Fine-Tuned Leader

Emily-Bisset

Rev. Dr. Emily Bisset

The Rev. Dr. Emily Bisset (Th.D. in homiletics) is minister of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Toronto. Calvin worships and serves in ecumenical shared ministry with Deer Park United Church.

Emily is a preacher and teacher, as well as being married to a preacher and sharing the joys and challenges of parenting a young child. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2000, she has been a minister in The Presbyterian Church in Canada since 2007. She provides leadership and writes resource material for the national church, works with students preparing for ministry, and enjoys the challenge and inspiration of ecumenical ministry.

Andrew Stirling

Rev. Dr. Andrew Stirling

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Stirling is the Senior Minister of Timothy Eaton Memorial United Church in Toronto (since 1998). Andrew was born in the United Kingdom and is a Canadian Citizen. He received his education in England, Bermuda, Canada and South Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Law from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, a Master of Divinity from the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, Nova Scotia and a Doctor of Ministry in preaching from Acadia Divinity College, Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

In 1997, he was a nominee for Moderator of the United Church of Canada. In 2008, Wycliffe College, Toronto, recognized his contribution to preaching with an honorary Doctor of Divinity. In 2016, Dr. Stirling was appointed a Fellow of Acadia Divinity College for his contributions in theological education.

Andrew has written two books: What’s Good About the Good News? and The Christian Imperative (both by Lancelot Press), is the Editor of The Trinity: An Essential for Faith In Our Time (Evangel Publishing House) with a Forward by Wolfhart Pannenberg and has written over 50 theological and devotional articles. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Divinity School (with courses at the Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School) and was a founding faculty member of Augustine College in Ottawa.

In the Hilary Term of 2016 he was an Academic Visitor at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University, during which time, he conducted research on Richard Baxter, lectured at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, and preached throughout the UK. He has taught Church History at the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto, Systematic Theology at Tyndale University Seminary, Toronto and Homiletics at Emmanuel and Wycliffe colleges of the Toronto School of Theology.

Andrew has preached and given lectures on four continents. His theological interests are: Evangelism, Church/State Relations, Interfaith dialogue, Missions and Homiletics. He can be heard on the radio weekly on CHIN 1540 AM (Ontario). He was trained in religious broadcasting by BBC Radio Teesside. He has appeared on numerous T.V. shows including: Eye to Eye, Cross Currents, 3D Dialogue, Spirit Connection and Reach Out for Life. Andrew loves playing the guitar, golfing, auto racing (He is an Indycar Chaplain) and supporting Manchester United football club and the Montreal Canadiens.

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Guest Artist & Workshop Leader

Bear

Rev. Dr. Cheryl Bear

Dr. Cheryl Bear of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation is a CBM Strategic Associate. Cheryl serves as the Indigenous Relations Specialist with a focus on providing leadership and education to Canadian Baptist churches seeking to be more engaged with First Nations communities. She is an award-winning singer/songwriter and educator. As part of her role with CBM, she will seek to inspire and educate through music and dialogue.

Prior to her appointment, Cheryl served as the spokesperson for CBM’s She Matters campaign, helping to raise awareness around global gender inequity, with a particular focus on gender-based violence in Indigenous communities. She has performed several She Matters concerts throughout Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Manitoba. Cheryl’s appointment marked an important step forward for Canadian Baptists in the road to reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada. CBM Executive Director Terry Smith feels that “The appointment of Cheryl Bear is vital to having Indigenous voices shape and guide how Canadian Baptists can journey on with First Nations people in this country. Cheryl understands the challenges and has years of experience walking alongside individuals and congregations wherever they are at in the conversation. This appointment is a natural follow-up to the apology we offered in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. We know that Cheryl will be a great resource to our churches who wish to learn how best to build authentic relationships with Indigenous people in their own communities.”

Cheryl has travelled to over 600 Indigenous communities in Canada and the United States sharing her songs and stories. She is also one of the founding board members of the North American Indigenous Institute of Theological Studies (NAIITS). Cheryl has a Doctorate from The King’s University in Los Angeles, and Master of Divinity degree from Regent College. Her doctoral work presented an approach to First Nations ministry from the foundations of Indigenous worldview and values.  Cheryl is based in Vancouver and has three adult children.

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Keynote Speaker

Scott Hoezee

Rev. Dr. Scott Hoezee

Scott Hoezee is a 1990 graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary.   He served two congregations as pastor: Second CRC in Fremont, MI, and Calvin CRC in Grand Rapids, MI.   In 2005 he began working at Calvin Theological Seminary as a member of the faculty and as the first Director of the Seminary’s Center for Excellence in Preaching.   Rev. Hoezee has written several books, including The Riddle of Grace, Remember Creation, Proclaim the Wonder, and most recently Actuality: Real Life Stories for Sermons That Matter.   He also co-hosts theGroundwork radio program along with Rev. David Bast and is a regular contributor to the blog “The Twelve.”

