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2023 Accelerate Conference Main Session Replays

2023 Accelerate Conference
Business Session

In this morning session, Baptist Resource Network President Dr. Brian King of Ezekiel Baptist Church presides over the business session.

2023 Accelerate Conference
Main Session 1

In this morning session, we join in worship with Jermaine Dolly and the worship team from Ezekiel Baptist Church and hear from BRN Executive Director Barry Whitworth.

2023 Accelerate Conference
Main Session 2

In this morning session, we join in worship with Jermaine Dolly and the worship team from Ezekiel Baptist Church and hear from Jeff Christopherson, Executive Director of the Canadian National Baptist Convention.

2023 Accelerate Conference
Main Sessions 3

In this session, we will join in worship with Jermaine Dolly and the Ezekiel Baptist Church worship team, hear from Jeff Christopherson, and share some great giveaways, courtesy of this year’s sponsors!

2023 Accelerate Conference breakout sessions now available as podcast episodes on your favorite platforms

You can now tune in to this year’s breakout sessions wherever you are! For your convenience, we’ve converted each breakout session into a podcast episode, available on Spotify, Apple, Google, and Amazon Music.

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 “GROW,” Phase 3 of #LovePASJ initiative, which will focus on growing new Christians through intentional discipleship and leadership development.

Baptist Resource Network Annual Business Session and Gathering

Tuesday, October 3, 2023, 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.

Group rate for hotel rooms is no longer available. See link to book rooms on the Sheraton website.

This year’s conference will feature:

  • Keynote Speakers Jeff Christopherson, Author, Missiologist, Leader, Catalyst, and Executive Director, Canadian National Baptist Convention and Church Planting Canada; and Barry Whitworth, Executive Director, Baptist Resource Network
  • Jermaine Dolly, Worship Leader and Christian Recording Artist
  • Dessert Meet and Greet with Jeff Christopherson
  • “Dangers Facing the Church” Breakfast with Pennsylvania Family Council
  • BRN Family Celebration Banquet, featuring NAMB “musicianaries,” Eric and Anissa Haney
  • Kickoff of GROW, Phase 3 of #LovePASJ
  • Breakouts, Networking, and More!

Keynote Speakers

Jeff Christopherson

Jeff Christopherson, Executive Director, the Canadian National Baptist Convention and Church Planting Canada

JEFF CHRISTOPHERSON is about fostering Kingdom movements of reproducing churches that transform neighborhoods and the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jeff is the Executive Director of two organizations; the Canadian National Baptist Convention, and Church Planting Canada. He also is co-founder and missiologist for the Church Multiplication Institute at Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center. 

He and his wife, Laura, live in Cambridge, Ontario. They have two children and four grandchildren. 

Jeff is the author of “Once You See: Seven Temptations of the Western Church: A Novel,” which drives readers to reflect on how God might be calling them to a richer, more fulfilling life, leadership, and ministry. He will examine these temptations during the Accelerate Conference. Every conference attendee will receive a copy of this book. @Christopherson3

Barry Whitworth

Barry Whitworth, Executive Director, Baptist Resource Network

BARRY WHITWORTH 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.

Pastor Ryan Day

Ryan Day, Accelerate Conference Emcee

A native of Westminster, Maryland, PASTOR RYAN DAY came to Wrightsdale Baptist Church as Lead Pastor in 2020. Prior to Wrightsdale, he served at Grace Baptist Church in Hazleton, Pennysylvania for twenty years. Ryan is a 1998 graduate of Baptist Bible College (now Clarks Summit University) and 2005 graduate of Baptist Bible Seminary. He is currently engaged in doctoral studies (D.Min) from Baptist Bible Seminary.

When he’s not ministering at the church, enjoying time with his family, or making plans for the next trip to Ocean City, Maryland, Ryan enjoys presidential biographies, the Baltimore Ravens, and playing guitar in praise and worship settings. He loves Lancaster County and is excited about “Accelerating Kingdom Movement” within the BRN. Ryan is married to Heather, and they have five sons and one daughter.


