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Nearly two hundred Mississippi faith leaders travel to the coast for General Missionary Baptist State Convention

November 14, 2023 at 12:30:00 AM

By Lauren Martinez

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Faith leaders from across the state of Mississippi traveled to the coast for the 2023 General Missionary Baptist State Convention. Monday marked day one of the two-day event held at both Centennial Plaza and Morning Star Baptist Church in Gulfport.

The organization’s President says the gathering aims to help those in attendance become more impactful in their ministries and educate them on better routes to serving their church communities.

“I’m hoping that they’re challenged to fulfill the ministry to which all of us have been called,” says Rev. Reginald M. Buckley. “Sometimes it can feel like we’re not being as effective as we can be. These are moments when we can come together as brothers and sisters to share stories and testimonies, and be encouraged by each other so that we’re not fighting this battle by ourselves.”

Rev. Buckley says the time is also utilized to address issues impacting the church like safety and the disconnect with younger generations.

“So, one of the things that we particularly try to do is make resources available to our pastors to empower them to be able to connect to millennials, Gen-Z, and Gen-X without compromising who they are,” he says. It’s about an authentic connection that says we’re from different generations but we respect each other.”

Recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic was also a hot-button topic.

“Our congregations are just getting back into that space so it’s recovery from that,” he added. “It’s recovering the fellowship.”

GMBSC First Lady, Lecreatia Buckley also spoke with the pastors’ wives about influence and identity.

“The expectation of people and the responsibility of people looking to you for guidance can be a bit heavy sometimes,” she said.

While leading a church can be challenging, the Buckleys hope people will leave feeling confident as they go back to their congregations.

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