Well, it has been a long time since I have written, and the main reason is because I have either been out of town, or been recouping from being out of town. This past week was the National Convention in Charleston, West Virginia. We were glad to be there with 5000 other Free Will Baptist, but were also glad to leave. It was not a long trip down, but the inconveniences were many upon arriving.
The town, though nice, could not handle all of us. We were packed into the convention center like never before...and this was no where near the amount of people that normally come. Also, it has become tradition over the last couple of years to have people from the host state speak during the services, well, the first couple of services did not give a good showing. It improved much as the week progressed, which leaves the only complaint being the size of the city and the amount of space provided in Hotels, and in the Convention area. Well, we are glad to be back, and below you will find my ratings for this years event. (I would have posted pictures, but I have this thing with taking my camera with me but never taking it out of my pocket).
City: Charleston, WV - C- Just too small for us. Could have been worse if not for the nice words from the mayor. Also I am used to southern accents (I did grow up in Alabama), but the Charleston accent was difficult for me to follow at times.
Hotels - D+ The combination of 5 within a mile still did not equal what is needed. Also none of them had valet or full service bell staff.
Restaurants - A For sheer quantity. There was a nice food court, and probably 7 sit down restaurants within a block. Not to mention the fast food places 2 blocks away. Heck, even the Shriner's next door cooked out to feed us.
Convention Center - C Once again size was an issue, but on the bright side everything was easy to find.
Music - B+ Not as memorable as some years, but solid. Without the technical problems of Sunday night may have been an A
Speakers - C I thought this one would be a lot worse when the week started off. It got continually better, and this is a fluke. The Executive committee usually does a great job with this.
Seminars - A+ I was helped out a lot by the different seminars I went to, and every one that I have heard about went great. Of course this is leaving off the "Gathering of Youth Pastors" which fell flat, and was basically a waste of time.
Youth Services - B Was not present, but asked around. Heard good things about the music, but not so much about the speakers. Once again this is a fluke and will be remedied next year I am sure.
Youth Competition - A The amount of competitors was up, and it seemed to be a very enjoyable experience for all involved (although if someone will make the Bible Millionaire questions tougher it would be nice).
Overall - C+