San Diego Southern Baptist Association Celebrates 80th Anniversary of God’s Goodness


It is considered an enormous blessing when the LORD sends rain in a drought-susceptible area of Southern California (SoCal). The winter storm did not hinder the more than 300 members from 197 churches in the San Diego Southern Baptist Association. They gathered celebrating the 80th anniversary on Saturday January 14, 2023, at Shadow Mountain Community Church, El Cajon, CA.   

The historic meeting of loving believers was spiritually uplifting and glorifying the LORD.  Under the theme of “Loving Our Neighbors,” the group expressed that love to two of the longtime pastors, Jeff Lettow and Harold Brown, who were promoted to heaven in 2022. They were fondly remembered for their faithful services to God, SBC, and SDSBA.  As a way of expressing God’s love for pastors and churches, Dr. Mike, Director of Missions, and wife Judy Carlisle recognized and prayed for pastors and their wives serving in the association. Pastor Melaku Merkuria and his church, Maranatha Ethiopian Church, were recognized as the “Ethnic Church of the Year.”

The SDSBA has many churches divided in six regions, but united with one purpose. The business session led by the Moderator, Rolland Slade, was the shortest and harmonious I have observed in my 47 years of ministry. Reports from the six leaders of six regions were very encouraging.   Missionaries Juvenal Gonzalez and Kat Compton, Centro Shalom, Mexico, shared loving and inspiring reports from their area of responsibilities south of the border.  Michael Branch, CEO, East County Transition Living Center, El Cajon, shared his testimony and the love ministry among the hurting people. The annual meeting concluded with prayer and sharing love to the pastors/servants of God thru a special love offerings. It was a memorable and blessed meeting indeed. I observed the love of God demonstrated by all hands in attendance. God is good!