Category Archives: Events

Transitional (Interim) pastors training scheduled


The EPC Office of the General Assembly is hosting a Transitional Pastor training seminar January 30 through February 2, 2017, in Orlando, Fla.

Bill Enns, EPC Associate Executive for Collaborative Ministries, said the event is designed for those who serve in interim roles throughout the EPC.

“We have called these folks ‘interim pastors’ for a long time,” Enns said, “but we have changed the term to ‘transitional pastor’ for reasons that will be made clear at the seminar.”

A variety of pertinent topics will be discussed, including:

  • Six Types of Transitional Ministries
  • A Theological Framework for Transitional Ministries
  • Helping Congregations Assess their Need for a Transitional Pastor
  • Organizations in Transition
  • Questions to Ask When Interacting with Interim Search Teams and Sessions

In addition, Ken Priddy from the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic’s GO Center will present the Great Commission Matrix (GCM). The GCM is designed to help churches catch a vision of God for their local context, and is the primary tool used in the EPC’s church revitalization strategic initiative.

The cost for training event is $65 per person, and includes materials and lunch each day. A reduced rate of $149 per night is available at the Residence Inn Orlando Airport, which will provide breakfast each day and transportation to and from the airport. Evening meals will be the responsibility of the participant.

Click here to register for the training, or go to For hotel reservations, click here or go to The deadline to register at the reduced rate is December 30.

For more information, contact Enns at

International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church set for November


idop2017While every Sunday is a good Sunday to remember our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ throughout the world who suffer for their faith, November 6 and 13 have been designated International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).

The WAE reports statistics showing persecution as “a daily reality of at least 100 million Christians around the world.” Now marking its 20th year, the IDOP has grown substantially and is observed in more than 100 countries. This year’s theme is “If one suffers we all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12.26).

Free IDOP church resource kits are available online at,, and

We believe that standing with—and praying for—persecuted Christians is part of God’s vision for the EPC. As a “global movement of churches,” we’re committed to:

  • The global mission of EPC World Outreach
  • Fraternal partnerships with other churches (for example, our recent partnership with the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico), and
  • Awareness of and solidarity with persecuted Christians.

World Outreach Forum to address “Engaging Our Presbyteries in Mission”


WOForum2016We believe God has called the EPC to be a global movement of Evangelical Presbyterian Churches. A significant way to create a structure suitable for a global movement is to solicit as much input and buy-in as possible. A gathering of presbytery missions leaders at the 36th General Assembly in June was a step in that direction. In an effort to build on that effort, the topic of this year’s annual World Outreach Forum is “Engaging Our Presbyteries in Mission.”

The workshop will be held November 14-15 in Orlando. The two-day event will equip and challenge missions leaders in each presbytery to:

  • Help all the churches of the EPC in their missions callings and missions health
  • Help connect and gather the churches of each presbytery in mission endeavors
  • Help our churches to strategically engage with EPC World Outreach

“The Forum is designed to strengthen relationships and to channel our energies toward the fulfillment of the EPC’s vision,” said Phil Linton, Director of World Outreach. “We will take time to listen to you and hopefully inspire you with World Outreach’s high calling to go to those with the least access to the gospel—not just to send others, but to go ourselves.”

The Forum is a time of training, vision casting, and alignment around the global focus of the EPC and is designed especially for church and presbytery mission/world outreach committee team members, mission pastors and directors, and other point people working on World Outreach projects.

Linton said attendees can expect to hear progress reports on Engage 2025, the International Theological Education Network (ITEN), refugee response, and the Malay breakthrough prayer effort.

“We believe that God will continue to do great things through the EPC,” Linton said. “Let’s spend some quality time together in Orlando and see what God wants to do through us.”

For more information, see

Global Movement the focus of World Outreach Forum



This year’s World Outreach Forum will address the topic of “creating a structure for a global movement,” one of the EPC’s four strategic initiatives. Come to Orlando on November 14-15 and collaborate with presbytery and church mission leaders and the World Outreach U.S. Team.

