by Norm Miller and Vicky Kaniaru

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) — Dr. Fred Luter, senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans – made history in his hometown and on national news when he was elected by acclamation as the first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention in June 2012.

Truett-McConnell College is pleased to have President Luter as a featured speaker for its Fall 2012 Chapel Series.

For the second year in a row, Dr. Luter is the preacher for TMC’s annual Spiritual Emphasis Week, Sept. 4-6.

As an exemplary pastor and churchman, Luter’s pastorate at Franklin Avenue began in 1986 with 65 members. By 2005, the congregation was the largest SBC church in Louisiana with attendance exceeding 7,000. Then Hurricane Katrina landed. Eight feet of water flooded the church, and 60 percent of its members dispersed to nearby cities and states.

Luter did not allow distance to hinder ministry as he traveled to Baton Rouge and Houston to hold church services for displaced church members while maintaining his church ministry in New Orleans.

Today, the church has satellite campuses in Houston and Baton Rouge, where weekly worship services of Franklin Avenue are seen via the web.

Known for his expository preaching and engaging homiletical style, Luter remains in demand as a speaker for revivals, evangelism conferences, associational meetings, and state conventions.

Others who will be preaching in TMC Fall 2012 Chapel Series are noted below. Videography of all chapel sermons will be posted on TMC’s web site.


Aug. 23

Dr. Emir Caner
President, Truett-McConnell College
Cleveland, Ga.


Aug. 30

Rev. Mike Stone
Senior Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Blackshear, Ga.

Rev. Stone has served in various positions in the local Baptist association as well as in the Georgia Baptist and Southern Baptist Conventions. He came to Emmanuel in October of 1996 as minister of music and became the pastor in 2002. He is a graduate of Valdosta State University and is completing a Masters of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

Sept. 4-6 TMC Spiritual Emphasis Week

Dr. Fred Luter
President, Southern Baptist Convention
Pastor, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church
New Orleans, La.

September 13

Dr. Gerald Harris
Editor, Christian Index
Duluth, Ga.

Dr. Harris is a graduate of Southeastern Seminary and a seasoned pastor with decades of church and denominational experience and ministry. This published author has served as GBC president, and has traveled the globe on a variety of mission trips.

September 20

Rev. Chris Eppling
Vice President of Student Services
Truett-McConnell College
Cleveland, Ga.

Sept. 27

Dr. Bailey Smith
Evangelist, Bailey Smith Ministries
Atlanta, Ga.

Hailed as one of the greatest evangelists in Southern Baptist life, Dr. Bailey Smith is passionate about seeing souls saved. A former two-term SBC president, Dr. Smith is a trustee at TMC, where his son, Scott, is director of admissions.

Oct. 11

Dr. Ike Reighard
Pastor, Piedmont Church
Marietta, Ga.

Dr. Reighard became pastor of Piedmont Church when the church was struggling with only 200 members. The church more than doubled to almost 500 members the following year and is now thriving. Prior to leading Piedmont, Dr. Reighard was SBC Pastor’s Conference president in 1994, was founding pastor of NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, Ga., and served as senior pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga., which was the second fastest growing church in the SBC when under his leadership.

Oct. 18

Rev. Michael Dorough
Student Pastor, 2nd Baptist Church
Warner Robins, Ga.

In addition to serving Second Baptist Church, Rev. Dorough also served as trustee and chairman of the board of trustees at Truett-McConnell College, where his son John Michael is a student/athlete on the baseball team. Rev. Dorough has led mission trips to Russia, Germany, Poland, and Brazil, and to various locales throughout the eastern United States.

Oct. 25

Dr. Bob Pearle
Senior Pastor, Birchman Baptist Church
Ft. Worth, Texas

Dr. Pearl began his ministry in January of 1998, and has served two terms as president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (2007-2009). He has been on the SBTC’s Executive Committee since 2001. He is a member of the President’s Executive Advisory Council at Mid-America Baptist Seminary and has served as visiting instructor of pastoral ministries at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Nov. 1

Dr. Rich Suplita
Senior Lecturer, University of Georgia
Athens, Ga.

A former atheist, Dr. Suplita now uses his testimony to tell others about Christ. He began exploring atheistic/free-thinking ideas as a young adult and adopted a thoroughgoing atheistic worldview. After meeting a pastor from First Baptist Church, Watkinsville, Dr. Suplita began researching God’s Word and eventually came to Christ.

Nov. 8

Dr. Bobby Welch
Associate Executive Director of Church Growth, Tennessee Baptist Convention
Co-Founder, FAITH Evangelism
Nashville, Tenn.

For more than 30 years. Dr. Welch was pastor of FBC Daytona Beach, Fla. Known as an exceptional preacher and untiring evangelist, Welch — a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran — has traveled the world sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with thousands of people.

Nov. 15

Rev. Anthony George
Assistant pastor, FBC Atlanta

Nov. 29

Christmas Chapel
Dr. Ben Caston and TMC Music Dept.




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