A short drive away from where Mississippi Conference youth gathered for the "UNASHAMED" workshops in Brandon, Mississippi -- adults such as their pastors and district leaders convened for the 2014 Convocation on the Black Church. The theme was "Living Out The POWER of We Through Worship." The focus for the conferences is to see each church develop into a vital congregation. One of the key elements of being a "vital congregation" is vital worship according to the messaging that was shared prior to the convocation.
Plenary sessions topics were: crafting a theology for vital worship, challenging the corporate worship dynamic and constructing a model for facilitating vital worship.
The Rev. Dr. Michael T. McQueen was a guest speaker. As senior pastor of St. James United Methodist Church since 2006, McQueen leads one of the fastest growing church congregations in Alpharetta, Georgia. Since coming to St. James, the church has grown from approximately 1,500 members to close to 3,000 members, and more than 36 ministries that share the love of Christ and glorify God by embracing, equipping and empowering people to go and make disciples for Jesus Christ.
Pastor John Paul McGee, who currently serves also at the St. James United Methodist Church, as pastor of worship and arts presented at the convocation.
While growing as a musician academically, McGee pursued his musical gifting in gospel music. He began his career in church music at the age of 12 as full-time minister of music at Waters AME church in Baltimore. Years later, as a keyboardist, vocal arranger, producer and songwriter he has been privileged to grace stages on major platforms with many popular gospel and secular artists such as Patti Labelle, The Isley Brothers, Twinkie Clark-Terrell, Karen-Clark Sheard, Judith McCallister, Byron Cage, Shirley Caesar, Dorothy Norwood, Kierra Sheard, Lecresia Campbell, Cynthia Wilson, Bruce Parham, Alvin Darling, Tedd Winn and Wess Morgan.
Approximately 125 Mississippi United Methodists gathered for the discussion on vital congregations.