October 24-25, 2019  |  Sterling Heights, MI


Keynote Speaker: Dr. David K. Clark

David K. Clark

David Clark is a professor of theology at Bethel Seminary in St Paul, MN.

David and his family moved to Minnesota in 1988 to begin teaching theology, apologetics and ethics at Bethel Seminary. Over the years, he has served as a professor, a pastor, vice president and dean of Bethel Seminary, and provost of Bethel University.

David is married to Sandy, and together they have two adult sons. Tyler lives in Boulder, CO with his wife, Renee, and Ryan lives in the Twin Cities, MN with his wife, Rachel. The Clarks have five grandchildren.

David attended Houghton College (NY) for his B.A., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) for his M.A. and Northwestern University (IL) for his Ph.D. He has written or co-written eight books and dozens of articles.

Today, David teaches at Bethel and serves the wider church through consulting, teaching and public speaking. He has contributed as a member of several boards, including the national board of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He is internationally known for his work in theological and apologetic method. He’s an expert on the problem of evil, theory of knowledge and science and theology.

For fun, David enjoys sports (like golf) and building projects. He and Sandy are currently remodeling a “fixer-upper” on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. Besides spending time with family, his greatest joy is exploring eternal questions with those who are curious about and serious about faith in Jesus Christ.

Theological Forum -
The Deep Roots and Cultural Fruits of Today's Gender Debate

Facebook has many gender options to choose from–one report listed 71 options! If “God made them male and female,” what are we to make of this?

The cultural sources and effects of the gender debate are more far-reaching than many assume. The explosion of gender options isn’t just about femaleness and maleness; it’s an expression of a broad and powerful cultural worldview. Significantly, this worldview is simply assumed without question by many in our culture.

So how can we discern the backgrounds of the current gender thinking? How should we interpret its meanings? And how can we minister the Good News effectively in a culture that largely assumes a worldview at odds with Scripture?

Featured Presenters

Gary Rohrmayer

Gary Rohrmayer was born in Waukesha, WI. Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, he turned his entrepreneurial energy into starting new churches throughout the Midwest after experiencing a dramatic conversion.

As a pastor, author, speaker, coach, trainer and leader, he has a unique focus in mobilizing and mentoring leaders in the mission of Jesus. He specializes in equipping leaders in areas of spiritual formation, church planting and church health.

Gary has been a force in church planting since 1987. During this time, he has been involved in over 171 new church plants and trained thousands of church planters across the country. He currently serves as the president and executive minister of Converge MidAmerica, overseeing its business and ministry interests that support regional church planting and ongoing care of its partner churches. Gary’s vision is to see that "no leader travels their ministry journey alone.”

Gary and his wife, Mary, have three grown children and live in the greater Chicago area.

Jeff Forester

Pastor Jeff Forester has been the Lead Pastor of Heritage Church in Sterling Heights, MI for 13 years, while also being engaged around the world in training leaders, coaching pastors and planting churches.

Being convinced that the world we leave to our children and our grandchildren is the world we create, his passions revolve around starting and strengthening churches while sharing Jesus' love with no strings attached.​

Mark Albrecht

Mark Albrecht planted NorthBridge Church in 2001 in Antioch, IL. After 15 years as a mobile church in which three daughter churches were planted, NorthBridge finally built a home of its own in 2016. NorthBridge is now part of a circle of ten "related" churches that are working together to multiply churches in their region. 

Mark has been married to Michelle - his friend, partner and Worship Director - for 31 years. Their son Cody is recently married and serves in music and student ministry at NorthBridge.

Jessy Padilla

Jessy Padilla has been pastoring Iglesia Emanuel in Waukegan, IL for over 21 years. His passion is planting churches in the Illinois area and parts of Latin America.

Currently, he is the Director of Latino Ministry for Converge MidAmerica. His mission in life is to make disciples that follow Christ and help coach the next emerging generation of leaders.

Danny Parmelee

Danny Parmelee was the church planter and lead pastor of epikos church in Milwaukee, WI from 2005-2017. What started in his living room as a bible study grew into a multi-site, multi-ethnic congregation of over 2,000.

He currently is the Vice President of Church Planting for Converge MidAmerica. He is a co-host on the podcast "Unfiltered," a podcast about what it's really like to plant a church.

