National Baptist Convention brings 50,000 to Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

National Baptist Convention brings 50,000 to Louisville

This week the city of Louisville is hosting nearly 50,000 guests.  If you've been in downtown Louisville this week, you've probably seen groups of people everywhere.

They are here for the annual Baptist Convention -- an event that helps them get re-energized.

Christine and Eddie Gregory come to the National Baptist Convention to get fresh ideas for their church in Cleveland, Ohio.  Eddie Gregory tells Fox 41's Stephan Johnson, "We have to take our courses back and share it with those who weren't able to come to the convention."

Christine Gregory explains, "They range anywhere from history of the New Testament, history of the Old Testament, to how to run your church school."

That's important information the Gregorys and nearly 50,000 others hope to get at this year's 103rd annual Baptist Convention.

Pastor Vincent Miller has been preaching for 46 years:  "I always get an uplift to go back home and face the challenge of meeting people's needs."  But he admits it's not always an easy job because he becomes drained over the course of the year ministering to people and dealing with tragedies, death, and broken homes.

And in addition to more than 400 classes and lectures this week, the conference also has an annual health fair.  Health Fair Coordinator Tommy Frieson says, ""We suffer with hypertension, diabetes, sickle sell, heart disease...the health fair is here to make sure that people are reminded first of all to take care of themselves."

Each year several thousand people get health screenings at the conference and organizers believe that saves lives.  Frieson says, "In doing blood pressures we've found people that were at stroke levels.  We then called the paramedics."

With gas prices above $4 a gallon, attending the conference is not cheap.  But most pastors feel it's worth the money and members like Christine and Eddie Gregory don't mind taking time away from work to attend.  Christine Gregory says, "If you're going to be a leader in the church, then you have to make the sacrifices."

The Baptist Convention ends on Friday.

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