The two-day workshop will equip and challenge missions leaders in each presbytery to:

  • Help all the churches of the EPC in their missions callings and missions health
  • Help connect and gather the churches of each presbytery in mission endeavors
  • Help our churches to strategically engage with EPC World Outreach

“We want to get ready for the time when each presbytery has asked to have an active missions committee and broader team of leaders who have a key role on their councils to empower their churches,” said Phil Linton, Director of World Outreach.

The annual Forum is a time of training, vision casting, and alignment around the global focus of the EPC and is designed especially for church and Presbytery mission/world outreach committee team members, mission pastors and directors, and other point people working on World Outreach projects like Engage 2025.

“We are committed to becoming a missional family of churches as we refocus our mission and reach out to serve others for Christ in the 21st century,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Lead Pastor/Stated Clerk. “The annual World Outreach Forum helps keep that in front of us.”

Click here for more information and to register.

July 10 slated as “Prayer Together Sunday”



In April, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) designated Sunday, July 10, as a day for evangelical churches across the United States to unite in prayer for our country.

For all that has happened in our country and world in the last 30 days, it’s especially appropriate and urgent for us to respond to this call.

The NAE represents approximately 48 million evangelical Christians in the US, and the EPC has been a denominational member since 1982. Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Lead Pastor/Stated Clerk, serves on the NAE Board of Directors.

Click here for more information, or go to

CCO Jubilee Conference available at no cost for EPC leaders



JubileeLogoThe EPC’s strategic partnership with Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) is our vehicle for reaching and building Next Generation leaders. Through that partnership, any EPC leader may attend CCO’s 2016 Jubilee Conference at no cost for registration. Jubilee will be held February 19-21 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa. The annual event attracts more than 3,000 attendees each year.

The three-day conference normally costs approximately $300 per person. In addition to the waived registration fee, EPC leaders are offered a special half-price ($100 per night) rate at the Omni William Penn Hotel.

The EPC’s own Rufus Smith, Senior Pastor of Hope Church in Memphis, Tenn., is the Saturday evening featured speaker. Smith previously served as Pastor of City of Refuge Church in Houston, Texas, and was the lead chaplain for the NBA’s Houston Rockets for three years.

A special gathering time for all EPC leaders in attendance is scheduled, and confirmed participants include Bill Enns, Associate Executive for the Office of the General Assembly; Tom Ricks, Chair of the EPC Church Planting Team; and Dean Weaver; Lead Pastor of Memorial Park Church in suburban Pittsburgh and member of the EPC Committee on Administration.

Now in its 40th year, the Jubilee Conference helps college students talk, learn, think, and dream about the public implications of their personal transformation. Not just for those pursuing a career in ministry, Jubilee is for students interested in engineering, science, art, music, law, politics, medicine, justice, families (or any other area of study) and helps them understand how to be involved in those places faithfully—both in college and the years to come.

From its beginnings in 1971, CCO’s vision has been that campus ministry is not a replacement for church involvement but a supplement to it, and therefore works in partnership with local congregations. CCO staff members serve as an arm of the local church on college campuses, reaching out to students who otherwise might not come to church on their own. All CCO staff members encourage students to attend church and invite them to get involved in local congregations.

Free registration is available to any EPC elder, pastor, church or presbytery staff member, or other leader as a ministry of the EPC Student and College Ministries (SCM) Committee. One of the committee’s primary goals is to further develop EPC’s partnership with CCO to help growing numbers of EPC churches develop or improve their ministry to college students and millennials.

Click here for the conference schedule and other information, including a brief video message from Rev. Josh Brown, pastor at Bellefield Presbyterian Church, about the value and impact of the Jubilee Conference.

To register, go to For more information, see the CCO website at or contact Elliott Simko, CCO Partnership Coordinator, at

General Assembly online registration now open


GAidentityOnline registration for the 35th General Assembly is now open. The Assembly meets June 23-27 at First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, Fla. The theme of this year’s annual meeting is “Arise and Shine,” based on Isaiah 60:1.

