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Easthaven gears up for five Mondays of speakers

Easthaven Baptist Church has five weeks of spiritualenlightenment on tap for anyone looking for something to do on aMonday night.

Starting March 9, “People Get Ready” counts down to EasterSunday with a different inspirational speaker each Monday.

Church officials said the plan is to have a dynamic lead-in toEaster, but also to find a way to bring national-level speakers into Brookhaven for local Christians to hear.

“A few years ago we decided to pursue something prior to Easter,and through some relationships we had connections with these guysthat are national speakers,” event organizer Kenny Goza said. “Weknow that they speak at major conferences and Bible cruises and alot of people can’t participate in those things, so we were lookingfor a way to bring them to our community to give people a chance tohear them.”

Goza said the speakers chosen for the event are men who havebeen very successful in their own ministries, and might be able tobring encouragement to Brookhaven.

“They’re impacting the world with the gospel message, andthey’ll be here in Brookhaven,” he said. “They’re very successfulwhere they are and God is using them to touch the world.”

The first two speakers are heavy-hitters in the Southern BaptistConvention, Goza said. Dr. Johnny Hunt, who speaks March 9, is thesenior pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., and thecurrent president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“He could be speaking anywhere, he could be speaking tothousands somewhere but he’s going to be speaking to us here inBrookhaven,” Goza said.

March 16 brings Dr. Ed Litton, senior pastor of First BaptistNorth Mobile in Saraland, Ala., and the current president of thePastors’ Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Dr. Bobby Welch will speak March 23. He is a strategist forGlobal Evangelism for the Southern Baptist Convention; as well asformer president of the SBC, from 2004-2006. He is also theoriginator of the F.A.I.T.H. Evangelism/Discipleship Strategy.

March 30 brings in Dr. Bob Pitman, the dean of the Adrian RogersCenter for Biblical Preaching at the Mid-America BaptistTheological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn.

And the week before Easter Sunday will be a sand artpresentation by internationally-known artist and author JoeCastillo. He is known for his “ArtStory” and “SandStory” live-artpresentations, during which he does artistic renderings in the sandfor an overhead camera while he speaks.

“He has a sandbox with a camera overhead, and while he’sdialoguing, he’s changing the sand art, Goza said. “So the lastnight is kind of a different flavor, he’s got this visualpresentation along with him speaking. We’ve heard from a lot ofyouth pastors who’ve seen him at youth conferences who have saidthey’re bringing their youth groups for that night.”

While the speakers will be dynamic, there is a deeper mission atwork, Goza said.

“We just want to give back to the community. This isn’t aboutgetting people to come to Easthaven, it’s about serving thecommunity,” he said.