Louisville revival meeting has SBTS flavor

Communications Staff — September 14, 2004

A recent series of revival meetings in south Louisville included several participants with ties to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Five south Louisville churches co-sponsored the second annual “Faith for Today, Hope for Tomorrow” crusade Aug. 29-Sept. 1 at the Iroquois Amphitheatre. The pastors of four of the participating churches— Ormsby Heights Baptist, Carlisle Avenue Baptist, Rockford Lane Baptist, and Parkwood Baptist—are graduates of Southern Seminary.Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. preached on the third night of the meetings, Tommy Hellams, Mohler’s executive assistant, led the choir all four nights and Aletheia, a singing group from Boyce College, also sang during the meetings. Additionally, Kevin Cosby, who preached on the second evening, is a Southern alumnus and also serves as an adjunct professor at the school.

Shawn Merithew, who completed his Ph.D. at Southern in 2003, pastors Carlisle Avenue. He said Southern’s participation speaks volumes about the school’s graduates and its presence in Louisville’s Christian community.

“It really does say a lot about Southern’s graduates and their desire to focus on the mission of the church rather than the isolation of the church,” Merithew said. “Churches are often afraid to cooperate with each other and can really get sidetracked. The churches need to unite in their work for the glory of God.”

The purpose of the meetings was just that, Merithew said. The five congregations also viewed the meetings as a season of renewal and recommitment. The crusade began last year when four of the churches sought a way to promote loving cooperation with each other.

In 2003, pastors from the four churches served as guest speakers each night of the crusade. Merithew said a sermon by Benny Phelps, pastor of Parkwood, best summarized the intention of the meetings.

“There had been a spirit of competition instead of a spirit of cooperation,” he said. “The meetings really brought the churches together and the people loved it.”

This year, total attendance reached about 2,000 and between 40-50 persons made professions of faith as a result of the meetings, Merithew said.

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