PAST KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Enjoy a time away to renew and energize. Spend time with other Pastors and Leaders from smaller churches and be inspired by teaching from gifted Christian leaders and teachers. Keynote Speakers include NFL Veteran and ESPN Commentator Sam Acho; small church expert and speaker Rev. Karl Vaters; Ellen Gray, teacher of “I Said This, You Heard That” by Kathleen Edelman; and a panel discussion with the three sponsor organization leaders, Dr. Gene Crume (Judson University), Rev Patty Bilyeu (Executive Minister ABC-GRR), Rev Mark Thompson (Executive Minister ABC-IN/KY)
Sam Acho is an author, a public speaker, a humanitarian, an in-studio analyst for ESPN, a nine-year NFL veteran, and a committed Christian. He’s also currently an ambassador for the International Justice Mission.
REV. KARL VATERS
Rev. Karl Vaters is the author of four books.
The Church Recovery Guide: How Your Congregation Can Adapt and Thrive after a Crisis
100 Days to a Healthier Church: A Step-By-Step Guide for Pastors and Leadership Teams
Small Church Essentials: Field-Tested Principles for Leading a Healthy Congregation of Under 250
The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches and the Small Thinking That Divides Us
Rev. Vaters produces resources for Helping Small Churches Thrive at KarlVaters.com.
Rev. Karl Vaters' heart is to help pastors of small churches (up to 90 percent of us) find the resources to lead well, and to capitalize on the unique advantages that come with pastoring a small church – something virtually every pastor will spend at least some of their ministry years doing. He also believes that big and small churches can and should work together more often – to the benefit and blessing of everyone.
He also hosts the podcast, Can This Work In a Small Church? in which he and his guests talks about universal church leadership issues, then dig deeper into how those issues look different when we approach them from a small church context.
In 2022, Rev. Vaters is doing a limited-series called the Bible Reading Coach, a weekly podcast designed to help anyone read through the entire Bible in 52 weeks.
Rev. Vaters has written for many publications, including ChristianityToday.com, Outreach magazine, Church Law & Tax, and more. He also serves as the Small/Mid-Size Church Ambassador for Compassion International.
Rev. Vaters has been in pastoral ministry for over 40 years. He is the teaching pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, a healthy small church in Orange County, California, where he has ministered for almost 30 years with his wife, Shelley.
Christian Music Artist; Pastor; Speaker
President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
CONFERENCE SCHEDULE 2023
THURSDAY, MAY 18
3:00 PM: Check-in
4:00 PM: Opening Workshop - Rev. Dr. Rex Rogers
5:30 PM: Dinner and Keynote - Ellen Gray
7:30 PM: Social Activity
FRIDAY, MAY 19
9:00 AM: Worship
9:30 AM: Keynote - Rev. Karl Vaters
10:30 AM: Workshop #1 (See workshop tab at top of website page)
11:45 AM: Lunch and Keynote - Sam Acho
1:15 PM: Workshop #2 (See workshop tab at top of website page)
2:15PM: Refreshments in the Cafe
2:45 PM: Workshop #3 (See workshop tab at top of website page)
4:00 PM: Workshop #4 (See workshop tab at top of website page)
5:45 PM: Dinner and Panel Discussion with our three supporting organization leaders
**INTERESTED IN BEING A VENDOR? Contact Nancy Fromme- ABCGRR, 217.726.7366, firstname.lastname@example.org**
HOTEL BOOKING 2023
To book your Hilton Hotel reservation ($159/night) at one of the 3 local Hiltons with a special conference rate, book directly at the links below. Note Hilton Garden is $164/night. Hotel block rate through May 1, 2023. Not guaranteed after 5/1.
Hilton Garden Inn: www.my-event.hilton.com/cmichgi-rlc-6171fcfb-e2c3-4dde-98ad-35846dc311d5/
For Registration Questions Contact:
Nancy Fromme, ABCGRR