I first attended the Banner of Truth Ministers' Conference as a student at the London Seminary from 1988-90. The academic year began in October, so I guess my first conference must have been April 1989. Back then I was young enough to attend the Youth Conference over the weekend and then stay on for the Ministers' event from Monday to Thursday.
The conference used to be held on the campus of Leicester University. There was something special about 'Banner' in the 1990s and early 2000s. Some of the speakers were marvellously helped and the presence of God seemed near. Al Martin with his 'fire & fury' awakened us. Stuart Olyott pointedly called us to ministerial zeal and faithfulness. One year Sinclair Ferguson gave three addresses on sanctification. Outstanding examples of theology on fire, practically applied. Plus, Ted Donnelley at the height of his powers spoke on the temptation of Jesus. Donnelley's ministry was characterised by the exegetical insight of a biblical scholar, wedded to the pathos of a pastor's heart. Then there were gripping biographical papers by Iain Murray on the likes of Archibald Brown and Geoff Thomas on Howell Harris. There were giants in those days. At least that's how it seemed to me.
The pandemic put paid to the 2020 & 21 Banner Ministers' Conferences, so it was good to be back in Yarnfield Park Conference Centre, Staffordshire for the 2022 event. I enjoyed catching up with old friends, many of whom I hadn't seen since 2019. Nice to bump into some new people from the UK and beyond too. The programme of speakers and subjects can be found here. I was especially helped by Conrad Mbewe's (featured above) three addresses on 1 John 1, exploring various aspects of communion with God. Robert McCollum Jr preached on what Jesus walking on water (Mark 6:45-52) has to teach us about communion with God exemplified and experienced. Those were the highlights for me.
I didn't buy any books this year, but that doesn't mean I returned home without anything to read. The confessional Baptist publisher Broken Warfe had several titles on display in the exhibition room, including the ones pictured below, by Samuel D. Renihan. Both books had been on my 'wish list' for a while and I was grateful for the freebie review copies.