Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches to Build Connections

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"Building Bridges Into the Future," the 2009 Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches, sponsored by the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship, is taking place January 6-9 in Houston.

United Methodist General Board of Discipleship

We need not to be isolated.

Bringing together pastors of black churches around The United Methodist Church, the largest congregation in the denomination will host a convocation January 6-9 in Houston.

"Building Bridges Into the Future" is the theme for the 2009 Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches, hosted by Windsor Village UMC and sponsored by the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship (GBOD). The convocation will build bridges as it brings together clergy of all ages, genders and types of service. It is designed to inform, inspire and encourage pastors of black churches and those who support them.
Started in 1999 as a one-time event, the 2009 Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches will be the sixth event.

"The emphasis is: How do we become more connected as clergy leaders of black churches?" says Vance Ross, chair of the design team and deputy general secretary of GBOD. "We need not to be isolated."

Participants will learn from renowned pastors who are recognized for their leadership in black church settings; develop strategies to aid pastoral leaders as a complement to their annual (regional) conference response to the "Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century" initiative; and discover the critical needs for growth in black churches.
Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor of Windsor Village, will welcome the pastors to the convocation held at Houston's Westin Galleria Hotel as well as to a worship service at Windsor Village on January 6 with Bishop Violet Fisher (retired) preaching. A special offering at the service will go toward Africa University and the United Methodist Black College Fund. Attendees are encouraged to bring an offering from their local congregations.

Kimberly Hall, senior pastor of Epworth UMC in Cockeysville, Md., and Cedrick Bridgeforth, superintendent of the Los Angeles District, will give voice to the younger generation of pastors, while the legendary Zan Holmes and others will speak from the wisdom of their years in successful ministry.

Sonnye Dixon, senior pastor of Hobson UMC in Nashville, Tenn., will give voice to the local pastors serving black churches. Leading a plenary on mentoring will be Herbert Marbury, professor of Hebrew Bible at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tenn., and Victor L. Cyrus-Franklin, a ministerial candidate in the North Georgia Annual (regional) Conference.

For more information about the convocation, including the schedule and registration details, visit You may also register by contacting Deborah Carvin at 1-877-899-2780, ext. 7051, or at dcarvin(at)

GBOD's mission is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, GBOD is
located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. Visit for more information or call the Media Relations Office toll free at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 7017.

GBOD Media Relations Office
Jeanette Pinkston, Director
(615) 340-7017 (O)
(615) 604-7669 (C)


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