It’s Time to Light the Beacons

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In this video, Dr. Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, challenges Kentucky Baptists during the evening session of the KBC Annual Meeting held on Nov. 15, 2011, at Florence Baptist Church, Mt. Zion.

He delivered this sermon minutes after he was encircled by pastors and directors of missions in a prayer of commissioning and calls on Kentucky Baptists to “ready, rally and respond” in a spiritual battle for the commonwealth.

Chitwood opened his message with a video clip from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. In the scene, great beacon fires are lit to call aid to a beseiged city under attack.

Chitwood, who was preaching to the convention’s annual session for the first time as executive director, said the spiritual condition in Kentucky today is as dire as the physical landscape recorded in the book of Joel.

“The land was being devoured from a great swarm of locusts. The crops were gone,” he said. “There is no plague of locusts, but our state is being devoured.

“The enemy is having his way with not just the drug addicts and prostitutes,” Chitwood continued. “He’s having his way with the pastors. If he can strike the shepherd, the sheep will scatter.”

Throughout the 174th annual meeting, Kentucky Baptists were challenged and encouraged to do and to be “More for Christ,” referencing the three-year spiritual renewal emphasis that began earlier this year.

“If we continue to act as we have acted … we will continue to surrender Kingdom ground in Kentucky,” Chitwood warned.

In accepting the More for Christ challenge for himself, Chitwood pledged “my prayers, my partnership and my listening ear” to his fellow Kentucky Baptists.

“I pledge to you, I will do my part. I understand that a great trust has been given to me. A trust of leadership, of your prayers, your commission, your charge, so I’ve come quickly to feel a sense of calling on my life, much like when I accepted the call to be a pastor.”

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