2019 Pastors’ Conference Speakers


Andrew Brunson

Andrew and Norine Brunson served in Turkey for 25 years in church planting, training, ministry to refugees, and house of prayer. For the last two of those years, the Turkish government imprisoned Andrew on false charges of terrorism and espionage.



Ben Mandrell

Ben Mandrell is the Lead Pastor of Storyline Fellowship, a four-year old church plant in northwest Denver. In 2013, Ben and his wife Lynley felt God calling them to resign their church in West Tennessee and to plant in the Mile High City. The Mandrells have four children and are passionate about relational evangelism, authentic conversations, and building healthy teams. Ben earned a Doctor of Ministry from Union University in Expository Preaching and a Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  



Jimmy Scroggins

Jimmy Scroggins is the Lead Pastor of Family Church. Under his leadership, Family Church has launched 11 campuses. He is the co-author of Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations and hosts the Church for the Rest of Us podcast. Jimmy is the Chairman of the Board at LifeWay Christian Resources and a member of the Board of Trustees at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He also teaches as a visiting professor at both Southern and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminaries. Jimmy and his wife, Kristin, have eight children.



Martin Young

Martin Young is senior minister of Rising Brook Community Church; church planting in Staffordshire, north of Birmingham, UK. Martin takes responsibility in a number of national church-based networks, and he – along with Rising Brook - is also very involved in global missions in Europe, Central Asia, and India. Martin is passionate about the gospel of the Kingdom transforming the most poor and marginalized, and loves to see its truth, goodness, and beauty expressed in culture and the creative arts. Martin is married to Bev and they are privileged to have two young adult children, Jake and Beth.



Ed Litton

Ed Litton has served for twenty-five years as the pastor of Redemption Church, a multi-site congregation, in Mobile, Alabama. Ed is married to Kathy Litton. They share the unexpected journey of losing their former spouses in car accidents. Ed and Kathy share a passion to plant churches and support church planting couples.



Russell Moore

Russell Moore is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral and public policy agency of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. He is a frequent cultural commentator, an ethicist and theologian by background, and an ordained Southern Baptist minister. Moore is the author of several books, including Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel. A native Mississippian, he and his wife Maria are the parents of five sons.



Robert Smith, Jr.

Dr. Robert Smith, Jr. is the Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School. He has written Doctrine That Dances: Bringing Doctrinal Preaching and Teaching to Life and The Oasis of God: From Mourning to Morning—Biblical Insights from Psalms 42 and 43. He has spoken at more than 130 universities, colleges, and seminaries across several continents. His research interests include passion in preaching, the literary history of African American preaching, Christological preaching, and theologies of preaching. He and his wife have four adult children (one in heaven).



Dhati Lewis

Dhati Lewis is the Lead Pastor of Blueprint Church in Atlanta, Georgia and the Vice President of Send Network with the North American Mission Board. Dhati has seven beautiful children and is married to Angie. He is the author of both the Bible Study and book, Among Wolves: Disciple Making in the City.



David Platt

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical, a resource ministry that serves churches in accomplishing the mission of Christ. He has previously served as the president of the International Mission Board. Books by David Platt include RadicalRadical TogetherFollow Me, and Counter Culture, as well as the following volumes in the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series: Exalting Jesus in MatthewExalting Jesus in JamesExalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, and Exalting Jesus in Galatians.



Jay and Katherine Wolf

Katherine & Jay Wolf are survivors and storytellers, advocates and evangelists. They leverage their redemptive story to encourage those with broken bodies, broken brains, and broken hearts. Engaging both faith-based and secular communities, they seek to bridge the gap between those disabled on the outside and those disabled on the inside with the hope that Jesus brings healing to the deepest pains we all carry. They currently reside in Atlanta, Ga. with their two sons, James and John.


Roundtable Contributors


Andrew and Norine Brunson

Andrew and Norine Brunson served in Turkey for 25 years in church planting, training, ministry to refugees, and house of prayer. For the last two of those years, the Turkish government imprisoned Andrew on false charges of terrorism and espionage.



Timothy George

Timothy George has been the dean of Beeson Divinity School since its inception in 1988. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, George teaches church history and doctrine. He is a life advisory trustee of Wheaton College, is active in Evangelical–Roman Catholic Church dialogue, and has chaired the Doctrine and Christian Unity Commission of the Baptist World Alliance. An ordained minister in the Southern Baptist Convention, George has served churches in Georgia, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Alabama. He and his wife, Denise, have two adult children.



Tracy Hipps

Tracy Hipps is the Executive Director of the Christian Service Mission in Birmingham, Alabama. Tracy and his wife Mary Jo have served in urban missions and urban church ministry for 35 years. They started in Chicago’s Humboldt Park, and the last 28 years in Birmingham working with the local churches. He is passionate about reconciliation, biblical justice and the local churches in Birmingham. He earned his Master in Ministry from Grace Seminary in Indiana.



Michael Wesley

Dr. Wesley is currently the pastor of Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church serving 33 years. He has a demonstrated history of working in public education (26 years) and the religious institutions industries. He’s the author of three books: When God Changes A Church, Everybody Deserves A Good Funeral, and Reaching the Un-churched Pathway to Church Growth. Dr. Wesley’s a husband, father of two sons, and grandfather of three.



Noe Garcia

Dr. Noe Garcia is the Senior Pastor at North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona. He and his wife have four children.  He holds a Doctorate of Ministry and Executive Leadership from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Noe serves on the Evangelism team for the North American Mission Board, is a Trustee for Union University, and serves on the ERLC leadership council team. He is passionate about reaching and equipping people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in Phoenix and around the world.



Buddy Gray

Buddy Gray has been pastor at Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover, Alabama since 1986. He has served in various leadership roles within the Southern Baptist Convention, including president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Buddy is married to Tricia and has three adult kids, Andrew, Emily, and Austin.



Nik and Ruth Ripkin

Nik and Ruth, with 3 children, served for over 32 years obeying Christ’s command to share Jesus across the globe. After 7 years in Malawi & South Africa, they moved to Nairobi, Kenya to begin work among the Somali people (1991-1997). Since that time (1998-2013) they have journeyed globally among people whom, when they gave their lives to Jesus, faced increasing persecution for their faith.