VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 12/4/18)—The American Baptist Churches USA 2019 Biennial Mission Summit Planning Team is excited to announce two speakers for the event. Dr. Howard Stevenson, nationally recognized clinical psychologist and researcher, will speak during the Friday evening worship service. Dr. Jolene Erlacher, founder, trainer and consultant at Leading Tomorrow who focuses on equipping a new generation of leaders, will provide Sunday Morning Word and Witness. They join Elijah Brown, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), who will speak during the Saturday evening worship service and Ngwedla Paul Msiza, BWA president, who will bring the message during Sunday morning worship.
“Summit by the Sea” is the theme of the June 21-23, 2019 event, to be held in Virginia Beach, Va.
Dr. Howard Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, in the Human Development & Quantitative Methods Division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Executive Director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative at Penn, designed to promote racial literacy in education, health, community and justice institutions. Backed by a 12 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at REC, Howard also directs Forward Promise, a national philanthropic office that promotes a culture of health for boys and young men of color, to help them heal from the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination and colonization.
He is a nationally recognized clinical psychologist and researcher on negotiating racial conflicts using racial literacy for independent and public K-12 schooling, community mental health centers, teachers, police and parents. Two mental health research projects funded by National Institutes of Health examine the benefits of racial literacy. The PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth) Project uses basketball and racial socialization to help youth and parents cope with stress from violence and social rejection. Dr. Stevenson also co-leads the SHAPE-UP: Barbers Building Better Brothers Project which trains Black barbers as health educators to teach Black 18-24 year old males to reduce their risk of — HIV/STDS and retaliation violence — while they are cutting hair.
His recent best-seller book, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference, is designed to reduce racial threat reactions in face-to-face encounters. Howard’s research and clinical work have been funded by W.T. Grant Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, and the National Institutes of Mental Health and Child Health and Human Development.
Dr. Jolene Erlacher founded Leading Tomorrow in 2013 with the aim of equipping churches, businesses, schools, missions agencies and other organizations for effective inter-generational leadership in an evolving culture. Her passion for equipping a new generation of leaders emerged from various leadership experiences in education and ministry.
Erlacher worked for eight years at North Central University, specializing in leadership training, student development and personnel management. During that time, she identified the need for building awareness of generational differences as young leaders entered the workplace, especially in ministry contexts. This began an extended journey of researching the experiences and needs of Millennials in ministry positions. Her book, Millennials in Ministry (Judson Press) documents her findings. Her new book, Daniel Generation: Godly Leadership in an Ungodly Culture, was released in August 2018. Jolene specializes in providing training and consulting on team effectiveness and inter-generational leadership. She works with community organizations, government agencies, churches, missions agencies, and small businesses. Jolene teaches continuing education courses for Eduspire (www.eduspire.org). She is also an adjunct faculty member and teaches graduate courses on Organizational Leadership at North Central University (www.northcentral.edu), and serves on the Board of Directors for GoCorps (www.gocorps.org).
Jolene’s education background includes degrees in Education and English, and a graduate certificate in International Leadership. Her doctorate is in Leadership from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She has also completed training on the StrengthsFinder assessment through Gallup Consulting and studied freelance writing at the Loft Literary Center.
In addition to hearing from significant speakers, American Baptists and friends will have an opportunity to take part in an all-new Biennial Academy, with tracks offering continuing education and spiritual growth opportunities for both clergy and lay leaders alike. Academy Tracks will include Social Media, Technology and Ministry; 21st Century Options for Church Planting and Renewal; Transition Ministries Training; Bible Studies; and more.
The 2019 event will also offer opportunities for all ages featuring new events for youth and children, with a new 3-day youth conference for middle and high school students, and separate VBS-style classes available for elementary ages. Day care will also be offered.
For more information about the event, visit www.americanbaptists2019.com.
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.