Details to be discussed during 1-night revival
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
When First Baptist Church of Atmore holds its one-night revival this Sunday, May 5, those in attendance won’t just hear the words of a dynamic guest preacher. They will also hear about a new center for training such preachers.
Along with the sermon from Dr. Kevin Blackwell, who serves as assistant to the president for church relations at Samford University, the FBC congregation and guests will learn some of the details of the Birmingham-based university’s ministry training institute that will soon be setting up shop in Atmore.
“Kevin Blackwell is a tremendous speaker, and he will be preaching the Gospel,” said First Baptist Pastor Kevin Garrett. “Josh Nichols (who serves as worship leader for Cornerstone Downtown Baptist in Gadsden) will do the same. At the end, though, (Blackwell) will talk about a new opportunity coming to town. Samford has been looking to expand, and this will be an extension of their training.”
The local ministerial training center, which will operate out of FBC, will not only train those who are called to the ministry, but will also serve as a continuing education tool for numerous other church officials and an educational tool for everyday people who seek more knowledge about the Bible.
“We’re hoping it will serve this whole region,” Garrett said. “It’s really for anybody. It’s for pastors seeking a Master of Divinity or above (degree); it’s for rural pastors who are not otherwise able to get further training; it’s for Sunday School teachers, and it’s for lay people, folks who just want to grow in their theological and Biblical knowledge.”
The new Samford outreach project will be conducted in partnership with the Escambia Baptist Association and beginning in August will offer two courses over eight-week periods in the fall and spring. The cost is $50 per course, plus books, which may be purchased from any available source.
More details about the 70-year-old Samford University Ministry Training Institute’s Atmore campus will be provided Sunday, during the special service that will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the local church, located at 310 South Main Street.
Garrett pointed out that the service won’t be limited to discussion of the new extension program.
Blackwell, who is also director of Samford’s Ministry Training Institute, and Nichols, who also directs camp operations for Breakaway Ministries and is lead singer for the Gospel group More Than This, will deliver “dynamic worship and powerful preaching,” he said.
Garrett added that he believes the single-night revival, which is open to the public, will serve its intended purpose.
“It’s a legitimate revival meeting for sure,” he said. “I’ve seen people get saved at these one-night revivals. I think it will be an exciting night.”