The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has announced details for its hybrid approach to this year’s General Assembly, which got moved from June to August and from Washington, D.C., to a mixed-venue approach.
Like many denominational annual meetings, CBF’s 2020 General Assembly was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, just as faith groups were debating whether to meet in person or not, the hotel previously contracted by CBF for the 2021 assembly suddenly closed.
This year’s assembly will be primarily virtual, just as last year’s was, but three sites for in-person gatherings to watch the assembly together have been announced. Those sites are Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta; Providence Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.; and St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky.
The Aug. 25-28 assembly will be livestreamed and will operate on an abbreviated schedule compared to a normal in-person event. Programs both days will conclude by late afternoon, with no evening events offered.
This year’s assembly theme is “Being Renewed from the Inside Out,” which CBF publicity describes as being about “preparing to face new seasons in our congregations and in our mission.”
Three keynote speakers will anchor the sessions: Emily Hull McGee, pastor of First Baptist Church on Fifth in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Daniel Martino, senior pastor of Church of the City, in New London, Conn.; and Antonio Vargas Jr., associate pastor of Church of the City.
Hull McGee is a third-generation minister in a family of ministers well-known to many in CBF life. She also has served in leadership roles within CBF, including chairing the CBF Ministries Council in 2015-2016.
Martino is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who also has served as a community organizer. Church of the City is an intentionally multi-ethnic congregation dually aligned with CBF and American Baptist Churches in the USA.
Vargas is a product of the Church of the City community who recently was named by CBF as one of the “25 Young Adults to Know.”
Assembly information and registration are available on CBF’s website