New this year is the Leadership Institute, the EPC’s first salvo in building a leadership development culture. Highlights of the Leadership Institute include four afternoon seminars on Tuesday, June 23:

  • Lead Like Jesus, led by Rebekah Layton of Cherry Hills Community Church in Denver, Colo.;
  • Impact of Leadership on Church Revitalization, led by Ken Priddy, Church Development Director of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic;
  • Cultivating a Growing EPC Movement, led by Tom Ricks and the Church Multiplication Team; and
  • Six Key Relationships Every Pastor Needs, led by Jimmy Dodd of PastorServe.

The Leadership Institute keynote speaker on Wednesday and Thursday mornings is best-selling author and popular blogger Thom Rainer, President of Lifeway Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn.

The first of five business sessions convenes on Wednesday afternoon, June 24, at 1:45 p.m. Business sessions continue on Thursday at 1:45 p.m.; Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.; and Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

General Assembly is more than a business meeting, and features worship services throughout the week. Featured worship speakers include:

  • David Swanson, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Orlando (Wednesday at 1:45 p.m.);
  • Bishop Claude Alexander Jr., Pastor of The Park Church in Charlotte, N.C. (Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.);
  • Phil Linton, EPC Director of World Outreach (Thursday at 7:30 p.m.);
  • Gordon Miller, EPC Moderator (Friday at 8:30 a.m.);
  • Carmen Fowler LaBerge, President of The Presbyterian Layman (Friday at 7:30 p.m.); and
  • Case Thorp, Pastor of Missions and Evangelism of First Presbyterian Church in Orlando (Saturday at 8:30 a.m.).

Numerous other gatherings are available that cover a wide variety of ministry interests, including Networking Lunches, World Outreach, Women’s Ministry, and more. Click here for a complete schedule.

For more information about the 35th General Assembly, see

EPC Leadership Institute launches at 35th General Assembly

Leadership Institute speakers include, from left: Thom Rainer, Rebekah Layton, Ken Priddy, Tom Ricks, and Jimmy Dodd.

Leadership Institute speakers include, from left: Thom Rainer, Rebekah Layton, Ken Priddy, Tom Ricks, and Jimmy Dodd.

A key strategy for the future of the EPC is “creating a leadership development culture” as the denomination transitions from a period of transfer growth to a goal of long-term sustainable transformational growth. Implementation of that strategy kicks off with the inaugural EPC Leadership Institute on Tuesday, June 23, prior to the 35th General Assembly in Orlando, and continues with Thom Rainer on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

Four tracks will be available on Tuesday from 1:00-5:00 p.m.:

  1. Lead Like Jesus
  2. The Impact of Leadership on Church Revitalization
  3. Cultivating Denominational Growth
  4. Six Key Relationships Every Pastor Needs

On Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00-11:45, Rainer will keynote the Leadership Institute by addressing leadership themes from his book, Simple Church.

Rainer serves as President of Lifeway Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama, and earned MDiv and PhD degrees from Southern Seminary. Prior to leading LifeWay, he served as president of Rainer Group consulting and dean at Southern Seminary. He also has served as pastor of four churches and has authored or co-authored 26 books.

Track 1: Lead like Jesus
Leaders influence others, and—more than a trait—leadership is a skill that can be learned.

In this workshop, Rebekah Layton will provide tools to equip women to influence others for Christ, wherever God has placed them. As Layton will explain in detail, a relational leadership model based on biblical principles is applicable in the family, congregation, workplace, and community. Women can learn to lead like Jesus.

Rebekah Layton is Director of Organizational Development at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colo. A former Director of Evangelism at a large multi-site church, her passion is to equip women to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to create Christ-honoring cultures in the home, workplace, and congregation.

Track 2: The Impact of Leadership on Church Revitalization
The EPC GO Center Team will lead the three-session workshop that focuses on the lifecycle of a local church and the difference of both good and ineffective leadership on that cycle.