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Heritage Church, Sterling Heights, MI



New Pastors and Planters Dinner
6:00 – 7:30 pm


New Pastors and Planters Orientation
9:00 – 11:00 am
Networking Luncheon Meetings
11:00 – 12:45 pm
Session 1 Workshops
1:00 – 2:15 pm
2:15 – 2:30 pm
Session 2 Workshops
2:30 – 3:45 pm
3:45 – 4:00 pm
Vision Meeting — Gary Rohrmayer​
4:00 – 5:00 pm
5:00 – 6:00 pm
Celebration, Worship and “Each One Start One” Ted Talks
6:00 – 8:00 pm


Prayer First Gathering
8:00 – 8:50 am
Session 3 Workshops
9:00 – 10:15 am
10:15 – 10:30 am
Theological Forum — Gender Issues in the Church — David Clark​
10:30 – 12:00 pm

Saturday - Church Finance 101

Is your church tracking your finances correctly? Do you understand the processes and reports? Stick around for an extra day after Connect and bring your finance team to our Church Finance 101 seminar!

Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Heritage Church, Sterling Heights, MI


Session 1

Workshop leader: Brian Coffey

How do you plan to replace yourself? When is it time to start thinking about it? How do you identify your successor? Providing for and leading your church through leadership transition is a critical and often avoided issue.

Brian served as Senior Pastor for 22 years then handed leadership off to Jeff Frazier in 2016. Brian remains a full-time pastor at Chapelstreet as Pastor of Leadership and Development. Join him for his perspective on the challenge of succession planning.​

Workshop leaders: Chris Highfill and Corey Johnston

We want to inspire you to take your young church to the next level by taking the biggest step of faith you have ever taken.  Come learn how a capital campaign has nothing to do with money and everything to do with the heart of you as a leader and the leaders in your church. Cory and Chris are living proof that this will change not only your church, but the community you live in. 

Workshop leader: Jessy Padilla

In this workshop, you will learn to value and understand the importance of prayer in your ministry.

Workshop leader: Jerry Troyer

To identify and develop ways of working with God’s Spirit to bring about positive change in the life of a small church.

Workshop leader: Nate Wagner

One of the great privileges, and simultaneously significant challenges, of the pastorate is that of counseling. We are given the opportunity to meet people in their darkest, lowest, most vulnerable and often most receptive moments of life. We are given an invitation to bring hope and light where it feels like all has been stripped away. We receive calls that clinicians will often never get.

Deciding our priorities, developing a holistic view of sin and cultivating an approach that is both healthy for us and most helpful to those we work with are a few of the essential components to serving well in this role. This workshop will explore five constructs to further equip you in the area of discipleship counseling.

Workshop leader: Avdal Boktor

In this workshop, Pastor Avdal Boktor will share with you about how to reach Arab people. He will also share his testimony and experience about his life in ministry.

Workshop leader: Deborah Fullwood

The role of a pastor’s wife is a ministry filled with many challenges. In this workshop, you will learn how to maintain a healthy self-esteem in the midst of congregational pressures and expectations. You will learn helpful techniques for guarding your marriage and children against the attacks of the adversary. You will also learn how to utilize your role as a minister’s wife to truly glorify God.

Workshop leader: Pete Sutton

It is not difficult to run plays from the traditional youth ministry playbook: pizza and a silly game will draw a crowd for a Bible lesson. But ministries that are truly transformational move beyond the “what” of curriculum and content to a clear understanding or strategy and “why” we do what we do. This session takes a 360° look at typical youth ministry to develop purpose and helpful values and objectives.

Session 2

Workshop leader: David Nelms

Discipleship that works. This seminar will explain the proven disciple-making principles from the international setting for the church in the USA. 

Presentation topics include the discipleship strategy and leadership process for implementation. Plus, the important issue of how to transition your church to this model will be addressed. 

Workshop leader: Leandro Nogueira

Worship doesn’t only happen on Sunday mornings during the singing portion of our services. As a pastor, how do you lead your congregation in worship in a way that not only values corporate singing, but also encourages them to “put worship” into practice?

Workshop leader: Jonathan Herron

Healthy Church Growth is Biblical! In this workshop with author and pastor Jonathan Herron, you will go inside the world of today’s Millennials & Gen Zers with a renewed passion for turning your church into a movement of missionaries.

Workshop leader: Scott Ridout

Last time I checked, Sunday happened every week. Which means that every week the pastor has to prepare a new message to help his congregation move forward and God’s purposes for the church. But how does the pastor get in the rhythm of preparation without getting into a rut?

This workshop will give you a preaching framework that will help you move forward with clarity, creativity and confidence.

