Aug. 13

Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Durham, N.C.

Join us for the first ever Strengthen the Church Conference and be equipped and inspired to embrace multicultural ministry; reflect your diverse community, and see how your church can reach and accommodate people from other cultures.

This conference will offer:

• Inspirational and Christ-exalting global worship
• 18 practical morning breakout sessions
• Conversations with people groups during the “Heavenly Lunch”
• Challenging keynote lunch address
• 8 Church Models as “Living Examples” to choose from in the afternoon 
• Brief Ending Commissioning Service

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands…”

Revelation 7:9

Featured Speakers

Mark Hearn

Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Duluth, Ga.
Mark is a native of Pulaski, Va., where he accepted Christ and was baptized. It was there that he was ordained into the ministry and has served as pastor in six other churches prior to coming to First Baptist Duluth, Ga. Previously, he was the senior pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Ind. He has been president of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana and a trustee for LifeWay Christian Resources. His new book, Technicolor: Inspiring Your Church to Embrace Multicultural Ministry, chronicles the journey of First Baptist Duluth from mono- to multicultural ministry. Mark earned his master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry degree from Luther Rice Seminary.

Walter Strickland

Assistant Professor of Systematic and Contextual Theology, Associate Vice President for Diversity, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Born in Chicago and raised in Southern California, Walter’s passion is to equip people to flourish in their context from a deep commitment to God’s design. Walter’s interests include contextual and systematic theology, African-American religious history, multicultural studies, education theory, and theology of work. Along with itinerant preaching and speaking engagements, Walter contributes to Canon & Culture as an associate research fellow of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), the Gospel Project and the Biblical Recorder (the North Carolina Baptist state newspaper). Walter’s work has also appeared in Christianity Today, Baptist Press and World Magazine. His first book, Every Waking Hour: An Introduction to Work and Vocation for Christians, was released in March of 2016.

Breakout Sessions

A Biblical Worldview: Cross-cultural Fellowship and Cross-cultural Witness in a Cross-eyed World

Cris Alley
Team Leader, Strategic Focus Team, BSCNC
Every culture tries to make sense of the mess we’re in, asking at least two questions: what’s gone wrong and what’s the solution? The unique way a culture answers these questions profoundly shapes how it views the world. This session explores how the Bible answers these questions and how a biblical worldview enhances cross-cultural fellowship and opens doors to cross-cultural witness.

Cross-Cultural Missions just Across the Street 

Joy Mikhail
Director of Local Mission and Training for Cross-Cultural Ministry, Waypoint Church, Durham

Joy Mikhail is an international missionary working right here in North Carolina. Her church’s mission is to be transformed people who live as missionaries, sharing the gospel with others through all facets of life. We desire for every member of our church to be known and to see themselves as emissaries of the gospel. We want to bless our city so our neighbors may see the work of the gospel in us. Joy works with her local congregation as well as other area churches to help train and prepare people to do cross-cultural missions in a local context.

Engaging Your East Asian Neighbor

Sammy Joo
Senior Consultant, Asian Ministries, BSCNC

Asians are the largest and most unreached people group on the planet. By God’s grace, God has brought them to North Carolina. In this breakout session, you will get to know the culture of Asians (especially East Asians) and how to engage them with the gospel of Christ. 

How to love your Muslim Neighbor

Kambiz Saghaey
Coordinator for Persian Leadership Development

Be inspired by the incredible story of a Muslim’s nine-month journey to Christ. Learn methods and principles on how he shares the gospel with Muslims. Be challenged to take next steps to love and share the gospel with your Muslim neighbor, co-worker and casual acquaintance. 


Reaching Multicultural Children

Jan Langston
Director of Children’s Ministry, FBC Duluth
SoYoung Lee
Director of Preschool Ministries, FBC Duluth
Paola Villegas
Family Ministry Associate, FBC Duluth

In this breakout session, we will discuss how to adapt to the challenges of multicultural children and their families while developing an inclusive, spiritual environment for children to grow in their faith.

Addressing the Poverty of Your Community

Dan Collison
Strategy Coordinator, Strategic Focus Team, Charlotte, BSCNC

Sometimes we are so familiar with something that we don’t even see it anymore. At other times, a need seems so great that we become paralyzed by feeling of insufficiency. As followers of Jesus, we should never let people fall through the cracks, especially when it comes to people struggling with poverty. Join us for a fresh look at poverty in North Carolina and how the gospel compels us to care for the often overlooked and frequently forgotten.


Cultivating Multi-ethnic Worshipping Communities

Mark Barneycastle
Global/Worship Coordinator, FBC Duluth
Jaewoo Kim
PR and Ministry Development, Proskuneo Ministries
Joy Kim
Trustee, International Council of Ethnodoxologists
Multi-ethnic worship is about much more than Sunday morning services and songs in different languages. We’ll discuss the characteristics of healthy, diverse worshipping communities that are united around Jesus Christ. Bring your questions!