Along with his wife, Rosemary, he has two adult children.

Meg Jenista Kuykendall

Rev. Meg Jenista Kuykendall

Meg Jenista Kuykendall is pastor at The Washington DC Christian Reformed Church, where she has served for 6 years. She is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary, where she currently serves as an instructor of homiletics, while finishing her ThM in the same field.  Her research interests include imaginative preaching and preaching while white (speaking thoughtfully and prophetically about race in the evangelical pulpit). Meg and her husband John enjoy cooking Blue Apron meals, attending arts and culture events in DC and international travel.

Otis Moss

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III

With civil rights advocacy in his DNA, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III built his ministry on community advancement and social justice activism. As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Ill., Dr. Moss spent the last two decades practicing and preaching a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice and economic inequality.

Dr. Moss is part of a new generation of ministers committed to preaching a prophetic message of love and justice, which he believes are inseparable companions that form the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was recently recognized as one of the “12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World,” by Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. As part of his community engagement through Trinity United Church of Christ, Dr. Moss led the team that came up with the “My Life Matters” curriculum; which includes the viral video “Get Home Safely: 10 Rules of Survival,” created in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of Ferguson, Mo., police.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Moss is an honors graduate of Morehouse College who earned a Master of Divinity form Yale Divinity School, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Chicago Theological Seminary. He returned to Yale in 2014 to present the famed Lyman Beecher lectures. The three-day event included an in-depth discourse on the subject of “The Blue Note Gospel: Preaching the Prophetic Blues in a Post Soul World.” The lectures, which demonstrated a homiletic blueprint for prophetic preaching in the 21st century, were the foundation of his latest book, Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World: Finding Hope in an Age of Despair, published in 2015.

Dr. Moss is an ordained minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the United Church of Christ.  He is on the boards of Auburn Seminary and Faith-In-Place/Action Fund , and chaplain of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Child Advocacy Conference.  Additionally, Dr. Moss is a Senior Fellow in the Auburn Seniors Fellow Program.

He is married to his college sweetheart, the former Monica Brown of Orlando, Fla., a Spelman College and Columbia University graduate. They are the proud parents of two creative and humorous children, Elijah Wynton and Makayla Elon.

Joni Sancken

Rev. Dr. Joni Sancken

Joni Sancken is Associate Professor of Homiletics at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH. She is interested in theological and contextual issues in preaching. She is the Author of Stumbling Over the Cross: Preaching the Cross and Resurrection Today (Cascade, 2016) and Words that Heal: Preaching Hope to Wounded Souls (Abingdon, 2019.) Joni is an ordained pastor in Mennonite Church USA and served congregations in Indiana and Pennsylvania. She lives in Oakwood, OH with her pastor husband Steve Schumm and children Maggie and Theodore.

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Workshop Leader

Andrew Asbil

The Very Rev. Andrew Asbil

Bishop Andrew Asbil is the Diocesan Bishop of Toronto. He is the chief pastor of the Diocese, with pastoral oversight of 202 parishes.

Bishop Asbil was elected Coadjutor Bishop on June 9, 2018 and was consecrated on Sept. 29, 2018. He automatically became the Diocesan Bishop on Jan. 1, 2019 and was installed on Jan. 13, 2019.

Born in 1961, Bishop Asbil was educated at the University of Waterloo and received his Master of Divinity degree from Huron College in 1988. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1989 and served a number of parishes in the Diocese of Niagara before coming to the Diocese of Toronto in 2001.

In Toronto, he served as Incumbent of Redeemer, Bloor St. and was appointed Canon of the Diocese of Toronto in 2009. He served as the Dean of Toronto and Rector of St. James Cathedral from January 2016 to September 2018.

Stuart Blyth

Rev. Dr. Stuart Blythe

Stuart Blythe is an ordained Scottish Baptist minister. Over a 15-year period he was a pastor in two churches, a small urban church, and a large suburban church. For ten years he taught at the Scottish Baptist College near Glasgow. In 2014 he became the ‘Rector’ of the International Baptist Theological Study Centre in Amsterdam. In 2017, he relocated to Canada to become the Associate Professor in the John Gladstone Chair of Preaching and Worship at Acadia Divinity College.

His qualifications include both a MTh (University of Wales) and a PhD (University of Edinburgh) which focus on preaching. He is married to Susanne and they have two grown up children. They live the Scottish stereotype in that they both play bagpipes as a hobby.

