The ERLC National Conference will address “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage” to equip Christians to apply the gospel on these issues with convictional kindness in their communities, their families and their churches. This event will be held at the iconic Opryland Hotel on October 27-29, 2014.
Are you and your church prepared for the moral revolution surrounding homosexuality and same-sex marriage happening across America? While human sexuality and social institutions are being redefined before our very eyes, the Bible presents marriage as an unchanging picture of the gospel through the union of one man and one woman. The gospel announces that the story of Jesus is greater than the sum total of our sexual desires.
We'll equip you to defend marriage in the culture and strengthen marriage in the church by preparing you to address issues like:
· How do we effectively minister to those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender?
· How has the divorce culture impacted marriage in our communities and our churches?
· What does sexual faithfulness look like for a same-sex attracted Christian?
· Why did God create marriage and why did he design it for the common good?
· How should a pastor counsel a same-sex couple that wants to join his church?
· How can churches minister to those who are single, dating, divorced or celibate?
· How can Christians show the love of Christ to gay family members or neighbors?
Join us at the ERLC as we seek to explore what the gospel means for the future of marriage and sexual identity. Listen to great speakers, ask pressing questions at panel discussions, get practical equipping on these issues, and discover how your church can be a beacon of hope, clarity, and restoration. Space is limited for this conference, so make plans to join us at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville October 27-29, 2014.
Daniel L. Akin is President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Criswell College in 1980, he went on to earn an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1983 and a Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1989. He has authored numerous articles and several books. He is married to Charlotte and has four sons.
Sam Allberry is associate pastor of St Mary’s Maidenhead, in Berkshire, UK since 2008. Prior to that he worked as the pastor for students at St Ebbe's Church, Oxford, UK. His passion is helping people understand the significance and wonder of biblical truth. He is the author of Is God Anti-Gay?
Dr. Jason K. Allen serves as the fifth president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. Elected as president in 2012, Dr. Allen became the youngest seminary president in the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the youngest presidents in higher education in America. Prior to Midwestern, Dr. Allen was the VP of Institutional Advancement at Southern Seminary. He holds a bachelors degree from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama as well as an M.Div. and Ph.D. from Southern Seminary. Dr. Allen is married to Karen and they have five children.
Ryan T. Anderson researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He is the editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, N.J., and co-author with Princeton’s Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis of the acclaimed book What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. Anderson received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University and is a doctoral candidate in political philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, where he received his Master’s degree.
Lizette Beard coordinates many research projects for LifeWay Research. She has earned a Bachelor’s in Religious Studies, a Master’s in Missiology, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in applied theology (North American Church Planting). She has also worked on missionary assignments in West Africa and Alaska, and is a contributing author to the book Paul’s Missionary Methods: In Hist Time and Ours.
Phillip Bethancourt is executive vice president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. He also serves as Assistant Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Seminary. Previously, he served as preaching pastor at Vine Street Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. After completing two degrees at Texas A&M University, Bethancourt completed the M.Div. and Ph.D. at Southern Seminary. A native Texan, he is married to Cami, and they have three boys.
Matt currently serves as the pastor of ministries and worship at Providence Church in Frisco, Texas. He is a native Texan, who grew up the son of a pastor. He has been leading worship and involved in church planting since 1995. He writes songs for congregational worship and is also a student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is head over heels for his bride, Jamie, and they have four small children.
Denny Burk is associate professor of biblical theology and ethics at Boyce College. He also serves as associate pastor at Kenwood Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. He completed a Ph.D. in New Testament at Southern Seminary. Burk is the author of What is the Meaning of Sex? He is married to Susan, and they have four children.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield is a former tenured professor of English at Syracuse University. After her conversion to Christianity in 1999, she developed a ministry to college students. She has taught and ministered at Geneva College, is a full-time mother and pastor’s wife, and is author of Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.
Matt Carter serves as the lead pastor of The Austin Stone Community Church. In addition to pastoring at The Austin Stone, Matt is a cancer survivor, co-author of For the City, Creation Unraveled: The Gospel According to Genesis and speaker for camps and conferences nationwide. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Matt is married to Jennifer, and they have three children: John Daniel, Annie and Samuel.
Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of the daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S. The show was honored as 2012 Program of the Year by the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). Daly was named president of Focus in 2005 after 16 years in several executive roles at the ministry. Under his leadership, the ministry has reinvigorated its traditional focus on helping couples build strong marriages and raise healthy, resilient kids. In just the last 12 months, with the help of Focus on the Family, research indicates that 820,000 couples have built stronger marriages and 690,000 families built stronger, healthier, and more God-honoring families. Daly is an author whose book, “ReFOCUS: Living a Life That Reflects God’s Heart,” explores how to engage the culture for Christ in a compassionate and winsome way. His newest book, “The Good Dad,” looks at how dads can become better fathers regardless of their background or the parenting mistakes they’ve made. Daly and his wife, Jean, have two sons and live in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Dr. Kevin Ezell serves as the President of the North American Mission Board, providing strategic vision, direction, and leadership as NAMB works to reach North America through evangelism and church planting. Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He received a Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a Doctorate of Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin most recently served as Senior Pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky for 14 years. He and his wife, Lynette, have six children, Anna, Shelly, Taylor, John Michael, Libby, and Micah Lyn.
Sherif Girgis was born in Cairo and grew up in Delaware. He majored in philosophy at Princeton and went on to earn a master’s degree in moral, political and legal philosophy at Oxford. He is now pursing his Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton and his JD at Yale Law School. In 2012, Girgis, Robert George and Ryan Anderson published What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. Girgis has also given lectures and engaged in debates on marriage and related topics throughout the United States and abroad.
Mike Goeke serves as the Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of San Francisco. Mike is a graduate of Baylor University and Texas Tech School of Law. He helped form Cross Power Ministries, a ministry that works with marriages impacted by same-sex attraction, while he was an associate pastor at Stonegate Fellowship in Midland, Texas. Mike is married to Stephanie, and they have three children.
J.D. Greear is the lead pastor of The Summit Church, in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Greear completed his Ph.D. in Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is also a faculty member, writing on the correlations between early church presentations of the gospel and Islamic theology. He and his wife Veronica live in Raleigh, N.C, and are raising four kids: Kharis, Alethia, Ryah and Adon. He is the author of Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary (2011) and Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved (2013).
Jackie Hill Perry is known as a poet but she is simply a sinner saved by a gracious God. Growing up, Jackie was molested, bullied, and fatherless, which accompanied by an inherent separation from God, led her into a lifestyle of rebellion, homosexuality, drug use, and porn addiction. God spoke to her in 2008, revealing that her lifestyle would ultimately be the death of her if she chose not to walk away, but also, that her experience in that same lifestyle would bring hope and freedom to many others. At that moment, she made the decision, to turn from her sin and give her life completely to Jesus. Now after walking with the Lord for four years, God has allowed Jackie to witness to thousands of people, through the gift of poetry, about the grace and power of God.
Christine Hoover is the wife to Kyle, a church planting pastor, and a stay-at-home mom to three boys. She is the author of 31 Days of Love Letters and the new book, The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart. She enjoys helping other ministry wives embrace God's calling on their lives through her blog: gracecoversme.com.
D.A. Horton serves as the Executive Director of ReachLife Ministries and the National Coordinator for Urban Student Missions at NAMB. For over 16 years D.A has used the medium of Rap Music as a tool to help educate the people of God on the precepts of Scripture and how to evangelize to the lost by presenting them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies at Calvary Bible College, D.A. completed his Master’s Degree in Christian Studies from Calvary Theological Seminary. Currently, he is a pursuing a Ph.D. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of G.O.S.P.E.L and DNA: Foundations of the Faith. He is married to Elicia, and they have two daughters and one son.
Dean Inserra is the founding and senior pastor of City Church in Tallahassee, FL. Dean has served as a Youth Minister in Tallahassee and regularly speaks at campus organizations at Florida State University. He has a degree in Biblical Studies from Liberty University and also attended The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He married Krissie in December of 2003. They have three children.
Carmen Fowler LaBerge is a trusted voice on issues related to the intersection of culture and Biblical worldview. She heads the ministry of the Presbyterian Lay Committee which recently embraced a bold strategic vision to expand its ministry and message--speaking as a voice in the wilderness to Christians, equipping them for theological fidelity and engagement to both the church and the culture. LaBerge serves as chairperson for the Common Ground Christian Network and the newest board member of the National Association of Evangelicals. Holding a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, LaBerge, a Tampa native, lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee with her husband Jim and family.
Heath Lambert serves as the Executive Director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and as assistant professor of Biblical Counseling at Southern Seminary and Boyce College. He received his B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies and Political Science from Gordon College and the M.Div. and Ph.D. from the The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served in pastoral ministry at churches in Kentucky and North Carolina. He is the author of Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace. He and his wife, Lauren, have three children: two sons, Carson and Connor, and a daughter, Chloe.