  • Session 1: The Impact of Leadership on Small Church Turnaround
  • Session 2: The Impact of Leadership on the Church Lifecycle
  • Session 3: The Impact of Leadership on Missional Growth

Each session will be guided by a theme verse and include practical applications to help leaders move from concept to planning to implementation. Presenters include the GO Center Team and other REs and TEs throughout the EPC.

Track 3: Cultivating a Growing EPC Movement
Like farming, the growth of the Church is dependent on God’s kind provision and cannot be reduced to formulaic manipulation. However, God promises to grow His Church and graciously calls us to participate in His work. Join Tom Ricks and the EPC Church Planting Team for a discussion about various practices that can help cultivate the growth of the EPC.

  • Session 1: Where to Begin
  • Session 2: Creating a Church Planting Pipeline
  • Session 3: Round Table Discussion

Track 4: Six Key Relationships Every Pastor Needs
Pastors everywhere struggle with ever-increasing challenges in the backstage of their private worlds and front stage of their public ministries. But you don’t have to just survive—you can thrive. In this workshop, pastoral care expert Jimmy Dodd will reveal how pastors can make the shift by investing in six key relationships.

Dodd is the founder of PastorServe, an EPC Ministerial Vocation Committee commended resource. A well-known and respected speaker, Dodd is a graduate of Wheaton College and Gordon-Conwell Seminary, and served as a pastor for more than 20 years.

Click here for more information on the Leadership Institute.

General Assembly is coming to Orlando, Florida, June 23-27


Excitement for the 2015 General Assembly is beginning to build as staff members from host church First Presbyterian of Orlando and the Office of the General Assembly have been organizing and planning for several months. It’s not too soon for Sessions to begin selecting their Commissioners to the Assembly.

Several new features this year include:

  • A pilot of the EPC Leadership Development Institute, with four tracks to choose from on Tuesday afternoon, June 23.
  • The Assembly Workshop with Thom Rainer will be on two consecutive mornings, June 24 and June 25.
  • The Assembly convenes on Wednesday afternoon instead of Thursday morning.

Click here for the General Assembly information page, which includes announcements, schedule highlights, forms, and more!

Student and College Ministries online book studies offer ministry helps, ideas


All EPC student and college ministry leaders, pastors, elders, and search committee members are invited to participate in two online book studies beginning in February 2015. Each study will be led by members of the Student and College Ministries Committee and last six to eight weeks. Discussion questions will be posted in a Facebook group, and conference calls will be available for further discussion and sharing of ideas in community with other EPC leaders.

Sustainable Youth Ministry:
Why Most Youth Ministry Doesn’t Last and What Your Church Can Do About It
by Mark DeVries
Facilitated by Mark Steimer and Susan Holland


In this study, we will read about and discuss practical tools and structures that youth pastors, senior pastors, and other church leaders need in order to lay a strong foundation for youth ministry so that it isn’t built on a person or the latest, greatest student ministry trend. Topics of discussion include:

  • Equipping youth pastors to build a strong volunteer team
  • Creative solutions for youth pastors
  • Road maps for navigating church politics
  • Help for senior pastors and search committees to create a realistic job description for a youth pastor
  • Tips for making wise hiring decisions

This study is valuable for youth leaders and for pastors, elders, and search committee members who make decisions concerning the direction of youth ministry in their congregation. To join the study or for more information, see the Facebook group EPC Student Ministries Book Study – Sustainable Youth Ministry


College Ministry from Scratch:
A Practical Guide to Start and Sustain a Successful College Ministry
by Chuck Bomar
Facilitated by Dan Weidman and Susan Holland


In this study, we will read and discuss simple tips and practical ideas for anyone looking to start a ministry for (and to) college-aged people in their congregation. This book is easy to digest and offers insights on several practical topics, including:

  • Laying the Foundation for a College Ministry
  • Developing a Job Description
  • Overview of College-Age Issues
  • The often intimidating task of initiating meetings with students
  • A list of questions to ask when having coffee with a student
  • Leading a small group or Sunday school class
  • Leading retreats and mission trips

