him, using him, and providing for him in his church there, North Wake Community Church.  Along with Stephen, I had time with the Baptist21 guys who are doing a meaningful work for the Lord and his church.  These, too, are seminarians finishing their studies and looking to give their lives to gospel ministry.  At the conference itself, there was renewal of friendship and affection with some of the people who have had the most lasting and meaningful impact on my life: Mark Dever, Matt Schmucker, and Jonathan Leeman.  There was the rest of the 9Marks crew, and the ever-gracious Paul Passaro, who responsible for bringing me to South Africa and introducing me to the church about a year ago.  I had dinner with one of my best friends in all the world, and brother who is as dear to  me as anyone, Clyde Alston, and our partner Linwood.  Then there are the host of more recent friends like President Danny Akin of Southeastern, and people I got to serve with for the first time like David Platt and Matt Chandler.  This is to say nothing of the 900 other friends who attended the conference and served in various ways!

September 12th I boarded a plane for New York where I was picked up by Pastor Ed Moore My relationship with Ed began when he “dropped by” the church office here in Grand Cayman while on a cruise.  I love people who just rent a boat and “drop by”!  Ed and his wife Anna are parents to four wonderful children, and they welcomed me to their home as if I were family.  During that Saturday night, they had a college football party with a number of people from the church North Shore Baptist Church in Queens.  Richer than the fun watching the football game was the opportunity to all huddle in the basement, fellowship, and pray.  What sweet spiritual fellowship.  They made me long for my own family and for the saints at FBC, as did the rich time of praise and preaching at the two church services the following morning.

September 13th Ed drove his family and me to the Ocean City Bible Conference, where we sat under the word for three days with preachers and teachers like Paul Tripp, Phil Johnson, Fred Zaspel, and Kevin O’Brien, pastor at Ocean City Baptist Church.  So, it was moving from rich relationships to rich relationships.  I was surprised to see old friends like Peter and Missy Hurter, Stephanie and their parents at the conference.  In God’s providence, they were vacationing there.  Also there was Deb Siler and her three girlfriends.  What a treat!  Then there were the new friendships budding all over the place, like that with Vernon Allen (preaching below), a pastor in Bluff Bay, Jamaica.  We both had to leave the Caribbean to finally meet!

Wednesday, September 15th, a wonderful couple from Ed’s church in New York, and former members of CHBC, drove me from Ocean City down to Washington, DC following the conference.  We shared our testimonies, talked church, and just had a great time on our road trip!  Attended Wednesday night Bible study at CHBC, where I had opportunity to catch up with tons of people.  That Thursday night, I had dinner with my oldest “daughter,” Kasey, and Scott, my son-in-law.  Do you ever stop calling your son-in-law “son-in-law” and just start calling him “son”?  I think that probably happened in my heart during our dinner.  Kasey adopted us as her parents away from home (shout out to Menden!) about five years ago.  And she makes all her parents proud.  And if you’re ever at Old Siam on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., you gotta have the Bangkok steak!  So good I went back two nights later to have it again!  Since D.C. is our home away from home, there were tons and tons of people to get reacquainted with.  There was also a Weekender that weekend, so there were also a few other pastor friends around like Dhati Lewis at Blueprint in Atlanta, and Brian Dye with the Legacy Conference in Chicago, and one of my favorite people for his humility and graciousness, Trip Lee.

While in D.C., I was speaking at the Ligonier regional conference and the Peacemaker Ministries national conference.  I love both these organizations, their ministries, and the people affiliated with them.  Robert Godfrey knows nothing about baptism, but he is one of the most gracious, funny, quick to laugh, never-take-himself-too-seriously, and brilliant men I’ve had the privilege of meeting and dining with.  The Ligonier staff–Burke Parsons, Chris Larson, and the rest of the clan–are real gifts and a joy to be with.  I think I’ve written this before, but the Peacemaker conference is like a big family reunion.  And I got a glimpse into why when I had opportunity to sit for a couple hours with Ken and Corlette Sande and the great bunch of guys who make up the Peacemaker board of directors.  If you want to spend time with men who are strong and gentle, who are insightful and funny, who love each other and challenge each other, this is one such group!  Their personal example stirred me to love and good deeds, and genuinely built me up in faith, hope and love.  Great guys and I hope great new friendships.  We’re looking forward to hosting Ken and Corlette at FBC in late March 2011 (consider that an invitation to join us!).

Following the weekend in D.C., I returned to a warm welcome and loving fellowship back in Cayman.  Of all the places the Lord lets me travel and of all the people I have opportunity to get to know, there’s no place and no people I’d rather enjoy than home in Cayman and the saints here.  So for me, it was refreshing to be home again and to reconnect with life here.  Those ten days of talking with others about hopes, pains, Jesus, the church, ideas, failures, the Father and the Holy Spirit, victories and needs… were simply a treasure.  But the richest treasure this pastor knows is discussing and living those same things with his wife, children, and saints at FBC.  In an interesting sort of way, traveling and building relationships abroad refresh me but at the same time make me hunger for the warmth of home (some of us praying at T4G).