Jennifer Lyell is the Trade Book Publisher for B&H Publishing Group, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Prior to joining B&H in 2008, Lyell was the women’s acquisitions editor at Moody Publishers in Chicago, Illinois. She holds degrees from Southern Illinois University (Bachelor of Arts) and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jennifer Marshall is director of Domestic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation and oversees research in areas that determine the character of our culture: education, marriage, family, religion and civil society. She is the author of Now and Not Yet: Making Sense of Single Life in the Twenty-First Century. Marshall holds a Master’s degree in statecraft and world politics from the Institute of World Politics and a Bachelor’s degree in French from Wheaton College, where she also earned teacher’s certification.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. serves as the ninth president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Mohler is a theologian and an ordained minister, having served as pastor and staff minister of several Southern Baptist churches. He came to the presidency of Southern Seminary from service as editor of The Christian Index, the oldest of the state papers serving the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Mohler is a member of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. He is author of The Conviction to Lead, He is Not Silent, and Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timless Truth. He is married to Mary, and they have two children.
Russell D. Moore is President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. He earned a B.S. in history and political science from the University of Southern Mississippi. He also received the M.Div. in biblical studies from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the Ph.D. in systematic theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of five books, including Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches, and The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective. He and his wife Maria are the parents of five boys.
Trillia Newbell serves as the ERLC’s Consultant for Women’s Initiatives. She has a degree in political science from the University of Tennessee and is author of the forthcoming book, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity. She is a contributor to the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Desiring God, and The Gospel Coalition. Trillia is married to Thern, and they have two children.
Jani Ortlund is a conference speaker, blog contributor, and author of Fearlessly Feminine (Multnomah, 2000), and His Loving Law, Our Lasting Legacy: Living the Ten Commandments and Giving Them to Our Children (Crossway, 2007). Besides conference speaking and writing, Jani is a pastor’s wife, mother, grandmother, and former elementary school teacher. She holds a master’s degree in education. Jani is married to Rev. Dr. Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr., author, former seminary professor, and pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dr. David Platt is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board. He went to the University of Georgia, and then earned a M.Div, Th.M, and Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has previously served at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as Dean of Chapel and Assistant Professor of Expository Preaching and Apologetics, and as Staff Evangelist at Edgewater Baptist Church in New Orleans. He has authored several books, Radical, Radical Together, and Follow Me. David and his wife, Heather, live in Birmingham with their four children.
David Prince has been the Pastor of Preaching and Vision at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky., since November 2003. In addition to his role at Ashland, he is also an Associate Professor for Christian Preaching and Pastoral Ministry at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He received his M.Div. from Southwestern Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to Judi and they have eight children: three boys and five girls.
Dennis Rainey is the President and CEO of FamilyLife, and has authored or co-authored more than two dozen books including the best selling Moments Together for Couples and Staying Close. He can be heard daily as co-host of the nationally syndicated radio program FamilyLife Today®. Dennis earned a degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas and a Master's degree in Biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Trinity Evangelical University and Divinity School. Dennis is married to Barbara and they have six children and numerous grandchildren.
Jimmy Scroggins is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Fla. He previously served as dean of Boyce College and as Teaching Pastor at Highview Baptist Church. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville University as well as an M.Div. and a Ph.D. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He is married to Kristin and they have eight children.
Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr., is the current president of Houston Baptist University and has served in this capacity since September 1, 2006. Dr. Sloan serves on the Board of Directors for the Houston Symphony and the Greater Houston Partnership in addition to leadership roles on the boards of Memorial Hermann Healthcare Systems - Community Relations, Houston Christian High School, Market Place Chaplains USA, and Orphan Outreach.
Dr. Sloan has published extensively and has pastored churches throughout Texas and beyond.
Dr. Greg Smalley serves as the vice president of Family Ministries at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises. Dr. Smalley is a graduate of Denver Seminary with a degree in counseling and he also earned his doctorate from The Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University. In 1992, Greg married his wife, Erin, and they have four children. He has authored and co-authored a number of books including Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage: How Healthy Conflict Can Take You to Deeper Intimacy (Howard, 2013).
Steven Smith is the Vice President for Student Services and Communication at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received a Bachelor's degree from Liberty University, Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Ph.D. from Regent University. Steven is the author of Dying to Preach: Embracing the Cross in the Pulpit. He and his wife Ashley have three children.
