Neither snow, nor ice, nor rain kept Lectureship attendees from their appointed rounds Feb. 2-6. Approximately 125 speakers came to Freed-Hardeman University to address the theme, "The Patience of Hope: First and Last Things in Thessalonians," at the 78th annual Bible Lectureship. More than 2,400, from almost 700 churches in 39 states, registered for the annual event; many others attended but did not register.
Weather was certainly not an issue for the 821 virtual attendees, the largest number since this category was created in 2009. In addition, thousands, including a record 1,577 for Tuesday's sessions, watched via live streaming.
This year's event featured new tracks for students and young families, according to Dr. David Lipe, lectureship director. In addition, new names were added to the list of speakers and additional sessions were devoted to skills for ministry and Christian living. Speakers on the 2014 program represented a spectrum of ages and experiences. "New voices joined old favorites," Lipe said.
Most lectures occurred in Loyd Auditorium. Brewer Sports Center housed the exhibits and the FHU Associates served lunch in the auxiliary gym of the sports center. They also opened the successful F.H. Brew, a coffee shop in the lobby of Brewer.
The 2014 Lectureship was dedicated to the life and work of Dr. Thomas H. Holland, a mainstay of the Lectureship for many years. A preacher since 1950, he has conducted more than 600 gospel meetings and served congregations in Tennessee, Texas, Illinois and Wisconsin. Holland was the speaker on World Radio for five years and now speaks on the Gospel Broadcasting Network. In addition, he is a prolific writer, with more than 70 books to his credit. Holland is also an accomplished musician and song leader. He has edited two hymnals and written more than 50 spiritual songs. "Rarely has one person touched so many lives in so many ministries," Lipe said.
The youth and family workers' workshop expanded this year with additional class offerings and special evening sessions at Mid-South Youth Camp. Participants could spend Sunday and Monday nights at the camp and enjoy additional activities. The theme for these sessions was "The Battle Belongs to the Lord: The Battlefield of Youth and Family Ministry." Chuck Morris, youth minister at Crosswinds Church of Christ in Jackson, Tenn., coordinated the workshop, attended by 114 registrants.
Wednesday's Bible School Workshop had sessions for those involved with the educational programs of local churches. A total of 875 registrants identified themselves as Bible teachers.
Next year's Lectureship, scheduled for Feb. 1-5, 2015, will consider "Faith, Failure and Forgiveness in Samuel: Give Us a King."