Jermaine Dolly

Worship led by Jermaine Dolly

JERMAINE DOLLY, worship leader at Ezekiel Baptist Church, is an emerging Black gospel artist and part-time comedian. He sings tenor and falsetto, and plays piano and drums. After graduating from West Chester University, he began his career as opening act for Tye Tribbett, recorded with him on his “Greater Than” (2013), and was included in Tribett’s anthology “Wow Gospel 2018.” His first big hit, which brought him national attention upon its release as a single in 2015, was “You,” called “a refreshing anthem to Jesus” by Blessing Harper of It and another single, “Come and Knock on My Door,” were featured on Dolly’s only album as of 2022, “Dolly Express” (2017), which reached number one on Billboard’s list of Top Gospel Albums. As of 2022 Dolly has had three subsequent singles at #1 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay charts: “Pull Us Through” (2020), “It’s Gonna Be Alright” (2020), and “I’ll Go” (2021, written 2011).

Breakout Sessions

Most of this year’s breakouts will focus on the “Seven Temptations of the Western Church,” as described in Jeff Christopherson’s book, “Once You See.” These temptations are areas where churches can be tempted to be more like western culture than the Bible.

Temptation 1: “We are a Bible-Believing Church”

Rather: “We are a Bible-obeying people.”
The Return to Christ-Like Disciple-Making—It’s not a program; it’s a lifestyle.

Kingdom Corrective to Philosophicalism: Essential to a sincere belief in the inerrancy and infallibility of God’s Word is an assumption that God calls his disciples to become a Bible-obeying people and not merely intellectual stakeholders of theologically orthodox positions. We understand that true orthodoxy affirms that biblical belief is a verb—doctrines that we humbly live and practice—rather than a noun—theoretical precepts to which we philosophically subscribe. Therefore, we choose to measure spiritual maturity and doctrinal integrity with the benchmarks found in our everyday obedience to God’s Word.

David Ludwig
David Ludwig, BRN Associate Director of Church Health and Discipleship

DAVID LUDWIG is the associate director of church health and discipleship. He has served on the staff of small, medium, and large churches in Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, and has served as an intentional interim pastor (transitional pastor) and now trains other men to serve in this role.

He holds a master of arts degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and a bachelor of science degree in religion from Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia. David has been providing training and has been consulting churches for nearly twenty years.

He is also a coach and has received coach training from the North American Mission Board, certified as a Leadership Development Coach by Leader Breakthru, and certified as a Spiritual Leadership Coach by Blackaby Ministries International. He is recognized and credentialed as a Certified Professional Christian Life Coach by the International Christian Coaching Institute (ICCI). David is a member of the leadership team for the SBC National Revitalization Network and locally assists pastors and churches in taking their next steps toward revitalization by walking them through the steps of BRN’s Transformation Pathway. David is passionate about disciple-making and leadership development and intentionally seeks opportunities to equip pastors and leaders to develop healthy, disciple-making churches.

Bill Wilks
Dr. Bill Wilks, D-Life Founder

DR. BILL WILKS is the lead pastor of NorthPark Church in Trussville, Alabama, where he has served since 1999. He has a doctor of ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and has frequently served as an adjunct professor at the New Orleans Baptist Seminary extension center in Birmingham, Alabama.

Bill is also the founder and author of D-Life, which exists to equip common people to be Christlike disciple makers. He is the author of four D-Life Journals, D-Life Online, and his most recent book, “The Greater Work–Disciple–Making. Anytime. Anywhere.” Bill and his wife, Rondie, have traveled extensively to train thousands of believers how to make disciples who make disciples.

Tim Walker
Tim Walker, Lead Pastor, Restored Church, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

TIM WALKER is the lead pastor of Restored Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, an urban church that he planted with a team of friends in 2012. Tim has led Restored to be actively involved and known as a church “In the City, For the City.” Since launching, Restored has never had a Sunday without new people, they have now celebrated 175 baptisms, and they are pursuing a disciple-making movement that saturates their city and region with the gospel.

Tim also serves on the USA National Leadership Team for The Timothy Initiative, a global disciple-making, church-planting movement focused on multiplying disciple makers, leaders, and churches to the 4th generation.

Tim met and married his wife Heather at Restored. They’ve been married for eight years, have two girls, Lucy and Emily, and they love living on mission together as a family in Wilkes-Barre.

Temptation 2: “We have a gifted pastor/ministry team.”

Rather: “We have a gifted church body.”

Kingdom Corrective to Professionalism: The gospel is every disciple’s calling—not just a chosen few. Because of this, we seek to multiply Jesus’ disciples by developing and deploying the body of Christ into a diverse and infinitely reproducible co-vocational mission-force. Therefore, our vocational leaders see their primary assignment as equippers and multipliers of Jesus’ disciple-making insurgency.