Gospel Conversations

Andrew Ivester
Senior Pastor, Faith Church, Durham

Have you ever wanted to have a gospel conversation with someone but had no idea where to begin? “How to Begin Gospel Conversations” leans on best practices for how to have these conversations across various contexts. This breakout will survey tools, tips and resources for turning conversations toward the gospel, by drawing from Scripture and stories to help produce solutions.

Lifestyle Discple-making

Chuck Campbell
Strategy Coordinator, Strategic Focus Team, Greenville, BSCNC

Join us as we explore lifestyle disciple-making. We will look at a simple, but effective framework that will help you become a disciple who makes disciples according to Matthew 28:19-20. This session will give you a framework that is practical, reproducible and repeatable.


The Nations in your Neighborhood: Interpreting your Community Demographics through a Gospel lens

Russ Reeves
Strategy Coordinator, Strategic Focus Team, Triad, BSCNC
John Davenport
Strategy Coordinator, Strategic Focus Team, Triangle, BSCNC

This breakout session will help you discover, understand and engage the diverse people groups in your community. We will explore research tools to examine the demographics in your area, discuss points of connection for engagement with internationals, and provide an overview of gospel-centered resources and processes for disciple-making. We pray that your church will feel challenged and encouraged to engage the unreached in your neighborhood. As you take your next steps, we will offer next steps to walk alongside you.

Cross-Cultural Competence and Interactions

Mark Hearn
Senior Pastor, FBC Duluth

Learn how to formulate cross-cultural discussion groups in your church. These groups will provide the impetus for shared ministry and interaction that lowers the fear of awkward interactions. Groups have become the primary means for team building at First Baptist Church, Duluth.


Developing International Church Planting Partnerships

Joe Page
Deacon Chairman, FBC Duluth
Daniel Kumar
Good News Centre, Delhi, India

First Baptist Church Duluth has developed strategic church planting partnerships with the nations that represent the largest unreached people groups in their local community. Come and hear how that they partner with evangelical organizations in China, Mexico, Nigeria and India.

Heaven on Earth – Breaking the Language Barriers

Cindy Rhe
One Voice Ministry Coordinator, FBC Duluth

First Baptist Church, Duluth, a long-time traditional Baptist church, now experiences heaven on earth by pursuing oneness in worship with its multi-ethnic congregation of 47 nationalities. Live interpretations in Korean, Spanish and Mandarin help ease the differences and difficulties in worshipping with one mind and one voice (Romans 15:6). Dynamic ESL, on the other hand, assists American society and the church in adapting to a multi-ethnic community.


Loving the Foreigner Through Immigration Issues

Amaury Santos
Hispanic Strategy Coordinator, Strategic Focus Team, BSCNC
Larry Phillips
Hispanic Strategy Coordinator, Strategic Focus Team, BSCNC

Come and learn what the Baptist State Convention is doing on the immigration front to assist our churches in loving their neighbors in their various cultural contexts.

Understanding First-, Second- and Third-Generation Immigrants

Gary Lee
Pastor, Rooted Church, N.C. State University

Immigrants in the U.S. go through a unique assimilation process that creates different cultural dynamics between home and church. In this breakout session, you will learn what dynamics exist among first-, second- and third-generation immigrants and how to disciple them appropriately with the gospel of Christ.

Cross-Cultural: How to do Mutual Disciple-making

Walter Strickland
Assistant Professor of Systematic and Contextual Theology, Associate Vice President for Diversity, SEBTS

A growing number of churches have been captured by the vision of every tribe, tongue and nation being represented in their churches. In an effort to promote this kingdom in our churches, the rudimentary elements of what it means to do church and ministry must be reconsidered in light of John’s vision in Revelation 7:9-10. Discipleship is one of those fundamental Christian tasks that we need to reimagine to consider the cultural dynamics that come into play.

Engaging the Cultures you want to Reach

Ken Tan
Senior Consultant, Leadership Development, BSCNC

Come and learn how to connect, create and collaborate with other cultures on a deeper level in order to love and lead them to the Lord. Gain practical skills and biblical approaches to developing deeper relationships.


How do I attract qualified leaders who don’t look like me?

Dan Johnson
Senior Pastor, Mosaic Church, Durham
Lans Jones
Discipleship Pastor, Mosaic Church, Durham

It’s difficult to reach people you don’t know. That’s why it’s important to have qualified people on your team who reflect the community you are trying to reach. This breakout session will help equip you and your team on where to look, what to say and how a diverse leadership team can effectively change the culture of a church into a representation of Revelation 7:9. Your next hire can be from a different culture, ethnicity and language group!

