2007 convocation focuses on strengthening black churches


Two national consultants will lead the annual Convocation on the Black Church. The convocation is Oct. 20 at Rust College in Holly Springs.

Cheryl Stevenson is the national coordinator of The United Methodist Church’s Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century initiative. The program is designed to assist churches with predominantly black congregations in maximizing their effectiveness in mission and ministry. 

In her workshop, Stevenson will explain how Mississippi churches can strengthen their ministry by partnering with one of the 19 SBC-21 resource churches around the country. “Each of the congregation resource centers has various gifts they can share with conference churches,” she said. Convocation attendees will learn how up to five members of their churches may even get the chance to visit one of the resource churches free of charge through SBC-21.

Christian Washington of St. John’s Downtown UMC in Houston, Texas, will speak on the call to serve "the least of these." Washington started REAL Coaching, Inc., in 2004 as a rapid solutions consulting practice that focuses on faith-based and non-profit organizations. He collaborated with Rev. Rudy Rasmus on the book, TOUCH.

The preacher for the worship service will be Rev. Fred Brown, a retired United Methodist pastor currently serving St. James UMC in Columbus. Rev. Brown has served in many different roles in the conference, including pastor, chaplain, district superintendent and administrative assistant to the bishop.

The convocation begins at 8 a.m. in the Doxey Auditorium and will conclude by 2 p.m. Rust College is located at 150 Rust Avenue in Holly Springs at the corner of Highway 7 and Rust Avenue.

Registration fee is $15 per person. Lunch is included. You may register and pay on-site. However, only those who have pre-paid will have a guaranteed lunch reservation. Make checks payable to Mississippi Conference.