Steve Sheldon
Steve Sheldon, BRN Church Health Consultant (South Central)

STEVE SHELDON of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, serves as BRN’s church health consultant for the South Central region. In addition to other roles, he has served as pastor of churches  in San Diego, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, most recently at Wrightsdale Baptist Church in Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania, from 2011-2019, and Bux-Mont Baptist Church, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, from 1984-2007.  He also served as director of missions for the South Central Baptist Association in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, from 2007-2011.

Sheldon, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1972-1976, holds a bachelors of arts in Christian studies (Bible) and history degree from Campbellsville (Ky.) College and a master of divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He and his wife Kathy have one son and one granddaughter.

Brennan Coughlin
Brennan Coughlin, Pastor, Fellowship CrossPoint Church, Chesterfield, New Jersey

BRENNAN COUGHLIN is a church planter and preaching pastor at Fellowship CrossPoint Church in Chesterfield, New Jersey. After eleven years teaching history in New Jersey public schools, Brennan felt called to full-time ministry. He earned a master of divinity degree from Biblical Seminary in 2011, and in 2014, he and his wife, Kathleen, moved with their four children to Trenton to start a church in the capital city. The church began with a team of twenty sent out from Fellowship Community Church in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and they met weekly in the Coughlins’ home for Bible study. In the spring of 2015, worship services began in a living room, and eight months later, the church outgrew the space to worship at the Trenton War Memorial.

Brennan longs to honor the Lord with his life by bringing glory to God through the proclamation of the gospel in his home, in Chesterfield, and in the surrounding communities. He recently received his doctor of ministry degree in expository preaching from The Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Brennan deeply loves his family. Brennan and Kathleen met while supervising seventh period study hall and have been married 11 joyful years. They are blessed with six beautiful children.

Ruth Hueber
Ruth Hueber, Outreach Director, Fellowship CrossPoint Church, Chesterfield, New Jersey

RUTH HUEBER serves the Lord in and out of the church, at Fellowship CrossPoint Church in Chesterfield, New Jersey, connecting the community to the love of Jesus. She also oversees KIDS Club and Hunger Stops With Us. Working with the interns, fellow staff members and volunteers to coordinate the growing ministry effort, Hueber said, “I have the privilege of helping kids understand who Jesus is and how they can be connected to Him.”

She said she met Jesus when she was young, and it is really important to her that kids have an opportunity to hear about who Jesus is in a language that they can understand.

Temptation 3: “Our Sunday worship is inspiring, and our preaching is strong.”

Rather: “We are on mission 24/7 (it’s not all about Sunday morning).”

Kingdom Corrective to Presentationalism: We are the functioning body of Christ in community, not a well-tuned Sunday service. Though we value the weekly gathering of believers for corporate worship and biblical instruction, we also understand that Jesus’ purpose for his body cannot be contained in that hour. Therefore, what we most highly prize, publicly celebrate, and consider as our ultimate act of worship is preparing the entire body of Christ as sacrificial servants for Jesus’ 24/7 mission and his imminent return.

Buff McNickle
Buff McNickle, BRN Network Development & Compassion Ministries Director

BUFF MCNICKLE, who planted Grace Falls Church in the Atlantic County region of southern New Jersey, is BRN’s director of network development and compassion ministries. During the infancy of his new church plant, he and his core team interacted with those who suffer from substance abuse and homelessness, began a ministry of care and compassion to dancers in the local adult entertainment industry, provided afterschool homework help to school children at a local community center for low-income families, built relationships with the workers at a local soup kitchen, and for a small group of believers, encouraged them to break out of their traditions of being mere pew-fillers to be inspired and prepared to carry the gospel into their circle of influence.

Pastor Buff was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. Since 1992, he has served in full-time ministry as a student pastor, family pastor, and minister to singles and young adults. He also served at the University of Mobile as director of student leadership and Involvement where he helped build and develop leadership among the students throughout various organizations on campus. Buff and his wife Cissy are blessed to be the parents of three beautiful adopted children, twin boys, Jedidiah and Judah, and Arabella. They live in Absecon, New Jersey.

Dan Nold
Dan Nold, Lead Pastor, Calvary Church, State College, Pa.

PASTOR DAN NOLD has been married to Lynn for over 30 years. As much as he loves the church, his most significant and enjoyable achievement has been partnering with Lynn to love and develop their four kids and now one kid-in-law: Sarah, Katy (and her husband, Josiah), Jake and Josh. Dan and Lynn came to State College, Pennsylvania, and Calvary in 1994.

