Eleven prominent Christian leaders will gather at the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination for a discussion on race and the church on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. Streaming live from the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN, LifeWay and Fellowship Memphis Church are sponsoring the “A Time to Speak” event.
The discussion comes at a particularly poignant time as the spotlight has been put on race relations in America due to the unrest surrounding grand jury decisions not to indict police officers involved in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, amid other cases of young black men being shot and killed by police. Many in the Christian community have said that now is the time for the church to address racial issues and set a standard for reconciliation.
Speakers for the two-hour discussion (4-6 pm CST) include:
- Bryan Loritts, lead pastor of Fellowship Memphis
- Trillia Newbell, writer and author
- Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Dallas-Fort Worth
- Darrin Patrick, pastor of The Journey Church in St. Louis
- Eric Mason, pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia
- John Piper, chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary
- Thabiti Anyabwile, assistant pastor for church planting at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
- Voddie Baucham, pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas
- Albert Tate, pastor of Fellowship Monrovia in Monrovia, California
- Derwin Gray, pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, South Carolina.
The event will be moderated by the president of LifeWay Research, Ed Stetzer.
The Kainos Movement, the host organization for the event which holds the annual Kainos Conference, released the following press release regarding the conference:
The Book of Ecclesiastes says there is a time to be silent and a time to speak, for many now is the time to speak.
In light of recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, Cleveland, and New York, 11 Christian pastors and leaders are gathering Dec. 16 at the historic Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis for A Time to Speak, a live stream event focusing on race, the church and where to go from here.
According to event organizer Bryan Loritts, A Time to Speak is a gathering of Christ-followers committed to both the spiritual and sociological implications of the gospel. “We want to boldy declare there is hope,” said Loritts, lead pastor of Fellowship Memphis, a multicultural megachurch launched in 2003.
“The grand jury’s decision not to indict the officers involved in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown has left many in our nation angry, saddened and hopeless,” he said.
“The fact that such heart-wrenching decisions have taken place some 50 years after the civil rights movement have left the children of those who marched in such places as Birmingham and Selma wondering if justice has not only been delayed, but has she finally and permanently been denied.”
In the midst of this sense of hopelessness and the national conversation on racial relations and reconciliation, Loritts saw a need for a conversation that displays the source of real hope. A Time to Speak will take place at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968 and which now houses the National Civil Rights Museum.
Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, will be moderating a panel that includes: Loritts; Trillia Newbell, writer and author; Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Dallas-Fort Worth; Darrin Patrick, pastor of The Journey Church in St. Louis; Eric Mason, pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia; John Piper, chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary; Thabiti Anyabwile, assistant pastor for church planting at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.; Voddie Baucham, pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas; Albert Tate, pastor of Fellowship Monrovia in Monrovia, California; and Derwin Gray, pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, South Carolina. The event, hosted by The Kainos Movement and sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources and Fellowship Memphis, will be live streamed Dec. 16, 4-6 p.m. CST at live.kainos.is.