Workshop leaders: Mark Albrecht and Gary Ricci

It’s so exciting when a church sends out a team to plant a daughter church, but the process of getting there can be difficult for all involved. What are the issues that need to be thought through in advance? How does a congregation get prepared to release people and resources? How can a daughter church honor and bless the sending church?

Join us for this workshop as the pastor of a sending church and the pastor of the daughter church share their story and their learnings.

Workshop leader: Watson Jones III

In this session, we will discuss what urban ministry should look like in today’s culture and context. We will briefly discuss a biblical theology of urban ministry. Finally, we will discuss how and what biblical preaching and ministry praxis should address in urban ministry.

Workshop leader: Mackenzie Carter

Anxiety has a tendency to hit us on all sides. We need to learn how to fight back. This session will center around learning to deal with anxiety head-on, especially in our role as a Pastor’s Wife. Are you ready to join the fight club?

Workshop leader: Pete Sutton

Most pastors and leaders can answer the “what” questions of ministry. Some can answer the “why” questions of ministry. The most fruitful ministries can connect the “why” and the “what” with “how,” a clear strategy for reaching students and making disciples. This session will help participants simplify their own visions and focus them on a clear process rather than a product.

Session 3

Workshop leader: Jeffrey Johnson

In every generation, God anoints particular people to lead his people to the destiny God has set apart for them. From Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and many more whom the Lord has set apart to lead. However, not every capable leader has been open and receptive to their God-given ability and responsibility to lead. God has not rejected these men and women because of their reluctance. Through his grace and patience, God helped these reluctant leaders to find their place and pinpointed purpose in his divine plan for his people.

Workshop leaders: Abram Delgado, Jessy Padilla and Danny Flores

In this workshop, you will learn how to overcome challenges, understand dynamics and essential things you need to know as you plant a Hispanic church that reaches first and second-generation Latinos. 

Workshop leaders: Michael Eberly, Mike Gorr and Jerry Schrick

Join us as we share stories and insights of how we saw God work in our small churches through our capital campaigns. You will be encouraged by what God can do in your church as you’ll see not only money raised for ministry but also spiritual growth take place in your people. You’ll gain wisdom about some do’s and don’ts as you consider to lead and prepare your church for your capital campaign.

Workshop leaders: Jeff Dryden, John Gilfillan and Jonathan Swift

This workshop will be a panel discussion of three Converge pastors sharing about the transformation in their preaching and in the Church by consistently applying “dig and discover” principles. You will also be introduced to the ministry of Leadership Resources International and be invited to participate in a future learning cohort.

Workshop leaders: Jeff Forester and Paul Urban

In this session, we’ll discuss the motives for multi-site and key factors that need to be considered when it comes to launching and growing multiple locations. We’ll share lessons learned (both good and bad) on our multi-site journeys and we’ll cover key questions your church needs to wrestle with as consider your first (or next) site.

Workshop leader: Brian Coffey

Have you ever hired a pastor to join your team only to discover a problem with DNA match? Are you thinking about launching a new campus any time soon? Do you have a “leadership pipeline” in place? Do you have an intentional plan to identify and equip next-generation leadership? In this workshop, Brian will share his journey into the process of building a pastoral residency program.

Workshop leader: Brenda Byers

Engaging the Bible and praying are the primary methods for growing our intimacy with God. Both are foundational to other spiritual disciplines (ie. worship, fasting, service, etc.) While many tend to think of prayer and Bible reading as separate spiritual practices, they can be even more powerful when combined into one practice of “praying scripture.”

Workshop leader: Pete Sutton

What” is never the first question in a fruitful youth ministry. (As in, “What should we do this week?”) Rather, it is always the answer to processing the “why” and “how” questions. What to plan and pull off becomes crystal clear when purpose and process are properly understood. This session will help participants develop appropriate plans and products to accomplish the strategy (how) and purpose (why) of their own youth ministry.

Workshop Leaders

Click on a leader’s name to read their bio.

Avdal Boktor

Pastor at Hope Arabic Church, Sterling Heights, MI

Avdal Boktor is an American Egyptian pastor. He was born in Egypt in 1981 and accepted Jesus Christ when he was 16 years old. He migrated to the United States in 2012.

Avdal has a passion to reach Middle Eastern and Muslim people who live in the United States, especially in North America. He has started a variety of ministries, including planting Hope Arabic Church in November of 2014, founding the organization Hope for Arabs and founding outreach ministries in Egypt.

Avdal is filled with a vision to reach the unreached for Christ and is determined to use whatever God-given time he has to accomplish what God put in his heart. He has helped grow Arabic churches into global ministries through online streaming and hosting TV shows in Arabic that reach 99% of the world.