Dan earned a bachelor of science in speech communication from Bethel University and a master of divinity from Bethel Seminary. Currently, Dan is working on his doctor of ministry in organic leadership development. Dan loves to preach, develop leaders and strategize about the future of the church in the Centre region. Years ago, Dan read a prayer by A.W. Tozer that he still prays consistently, “Lord make me a man to whom you can entrust Your glory.” That’s Dan’s greatest purpose. “I long to become a man to whom God can entrust His glory—a living display of the gospel of grace—to inflame a passion for Christ in others.”

Tom Dawson
Dr. Thomas Dawson Jr., Senior Pastor, SOAR Church, Woodbine, N.J.

REVEREND DR. THOMAS DAWSON JR. has served as the senior pastor of the SOAR Church since 1998. For the prior 13 years, Dr. Dawson held a data control analyst title at the Philadelphia Stock Market and various management titles in the Automatic Data Processing Brokerage Division, providing client support to major brokerage firms such as Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, and Prudential. He successfully managed an entire department with a $1.5 million budget. Under the leadership of Dr. Dawson, the SOAR Church has become multicultural and has grown from a membership of 50 to over 500 and serves residents in three counties. His vision has enabled the SOAR Church to impact its community, assisting in Autism Awareness, providing coats, school supplies and food, sponsored school trips for local schools and provided financial support to families in need. 

Dr. Dawson is a current member of the FBI Citizens Organization, Coalition for a Safe Community, Cape May Regional Health Alliance, Cape May County Mental Health Alcohol & Drug Abuse Board, Cape May County Healthy Community Coalition, and Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage Diversity Inclusion, and Community Engagement Committee. Dr. Dawson has received numerous awards and honors for his industry, leadership, support of philanthropic activities, and community service. His greatest value is spending time strengthening his bond with the Lord, his family, and his community.

Temptation 4: “Everybody is welcome.”

Rather: “We search for those to welcome (not ‘come to us’ but ‘go to them’).”

Kingdom Corrective to Passivism: We actively search for lost sheep—not hope that lost sheep look for us. Therefore, we happily inconvenience our personal comforts and disrupt our religious preferences for the sake of effectively participating in Jesus’ selfless and courageous search and rescue mission.

Robert Fontell
Robert Fontell, BRN Church Health Consultant (Philadelphia)

DR. ROBERT FONTELL is the BRN church health consultant for Philadelphia and pastor of Calvary Christian Church (formerly Calvary Baptist Church) in Philadelphia, where he has served since June 2008. He graduated from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and holds a master of science in Bible degree from Philadelphia Biblical University (now Cairn University). He also earned his doctor of ministry degree from Missio Seminary (formerly Biblical Theological Seminary).

Pastor Fontell serves or has served in numerous community and denominational positions: Baptist Resource Network, church health consultant (current); Greater Philadelphia Baptist Association, moderator; Southern Baptist Convention, Committee on Committees, PA Representative (past); Pennsylvania Eastern Keystone Baptist Association, Finance (past); Catholic Community Services, Executive Board (current). Pastor Fontell is also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated.

Larry Anderson
Dr. Larry Anderson, BRN Director of Church Health and Evangelism

DR. LARRY ANDERSON, BRN director of church health and evangelism, graduated from Philadelphia Biblical University (Cairn Univ.) with a bachelor of science degree in Bible with an emphasis in Christian leadership. He has received his master of divinity and his doctor in ministry degrees from Biblical Theological Seminary (Missio Seminary). Dr. Anderson became the senior pastor of Great Commission Church in September 2004. In his time as pastor, he has been blessed to see the congregation grow spiritually and numerically. One of his noted achievements, to date, has been his ability to follow the voice of God in 2008 by leading GCC from the suburbs of Montgomery County into the city of Philadelphia to impact their new community with a holistic gospel.

Dr. Anderson joined the staff of the Baptist Resource Network in April 2013. He is director of church health and evangelism, overseeing 350 churches throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey.

Dr. Anderson is the co-author of the book, “Ask Me Why I’m Not In Church,” released in June 2019 on Westbow Press, and the author of “The Pastors’ Diaries,” released in July 2022. Dr. L.A. is the founder and host of “Athens Avenue the Podcast” birthed in spring 2023.

Josh Crans
Josh Crans, Pastor, Providence Church, Coatesville, Pa.

