MEET OUR 2018 PLENARY SPEAKERS

More speakers coming soon!

Lecrae

N.Y. Times Bestselling Author of “Unashamed” and Grammy Award Winning Artist

  “More caught than taught,” is how the artist describes his incredible journey that includes two Grammys, a history-making #1 album with his masterful 2014 offering, Anomaly (topped multiple categories, including the Billboard 200 and is RIAA Gold certified), and a compelling live resume, most recently notching a headlining 2016 ‘Destination’ tour which Lecrae says was about “real unity, not pretend unity.”

He continues to thoughtfully engage the culture, reeling off a NY Times Bestseller (last year’s riveting memoir ‘Unashamed’) and a breakthrough spoken word performance at the BET Hip Hop Awards last fall that had the twittersphere heralding his arrival as truth-telling firebrand. BET hailed it as an “epic poem,” of “necessary affirmations.”

 Lecrae cites a refreshed perspective throughout the making of the new album after surviving one of the most tumultuous years he’s experienced since his turbulent teens. Among the hardships was the passing of his longtime friend and collaborator DJ Official, some “painful personal” ramifications after the publication of the unvarnished ‘Unashamed,’ trusting friendships that went south, and chronic social media sparring from those attacking Lecrae for his candid and heartfelt perspective in response to the heartbreaking social justice issues making headlines in 2016. “Some people felt that maybe I shouldn’t be articulating the pain when it comes to the structural and systemic issues that have created barriers and disparity in regard to race,” he says. “But I came out of it feeling more confident in making this album then at any other time in my life.”

With trusted friend and Grammy winning producer S1 serving as a key production contributor, Lecrae says it was healing for him to weave some of the more nuanced, complex themes of the new album and come out the other side. “It’s about giving hope to people that they can overcome the fear and the insecurity when things do fall apart,” he says. “The before and after of it all. It may get ugly in your life, but there’s a point of rediscovery where the fear can actually drive the faith and restore you. Sometimes you have to acknowledge where you are at before it can get better.” Such authenticity has been the hallmark of his 7 studio albums and multiple mixtapes, now nearing the 2 million mark in sales, with the acclaimed artist winning a Billboard Music Award, multiple BET, Soul Train, and Dove awards and even an Honorary Doctorate of music to go along with his 2 Grammy wins. 

@lecrae

@linamay

Dr. Lina Abujamra

Pediatric ER Doctor, author, host of Today’s Single on Moody Radio and founder of Living with Power”

Lina Abujamra, a pediatric emergency room doctor by profession, is passionate about empowering people with biblical truth. A popular Bible teacher, blogger, and conference speaker, she speaks four languages and is the author of three books. She reaches English and Arabic listeners through weekly podcasts, and is engaged in providing medical care for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, her birth country. Lina is single and calls Chicago home.

 

 

Dr. Soong-Chan Rah

Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, Church Planter and Author of “Prophetic Lament”

Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah is Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL and the author of The Next Evangelicalism (IVP Books, 2009); Many Colors (Moody, 2010); Prophetic Lament (IVP Books, 2015); co-author of Forgive Us (Zondervan, 2014); and Return to Justice (Brazos, 2016).

Rah is formerly the founding Senior Pastor of Cambridge Community Fellowship Church (CCFC), a multi-ethnic church living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context. He currently serves on the board of World Vision and Evangelicals 4 Justice. He has previously served on the board of Sojourners and the Christian Community Development Association.

He has extensive experience in cross-cultural preaching as well as on numerous college campuses. Soong-Chan has been a main stage speaker at the Urbana Student Missions Conference, the Congress on Urban Ministry, the Urban Youth Workers Institute Conference, the CCDA National Conference, the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary National Preaching Conference, the Fuller Missiology Conference, the Justice Conference, and Verge, Catalyst, and Calvin Worship Conferences.

Soong-Chan received his B.A. from Columbia University; his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; his Th.M. from Harvard University; his D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and his Th.D. from Duke University.

Soong-Chan and his wife Sue and their two children, Annah and Elijah live in Chicago.

@profrah

@fjmallon

Father James Mallon

Author of Divine Renovation: From a Maintenance to a Missional Parish, 

Father James Mallon is the Episcopal Vicar for Parish Renewal and Leadership Support for the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. Although, now former pastor of Saint Benedict Parish in Halifax, he still is very much a part of this faith community.

Father James is also the author of the best selling book Divine Renovation: From A Maintenance To A Missional Parish, an engaging guide for parishes seeking to cultivate vibrant and dynamic faith communities centered on missionary discipleship.  In 2016, Father James also authored the Divine Renovation Guidebook, a step by step manual for transforming a parish.

The message of Divine Renovation has resonated in the hearts of hundreds of pastors and the laity throughout the world. It has inspired and motivated them to act and seek help in transforming their own faith community. To answer their needs, the Divine Renovation Ministry was created. Father James dedicates half his time to serve the broader church in his role with this ministry.

Born in Scotland, Father James and his family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1982. After studying at Christ the King Seminary in British Columbia and St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto, Father James was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1997.

He currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In addition to his ministry, Father James loves soccer, movies, photography, dogs, everything Apple and good Single Malt Scotch.