Soul-stirring start!

Memphis hosts welcome attendees to PNBC Southern Region Conference.

TSD Newsroom | 6/23/2016, 10:12 a.m.
Memphis hosts welcome attendees to PNBC Southern Region Conference.
PNBC General Secretary Dr. Timothy Tee Boddie tunes into one of the musical selections that accented the opening session of the Southern Region Conference annual convention. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley)

The Southern Region Conference of the Progressive National Baptist Convention got underway Monday (June 20) with an opening service at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church-Westwood.

The annual session runs through Friday, with the Sheraton Memphis Downtown, 250 Main St., as the main hotel and conference activities next door at the Crowne Plaza Memphis Downtown.

Dr. Reginal Porter, pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church, is the Southern Region Vice President and is completing his final year in that position.

“I thank you for your support and for giving me the opportunity to serve you,” Porter noted in a written message to Southern Region members.

“This is an election year and Second Vice President Pastor Gil Wright has decided to move forward. That means a new first and second president will be elected in this session.”

Porter asked the region embrace St. Jude Hospital as it mission project for this year. Each church was encouraged to bring a $100 donation for St. Jude, with a tour of the world-class hospital built into the conference schedule.

Dr. Reginald Porter, PNBC vice president, Southern Region

Dr. Reginald Porter, PNBC vice president, Southern Region

The opening session of the annual convention of the PNBC Southern Region Conference featured eight directors of music.

The opening session of the annual convention of the PNBC Southern Region Conference featured eight directors of music.

The PNBC Mass Choir showed out each time it was called upon.

The PNBC Mass Choir showed out each time it was called upon.

The PNBC has 2.5 million members, including 1.5 million in the U.S.

The PNBC has 2.5 million members, including 1.5 million in the U.S.

Dr. James L. Netters Sr., host pastor of the opening service, delivers the closing remarks.

Dr. James L. Netters Sr., host pastor of the opening service, delivers the closing remarks.

Dr. Timothy Tee Boddie, general secretary of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, delivered the message of hope during the opening service at Mt. Vernon-Westwood, where the Rev. Dr. James Netters Sr., the church’s senior pastor, served as host. The service was accented with musical selections. After the procession of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Mass Choir and the “Call of Worship” by the Rev. Roger Brown, pastor of Greater White Stone Baptist Church, soloist Rose Winters sang “Oh Give Thanks Unto The Lord,” with Eddie Miller serving as director.

Scripture readings by the Rev. Stanford Hunt, pastor of Salem Gilfield Baptist Church, and the Rev. Wade Bryant, pastor of Monumental Baptist Church, preceded prayer by the Rev. Melvin Watkins, co-pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church-Westwood, and the congregational hymn “Blessed Assurance.”

Next came the welcome by the Rev. Harvey Jackson, pastor of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church-Carnes, followed by two songs of praise: “Faithful Over a Few Things” (Anthony Prather, director), and “Even Me” (Eddie Miller, director).

Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell brought greetings. Next, soloist Detris Cobb sang “You Brought Me Through This” (Shakira Bryant, director).

The Rev. Dr. Noel G.L. Hutchinson, pastor of First Baptist Church-Lauderdale and president of the Tennessee Progressive Council, presided over the offering appeal with the musical backdrop of “Every Praise” (James O. Pope, director).

Dr. Porter made the “Presentation of the Messenger” prior to the selections “Oh How Precious” (Paolo Tenno, soloist; Datris Cobb, director) and “Thank You, Thank You Jesus” (soloist Jessie Williams, Jeffery Matlock, director).

After Dr. Boddie’s “Message of Hope,” the Rev. Dr. Anthony Henderson, pastor of Beulah Baptist Church, extended the invitation to discipleship as Jeffery Matlock directed “Oh To Be Kept.”

Host Pastor Dr. Netters delivered closing remarks, with the benediction by Dr. Boddie.