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Every 4.2 minutes, a person in PA/SJ dies without Christ!


By now, you have likely heard there are an estimated 14 million people within PA/SJ who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Moreover, vital statistics indicate that every 4.2 minutes, one person in PA/SJ dies and enters an eternity without Jesus. These statistics break our hearts. They also compel us to do whatever it takes to reach this region with the life-saving gospel. That is the very heart of the Accelerate Conference, which is designed to equip you and fuel passion and innovation that encourages Kingdom movement… a prayerful movement of God with the ultimate goal of revival! We invite you as we unveil “SHOW,” Phase 2 of #LovePASJ initiative, which will focus on showing Christ’s love through evangelism and compassion ministry.

Baptist Resource Network Annual Business Session and Gathering

Tuesday, October 4, 2022, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (plus, dinner)

at Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel, 4650 Lindle Road, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Prefer another hotel? Here is a list.

Book your rooms by midnight on September 11 to secure the special rate!

This year’s conference will feature:

  • Shane Pruitt, National Next Gen Director for the North American Mission Board; WinterJam Speaker
  • Barry Whitworth, Executive Director, Baptist Resource Network
  • Kickoff of SHOW, Phase 2 of #LovePASJ
  • Breakouts, Networking, and More!

Keynote Speakers

Shane Pruitt-1x1

Shane Pruitt

Shane serves as the National Next Gen Director for the North American Mission Board (NAMB). He and his wife, Kasi, reside in Rockwall, Texas, with their six children – Raygen, Harper, Titus, Morris, Elliot, and Glory. He has been in ministry for over 18 years as a denominational worker, church planter, lead pastor, and student pastor. Shane is also a traveling communicator, evangelist, and Bible teacher. Every year he speaks to over a hundred thousand people about the good news of Jesus Christ. He is the author of 9 Common Lies Christians Believe: And Why God’s Truth Is Infinitely Better, which is available everywhere books are sold. He has also authored many blogs and articles that have been picked up by RELEVANT, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Gospel Coalition, Church Leaders, The Baptist Press, and many others. He is also the co-host of the podcast, Next Gen on Mission (available on podcast platform) and is a monthly guest and contributor on the Point of View Radio Show that airs on over 300 stations nationwide. Shane and his wife, Kasi, were featured as ABC’s Nightly News “Persons of the Week” in August 2017.

Barry Whitworth-1x1

Barry Whitworth

Barry has been in ministry for over 30 years, serving as a mission pastor, associate pastor, church planter, pastor, interim pastor, transitional pastor and planter, church planting strategist, lead church planting catalyst, church planting director, and now executive director. Before his calling as Executive Director of the Baptist Resource Network in February 2017, he was a church planting missionary and served as the Multiplying Churches Team Leader for the BRN. Barry, who has planted churches and served on church staffs in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland, says his passion is the local church — to assist and encourage the churches in “reaching the lost [and] discipling the saved.” He seeks to help Pennsylvania/South Jersey Baptists “decrease lostness,” “push back darkness” and “have an impact in our generation for such a time as this.” He and his wife Beth have two daughters and six grandchildren.

Special Guests

SEVEN worship team

Worship led by Seven

Seven is a group of multi-talented musicians from Messiah University who have a heart for ministry, performance and creativity. They write, collaborate, perform concerts and lead worship with great enthusiasm and expression. They represent a wonderful cross-section of the Messiah University community, with members from a variety of academic majors. Seven’s mission is to spread the message of Jesus Christ through musical worship that incorporates each member’s unique gifts and creativity.

Sasha and Vita and family

Worship led by Sasha & Vita Livantsov, Voices of Ukraine

We are all devastated by the war Russia has waged on Ukraine. Baptist Resource Network churches have dedicated prayer and resources to help Ukrainians who have left their country and resettled around the world. In a powerful display of faith and resiliency, worshippers Sasha & Vita Livantsov of Voices of Ukraine will lead a special time of worship during the closing dinner of the Accelerate Conference. They have been worship leaders for many years in Ukraine. Now God has called them here to be a voice for Ukraine. We will take up a love offering at the dinner to be used to help either with resettling or providing relief for refugees. We also would like to give every conference participant a backpack to fill with items helpful to those endeavors.

Breakout Sessions

Acts 1:8 Missions

Reaching YOUR Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Ends of the World

Panel Discussion Featuring:

  • Dewey & Kathie Aiken, PA On-Site Coordinators, Baptist on Mission
  • Fred Neal, Executive Pastor, Harvest Church, Kittanning
  • Ricky Wilson, Senior Pastor, Christian Faith Fellowship, Downingtown
  • Brad Wingler, Lead Pastor, Edinboro Community Church

Culture & Context

Answering LGBTQ+, Transgender & Sexuality Questions

Panel Discussion Featuring:

  • Hal Selby, Ministry Director, Refuge 461 Ministries
  • Harrison Smith, Regional Alliance Director, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)

Developing a Thriving Volunteer Ministry

Relieve the Burden of Doing It All


  • Brennan Coughlin, Senior Pastor at Fellowship CrossPoint Church, Trenton, N.J.