Avdal holds a bachelors degree in divinity from ABTS Lebanon. He is also the author of the books Life for You, Inner Healing, and Fight with God.  

Pastor Avdal and his wife Hiba live in Michigan with their two sons, Adam and Mark.

Brenda Byers

Wife of Pastor Norm Byers, Genesis Church, Petoskey, MI

Brenda Byers has been happily married to Norm, Lead Pastor of Genesis Church - Petoskey, for 25 years. They have recently become pseudo “empty nesters” with their youngest graduating from high school this year.

Brenda has used her gift of administration over the years in helping launch two pioneer church plants with Norm as well as support his role of Director of Church Planting in Michigan. She currently serves in Women’s Ministry at Genesis along with staying connected with the church’s younger families by teaching preschool classes.

Within the last few years, she has enlarged her opportunities for ministry by stepping into a secular role as Executive Assistant for the president and leadership of a local manufacturing facility (putting her bachelor’s degree of business from Liberty University to good use).

Mackenzie Carter

Wife of pastor Mark Carter, Torch of Faith Church, Grayslake, IL

Mackenzie Carter is a speaker and writer. She has been married for 20 years to her best friend, Mark. They pastor Torch of Faith Church in Grayslake, IL.

Kenzie loves being a homeschooling mom to her five amazing kids: Rachel (18), Skylar (15), Emily (13), Amber (11) and John (9). In 2016, she launched the Swordgirl Women’s Conference in order to equip and activate women to walk in power, strength, and freedom through God’s Word.

Brian Coffey

Pastor of Leadership and Development at Chapelstreet Church, Geneva, IL

Brian Coffey has served in three pastoral roles over 33 years at Chapelstreet Church; eight years as Youth Pastor; 22 years as Senior Pastor; and now three years as Pastor of Leadership and Development. Over that time, Chapelstreet has grown from about 400 to over 4,000 and Brian is now focused on identifying and equipping next-generation leaders. Brian and his wife, Lorene, have four sons in their 20’s.​

Abram Delgado

Lead Pastor of Casa de Oración, Round Lake, IL

Abram Delgado is the lead pastor of Casa de Oración in Round Lake IL. He and his wife started the church in 2015. They have a relevant church involved in the community and they are reaching first-generation Latinos. He was also part of the launch team for Casa de Vida in McHenry, IL and associate pastor with Iglesia Emanuel in Waukegan for five years. 

Jeff Dryden

Lead Pastor of Converge Community Church, New Buffalo, MI

Jeff has pastored in the same local community for 31 years. He has been a part of training, strengthening, and birthing local churches in Michigan and around the world (currently in Central Asia with the persecuted church).

Jeff and Cindy have 6 great kids. They moved to New Buffalo in 2012 to launch a new church site, Converge Community Church. For fun, he enjoys long walks with Cindy, camping, kayaking, and anything outdoors. His passion is to see the Gospel rooted in the lives of people.

Michael Eberly

Pastor at Cornerstone Church, Lansing, IL

Michael Eberly serves at Cornerstone Church in Lansing, IL. Cornerstone is a Bible-based, multi-ethnic church of 150. God worked through a three-year capital campaign to raise $300,000, while growing their congregation and meeting their regular budget each year. 

Danny Flores

Pastor at R Church, Elgin, IL

Danny Flores is the lead pastor of R Church, a new church plant in the city of Elgin, IL. For over 15 years, he has been reaching first and second-generation Latinos by opening three bilingual churches (New Jersey, Chicago and Elgin). He has a heart for those who are hurting and need Jesus. 

Danny has been married for 11 years to Ibeth and they have three children: America, Freida and Moso.

Deborah Fullwood

First Lady of Bellevue Baptist Church, Chicago, IL

Deborah Fullwood has been married to Pastor Lucious Fullwood for 49 years. Together they have served in ministry at Bellevue Baptist Church in Chicago, IL for over 37 years. Deborah’s ministry work has included feeding the homeless, clothing giveaways, teaching, girls club, coordinating a Women’s Mentoring Program and much more. She has been a caretaker, encourager, motivator, prayer warrior and woman of God raising four children while supporting her husband in ministry.

John Gilfillan

Pastor at CityGate Church, Portage, MI

John Gilfillan serves as the Pastor of CityGate Church in Portage, MI. In 2014, God called John (and his family) away from his career and into church planting.  

