Annual Black Church Leadership and Family Conference Aids Urban Ministry, Says LifeWay’s National Director for Black Church Partnerships

Anyone involved in urban ministry can benefit from the annual Black Church Leadership and Family Conference July 17-21 in Ridgecrest, N. C., organizer Mark Croston told Baptist Press.

“Would it surprise you to know that black people are not the only ones at Black Church Leadership and Family Conference?” LifeWay executive Mark Croston said to Baptist Press. “People who are serious about reaching our urban centers are here.”

Bryan Loritts, lead pastor of Abundant Life Church in Silicon Valley, Calif., and president of the Kainos Movement to encourage multi-ethnicity in congregations, is scheduled to lead the conversation on urban ministry.

“Mission Possible: What is Impossible for Men is Possible With God,” based on Luke 18:27, is the 2017 theme for the event at LifeWay’s Ridgecrest Conference Center.

A new children’s Sunday School curriculum companion to the popular You study series, culturally relevant books authored by Southern Baptists, and a new schedule designed to allow greater participation in more than 100 workshops are in store for the entire family, said Croston, LifeWay’s national director for black church partnerships.

“Other conferences are typically great for adults or youth or children,” Croston said. “Black Church Leadership and Family Conference is for the family. It is the one conference where you don’t have to leave the rest of the family at home…. There is something great for every member of the family and every job in the church.”

In addition to Loritts, featured speakers include Byron Day, president of the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Laurel, Md.; Eric Geiger, vice president of LifeWay’s Church Resource Division; Peter Wherry, pastor of Mayfield Memorial Missionary Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C.; and Bartholomew Orr, senior pastor of Brown Missionary Baptist Church, Southaven, Miss.

Praise dance and spoken Word presentations will augment the schedule that includes nightly praise and worship services, noon Bible studies, recreational events, ministry-focused fellowship, CentriFUGE camp and events catering to the unique ministry needs of women and men.

Additional information, registration and resources, including a conference app, are available at

SOURCE: Baptist Press – Diane Chandler