Annette Brownlee

Rev. Dr. Annette Brownlee

The Rev. Dr. Annette Brownlee is Chaplain and Professor of Pastoral Theology at Wycliffe College, an Anglican-evangelical seminary at the University of Toronto.   She has been preaching for over 30 years.  She is the author of Preaching Jesus Christ Today: Six Questions for Moving from Scripture to Sermon, Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2018.

Michael Coren

Michael Coren

Michael Coren is a Canadian/British author, broadcaster and columnist. He will present a workshop on the place of the anecdote and story in preaching and spreading the Gospel. Stories from our own experiences, often not explicitly and obviously Christian, frequently open doors to biblical truth and the nature of Christ. He will use a group of stories about his family and friends that illustrate the themes of love, forgiveness, community, and the human condition.

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Rev. Dr. Stephen Farris

Dr. Farris received his Doctor of Ministry and Masters of Theology from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, followed by his PhD from Cambridge University, England. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Kingston in 1981 and served as Minister for five years at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Amherstview, Ontario.

Since then he has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches where he was charged with negotiating the repudiation of apartheid by the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa and its readmission to the Alliance. He was the Moderator of the 140th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. And until 2016 served as the Dean of St. Andrew’s Hall and as a Professor of Homiletics and New Testament at the Vancouver School of Theology. Dr. Farris is the author of several books and has contributed to many other books, articles and resources. He has lectured and preached across North America and around the world.

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Rev. Dr. Cheryle Hanna

The Rev. Dr. Cheryle Renee-Chapman Hanna is the fourteenth person to be called to lead the Fourth Avenue Baptist Church in Ottawa, Ontario and the first woman. Cheryle most recently served as Minister of Discipleship at the Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in Toronto, Ontario. She previously served as the Interim Pastor at Gracious Saviour Lutheran Church and the Director of Youth Ministries and Christian Education at the Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, both in Detroit, MI.

Cheryle earned a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. She also holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from Kettering University which she put to good use in a former 14-year employment with General Motors. Rev. Hanna has published a set of children’s sermons, Lessons for Heart: 52 Ways to Share God with Children, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

Cheryle is married to Michael Curtis Hanna and they raised four children; Natalie Randall (Kyler), Michael Anthony, Adese, and William, have two grandsons, William Kato Hanna, II and Jackson Timothy Hanna and one granddaughter, Simone Marie Randall.

Terry LaBlanc_2

Rev. Dr. Terry LeBlanc

Terry is Mi’kmaq / Acadian. He and his wife Bev are in their 47th year of marriage. They have three adult children – twin daughters and one son. In addition to being the Director of NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community (NAIITS), Terry is also Executive Director of Indigenous Pathways.

Terry holds an interdisciplinary PhD from Asbury Theological Seminary, specializing in Theology and Anthropology and serves as adjunct professor at Acadia University and Divinity College in Wolfville, Sioux Falls Seminary in Oregon, Whitley College at the University of Divinity in Melbourne, and Tyndale University College and Seminary in Toronto, where he is also program elder for the University B.Ed. program. Terry has accrued over 40 years of community work in global Indigenous contexts including as an educator in theology, cultural anthropology, and community development practice.

Terry has won several awards for his varied writings. In 2010, for his work on the creation of NAIITS, Terry became the 28th recipient of the Dr. E.H. Johnson Memorial Award for Innovation in Mission. In 2015 Terry was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Acadia University.

Jason Meyers

Rev. Jason Meyers

Recently ordained, (May 25, 2019) and appointed as the Minister for Congregational Care of Metropolitan United Church in Toronto, Rev. Jason Francis Meyers brings over 20 years of experience in marketing, branding and digital communications to ministry.  As a consultant, he worked almost exclusively in the not-for-profit sector, helping dozens of organizations build grassroots movements of support for their causes and issues.  He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Marketing from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Divinity from Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto, where he was awarded the Sanford Gold Medal in Divinity.  His passions include pilgrimage, gardening and the intersection of faith and the natural world.  He and his wife Bri-anne and their two sons, Isaiah and Simon live in East Gwillimbury, Ontario.

Gary Nelson

Rev. Dr. Gary Nelson

Gary V. Nelson is a published author, dynamic speaker and recognized Christian leader in Canada and around the world. On July 1, 2010, Dr. Nelson began his term as the 12th President and Vice Chancellor of Tyndale University College & Seminary.