Reaching Hindus for Christ

Charlotte Kumar
Global Ministry Intern, FBC Duluth

Reaching Hindus for Christ includes a brief overview of Hindu belief, rituals and tradition. This training is designed to create urgency among believers to reach Hindus for Jesus, and to give practical training for sharing Christ with Hindu neighbors and friends who live in America.

Living Examples

A Proven Strategy to Reach Hispanics in your Community

Ramon Vielza
Campus Pastor/Southside, Calvary Hispanic Church

Come learn the strategy developed in partnership with Calvary Church and the Hispanic ministry. Hear how this strategy was successfully implemented in Cuba and here in the United States, producing much fruit. Ramon Vielza says, “I believe that many Hispanic churches can be refocused with this strategy and many new ones can be planted. I am praying to see in N.C. a movement of the Lord changing lives and churches every day.”

How to Live the Gospel with Refugees, one Church’s Experience

Lawrence Yoo
Pastor, Waypoint Church, Durham

Lawrence is lead pastor of Waypoint Church. Their mission statement says that the church exists to advance the kingdom of God by making disciples of every tribe, tongue, and nation for the glory of God and the sake of the Gospel. Many churches today are blind to the cultural landscape that includes the influx of refugees and internationals in our communities. Far too many times we choose to ignore them or just conclude that someone else will minister to them. Come to this breakout session and discover how a change of heart for the nations can lead to an intentional ministry to reach refugees.


A Traditional Church Planting a Church Among the Urban Poor

Joe Maye
Pastor, Rise Church, Winston-Salem
Mark Harrison
Missions Pastor, Old Town Baptist, Winston-Salem
Across our state there are communities of people living in material poverty. Scripture teaches that Jesus cares deeply about this reality and calls His Church to action. What can a traditional church do to effectively minister the gospel in these communities? What strategies, skills and perspectives are necessary to meaningfully engage these communities? In this breakout, hear how a traditional church is planting a church among the urban poor in their city and consider how you can be used in sending or going to plant a church among the urban poor.

Minorities Reaching Minorities

YongCheol Jung
Pastor, Korean First Raleigh

Yesterday’s mission field becomes today’s missions force! Learn how one ethnic minority church reaches other ethnic minority groups. First Korean Baptist Church has been faithfully serving and reaching refugees at Cedar Point Community. You will hear practical examples of how they reach other ethnic minorities for the Kingdom. 

Creating a Renewed Vision for Smaller Churches

Danny Estave
Senior Pastor, Creedmoor Road Baptist Church, Raleigh
It is easy for churches, especially smaller churches, to remain stagnant as the community changes around them. We will talk about strategies for smaller churches to create a renewed vision for community engagement. Using these strategies, attendees will see that being small can be an advantage to engaging the community.


Mirroring Your Community: The Gospel According to the Technicolor Church

Keith Murdock
Minister of Adults, FBC Duluth, GA
Todd Jones
Minister of Family and Students, FBC Duluth, GA
Abioye Tela
Local Ministry Intern, FBC Duluth, GA

Staff from First Baptist Church, Duluth share experiences of leading a church from “traditional” monoethnic programs to a ministry that reaches “every nation, tribe, language and people.” We will share what worked, what did not, and what is still in the process to “love, reach and disciple all people for Jesus.”

Five Congregations, One Location

Tyler Ward
Associate Pastor, Forest Hills Baptist Church, Raleigh

In today’s ministry landscape, partnership is the name of the game. Whether renting space to a new church plant or purposefully partnering with an ethnic or language church, congregations of any size and shape can more effectively advance the cause of Christ by opening their facilities to multiple congregations. This breakout session will explore the positives (and negatives) of these partnerships, while making the case for how we can begin to view our facilities as an extension of our God-given mission.

Social Ministry

Shelton Daniel
Bishop, Greater Joy Church, Rocky Mount

Participants will learn how Christian social ministry is a vehicle for the church to proclaim the good news, reach the lost and minister to the needy, by focusing on the personal and environmental aspect of the community. This framework provides an avenue for church growth through evangelism, community outreach and local missions, as commanded by Jesus.


8 a.m.

“All the believers were one in heart and mind.” – Acts 4:32a (NIV)

9 a.m.

Global Worship Experience with Mark Hearn: “On Earth, as it is in Heaven”
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”  – Revelation 7:9 (NIV)

10:30 a.m.

Breakout Sessions
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” – Acts 2:42 (NIV)

11:30 a.m.

Heavenly Lunch with Walter Strickland
“…They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…” – Acts 2:46 (NIV)

1-3 p.m.

Living Examples: Church Model Presentations
“Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.” – Acts 2:43 (NIV)

3 p.m.

Communion and Commission
“…praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:47 (NIV)

3:30 p.m.


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