Erik W. Stanley, Esq., serves as senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is director of the Church Project and Pulpit Initiative. He also oversees other litigation efforts to maintain the autonomy of the church and to ensure its freedoms are protected under the First Amendment. Since joining Alliance Defending Freedom in 2007, Stanley has focused on religious liberty and constitutional law. During the election year of
2008, he received extensive media coverage as spokesperson for the Alliance Defending Freedom Pulpit Initiative, which challenges the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that restricts pastors and churches from speaking about church teaching in relation to political candidates for office. Under Stanley’s leadership, Pulpit Freedom Sunday, the primary event related to the Pulpit Initiative, has grown to include more than 1,500 pastors throughout the nation. Stanley received his Masters of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in 2013. He earned his J.D. in 1999 from Temple University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude in the top five percent of his class. He is a bar member of Florida, Kansas, Arizona, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.
Glenn T. Stanton is the Director for Global Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, a research fellow at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada and an adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University, teaching on theology and anthropology of family. He served the George W. Bush administration for many years as a consultant on increasing fatherhood involvement in the Head Start program and blogs regularly for First Things, The Gospel Coalition, National Review Online, and Boundless. He is the author of eight books and is currently working on another on how parents can successfully pass their faith onto the children.
Dr. Randy Stinson is the Senior Vice President for Academic Administration & Provost at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the co-author of A Guide to Biblical Manhood and co-editor of Trained in the Fear of God: Family Ministry in Theological, Historical, and Practical Perspective. He is a senior fellow for the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He and his wife, Danna, have been married for 22 years and have eight children.
John Stonestreet is a Speaker and Fellow of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He is the co-host with Eric Metaxas of BreakPoint, the Christian worldview radio program founded by the late Chuck Colson, and the voice of The Point, a daily national radio feature on worldview, apologetics and cultural issues. He also serves as a Senior Content Advisor for Summit Ministries in Manitou Springs, Colorado. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Illinois) and Bryan College (Tennessee), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview (Sheffield Press). He and his wife Sarah have three daughters and a dog, and live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Lindsay Swartz joined the ERLC team in 2014 as the managing editor of content. She previously served at Revive Our Hearts. Lindsay completed her Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Eric Teetsel directs the Manhattan Declaration, a national movement of Christians for life, marriage, and religious freedom founded by Charles Colson. A prolific writer and speaker, Eric was recently featured in the New York Times and WORLD Magazine’s “Emerging Christian Voices” series. He blogs regularly at American Spectator and Patheos and has written for USA Today, Public Discourse, Relevant Magazine, and The City. Eric is married to Abby, and they attend Immanuel Bible Church.
Kristen K. Waggoner, Esq., serves as senior vice president of legal services with Alliance Defending Freedom, leading the organization’s litigation, legal advocacy and attorney training efforts. Waggoner joined Alliance Defending Freedom in 2013 to support the more than 2,400 allied attorneys in their efforts to preserve religious freedom. She has trained allied attorneys and organizations on religious liberty issues and rights of conscience. She has also provided allies with legal support on cases pertaining to life, marriage, and family. Waggoner was previously an accomplished attorney at Ellis, Li & McKinstry, where she was promoted to partner. She participated as counsel and prevailed in several high-profile constitutional cases, including Andersen v. King County (same-sex marriage), Stormans v. Selecky (pharmacist conscience rights), and State v. Hamlin (clergy-penitent privilege). Waggoner served as outside general counsel to private schools and universities, churches, and other non-profit organizations. She has also defended individuals in a variety of areas, including breach of contract, negligence, wrongful termination, statutory claims, and family disputes. Waggoner is a Martindale-Hubbell AV© peer-review rated attorney. She earned her J.D. from Regent University School of Law, graduating cum laude. Waggoner is admitted to practice in Washington, Oregon, and Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court, and many federal courts.
Andrew Walker is Director of Policy Studies at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Previously, he worked in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University and earned an M.Div. from Southern Seminary. He is married to Christian, and they have one daughter.
Trevin Wax is managing editor ofThe Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David.
Thomas White became the President of Cedarville University in 2013. He previously served as Vice President for Student Services and Communications at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Anderson University and Master of Divinity and Ph.D. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. White co-authored Franchising McChurch: Feeding Our Obsession with Easy Christianity in 2009 and served as editor of First Freedom: The Baptist Perspective on Religious Liberty, Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches, and Upon This Rock. He is married to Joy and they have two children: Rachel and Samuel.
Christopher Yuan uses his own story of redemption, grace and transformation to minister to those working through issues of sexuality and to those living with HIV/AIDS. While attending dental school, Yuan began living promiscuously as a homosexual and experimenting with illicit drugs. Within a few years, he was expelled from dental school, imprisoned for drug dealing, and discovered that he was HIV positive. Christopher has co-authored with his mother their memoir, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God, A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope. Christopher graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2005, Wheaton College Graduate School in 2007 with a Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis and received his doctorate of ministry in 2014 from Bethel Seminary.