FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK
REV. DR. STEVE BLAND, JR.
Grace and greetings in the matchless and magnificent name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ! In the words of one of our great hymns of the Church, “…through many dangers, toils and snares, [we] have already come; [it] was grace that brought [us] safe thus far, and grace will lead [us] home!” Those of you who are blessed to read these words are survivors of one of the worst global pandemics we have seen in over 100 years; claiming over 1 million American lives alone to date! The COVID-19 virus rocked us to our very core. While our way of life, both sacred and secular, was altered in many ways, the Church of the Living God still stands! Even churches of our beloved Michigan Progressive Baptist State Convention were never truly closed, just re-deployed into the homes and communities Jesus commanded us it should be alive and well in the Great Commission!
Our 2022 theme for our 57th Annual Session, convening at the Liberty Temple Baptist Church where I am privileged to serve as its Senior Pastor, is “Back To the Future!’ I trust as we now re-emerge to fulfill the call of Christian ministry on our lives, we are mindful that we cannot retreat to old norms and practices of doing ministry wholesale, but build upon the Christian principles and foundational truths from the word of God and rise to serve this present age with head & heart in every way imaginable! Our theme suggests that the forward progression and upward call of this great MPBC collective ministry is to return to the values that leads us to a place we have never been before! My challenge is for us to move from memorializing minutes to maximizing ministry opportunities, from individualism to a collective mindset, and to embrace a harvest of new converts we must reach to grow both this Convention and the Kingdom!
In closing, the howling winds of adversity are blowing, and the menacing sins of racism, sexism, classism and militarism and playing with each other like June bugs on a summer day! I call on each of you; pastor and people, churches and ministries, to renew our pledge to sacrificially serve with our physical, mental, financial, moral and spiritual strength to proclaim that we are the Church Triumphant! We are more than conquerors and place our faith over our fears! I pray that our God will “grant us wisdom and grant us courage for the facing of this hour!” It has been my honor and privilege to lead and serve you as President, and remember, we are “Stronger and Better Together!”