Rev. Dennis L. Blackwell has been the Lead Pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church in Woodlynne, NJ, for the past 27 years. In 2000, Asbury was designated a Congregational Resource Center for Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century. This initiative enables Dennis to provide leadership training to impact the ministry of African-American churches.
He serves with Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century for the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, with the State Police Chaplain Corps, and as one of nine members on the United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council. Dennis received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University and earned his Master in Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. Dennis is married to Ann and they have one daughter, Myika, and two grandchildren, Ava and Zoe.
Jessica LaGrone is the Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky and is an ordained pastor and elder in the United Methodist Church. She has served as the Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Pasadena, CA, and the Associate Pastor and Pastor of Creative Ministries at The Woodlands United Methodist Church, in The Woodlands, TX.
Jessica received an undergraduate degree in Biology from Southwestern University and earned a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. She is the author of Broken and Blessed, various Bible studies, and her blog (jessicalagrone.com), where she encompasses her dual roles of pastor and mom. Jessica and her husband, Jim, have two young children, Drew and Kate.
Jim and Jennifer Cowart serve at Harvest United Methodist Church in Byron, GA, as the Lead Pastor, and Jen as the Executive Pastor. They launched Harvest in 2001 with no congregation, team, land, or building. It was essential to do ministry in practical but innovative ways.
The primary goal in their ministry is creating systems that are flexible, engaging, and relevant in order to reach people far from God with the message of Christ. In the past 13 years, Harvest has seen more than 2,600 first time decisions for Christ and more than 2,800 attendance on the weekend. Their book Start This, Stop That is a practical approach to doing things that grow the kingdom of God. Jim and Jen enjoy traveling, sports, and doing ministry together as a family with their children, Alyssa and Josh.
Matthew Hartsfield is the Lead Pastor of Van Dyke Church in Lutz, FL, where he has served since 1993, and the author of Shouting at Jesus. Matthew received his undergraduate education at Nova Southeastern University in 1984 and earned his Master of Divinity from Emory University in 1987.
Matthew has been a minister since 1986 and has also served churches in Jacksonville and Lake Alfred, FL. His ministry at Van Dyke Church focuses on connecting the church to the community in meaningful ways that result in making disciples for Jesus Christ, particularly in the lives of children and youth. Matthew is married to Maisie and they have two daughters, Sarah and Jill.
Jorge Acevedo is the Lead Pastor at Grace Church, a multi-site United Methodist congregation with four campuses in the Cape Coral and Fort Myers area in Florida. Grace Church is recognized as having one of the largest and most effective recovery ministries in America with over 700 people involved in weekly recovery ministries.
Jorge has been in ministry since 1988 and has also served churches in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Kissimmee, FL, and Lexington, KY. Jorge received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Asbury College in 1984 and a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary. Jorge was ordained as a Deacon in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church in May 1986 and an elder in May 1990. He is the author of Vital: Churches Changing Communities and the World and co-author of The Heart of Youth Ministry. Jorge is married to Cheryl and they have two sons, Daniel and Nathan, and three grandchildren, Mia, Levi, and Seth.
Early Bird: $39
Post Early Bird $49
Early Bird: $99
Post Early Bird $139
February 6, 2015
17030 Lakeshore Road
Lutz, FL 33558