Organized by topic, it is sure to help any size church begin to meet the needs of those age 18-22. To participate or for more information, join the Facebook group EPC College Ministry Book Study – College Ministry from Scratch

Disturbing Statistics


From a recent survey of 1,120 pastors …

  • 70% of pastors don’t have a close friend
  • 72% only study the bible when preparing for sermon or bible study
  • 71% battle depression beyond fatigue regularly
  • Only 26% said they felt happy and content on a regular basis with who they are in Christ, in their church, and in their home
  • 70% have never taken a spiritual retreat with no agenda except to be alone with God.

We are not like that ……………are we?

A Mini-Conference on “Healthy Habits for a Sustainable Life and Ministry” is coming to General Assembly to help you develop strategies so you can do your part in reversing those disturbing statistics. Come to General Assembly on Tuesday afternoon, June 17, at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Tennessee.  Registration begins April 1 at There is no cost for the mini-conference, but major benefits for you, your spouse, and your leaders.

Movement Day


Brian Steadman and Chris Hildebrandt from Resurrection Brooklyn Presbyterian Church EPC in Brooklyn, NY joined Dave Robinson along with Richard Kidd of Mid-Atlantic Presbytery and EPC Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah.

Photo (left to right):  Dave Robinson, Jeff Jeremiah, Brian Steadman, Chris Hildebrandt


Movement Day ( brought together kingdom leaders, church planters and mission agencies on October 10, 2013 in New York City. Representing the EPC at this event was Dave Robinson of Cru, Brian Steadman and Chris Hildebrandt of Resurrection-Brooklyn, NY, Richard Kidd of Regent University-Virginia Beach, VA and Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah.

Dave, serves on the design team and leads the Strategic Partnership Alliance with Movement Day for Cru (formally Campus Crusade for Christ International).  Following is a summary of his report:

More than 1,200 leaders gathered from over 300 cities in the US to consider how we can catalyze leadership teams in America’s largest cities to serve their cities more effectively by advancing high-level, city-changing collaborative partnerships toward the Gospel transformation and well-being of our cities. Headline speakers for the event were Tim Keller (EPC’s 2014 General Assembly Workshop speaker) and Ray Bakke.

Movement Day’s Mission is to Cultivate Gospel Movements in Cities by:

  • Facilitating unity and collaboration amongst Christian leaders to address today’s urban issues;
  • Fostering an environment where City Networks are strengthened;
  • Inspiring and challenging Catalytic Leaders to maximize their leadership potential. In our day what it means to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth is being reexamined due to the incredible migration of peoples worldwide from rural settings to cities.

Dave noted that:

  • Every year, 70 million people around the globe move from rural areas & villages to urban areas. That’s equivalent to the population of Manhattan on the move every 6 weeks!
  • Globally in developed areas 74% of the population lives in urban area. (Why Cities Matter, page 23).
  • UN Population Division’s study on World Population suggests that by the year 2050, 68.7% of global population will be urban; 86.2% (in more developed regions)
  • China is pushing ahead with a sweeping plan to move 250 million rural residents into newly constructed towns & cities over the next dozen years.

Dave concluded, “Cities are both the present and the future missionary challenge & expanding the definition of ‘the ends of the earth.’”

Embers to a Flame Church Revitalization Conference


The Presbytery of the Southeast, EPC, along with Briarwood Presbyterian Church, invites you to attend the Embers to a Flame Conference on April 5-6 at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church. Join Dr. Harry Reeder, Dr. Tom Cheely, and Rev. Lynn Downing as they present 10 biblical strategies for church health and vitality.

Please go to for more information.

Merry Christmas!


“Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ and Lord.”

What an awesome summary of the glory of the coming of Jesus Christ!  On behalf of the General Assembly staff, I want to wish you and yours a joy-filled celebration of the good news: Christ the Savior is born!

Jeff Jeremiah