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SBC DIGEST: Black church conference onsite and online; May financial update; NFL official to receive honorary doctorate

2021 LifeWay Black church conference onsite and online

By Diana Chandler

RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP) – A hybrid platform has been announced for the 2021 Lifeway Black Church Leadership and Family Conference July 19-23 at Ridgecrest Conference Center.

“This past year has drastically impacted our lives and the life of the church,” said conference host Mark Croston, national director of Black Church Ministries for Lifeway Christian Resources. Given the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for adults, Croston said, “we feel we can move forward with both the onsite and online events. The onsite conference location allows us to spend a lot of time outdoors and to maintain social distancing indoors.”

Themed “No Doubt,” based on 1 John 5:13, the conference is designed for the entire family, melding education, mentorship, networking, exhortation, worship, fellowship, a FUGE camp, quality family time and recreation. Special events are designed specifically for women, men, young adults and children.

“At Black Church Leadership and Family Conference we are planning a time for rest, recuperation for the attendees, and revitalization for our churches with training that will equip us to be successful in the new post-pandemic paradigm,” Croston said. “Where better to have social distance and spiritual refreshment than at a retreat center in the middle of God’s beautiful creation in the Black Mountains of North Carolina?”

Scheduled evening preachers are Charlie Dates, senior pastor of Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago; Ben Mandrell, Lifeway Christian Resources CEO; Haywood Robinson, senior pastor, Round Oak Missionary Baptist Church, Silver Spring, Md.; and F. Bruce Williams, senior pastor, Bates Memorial Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.

Morning Bible study teachers are Wayne Faison, senior pastor of East End Baptist Church, Suffolk, Va.; Robert James, senior pastor, Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Roswell, Ga.; Milton Kornegay, senior pastor, Central Baptist Church, Syracuse, N.Y.; and Quincy Stratford, senior pastor, Carmel Friendship Church, Wesley Chapel, Fla. The teaching series, “Doubt: Six Things We Can Know For Sure,” will be taken from Lifeway’s YOU Bible study curriculum.

The online option offers more than 24 hours of leadership training with 12 months of access to videos of the morning Bible expositions, select workshops and evening worship. In its 28th year, the conference was held solely online in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is available on Lifeway Digital Pass.

Registration is available at lifeway.com, with discounted early bird registration available through June 1.

May financial update with David Spika

NASHVILLE (BP) – David Spika, chief strategic investment officer for GuideStone Financial Resources, joins Jonathan Howe for May’s financial update.

Spika warns that “political overreach” could lead to inflation and higher tax and interest rates.

“Near-term, things look great,” he says, “but longer term, there’s a lot of concern.”

He gives tips for investing in an inflationary market and looks ahead to the possible financial ramifications of the 2022 midterm elections.

NFL official to be awarded honorary doctorate from U of Mobile

MOBILE, Ala. – The University of Mobile will award the Doctor of Humane Letters to Sarah Bailey Thomas, a UM graduate who shattered glass ceilings and became the first female official to work a Super Bowl earlier this year.

Thomas will deliver the school’s commencement address at an outdoor ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday (May 8) on campus on the Dr. Fred and Sue Lackey Great Commission Lawn and live streamed at umobile.edu/graduation.

University of Mobile President Lonnie Burnett said the university family looks forward to welcoming Thomas back to the campus where her career started in the basketball program as a Lady Ram.

“Sarah epitomizes what we want from our graduates. We tell them to go and make a difference in your chosen field. She never let obstacles keep her from pursuing her dreams,” Burnett said.

Thomas was born in Pascagoula, Miss., and earned a basketball scholarship to the University of Mobile, where she played from 1992 to 1995 and earned Academic All-American honors. She graduated in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in communication and pursued a career in pharmaceutical sales.

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