Raised in a non-Christian, single parent home in Los Angeles, Voddie Baucham Jr. did not hear the gospel until he was in college.
Now, he teaches it around the world.
“A campus missionary was trying to start a Bible study among members of the football team. He approached me thinking I was a Christian but soon learned otherwise. He spent the next three weeks opening the Scriptures, answering my questions and introducing me to Jesus,” Baucham said in an email. “Eventually, I came to realize that my ‘goodness’ was not enough (and wasn’t actually good), that I was a sinner in need of a savior, and that God had provided that savior in the person of his son Jesus. God changed my heart. I turned from my sin and self-reliance and placed my faith in the saving work of Christ. My life has never been the same.”
Baucham, the dean of the seminary at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, is a renown speaker and author of eight books. He will be appearing in Columbus Oct. 14 at Reformation Columbus, an event at Crosspointe Church on Airport Thruway.
The event is being sponsored by five Columbus churches as well as Wrath and Grace, a for-profit ministry involved in the production and selling of clothing and multimedia products.
The churches involved are Berean Covenant Church, CrossPointe Church, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Victory Heights Baptist Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church.
The event will honor the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. On Oct. 31, 1517, the Catholic monk Martin Luther nailed a list of grievances against the church, his 95 theses, onto the door of a chapel in Wittenberg, Germany.
The Columbus event is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided by Chick-fil-A. The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children 5-10. To register, go to www.wrathandgrace.com.
Other speakers include Pastor Luke Walker of Redeeming Cross Community Church in Richfield, Minn., Pastor Theodore Zachariades of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Manchester, Tenn., and Pastor J.W. Norman of Berean Covenant Church in Columbus.
“The Protestant Reformation was one of the most significant events in human history,” said Baucham. “The ripples of that movement continue to impact the world to this day. The Reformation planted the seeds that gave rise not only to religious movements, denominations and moder missions; it also gave rise to the ideals that formed the United States.”
Jay Henoa of Wrath and Grace was instrumental in landing Baucham as the lead speaker.
Henoa has worked before with Baucham, a much in demand speaker.
Henoa and Norman said Columbus was lucky that there was an opening in his schedule.
“He is a powerful speaker,” Henoa said. “His testimony about what God has done with his life is just amazing.”
Among Baucham’s other stops in October are Detroit and Houston in this country and Birmingham and London in England.
Before going to Africa, Baucham served as pastor at Grace Family Church in Spring, Texas. He and his wife, Bridget, have nine children.
He is the head of Voddie Baucham Ministries.
Baucham was asked why he moved to Africa.
“I first traveled to Zambia in the summer of 2006. I knew then I would have a long-term relationship with the Reformed Baptist movement there and the work they were doing. Several years later as African Christian University began to materialize, my wife and I believed it was time to make the move. Our church concurred and in 2015 we moved to Lusaka with our seven youngest children to help launch the university,” he said.
Baucham speaks a lot about faith and family. He is quoted on PreachtheGospel.com as saying, “If parents have raised their children to be great doctors, lawyers, athletes or musicians but have not trained their children to honor them and obey God, they have failed.”
He also preaches about cultural apologetics.
“Cultural apologetics is a concept made popular by the late Francis Schaeffer,” Baucham said. “It is based on the idea of applying the truth of the gospel to issues shaping contemporary culture. It involves pointing people to the fact that everything they believe is based on presuppositions that shape their worldview and influence their thinking and decisions. The goal is to expose those presuppositions to the light of truth and help people see that the only presuppositions upon which they can safely build their lives are the ones found in Scripture.”
As it is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, speakers will address the five solas (slogans) that summarize the basic theological principals for the reformed churches. Sola is Latin for alone or only.
Norman of Berean Covenant Church said Baucham will speak on two of those while the other three speakers will address one each.
Norman said several of the local reformed churches have wanted to have a conference such as this for “quite a while.”
“The anniversary seemed like a perfect time to do it,” Norman said.
He said this is an event for everyone and will help people grow stronger in their faith.
“It will help people understand what we believe,” Norman said of the reformed churches. “People will hear what we are all about.”