After the Converge Assessment Center, he completed a residency with Northbridge Church in Kalamazoo, MI and launched CityGate in September 2016.  

John and his wife Cherie have five kids who they refer to as the “Fab5”. 

Mike Gorr

Lead Pastor of Mercy Road Church, Redford, MI

Mike planted Mercy Road Church in Redford, MI in the fall of 2010. Prior to Mercy Road, he was a youth pastor for 14 years.

Mike received his bachelor's degree at Wheaton College and his MDiv at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul. Mike is currently working on his Doctor of Ministry at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI with an emphasis on Deepening Soul Care and Spiritual Formation for Mission.

Mike and his wife Jill just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, and they are the proud parents of four kids.  

Jonathan Herron

Pastor of Life Church Michigan, Saginaw, MI

Jonathan Herron learned improv-comedy from Tina Fey, partied with Chris Farley and now leads LifeChurch Michigan. His newest book for church leaders, Fearless Leadership, releases nationally this fall. Discover more at FearlessLeadershipNetwork.com and on all social media @HighFiveJon.

Chris Highfill

Founding Pastor of Grace River Church, O'Fallon, MO

Chris Highfill is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University with a degree in church ministries. Chris planted Grace River Church in O’Fallon, MO in 2014. He is also the regional director of Church Planting for Southern Illinois and Missouri for Converge MidAmerica. 

Chris met his wife Sarah while in college and they have been married since 2003. They have three children; Ella, Jack and Alle.

Jeffrey Johnson

Senior Pastor at Eastern Star Church, Indianapolis, IN

Pastor Jeffrey A. Johnson, Sr. accepted his call to ministry at the age of 17 and has served as the Senior Pastor of Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis, IN since 1988. Under his leadership, the “One Church in Three Locations” has grown to over 17,000 members and has planted three churches in Indianapolis as well. Pastor Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion with Honors from Bishop College in Dallas, TX and matriculated at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He has also received numerous honorary doctorate degrees, highly-esteemed community awards and was voted the 2012 “Best Pulpiteer” by Black Christian News Network One, an international online media resource.

In August 2007, Pastor Johnson launched Kingdom Word Ministries and authored the following titles: “Song of Solomon: Love, Sex and Relationships”, “Making A Comeback: Reclaiming Our Lives In Christ”, “Life Illustrated: Daily Thoughts For Your Daily Walk”, “Dialogue with My Daughters”, “Dialogue with My Sons”, “Dialogue with Single Parents”, and his newest release “The Making of a King”.

A devoted husband, Pastor Johnson is married to Sharon Henry Johnson and is the loving father of four sons.

Corey Johnston

Founding Pastor of Heights Church, Maryville, IL

As Lead Pastor of Heights Church, my role is to oversee the teaching and vision of the church. After I graduated Covenant Seminary, I followed a call to plant a church in the Metro - East STL region. My wife and I have two kids and a pup named Skye. 

Watson Jones III

Senior Pastor at Compassion Baptist Church, Chicago, IL

Watson Jones III is the Senior Pastor of Compassion Baptist Church on Chicago’s Southside. He was the Founder and Lead Pastor of Restoration Church of Philadelphia. Watson is married to his wife Kelli, and together they have three children, Yeshaya, Watson IV and Ellison.

David Nelms

Founder and President of The Timothy Initiative

David serves as Founder & President of TTI. He casts vision and gives direction to TTI as they impact the world for Christ. He is a former senior pastor and had success in growing three different churches in Maryland, Iowa and Florida.

David received a Master of Arts degree from Moody Bible Institute, a Master of Divinity from Luther Rice University and his Doctor of Ministry from Luther Rice University.

David is married to his lovely wife Loretta. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.

Leandro Nogueira

Lead Pastor of Village Point Church, Elk Grove Village, IL

Leandro came to Village Point Church after serving as Associate Pastor at Hillside Church in Bloomington, MN. Prior to Hillside, he served as Lead Pastor at a multi-ethnic church in the Twin Cities. He is passionate about the local church and has a heart for missional living. Leandro is a graduate of Bethel Seminary with a Master of Arts Degree in Ministry Practice and has worked in full-time missions in several places, including Brazil, New Zealand and Ethiopia. Leandro and his wife Isabella have four young children.

