2020 Deep South Pastors and Leaders Conference
2020 Deep South Pastors and Leaders Conference

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2020 Deep South Pastors and Leaders Conference: My Times are in Your Hand

Story by Sean Labar
Photos by Christian Rodriguez

COVID-19 didn’t stop more than 200 Calvary Chapel senior pastors, assistant pastors, and their wives from enjoying fellowship and spiritual refreshment at the 2020 Deep South Pastors and Leaders Conference. The conference was held at Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain, GA, September 7-9. As they gathered, following safety restrictions and protocols, many others watched the event online. With COVID-19 and racial tensions creating uncertainty throughout the country, the conference theme was “My Times are in Your Hand.”

My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me. Psalm 31:15

Ali Taylor leads worship

Alli Taylor (left) of CC Stone Mountain, GA, leads praises during a worship session at the Deep South Pastors and Leaders Conference.

The speaker lineup included experienced Calvary Chapel senior pastors: Sandy Adams from Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain, GA; John Milhouse, Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley, CA; Troy Warner, Calvary Chapel Lynchburg, VA; Kevin Edwards, Calvary Chapel Clayton, NC; and Bill Goodrich, Horizon Indy Fellowship, a Calvary Chapel affiliate in Indiana.

Each speaker shared an individual message centered around the overarching theme of the role of the church in these unprecedented times in America.

Pastor Kevin said that now, more than ever, the church is in desperate need of a revival. “I believe the only hope for America is if pastors and leaders, like those of us who have gathered here, preach the truth like never before, make disciples like never before, that we can see a true revival begin with repentance in the times that we live in,” Pastor Kevin exhorted. “Unless souls are transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, unless there is another great move of the [Holy] Spirit like the one that birthed Calvary Chapel, then America is done.”

Amanda leading worship

Amanda Ghali (center) praises God through music with the worship team.

In one of the most powerful moments of the conference, Pastor Sandy spoke on the overwhelming need to end racism in our country. “I believe the only power that changes the heart, a heart full of hate, and truly ends racism, is the love of Jesus Christ,” Pastor Sandy shared. “What does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8b) These are the simple things that each of us can do to make right injustice and put an end to the divisions that plague our nation and our church.”

To close out the 2020 Deep South Pastors and Leaders Conference, Sandy delivered a message urging Calvary Chapel pastors to trust God’s promises, particularly throughout trying times in our nation.

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:11-12

Communion giving out

Eric Irwin (right) receives elements during communion, which was offered safely using social distancing practices.

“As a pastor, you are always in-between the giving and the receiving of a promise,” Sandy explained. “To obtain God’s promise, with your faith and sanity intact, you have to keep the right attitude. … We need to be fully confident. We need to be similarly diligent and we need to be positively patient.”

There were many other powerful messages given over the course of the three-day conference. Pastor John spoke about leadership in the church and Pastor Bill highlighted strategies for time management and finding God’s peace. Finally, Pastor Troy discussed the coming Rapture of the Church and misconceptions surrounding current events.

To hear every speaker from the 2020 Deep South Pastors and Leaders conference, visit http://www.calvarychapeldeepsouth.com/dspc/past-teachings/.

Lisa Rowell and pastor worship the Lord

Pastor Dan Gillman (left) and his wife Lara of Calvary Chapel Shreveport, LA, worship alongside Lisa Rowell, a member of their church. Lisa runs Julianna Grace Ministry, which supports families who have lost babies.

 

Man comforts wife

A married couple hug as they share a precious moment during prayer.

 

Man with hands closed praying

An attendant stands as he offers prayer to the Lord.

 

Pastor Bill fellowshipping

Pastor Bill Goodrich (left) of Horizon Indy, IN, speaks with Pastor John Spencer of Coastline Calvary Chapel, FL, during free time. John has recently transferred leadership of his fellowship to his son Neil. Many churches have been planted out of Horizon Indy.

 

Pastor Joe making crowd erupt with laughter

Pastor Joe Aldrete (center) of Calvary Chapel Fellowship of Foley, AL, pokes fun at his height as he faces a microphone far taller than himself. The audience erupted in laughter with him.

 

Pastor Kevin Edwards has conversation

Pastor Kevin Edwards (right) of Calvary Chapel Clayton, NC, engages in an animated conversation.The conference provided much-needed fellowship for the pastors and leaders.

 

Pastor Matt leading worship

Matt Houston, an assistant pastor at Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain, leads worship. He and the church’s worship team wrote many of the songs presented at the conference. To see them, go to deepsouthworship.com.

 

Pastor mentors younger pastor

Bill Holdridge (right) of Poimen Ministries sits down to mentor Matt Burkett during a lunch break. Matt, student pastor at Coastline Calvary Chapel in Navarre, FL, is being sent out to plant a church in downtown Pensacola, FL. Pastor Bill reached out to many young men during the conference.

 

Pastor Sandy and Pastor James talk

Pastor Sandy Adams (left) of Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain, GA, meets with his assistant, Pastor James Chapman. James has served faithfully under Sandy for many years as his “Second.”

 

Pastor Sandy preaching from pulpit with crowd social distance

Pastor Sandy Adams, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain, GA, teaches during the first session of the Deep South Pastors & Leaders Conference in September. Attendees practiced social distancing and sat in family or church groups.

 

Pastors and Wives Panel Discussion

Several pastors and their wives share their insights highlighting the challenges of marriage in ministry during a popular Q & A session. Robin Milhouse, wife of Pastor John, makes a humorous point.

 

Pastors QA on stage

Left to right: Pastors Sandy Adams, Bill Goodrich, John Spencer, John Milhouse, Kevin Edwards, and Troy Warner pray during a panel discussion discussing the challenges facing churches, including COVID-19. Each shared a different perspective, edifying conference participants.

 

Ricky worshiping the Lord with hand up

Ricky Vega, a youth pastor at Calvary Chapel Foley, AL, relishes a spontaneous moment with the Lord during worship. Foley was recently damaged by Hurricane Sally. He was one of many younger pastors who were encouraged by more experienced leaders at the conference.

 

Young men praying for older pastor

Tyler Warner (right), senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Trussville, AL, joins in prayer for a man during the afterglow.

 

Young men worshiping

Young men worship God. The conference brought them together with more experienced Calvary Chapel leaders.

 

Young man playing piano with Pastor Matt leading worship

Jide Aberinwale (left) plays piano for the worship team.

 

All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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