JOSH CRANS, pastor of Providence Church in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, has dedicated much of his life to discipling young men in the urban context. He’s a basketball coach and mentor and leads several youth mentoring programs in public schools, “Ways of Gentlemen” and Pointman Leadership Institute. For the past 18 years, he and his wife, Jordan, have served at The Bridge Academy and Community Center, where they minister to youth and families.

Temptation 5: “We are one of the fastest growing churches.”

Rather: “It’s not about seating capacity, but sending capacity.”

Kingdom Corrective to Pragmatism: The kingdom of God is our only goal, and not the advancement of our individual brand. Because of this, we choose to measure growth in terms of city-wide gospel impact rather than excelling in a competition for an evaporating market share of the evangelically predisposed. Therefore, for the kingdom outcome of gospel proximity, we prefer to selflessly invest in united efforts of gospel collaboration rather than pragmatically contending for our own interests.

Greg Drayer
Greg Drayer, BRN Church Health Consultant (West)

GREG DRAYER’s passion is taking the Word of God and finding its intersection with meaning, context, and application. Growing up in inner-city Erie, Pennsylvania, he has many experiences that led him into a life of ministry and serving his community. Throughout the years, he has attended churches in multiple denominations through his playing drums in a couple of different Christian bands. After God thankfully redirected him from his pursuit for rock-stardom, he began attending college and developed a hunger and passion for learning, especially learning about the story of God’s redemptive work throughout human history. His desire for learning brought him to seminary where he earned a master of divinity degree and in the next few years, he will begin working towards his doctor of ministry degree.

Greg has served as a volunteer in para-church youth organizations, as a youth director and pastor, and now pastors at Rolling Hills Church where for the past eight years he has had the pleasure of leading the congregation through multiple changes to its governance, through a capital campaign, and developed many new ministries and opportunities for reaching out to their community. In addition to serving in the local church, Greg has also had a hand in training new church planters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and also serves with the Baptist Resource Network, where he is a church health consultant.

John Cope
John Cope, Send Network Director, PA/SJ / Senior Pastor, Keystone Fellowship

JOHN COPE is founder and senior pastor of Keystone Fellowship and Send Network Director of Pennsylvania & South Jersey for the North American Mission Board. Having grown up in Arkansas, John served as a student pastor there for 16 years before taking on an executive pastor role in Lakeland, Florida. A few years later God began drawing him toward church planting, then one phone call from a connection in Pennsylvania opened the door for ministry in the Northeast. As John puts it, “I almost said no, but God said yes.” He and his family moved to Pennsylvania in 2001 and began meeting in a home for Bible study. Since then Keystone Fellowship has continually grown and are currently in the process of planting their eighth church.

John has a bachelor of arts degree in education from Ouachita Baptist University and a masters in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. John has written and developed a highly effective church-growth, small group development tool titled, “Nothing But Net.” Based on Jesus’ outreach and ministry examples laid out in the book of Acts, this strategy has been used very successfully in every ministry that John has been involved in. He has taught and trained thousands of ministers and lay people in this biblical approach to ministry through empowerment of lay leadership in fruitful small groups. John is married to his wife, Teresa, and they have three adult sons — two of whom are church planters and a third who serves as an international missionary in the Middle East.

Mark White
Mark White, Campus Pastor at Keystone Fellowship, Montgomeryville

MARK WHITE is Campus Pastor at Keystone Fellowship in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania. He says pastoring is, without question, a passion of his. But, it isn’t the only thing that fuels him. He enjoys traveling, cooking, watching movies and exploring national parks. He has run a couple marathons and is always up for a good adventure if he can get someone to go along.

Mark believes God gave him a relational personality, which has kept him curious about people and their stories. His family is blessed to have similar interests and is often looking for what’s next. They live their life on mission and take very seriously the command to love your neighbor. His wife, Jennifer, is a natural disciple maker who is super smart, kind and has been a secret weapon for this pastor for many many years. His son, Billy, is a high schooler who, like his mom, has a high level of compassion for serving others and like his dad, enjoys being silly and hanging out with people.

Temptation 6: “We love our country.”

Rather: “We are Kingdom citizens.”

Kingdom Corrective to Partisanism: While national patriotism and political perspectives are normal and necessary for healthy and functioning democracies, our highest and exclusive allegiance is to the eternal kingdom of heaven—not a temporal nation, nationality, ethnicity, or political ideology. Therefore, we voluntarily lower all secondary loyalties so that our earthly perspectives might not become a stumbling block to the life and death mission of Jesus’ church.

