This past week, we were in New Orleans for the annual Southern Baptist Convention. It moves around every year and while Travis has been before because of his job, this was my first. I was excited! I had absolutely no agenda except to hang out visit with friends. We weren’t sent as messengers so we couldn’t vote on anything in the business meetings. Travis was told to periodically drop by the LC booth to answer questions. Other than that, we had nothing to do. Woo hoo!

We got there Monday afternoon and after checking into our hotel room (Renaissance Arts Hotel in the Warehouse District- NICE!), we walked to the Morial Convention Center. Travis found his friend Philip and his son at the LC booth and they were ever so kind as to let me take a picture of them. 🙂

From June 2012


Philip is part of the Christian studies faculty and is completing his dissertation through NOBTS so, Travis has known him for awhile. His son is a current LC student. I think he is supposed to graduate this coming school year but I am not 100% on that. 🙂

We made plans with them to eat supper together after Philip finished his “shift” at the booth. We were going to go to Mulate’s

From June 2012


but it had a wait time of about an hour and a half. Therefore, we all walked to our hotel and grabbed our car and drove out of the city and into Metairie- a much cheaper place to eat. 🙂 Besides, all of us still consider ourselves “locals” so we don’t feel obliged stay in the touristy French Quarter. I had recently heard that a Pei Wei (PF Chang’s fast food chinese joint) and we haven’t been able to eat at one of those since we moved. They have an excellent GF menu and so I was definitely excited about trying it. Philip and Justin were along for the ride and they liked Chinese so we decided to go there. This is a new one and has a really cool drink dispenser. You put your cup under the spout and then touch the screen to select your base drink (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, etc.) but then another screen pops up where you can select if you want any other flavors added (Cherry Coke, Lemon Dr. Pepper, etc.) I was definitely a goofball because I took a picture of it…

From June 2012


Our food was delicious, as usual for Pei Wei. Philip and Justin really enjoyed it too. After we dropped them back off at their hotel, we went up to see the rooftop pool of ours.

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I decided to try a panorama from the rooftop. Unfortunately, I was doing it as the sun was setting so I am, again, plagued by shadows.

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Another from the roof…

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Once back in our room…

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we settled in for the night. We don’t get a lot of channels on our TV at home so Travis really enjoys watching channels we can’t get at home when he travels. So he did that- I read a magazine.

The next morning, we eat lunch downstairs in the hotel restaurant and then head over to the convention. In honor of the 200th birthday of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, the LBC booth was letting people hold an alligator and get their picture taken. I can’t turn down an opportunity to hold an alligator so I convinced Travis that we needed a family picture. HA HA HA!

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Then I walked around and picked up free stuff from various booths and talked to friends. I really liked the North American Mission Board’s display…

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I also found a booth for an organization called “Strength Team.” Travis has told me about these people before but I’ve never seen them in action. They are athletes who do stuff that requires crazy amounts of strength- rolling frying pans up like a burrito being a prime one. They were doing a demonstration so I hung out and watched. I took pictures a a few videos. It was CRAZY!
The guy in the middle is about to tear an OLD license plate (the thick metal kind) in half with his bare hands.

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Tearing…

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Torn!

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Here is a video of the guys blowing up a water heater until it exploded, tearing a phone book in half, and breaking a bat.

Later that day, we sat in on a business meeting session just to see what it was like. There were a TON of people! This panorama almost looks right.

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We also stayed for the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s annual report. Not that have a particular interest but because one of my previous bosses is the Biblical Archaeology profs there and when we talked to him earlier he was telling us that he was going to be part of a interview panel during the report. They mainly used their time to promote a Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit they will be hosting until January. We DEFINITELY are hoping to get out there to see it. I don’t know much about Biblical Archaeology but it does interest me since I worked for Dr. Ortiz for a year and a half. He had all sorts of neat “finds” in his office. Here is a HORRIBLE picture of him. We were so far away you couldn’t really see him but he was on the big screen and here is my proof-

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That night, we went out to eat with our friend, Jeff. We headed to Margaritaville Cafe. He and Travis started at NOBTS at the same time and so they’ve known each other for a long time. Surprisingly, he and his wife used to visit all sorts of restaurants in the Quarter but they never ate at this one. So, it was an adventure for all of us. Thankfully, they have a GF menu!

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I definitely enjoyed my GF Cheeseburger in Paradise. I don’t know if it is because I haven’t had a normal hamburger in so long or if they use some kind of amazing GF buns- I couldn’t tell the difference other than the fact that I didn’t get sick afterwards. Yay for burgers with buns!!!

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On Wednesday, we ate at the NOBTS Alumni reception. Instead of having it at the convention center, like the other seminaries, they held theirs on campus. YAY! I LOVE visiting the campus. It is a beautiful place.

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They also had a really well performing A/C unit- I was freezing by the time we left! HA!

It was a fun convention. I would be amiss to leave out the most historical aspect of this convention- the unanimous election of Dr. Fred Luter as the SBC President. Dr. Luter is an AMAZING man and is the pastor of the largest SBC church in New Orleans. However, that isn’t what makes it so historical. He is also African-American thus making him the first African-American SBC President- a huge success for a convention that was partially started by slave owners. Yay to progress!

🙂
Steph