Batter Up in the Bluegrass State
By Emily Faison
“I hope it won’t be 40 more years before you come back to Kentucky,” Ed Hutchinson, chairman of the 1981 Kentucky Steering Committee said at the close of the business session in Louisville. Free Will Baptists took his words to heart, returning in 1993, 2005, and now 2017.
Nestled along the banks of the Ohio River, Louisville, Kentucky, is a central location for many Free Will Baptists and a familiar city for those who have attended D6 Conferences in Louisville the past few years. The 81st annual convention will take place at Kentucky International Convention Center, July 16-19.
One of the oldest cities west of the Appalachians, Louisville was founded in 1778 and named after France’s King Louis XVI. Known for a blend of high-class hats and down-home country fried anything, this unique “City of Parks” pays tribute to America’s diverse history and culture.
In Free Will Baptist history, past Louisville conventions mark the inclusion of the Atlantic-Canada Association in 1981, the introduction of both the Together Way Plan and the International Fellowship of Free Will Baptist Churches in 1993, and the first shortened convention, ending on Wednesday night instead of Thursday in 2005. In addition to the introduction of the Impact outreach program, the 2005 Louisville meeting was also the first convention reported on by the newly-launched ONE Magazine.
Sports lovers will be aching to get into the Louisville Slugger Museum, which houses the factory where Major League bats are made. (Pro tip: Your little slugger will receive a free mini bat with a tour.) But the bat museum is only one of ten museums in a four-block range—Museum Row on Main.
In addition to museums, those who appreciate history will want to try a famous “Hot Brown” at Louisville’s Brown Hotel and take a stroll through “Old Louisville,” the largest Victorian neighborhood in the United States. Adventurous convention-goers may ride a camel at the Louisville Zoo or catch a coaster at Kentucky Kingdom. Those with a flair for the dramatic can attend a free performance in the park, courtesy of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.
Whatever your preferred pastime, there’s plenty for visitors to enjoy in the Bluegrass State...and don’t forget your hat!
About the Writer: Emily Faison graduated in 2016 from Florida State University with a M.A. in Literature. She is a member of the convention press team.