Josh Coldren
Josh Coldren, BRN Church Health Consultant (North Central)

Josh Coldren is senior pastor at Cross Creek Community Church in Trucksville, Pennsylvania. Prior to that he was the campus pastor of Crossroads Church in Roanoke, Virginia, a campus of Thomas Road Baptist Church. Josh has 20 years of ministry experience and has served in a variety of roles as student pastor, associate pastor, and senior pastor. He has experience in both urban and rural communities. Josh also is an assistant professor in the School of Divinity at Liberty University.

Josh holds a post-graduate degree in educational leadership, a master of divinity degree in missional studies, a master of religious education degree, and a master of arts in religion degree in evangelism and church planting from Liberty University. He and his wife, Nicole, reside in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania.

Ron Larson
Ron Larson, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Delaware

RON LARSON, who has a career in planting and growing new congregations in the mid-Atlantic, stepped back into a lead pastor role helping First Baptist Church, Delaware, once the largest Baptist church in the state, revitalize, after many years of severe decline. This revitalization started just before Covid struck but the church is experiencing renewed growth and unity post-Covid.

Ron’s first plant located in a small-town of 1,200 residents grew to nearly 1,300 attendees while helping to plant seven churches during that season of his ministry. He has served as president of the West Virginia State Convention and served as a member of the SBC Executive Committee as well as many other SBC organizations. Ron has also worked with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware developing a Parent Church Network across those two states. Ron served as executive director of One Hope Ministries International, a weekend feeding ministry for school-age children. He has written for several publications and is a speaker on Kingdom expansion, church growth, personal renewal, and disciple-making reproduction across the U.S. His morning spiritual devotional called “Daily Jolt” is read by several thousand people daily. Ron also leads “Raw Reality,” a leadership development and deployment think tank.

Tim Parker
Tim Parker, Senior Pastor, Stewartstown Baptist Church

Since 2016, Dr. Tim Parker has served as senior pastor at Stewartstown Baptist in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania. In 2016, Tim retired from the U.S. Army after 32 years of service and currently volunteers as a firefighter and chaplain of the local fire company. Tim and Vernessa have been married since 1988 and have four children and eight grandchildren.

Temptation 7: “We train pastors around the world.”

Rather: “Pastors around the world train us.”

Kingdom Corrective to Paternalism: We have a leadership that maintains a humble learning posture, holding to a sincere belief that Jesus’ church is expressed in a globally diverse mosaic that includes every nation, tribe, people, and language. Therefore, we engage global diversity with a gospel-centered posture that eradicates any hubris of geographical or cultural superiority by seeking to both learn and assist in ways that honor and edify the body of Christ wherever it is found.”

Noelson Chery
Noelson Chery, BRN Church Health Consultant (Ethnic Churches)

NOELSON CHERY was born and raised in Haiti. He moved to the United States in 1998 at the age of 27. The third of four children, he became a believer in Christ when he was 13 years old and was baptized at the age of 16. He has been married with his lovely and God-fearing wife Edna Chery since 1997. They have been blessed with three amazing biological children (Noelson II, Jeshua Y and Immanuel K) and Jordy their nephew who has been with them since he was 8 years old. These young men have been serving the Lord since their childhood, and are now among youth ministers in their church, First Haitian Metanoia Baptist Church.

Academically, Noelson has achieved a bachelor’s degree in theology from Philadelphia Biblical University (Cairn University), then a master’s degree in languages and cultures from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He was ordained as a pastor in 2008. In 2019, in the heat of the pandemic, the Lord called Noelson to start a new church. This congregation is now serving many families in the greater Philadelphia area. Now, God has called him into the position of ethnic church consultant with the Baptist Resource Network. He feels honored and grateful to be able to assist fellow pastors, standing alongside them, and doing this great work of ministry for the advancement of the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Todd Beel, Church Planting Catalyst, North American Mission Board

TODD BEEL grew up in Western Pennsylvania and was a part of Monroeville Baptist Church where he came to faith in Christ, was baptized, and began his walk with the Lord. Like many families in the 70’s, his parents were “transplanted” there, having moved northward for work. Following college, he was married to his wife, Anne, and they moved to seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Then, in 1992, they began to live out their missions calling. Over the past 30 years, they’d call West Chicago; San Jose, Costa Rica; Mexico City; and the Middle East “home” before moving to the Greater Philadelphia area 4 1/2 years ago. For them it has been a joy partnering with brothers and sisters around the world in service for Christ. As a church planting catalyst with the North American Mission Board, Todd loves to serve and encourage church planters. He and Anne actively serve as a part of Providence Church, Coatesville. When they have downtime, you can find Todd and his wife enjoying kids and grandkids or in the woods training their puppy, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, named Tula.

