2018 Conference Leaders


James Emery White


Keynote: James Emery White
General Session: “RESTORE” – Friday Evening

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; president of Serious Times, a ministry which explores the intersection of faith and culture and hosts ChurchandCulture.org; ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president; and author of more than twenty books that have been translated into ten languages. James Emery White holds a bachelor of science degree in public relations and business, along with master of divinity and doctor of philosophy degrees from Southern Seminary, where he was awarded a Garrett Teaching Fellowship in both New Testament and Theology. He has also done advanced university study at Vanderbilt University in American religious history, and continuing education at Oxford University in England. He has served as a visiting professor at such institutions as New Orleans Seminary, Southern Seminary, Southeastern Seminary and the Moscow Theological Institute. He has also served on the Board of the Boston Theological Institute, which includes such schools as Boston College, Boston University, and Harvard.


Mel Blackaby


Keynote: Mel Blackaby
General Session: “RENEW” – Saturday Morning
General Session: “REFOCUS” – Saturday Afternoon

Mel Blackaby serves as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, Georgia. He is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv 1991; PhD 1997). It was in the pioneer mission field of Canada that the Lord shaped his life for ministry. He has a deep concern for a world without Christ, as well as a shepherd’s heart that longs to see people grow in their walk with God. Even though he is an author and conference speaker, his first love remains with ministry in the local church. First Baptist Jonesboro is literally impacting the world as it preaches in seven languages every Sunday; is heavily invested in church planting and world missions; as well as being committed to reaching and training the next generation of leaders. Mel and his wife, Gina, have three children. As a family, they have learned to “enjoy the journey!”; so they balance a busy schedule with a love for horses, sports, and traveling.