The list of speakers for the upcoming Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant is simply remarkable: two former U.S. presidents (Carter and Clinton), two Nobel Prize winners (Carter and Gore), two U.S. senators (Grassley and Graham), compelling social activists (Edleman, Campolo) and a variety of well-known pulpiteers (Forbes, Shaw, Gregory, Adams, Pennington-Russell, et al).
And they are all Baptists, including the latest addition to the program: best-selling author John Grisham.
Grisham is widely known for his gripping novels often made into movies.
Lesser known is his Baptist identity although faith and missions show up to varying degrees in his writings.
So Grisham brings a special intrigue to the gathering (open to the public) set for Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. (Grisham will speak on “respecting diversity” in the Thursday evening session.)
My plans are to take in as much of this historic and unprecedented event as possible. But if forced to choose only one plenary session speaker to hear, it would be Grisham.
I am intrigued.