Prior to becoming president of Tyndale, Dr. Nelson served for 10 years as General Secretary of Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM), the national and global working arm of Canadian Baptists. During those years, CBM experienced striking capacity

growth, expanding the organization’s global impact in the areas of leadership development, theological education, sustainable community development and the development of key educational resources for congregations across Canada.

As a ministry leader, Dr. Nelson has served in a number of congregations both in staff and senior ministry roles. As senior pastor of First Baptist Church (Edmonton, Alberta) in the 1990s, Dr. Nelson was involved in the revitalizing and renewing of this historic downtown congregation into a creative and dynamic contemporary congregation.

Greg Paul

Rev. Greg Paul

Greg Paul is a pastor and member, as well as the founder, of the Sanctuary community in Toronto. Sanctuary, a community in which people who are wealthy and people who are poor live, work and share their experiences and resources on a daily basis, makes a priority of welcoming and caring for some of the most hurting and excluded people in Canada’s largest city, including people struggling with addiction, mental illness, prostitution, and homelessness. Greg is the author of the recently released Resurrecting Religion and several other award-winning books: Simply Open; Close Enough to Hear God Breathe; The Twenty-Piece Shuffle; and God in The Alley.  He is the father of four children, and married to Maggie, who has three children of her own.

John Rottman

Rev. Dr. John Rottman

The Rev. Dr. John Rottman serves as Professor of Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. John earned his Th.D. from Emmanuel College studying Homiletics under the tutelage of Paul Scott Wilson. At the time of his appointment to the faculty of Calvin Theological Seminary he said, “After preaching for nearly twenty years and teaching homiletics part-time for ten, I have learned some things about preaching, even as I continue to struggle. As preachers we are vulnerable in the pulpit… and I am reminded of this every time I preach and especially when I preach one of my own sermons to a preaching class. As a teacher of preaching I welcome the challenge of learning with my students as we together invite God to shape us as preachers and disciples of Jesus.” In 2014 John brought some of his students from Calvin to attend the LRPF. It will be a joy to welcome him back.

John is married to Marilyn and they have three children.

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Rev. Susan Sparks

A trial lawyer turned standup comedian and Baptist minister, Susan Sparks is America’s only female comedian with a pulpit. Susan has been the senior pastor of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City since 2007 (and the first woman in its 170-year history). She is also a professional comedian touring nationally with a Rabbi and a Muslim Comic in the Laugh in Peace Tour. Her work with humour, healing, and spirituality has been featured in O (The Oprah) Magazine, the New York Times, and on such networks as ABC, CNN, and CBS.

A TEDx speaker and an award-winning nationally syndicated columnist, Susan is also the author of three books: Laugh Your Way to GracePreaching Punchlines (summer 2019), and Miracle on 31st Street (October 2019). 

Most importantly, Susan and her husband Toby love to fly-fish, ride their Harleys, eat good BBQ, and root for North Carolina Basketball and the Green Bay Packers.

Sarah Travis

Rev. Dr. Sarah Travis

Sarah Travis is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada and holds a Doctor of Theology in Preaching from Knox College, University of Toronto.  She serves as the Minister of the Chapel at Knox College, the Interim Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Toronto School of Theology and teaches courses in the area of preaching and worship.  Sarah is the author of Decolonizing Preaching: The Pulpit as Postcolonial Space and Metamorphosis: Preaching after Christendom (both published by Cascade Books), as well as Preaching the Good News: A Handbook about Preaching for Presbyterians in Canada.

Peter M. Wallace

Rev. Peter M. Wallace

The Rev. Peter M. Wallace has been executive producer of Day1 since March 2001, and on-air host since April 2005. He was elected president of the Alliance for Christian Media in January 2012. A graduate of Marshall University (A.B. in journalism/advertising) and Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.), Peter served as editorial director for Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, 1984-1990, then was senior copywriter and broadcast producer for Larry Smith & Associates Advertising in Atlanta for 11 years. Peter is the author of several books, including Getting to Know Jesus (Again): Meditations for Lent (Church Publishing); The Passionate Jesus: What We Can Learn from Jesus About Love, Grief, Fear, Joy and Living Authentically (SkyLight Paths, 2012); Connected: You and God in the Psalms(Morehouse Publishing, May 2009); Living Loved: Knowing Jesus as the Lover of Your Soul (Seabury Books); Out of the Quiet: Responding to God’s Whispered Invitations (NavPress); and TruthQuest Devotional Journal (Broadman & Holman). He is the editor of Faith and Science in the 21st Century (Church Publishing) and of the forthcoming Heart and Soul: The Emotions of Jesus (Church Publishing). He has also contributed to many books, study Bibles, devotional guides, magazines, teaching curriculums, and other resources. He is a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, GA.

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