Vijay Allampalli, Northeast Lead Church Planting Catalyst for Internationals, North American Mission Board

VIJAY ALLAMPALLI currently serves as the Northeast lead church planting catalyst for internationals with the North American Mission Board (NAMB). Before serving in this role, he was the church planting catalyst with Send Network, and former evangelism and church planting missionary with the Baptist Convention of New York. He also planted a church in Charlotte, N.C., and worked on contract with Baptist Convention of North Carolina and NAMB for church planting and evangelism. He also worked as adjunct professor in Queens City Bible College in Charlotte, N.C., for a period of five years. 

Vijay preaches in revivals, leadership workshops, seminars, and conferences on church planting, evangelism, strategic planning and leadership development for churches and other organizations. Vijay received education in India, obtaining master of divinity and doctoral degrees. He served for over 20 years in various ministry, church, and denominational capacities.

Farshid Rezaee
Farshid Rezaee, PRISM Campus Minister, Apologist, Evangelist, and Preacher

Born in Iran, Farshid came to know about Christ when one popular Iranian newspaper surprisingly published the “Sermon on the Mount.” That half a page changed his life and was the only “Bible” he had for years. He did his bachelor of arts and master of arts in English literature. Once he read an article on “Paradise Lost,” which argued that for God to be just and merciful at the same time, He had to pay the penalty for humans’ sins! Farshid’s heart changed but he had to hide his faith for years. Leaving his job as a lecturer, he moved to Malaysia where he lived as a refugee for 12 years and taught apologetics and preached at churches, camps and universities. In August 2022, he was resettled in Pittsburgh where God led him to PRISM, a welcoming community for international students and scholars in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Farshid is passionate about evangelism and apologetics and tries to use the God-given gift of being a super extrovert to talk to international students. He loves coming up with puns!

Navigating the Changing Culture and How To Protect Your Ministry

As a Christian ministry, how do you address the changing cultural views on issues such as sexuality, marriage, and gender identity? How can your ministry love and serve everyone while not giving into the shifting morality of the day? This seminar will explore the recent cultural and legal challenges the Church is currently facing so that you can be a good steward of your ministry, understand how to navigate these challenges, and can know how to keep the doors open for the Gospel for future generations.

Stan Williams, BRN Next Gen Director

STANLEY WILLIAMS, BRN’s Next Gen director, oversees BRN’s ministries to the next generation (youth and young adults) with a principle focus on the collegiate ministry. He has served as a collegiate missionary for the North American Mission Board since 2001. Stanley’s background in collegiate ministry dates back to his college years where, as an undergraduate at Howard University (class of 1987), he grew deeper and stronger in Christian faith and spiritual disciplines. “Had it not been for the pivotal role of Rev. Eugene Burrell and the Navigator’s Christian Fellowship of Howard University, I do not know where I would be or how I would have avoided a mediocre experience as a Christian and an undergraduate,” he said.

Stanley has an abiding visceral sense of calling to engage the next generation. For the course of over 35 years of vocational Christian ministry, he has served campus ministries and congregations in Alaska, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Stanley, who holds a master of divinity degree in Great Commission studies from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says his ministry passions are impacting lostness and multiplying apostolic leaders for the sake of Kingdom advancement. He and his wife Trina have four adult children, and a host of adopted grandchildren from the several years of being integrally involved in the lives of former students in an extended family capacity.

Ralph Rodriguez
Ralph Rodriguez, Regional Alliance Director, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)

Ralph Rodriguez is a regional alliance director for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Church and Ministry Alliance. He works with ministry and denominational leaders across the country on religious liberty issues to ensure that the body of Christ understands the current cultural and legal climate and knows how to respond via the resources available to them through ADF’s membership programs. His heart is to see the Church boldly proclaim the truth of the gospel in our day!

Before joining the ADF Church and Ministry Alliance team, Ralph served as legal counsel at the United Nations for ADF International. Before that, Ralph worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, providing administrative and tactical support for investigators in the counterterrorism division. While with the FBI, he earned his juris doctor degree at New York School. He also received a bachelor of arts degree in international studies from The City College of New York. He is admitted to the bar in New York.

Special Events

Jeff Christopherson Dessert Meet and Greet
Dessert Meet and Greet with Jeff Christopherson

MONDAY, OCT. 2, 7 – 8:30 P.M.

