Last week Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee, announced an SBC Good Friday Online Prayer Gathering. On April 3, Floyd announced the addition of SBC president J.D. Greear, former SBC president Steve Gaines, International Mission Board president Paul Chitwood and North American Mission Board president Kevin Ezell to the slate of guests joining Floyd for the online event.
The call to prayer – hosted by Floyd along with his wife, Jeana – comes during a time of great uncertainty in America as people look for answers to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“The greatest resource for the Great Commission is not our money nor even our missionaries. It’s the Spirit of God,” Chitwood said in a statement. “We access that resource through prayer. Now is the time to pray!”
Noting the social distancing protocols many churches are facing, Ezell said, “Nothing replaces being together physically better than being together in prayer. We are stronger together and that is never demonstrated better than when we pray. I’m grateful for our SBC family and can’t wait to see the many ways God will this time to bring us together and help us move forward on mission.”
The full list of participants joining the Floyds for the event include:
- Julio Arriola, executive director of Hispanic relations and mobilization for the SBC Executive Committee
- Marshal Ausberry, SBC first vice president and senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Fairfax Station, Va.
- Jacob Boss, overseas worker in Europe
- Paul Chitwood, president of the International Mission Board
- Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board
- Donna Gaines, pastor’s wife and founder and president of ARISE2Read in Memphis, Tenn.
- Steve Gaines, senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., and former SBC president
- J.D. Greear, SBC president and lead pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C.
- Jeremiah Lepasana, lead pastor of Bible Church International in Randolph, N.J.
- Marci Parrott, pastor’s wife and CEO of Ruby & Root in Huntersville, N.C.
- Ronnie Parrott, lead pastor of Christ Community Church in Huntersville, N.C.
- Heiden Ratner, senior pastor of WALK Church in Las Vegas.
“We have never been here before,” Floyd said. “Our prayers need to match these challenges. Gather friends and families everywhere and let’s talk to God about where we are. We need God to intervene miraculously. Together we must pray and be on mission with God.”
The event will take place at noon CDT on April 10 and will be livestreamed at sbc.net/pray and on the SBC Executive Committee’s Facebook page. The format will include times of scripture reading and focused prayer to address specific needs related to the pandemic, according to Floyd, who is inviting and encouraging all Southern Baptists to participate.