Rev. Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick                        (courtesy photo)

The Western Baptist State Convention (WBSC) is preparing for its 127th Annual Session, which officially opens on Monday, August 7, at 7 p.m., and continues through Thursday, August 10, at Calvary Baptist Church, 1502 E. 20th St., in Santa Monica.

According to WBSC President J. Benjamin Hardwick, he and the WBSC Executive Board will focus on dealing with present realities and shifting to the possibilities of tomorrow through Jesus Christ. The Rev. Robert E. Shipp, Sr., is the host pastor.

“It will be an honor for the entire community to join us for a State and District collaboration of God’s

profound word, the finest in worship, singing, and praise, and a range of events designed to meet the needs of all age groups,” said Hardwick.

The Young People’s Department, led by Director Jeanette Beard, will meet on Saturday, August 5, at 3 p.m. Minister Carlos Davis of Good Shepherd Baptist Church will deliver the message and the Rev. Jacob Johnson and members of the Next Level Young Adult Convention will serve as lead worshippers.

Monday’s official opening includes a musical featuring the Central District Association’s Mass Choir, Praises of Zion Baptist Church Mass Choir, and other guests.

On Tuesday, the WBSC Board Meeting starts at 9 a.m., followed by the noon worship with preaching by Dr. David C. Greene of Second Baptist Church in San Diego. Dr. Manuel Scott, Jr., will facilitate the “Church Growth” workshop at 3 p.m., and the Usher’s Session takes place at 7 p.m.   Usher President Carolyn Chapman will speak and Dr. Virgil L. Jones of Calvary Baptist Church – L.A. will preach.

The Laymen Session, headed by Deacon Roosevelt Gilkey, will open on Wednesday, at 9 a.m. The 12 p.m. speaker will be the Rev. Tyrone L. Skinner of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Altadena. Dr. Scott will lead the “Pastor’s and Ministers   Conference” at 4 p.m., and the Rev. Raymond L. Chandler of Divinity Christian Church will preach at 7 p.m.

Thursday’s activities begin with the Women’s Department’s session at 9 a.m. President Ernestine Carlyle will speak. At 12 p.m., Hardwick will deliver his annual address and at 1:30 p.m., the Women’s Fellowship Luncheon will be held. The donation is $15.

(LaRonda Nelson contributed to this story)