Digital Ministry in Today's World

Obstacles and Opportunities


  • Crystal Brown, Administrator of Creativity, The SOAR Church, Woodbine, N.J.
  • Alfonzo Toney, Mission Pastor, The SOAR Church, Atlantic County
  • Macala Mays, Associate Editor, BRN United

From Evangelism to Engagement

What is the Next Step God is Calling You To Take?


  • David Ludwig, Associate Director of Church Health and Discipleship, Baptist Resource Network

How to Set Up a Compassion Ministry

Creating Gateways into your Community


  • Buff McNickle, Director of Compassion Ministries, Baptist Resource Network
  • Tom Dawson, Senior Pastor, SOAR Church, Woodbine, N.J.

A Pleasing Aroma

Being the Fragrance of Christ in a Smelly World


  • Mary Landis, Ministry Consultant, BRN Woven Women
  • Beth Whitworth, Ministry Consultant, BRN Ministers’ Wives

Prepared & Protected:

Legal Questions Your Church Should Be Asking


  • Davis Younts, Esq., BRN Legal Counsel; Attorney, Younts Law

Showing Self Compassion

Engaging Burnout and Emotional Health


  • John Opalewski, Owner, Converge Coaching, which exists to promote a working model that enables a leader to be effective in their role while maintaining health in their personal life. John was one of the first caregivers for the Full Strength Network and currently leads peer group huddles for pastors.

You are Not in Control of Your Results

Comparing Success Metrics with Faithful Obedience


  • Cory Hartman, Author, Global Voice Developer at New Generations

Conference Schedule

8:00 a.m.: Registration Opens
9:00 a.m.: Welcome/Business Session
10:00 a.m.: Prayer Time
10:15 a.m.: Worship led by Seven of Messiah University
10:30 a.m.: Conference Opening Remarks, Barry Whitworth
10:45 a.m.: Worship led by Seven of Messiah University
11:00 a.m.: Main Session 1: Barry Whitworth, BRN Executive Director
11:30 a.m.: Introduction of Breakouts/Break
11:45 a.m.: Breakouts Session 1
12:30 p.m.: Lunch (please take time to visit the expo!)
1:30 p.m.: Worship led by Seven of Messiah University
1:40 p.m.: Main Session 2: Shane Pruitt, NAMB Next Gen Director
2:25 p.m.: Introduction of Breakouts/Break
2:35 p.m.: Breakouts Session 2
3:20 p.m.: Break
3:30 p.m.: Worship led by Seven of Messiah University
3:40 p.m.: Main Session 3: Shane Pruitt, NAMB Next Gen Director
4:25 p.m.: Giveaways
4:35 p.m.: Main Session 4: Panel Speakers
5:00 p.m.: Closing, Barry Whitworth; Worship led by Seven of Messiah University
5:15 p.m.: Dinner



You may pre-register through Wednesday, September 28. After that, you may register at the door starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning.



Each church is granted a number of messengers, predetermined by Cooperative Program giving, Annual Church Profile completion, and church size. Messengers will receive ballots and will vote during the business sessions. Learn more.



Visitors are welcome to attend all sessions but cannot vote during the business session.


Preregistration Link:


The Baptist Resource Network extends a hearty thank you to our Accelerate Conference sponsors:

ADF Church Alliance logo
CTR logo
Full Strength logo
Ministry Trust logo
NC Baptists logo
NAMB logo
SC Baptists logo
SBTC logo
WatersEdge logo

The Baptist Resource Network also extends a hearty thank you to our Accelerate Conference vendors:

Baptists on Mission logo
BRN Legacy Giving
BRN Next logo
DR logo
Gateway Seminary logo
Guidestone logo
IMB logo - horizontal
James O Bower logo
Missio logo
NAMB logo
Send Relief logo
Treysta logo
WMU logo
Woven Women logo

Accelerate Conference Sponsor/Vendor Opportunities

The BRN is pleased to provide high quality sponsor and vendor packages for our annual gathering of churches. View video by BRN Executive Director Barry WhitworthDo you or someone you know want to sponsor or be an exhibitor for the conference? If so, check out our Sponsor/Vendor Package, which details all the many ways we can acknowledge you before our many churches. (Please note: SBC vendors receive a discount.  Check out our SBC Sponsor/Vendor Package.) 

For your safety, we recommend that you follow current local, state, and CDC guidelines and recommendations regarding COVID-19 and its variants while in attendance. Please keep in mind that the hotel venue may require masks while onsite at the time of the conference.

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