Gary Ricci

Founding Pastor of New Hope Christian Community, Round Lake Heights, IL

Gary and his lovely wife Elizabeth were married in 1996 and have 4 children: Grace, Faith, James and John. Gary is originally from New Jersey and first found Christ at Miami University in Oxford, OH in 1991. Gary is a 2000 MDiv graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Prior to planting New Hope, Gary served at NorthBridge church in Antioch, IL as the Associate Pastor. In addition to New Hope, Gary has the privilege of serving God on the Converge regional church planting team for Northern Illinois, and together with Elizabeth, serves as an assessor at the Converge assessment center.

Gary and his family live in Round Lake, IL. He enjoys hanging out with his family, playing and coaching basketball and Italian cooking.  He hopes someday to write a pilot for a decent sitcom about church planting.

Scott Ridout

President of Converge

Scott Ridout is the president of Converge. A graduate of Virginia Tech and Columbia International University, he and his wife Lisa led Sun Valley Community Church in Gilbert, AZ from 1998 to 2014. Sun Valley grew from 375 to roughly 5000 attendees on three campuses under his leadership.

Previously, Scott served six years as a Converge overseer, including two years as chairman. He has been a co-leader of the Vision Arizona church planting team since 1998 and has led Converge Generosity since 2008.

He is also a church leadership mentor and continues his coaching during his presidency. Scott believes Converge is better together.

He and Lisa have three children: Jon, Ashlyn and David.

Jerry Schrick

Senior Pastor of Bethany Baptist Church, Moline, IL

Jerry Schrick has been Senior Pastor at Bethany Baptist Church in Moline, IL since January 2009. He and his wife Debbie have four grown children, two of which are engaged to be married within the next few months. Debbie and Jerry enjoy spending time with their children and friends.  Bethany has been a part of Converge since its founding in 1876. This growth campaign was the first done by Bethany in over 50 years!

Pete Sutton

Pastor of Student Ministries at The Compass Church, Naperville, IL

Pete has been in youth ministry for over 20 years. He is a graduate of Cedarville University and Wheaton College (MABS) and has a passion for helping students and families love and walk with Jesus and his church for a lifetime.

He currently serves as the director of student ministry and pastor of junior high ministry at The Compass Church in Naperville, IL and teaches courses on youth ministry at North Park University in Chicago. He and his wife Jocelyn currently have seven kids; but as foster parents this changes from time to time.

Jonathan Swift

Pastor/church planter at Christ Community Church, Dearborn, MI

Jonathan Swift, along with his wife, Christie, are Converge church planters in Dearborn, MI. Before planting Christ Community Church, the Swifts and their five children served with Converge International Ministries in the Middle East. Jonathan returns to the Middle East and North Africa twice annually with Leadership Resources International to train pastors and is currently working on a DMin in preaching multi-culturally.

Jerry Troyer

Lead Pastor of Eastport Baptist Church, Eastport, MI

Jerry has served over 38 years as a pastor of three churches; one of 1,000, one of 300 and one of 120. He has served the last 21 years in the small community of Eastport, MI. Eastport is nestled in the resort communities of Northern Michigan near Torch Lake.

Paul Urban

Founding Pastor of The Journey Church, Muskegon, MI

Paul Urban is the Co-Lead and Founding Pastor of The Journey Church in Muskegon, MI, a 15-year-old multi-site congregation. 65% of those who attend The Journey were not attending church previously. He and his wife Jennifer have been married for 27 years and have three boys.

Nate Wagner

Senior Pastor of Sparta Baptist Church, Sparta, MI

Nate has been blessed with the opportunity to serve as pastor of the same congregation for the last 22 years. He is married to his college sweetheart, Karla, and together they are enjoying a season of raising older teenagers and launching adult children.

He is passionate about creating a grace-based ministry context for optimal Kingdom impact and equipping others to do the same.


Hampton Inn

51620 Shelby Parkway
Shelby Township, MI 48315
1 King Bed – $109/night
2 Queen Beds – $109/night
Breakfast is included
Book by October 5th

Group code: CMA

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

8515 15 Mile Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48312
1 King Bed – $120/night
2 Queen Beds – $120/night
Breakfast is included
Book by October 5th

Group code: CMA

Courtyard by Marriott

46000 Utica Park Boulevard
Utica, MI 48315
1 King Bed – $119/night
2 Queen Beds – $119/night
Breakfast is included
Book by October 5th

Group code (for king bed): CMACMAA Group code (for queen beds): CMACMAB

Staybridge Suites

46155 Utica Park Boulevard
Utica, MI 48315
Studio Suite, 1 Queen Bed – $129
1 Bedroom Suite, 2 Double Beds – $159
Breakfast is included
Book by October 5th

Group code: CMA