By Noah Jaeger

Ed Litton, pastor of Redemption Church in Alabama, speaks at the 2019 Pastors Conference.

Pastors from around Arizona gathered for the annual Pastors’ Conference prior to the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting at Heart Cry Church in Queen Creek, Nov. 15.

“We want pastors to hear from other pastors about what is working in their context,” said AZSBC Executive Director David Johnson. “We want pastors to be encouraged and challenged by other pastors. We think pastors are the best ones to speak to other pastors because they have walked in their shoes.” said AZSBC Executive Director David Johnson.

Now Current SBC President, Ashley Evans continues the Pastors Conference in 2019 with the purpose to encourage, equip, and inspire pastors from all over the Valley to engage their communities.

Daniel Martin, pastor of Tempe Christian Church, speaks during the Pastors Conference.

The morning consisted of worship and preaching from three respected pastors: Billy Van Camp, pastor of hosting church Heart Cry Church in Queen Creek; Daniel Martin, pastor of Tempe Christian Church; and Ed Litton, pastor of Redemption Church in Alabama, who also planted Mountain View Church in Tucson. The morning worship and sermons all followed the theme of “Engage.”

“Each of the pastors who were invited to speak were men who had led their churches to engage in reaching their communities in different ways,” said Ashley Evans, AZSBC president and pastor of 22nd Street Baptist Church, Tucson.

Heart Cry’s worship team served the Pastors’ Conference with a stunning performance of praise. The team consisted of musicians, singers and a choir.

Van Camp opened the morning with a sermon on the importance of service.

“You don’t have to give up. There’s always hope. Serve and God will bless,” said Van Camp.

Throughout the Pastors Confernce, annual meeting and Engage AZ 2019 conference the day prior, dozens of church members from Heart Cry Church wore shirts labeled “How can I serve you.”

Following Van Camp, Martin shared about the example apostle Paul set to remove biases. Tempe Christian Church is a strong multilingual, multiethnic church.

Finally, Ed Litton spoke on suffering and the vital role pain plays in God’s plan to redeem communities.

Each pastor also highlighted how their ministries serve their communities.

“I hope [pastors] left with a fresh passion and zeal to engage their communities with the good news of Jesus Christ,” Evans said.<p>

The Pastors’ Conference was not only for pastors, but for any church member willing to attend. Church members were encouraged to partner with their pastors.

“My encouragement to church members would be to: pray for your pastor as he shares new ideas and initiatives for engaging the lost around our churches, share in the responsibility of reaching the lost by finding ways to lead and serve in your church’s outreach efforts, and spur one another on by challenging other people in your church to join in the work,” Evans said.