We were home for a week before joining the Desiring God and Bethlehem Baptist Church families for the national conference and for the Bethlehem College and Seminary convocation.  More Christ-exalting, God-honoring, church-building, faith-stirring time with a host of saints and friends. I particularly enjoyed time with Sam Crabtree and Tim Tomlinson, and the mealtime conversations with conference speakers Al Mohler, John and Noel Piper, Francis and Lisa Chan, David Mathis, and others.  But the deepest impression was probably made when we gave thanks to God for His gift of John and Noel Piper and during the convocation.  I had the same experience when Richard Denham was honored in Brazil.  It was the sobering, hopeful, joyful, awesome awareness that 30 years (in John’s case) and fifty years (in Denham’s case) of faithfully making the word of God known yields fruit beyond imagination.  These men just preached the word and God built people, churches, organizations like DG and Fiel, a seminary, and impacts hundreds of thousands around the world.  In my spirit, I was challenged about my faith in God’s word.  Do I believe that faithfully preaching for decades would yield such a bountiful harvest for the glory of Christ?  Am I that committed to the word?  Can I connect daily, ordinary faithfulness to grand, God-sized results?  And I felt in my spirit the only possible answer: Time will tell.

So, I’m thankful for conferences for the way they stir my relationship with God, with my own heart, with the wider church, and with friends new and old.  And this morning I’m giving thanks for it all and asking the Lord to multiply it in the life of the saints here at FBC.





Thabiti Anyabwile|8:54 am CT

Great Conferences Coming Up

There are tons of worthwhile, high-profile conferences going on all over the place.  And with the plethora of big names and big events, there’s the likelihood that we may overlook and miss out on some smaller events with as much or more punch for our spiritual lives and ministries.  Big isn’t always better.  Faithful is always the measure.  So, it’s a joy to highlight two conferences coming up in the next couple months that feature godly, faithful pastors serving the body of Christ.  If you’re looking for fellowship to go along with the word, check these out:

New Life Bible Conference (Vernon Hills, IL)

One of the high points of my year each year for the past four or five years has been the annual New Life Bible Conference held in Vernon Hills, Ill, just outside of Chicago.  Pastor Louis Love and the saints at New Life are among the most joyful, hospitable, Spirit-filled folks you’ll ever want to fellowship with.  And each year my wife and I look forward to this spiritual shot in the arm.

Truth in advertising: I have the privilege of being one of this year’s speakers.  So, you might think I’m biased.  But here’s another brother’s take on the conference.  Bottom line: Come and you’ll be encouraged.

This year’s theme is “In Christ Alone: The Supremacy of Christ in the Book of Hebrews,” featuring several expositions of the book of Hebrews.  Can’t wait for June 17-19th.  I hope you’ll make plans to meet us there.

You can find audio from the 2009 conference on evangelism in the book Acts  here.

Atlanta Area Pastors’ Conference

If you’re in the Atlanta area, you’ll want to check out this conference!  With the list of faithful pastors and speakers, this should be a great time in the word and practically helpful.





Thabiti Anyabwile|12:41 pm CT

Audio from the Caribbean Baptist Heritage Conference Is Available

Here’s what’s up so far:

A Minister That Gaurds Against Heresies
Pastor Eric C. Redmond

A Sign From God
Pastor Eric C. Redmond

The Abiding Nature of The Moral Law
Pastor Eric C. Redmond

The Christian Writer in the Public Square
Elder John R. Lee

The Great Object of Christ’s Mission
Pastor Vernon Allen

The Souls Cry for God
Pastor Vernon Allen

What is the Gospel
Pastor Anthony Carter





Thabiti Anyabwile|8:38 am CT

One of the Reasons I LOVE Tony Carter

When I’m around him my face and heart do this A LOT!

In a couple weeks’ time, it’ll be a joy to be with bro’s Carter, Louis Love, Hensworth Jonas, our wives, and all the saints at the New Life Fellowship Bible Conference. This year’s focus is on evangelism in the book of Acts. Six expositions combined with a lot of fellowship and iron-sharpening-iron dessert conversations at fancy restaurants like Denny’s.

If you’re in the Vernon Hills, IL or greater Chicago area, come check us out. For my wife and I, it’s a highlight to our year. You’ll find your soul lifted.





Thabiti Anyabwile|3:29 pm CT

"What Difference Does the Gospel Make?" Audio

For the past couple years, June has been one of the sweetest months of the year for my family and me. The Lord has granted us the opportunity to attend the New Life Bible conference in Vernon Hills, IL (outside Chicago) and fellowship with the saints of New Life Fellowship Church. To call them “good people” would be an understatement. The Love family (that’s really their sir name) is the first family we’ve ever met that as a family convicted us of our relative joylessness through their almost non-stop joking and laughter. They’re a rare combination of deep, serious commitment to big truth and overflowing joy in life. You come home from the New Life conference and your face is tired because you’ve been laughing for 3 or 4 days straight!

Anyway… for those interested, Lou has gotten around to posting the conference audio. If you see Lou, don’t mention CP time! :-)