Prayer and Hospitality


First Focus

Prayer and Hospitality

When I walked into the conference room to defend my dissertation at Baylor, one of my professors, Dr. Charles Talbert, was the first to arrive. He greeted me in his usual, professional manner. We engaged in the usual nervous smalltalk that most intimidated graduate students have with biblical scholars known worldwide. I asked him how his church was doing. At the time, he attended a growing, thriving church in the heart of Waco. His response caught me by surprise: “Things are going very well; we really need a prayer ministry.”

Throughout his career, Dr. Talbert has been known for his depth of commitment to Christ as much as his scholarship. His commitment to the academy has always been in service to the church. I guess I was shocked because I thought I was the one who needed the prayers; I was about to be on the hot seat in front of him. He disarmed me with his warm and caring manner. He was as concerned about his church’s success (and mine) as much as his work.

Saturday, April 5 is our Women’s Conference called “Covered.” Jennifer Kennedy Dean, who wrote the “Live a Praying Life” Bible study some of our ladies have participated in recently, will be speaking teaching on the truths of scripture. Just as God has blessed our church in these days, so our prayer lives need even greater attention and focus. Next Wednesday, March 26, is the early registration deadline for the conference. I hope you’ll plan to come and bring a friend.

Saturday, March 29 is our annual open-door invitation to the community called “Springtime Tallahassee.” So many people experience First Baptist hospitality for the first time simply by checking out our building each spring. If you have not registered, please do so. If you do not have access to email, you can always call Sharon Cawthorne at the church office.

In the midst of a busy season, these two events remind us of the importance of prayer and hospitality. Without the two, our church cannot thrive. Because of the blessings and success of these past months, just as Dr. Talbert taught, we really need both. And I’m still very grateful for his example that day, as well as the passing grade.