On Monday evening, we will host a Dessert Meet and Greet with our keynote speaker, Jeff Christopherson. Jeff is the author of Kingdom First, Kingdom Matrix, Venal Dogmata, and Once You See. You will be pleased to hear about Jeff’s Kingdom heart, which has been expressed throughout his entire ministry. To accommodate Jeff’s travel schedule, we will host the Meet and Greet from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Interested? Sign up on the registration form.

Dangers Facing the Church
Dangers Facing the Church Breakfast

TUESDAY, OCT. 3, 7 – 8 A.M.

The church is now in a post-Christian and hostile world. How should we respond? You invited to a breakfast sponsored by Pennsylvania Family Council and the Church Ambassador Network. Kurt Weaver will explore the dangers–and gospel opportunities–facing today’s church.

Weaver is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Pennsylvania Family Institute in Harrisburg. Prior to working for PA Family, Kurt spent over eleven years in pastoral ministry caring for people with the gospel of Jesus Christ and is a graduate of Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster and the Pastors College in Louisville, Ky. Prior to being a pastor, he worked in the Christian music industry as a artist manager, concert and festival promoter, and radio promotions director. And, being a father of six children, he is driven to see a greater gospel influence in this world.

Interested? Choose one of the breakfast options on the registration form.

BRN Family Celebration Banquet

TUESDAY, OCT. 3, 5:30 – 6:30 P.M.

The Baptist Resource Network has so much to celebrate! We invite you to join us in celebrating various churches from across the network during this special banquet. This is bound to be a fun night that you won’t want to miss!

The celebration will include performances from NAMB “musicianaries,” Eric and Anissa Haney, who formerly served as IMB missionaries in Stockholm, Sweden. God brought the Haneys together through music 18 years ago. They have been creating music together ever since, and their most recent band/album is called, HANEY LOVE. They desire to inspire hope, bring healing, and most of all, share the love of Jesus through their music. Anissa was born in the greater Philadelphia region in Pennsylvania. Eric, who is originally from Asheville, North Carolina, worked as a worship and student pastor for many years before moving overseas with his family.

Interested? Choose one of the dinner options on the registration form.

Conference Schedule

October 2:

6:00-7:00 p.m. Registration
7:00-8:30 p.m. Dessert Meet and Greet with Jeff Christopherson

October 3:

7:00-8:00 a.m. “Dangers Facing the Church” Breakfast
8:00-10:30 a.m. Registration
9:00-10:00 a.m. Business Session
10:00-10:15 a.m. Break/Prayer Time
10:15-10:30 a.m. Worship Session 1
10:30-10:45 a.m. Welcome
10:45-11:15 a.m. Main Session 1: Barry Whitworth
11:15-11:25 a.m. Explanation of Networking, Expo Time, Cooperative Missions
11:25-12:30 p.m. Networking, Expo, Lunch
12:30-12:40 p.m. Worship Session 2
12:40-1:10 p.m. Main Session 2: Keynote 1: Jeff Christopherson
1:10-1:15 p.m. Explanation of Breakouts
1:15-1:30 p.m. Break & Walk to Breakouts
1:30-3:00 p.m. Breakout Sessions
3:00-3:15 p.m. Break
3:15-3:30 p.m. Giveaways
3:30-4:00 p.m. Main Session 3: Keynote 2: Jeff Christopherson
4:00-4:05 p.m. Worship Session 3
4:05-4:15 p.m. Closing Words: Barry Whitworth
4:15-4:20 p.m. Closing Worship
4:20-5:30 p.m. Networking, Expo, Transition to Celebration Banquet
5:30 p.m. BRN Family Celebration Banquet



You may pre-register through Wednesday, September 27. 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
Church Ambassador Network
Full Strength logo
Ministry Trust logo
NAMB logo
NC Baptists logo
SC Baptists logo
SBC Virginia
WatersEdge logo

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

6:4 Fellowship
Baptists on Mission logo
BRN Legacy Giving
BRN Next logo
Club Encourage logo
CTR logo
D-Life logo
DR logo
GuideStone logo
Harvest USA
James O Bower logo
Pastors' Diaries
Piercing Word
Southeastern Seminary
Send Relief logo
Stand with Warriors
Stonecrop Wealth Advisors
The Baptist Paper
Treysta logo
WMU logo
Woven Women

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: Approved SBC vendors receive a discount.) 

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