VALLEY FORGE, PA (1/12/17)—The Biennial Mission Summit Planning Team is excited to announce the speakers for the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit, June 30-July 2, 2017, in Portland, Ore., at the Oregon Convention Center. The Rev. Sharon T. Koh, executive director/CEO of American Baptist International Ministries, will bring the message during the Friday evening worship service. Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, will preach during the Saturday evening worship service. On Sunday morning, the service will feature an invitation to the incoming General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA to address American Baptists as he or she enters this new leadership role. The theme of the Biennial Mission Summit is “Connect!” For more information about the Biennial Mission Summit, visit www.americanbaptists2017.com.
“From the opening worship Friday evening through the dramatic conclusion on Sunday evening, this will be a very special Biennial Mission Summit. It is fitting at this time of new leadership in the ABC that we hear from these leaders who have been called forth,” said Dr. Susan Gillies, interim general secretary of ABCUSA. I encourage every American Baptist to pray for this gathering and to attend.”
The Friday evening service will be an evening affirming and proclaiming the many ways American Baptists are connected to Christ. The Saturday evening service will be an evening exploring and celebrating the rich tapestry of grace when American Baptists connect to each other. The theme of the Sunday morning worship service will be “Connected to the World.”
Rev. Sharon Koh, who will speak on the theme “Connected to Christ” on Friday evening, June 30, is executive director/CEO of American Baptist International Ministries, is a Los Angeles native and an ABCUSA pastor. She graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. with a M.Div. and a M.A.T., and served as a Mission Pastor for over a decade. Her passion is facilitating God’s mission around the world, and she cares deeply about missionaries and their families. Her hobbies include global travel, photography and enjoying the people and food of other cultures.
Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, who will speak on the theme “Connected to Each Other” on Saturday evening, July 1, serves as executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, has twenty years of experience pastoring American Baptist congregations, along with close to a decade leading a region of American Baptist Churches USA, which provides Haggray with a broad perspective about ministry at the national level. At the heart of Dr. Haggray’s ministry lies his passion for developing and implementing creative strategies that express God’s love and God’s concern for all people. That passion drives his leadership at American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), as he works with national and regional American Baptist-related organizations—along with other diverse partners—to provide a clear vision of mission, cultivate relationships and develop resources for transformational ministry with congregations, communities and regions across the United States and Puerto Rico.
The Sunday morning worship service will feature an invitation to the incoming General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA to address American Baptists as he or she enters this new leadership role. The General Secretary is expected to be named prior to the 2017 Biennial Mission Summit, and this worship service will serve as an introduction and welcome to the General Secretary of American Baptist Churches USA. The theme of this service will be “Connected to the World.”
Sunday evening will be a grand celebration of our connections as a family recognizing American Baptists who have served for years and honoring American Baptist pastors who serve in the role at local churches each Sunday. The evening will culminate with a dramatic introduction to communion. The communion service itself will be led by the new General Secretary and the other members of the National Executive Council as well as the President and Vice President of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.