Emory Report

September 21, 1998

 Volume 51, No. 5

Candler Conference addresses black church economics

Black church leaders, pastors, laypersons and students are invited to learn more about "Black Church Economics in the 21st Century" at a public conference Oct. 9-10, sponsored by the Black Church Studies Program at the School of Theology.

The conference, to be held at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Stone Mountain, will feature a variety of speakers taking innovative leadership roles in dynamic black churches and nine workshops addressing topics from financial planning to computerizing your church. Speakers include:

  • the Rev. Joe Ratcliff of Brentwood Baptist Church in Houston, pastor of one of the fastest-growing black congregations in that state, who will talk about "Rebuilding the Walls," or remobilizing the black church's current resources and strengths;
  • Bishop Cornelius Henderson of the United Methodist Church's Florida Conference, who will lead a conference worship service; and
  • Bishop McKinley Young, ecumenical and urban affairs officer for the African Methodist Episcopal Church and founder of the Concerned Black Clergy of Atlanta, who will address "Viability of Black Churches in the 21st Century."

A panel discussion on "Visionary Church Growth and Development" will feature the Rev. Quincy Carswell, pastor, Covenant Baptist Church, Atlanta; the Rev. Sherry Gaither, co-pastor, Stronghold Christian Center, Lithonia, Ga.; the Rev. Otis Pickett, pastor, Capital View UMC, Atlanta; and the Rev. Kenneth Samuel, pastor, Victory Baptist Church, Stone Mountain, Ga. Moderator will be the Rev. Timothy McDonald III, pastor, First Iconium Baptist Church, Atlanta.

Conference workshop topics will include financial planning, biblical economics, entrepreneurship and developing property, grants and nonprofit status, wills and endowments, stewardship and tithing, banks and lending institutions, and pensions and retirement.

"As we move into the next century, we need to find ways for the black church to assist in rebuilding people's lives without sapping the church's resources," said Teresa Fry-Brown, conference coordinator and former acting director of the Black Church Studies program. "In the last 10 years there has been an influx of black professionals and seminary-educated clergy into black churches who are bringing new ideas. We need to reclaim our traditional strengths, keep what's been working, but at the same time discover how to use our resources to do more."

Cost of the conference is $50 for ministers, pastors and lay persons; $25 for area seminary students. For registration information call the Office of Black Church Studies at 404-727-4180.

-Elaine Justice

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