2019 Biennial Mission Summit Speakers
The Biennial Mission Summit Planning Team is excited to announce two of the speakers for the 2019 Biennial Mission Summit, June 21-23, 2019 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dr. Howard Stevenson, nationally recognized clinical psychologist and researcher, will speak during the Friday evening worship service. Elijah Brown, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), will speak during the Saturday evening worship service. Dr. Jolene Erlacher, founder, trainer and consultant at Leading Tomorrow who focuses on equipping a new generation of leaders, will provide Sunday Morning Word and Witness. Ngwedla Paul Msiza, BWA president, will bring the message during Sunday morning worship.
Friday Evening Worship
Dr. Howard Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, in the Human Development & Quantitative Methods Division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Executive Director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative at Penn, designed to promote racial literacy in education, health, community and justice institutions. Backed by a 12 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at REC, Howard also directs Forward Promise, a national philanthropic office that promotes a culture of health for boys and young men of color, to help them heal from the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination and colonization.
He is a nationally recognized clinical psychologist and researcher on negotiating racial conflicts using racial literacy for independent and public K-12 schooling, community mental health centers, teachers, police and parents. Two mental health research projects funded by National Institutes of Health examine the benefits of racial literacy. The PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth) Project uses basketball and racial socialization to help youth and parents cope with stress from violence and social rejection. Dr. Stevenson also co-leads the SHAPE-UP: Barbers Building Better Brothers Project which trains Black barbers as health educators to teach Black 18-24 year old males to reduce their risk of — HIV/STDS and retaliation violence — while they are cutting hair.
His recent best-seller book, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference, is designed to reduce racial threat reactions in face-to-face encounters. Howard’s research and clinical work have been funded by W.T. Grant Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, and the National Institutes of Mental Health and Child Health and Human Development.
Saturday Evening Worship
Elijah Brown, originally from the state of Texas, assumed the position of general secretary of the BWA on January 1, 2018. The general secretary is the CEO of the BWA and has overall responsibilities for the administration and operations of the organization, and is its chief representative to global organizations and institutions, ecclesial and secular, and to governments.
Brown had more than a decade long involvement in the international umbrella organization for Baptists before joining its staff, starting in 2005. In 2007 he was named one of 35 global emerging leaders by the BWA. He is past BWA regional secretary for North America and general secretary for the North American Baptist Fellowship.
Brown was executive vice president of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, a Christian human rights organization based in Virginia, and was previously associate professor of Religion at East Texas Baptist University where he was founding director of the Freedom Center.
Brown’s specialties lie in human rights and religious liberty. His dissertation focused on issues related to world Christianity, including mission and church growth, peacebuilding and conflict resolution and the interaction of religion and politics.
Sunday Morning Word and Witness
Dr. Jolene Erlacher founded Leading Tomorrow in 2013 with the aim of equipping churches, businesses, schools, missions agencies and other organizations for effective inter-generational leadership in an evolving culture. Her passion for equipping a new generation of leaders emerged from various leadership experiences in education and ministry.
Erlacher worked for eight years at North Central University, specializing in leadership training, student development and personnel management. During that time, she identified the need for building awareness of generational differences as young leaders entered the workplace, especially in ministry contexts. This began an extended journey of researching the experiences and needs of Millennials in ministry positions. Her book, Millennials in Ministry (Judson Press) documents her findings. Her new book, Daniel Generation: Godly Leadership in an Ungodly Culture, was released in August 2018. Jolene specializes in providing training and consulting on team effectiveness and inter-generational leadership. She works with community organizations, government agencies, churches, missions agencies, and small businesses. Jolene teaches continuing education courses for Eduspire (www.eduspire.org). She is also an adjunct faculty member and teaches graduate courses on Organizational Leadership at North Central University (www.northcentral.edu), and serves on the Board of Directors for GoCorps (www.gocorps.org).
Jolene’s education background includes degrees in Education and English, and a graduate certificate in International Leadership. Her doctorate is in Leadership from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She has also completed training on the StrengthsFinder assessment through Gallup Consulting and studied freelance writing at the Loft Literary Center.
Sunday Morning Worship
Ngwedla Paul Msiza is a native of South Africa, born in Mamelodi, a township of Pretoria, the capital city. He was installed on July 25, 2015, as the second African to be president of the BWA. He has been actively involved in the BWA since 1998.
Prior to serving as President, in 2010 he was elected one the 12 Vice-Presidents of BWA. Msiza was president of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship, one of six regional fellowships of the BWA, from 2006-2011 and general secretary of the Baptist Convention of South Africa (BCSA) from 2001-2010.
The fifth child in a family of six, Msiza grew up during the difficult times of the Apartheid in South Africa. Even though he was not connected to the church as a child, he started attending church on his own as teenager and in High School heard the gospel message and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Msiza was trained at the Hebron Teacher Training College and worked bi-vocationally as a pastor and school teacher from 1988 until he became founding principal of the Baptist Convention College in 1995, from where he left to become BCSA general secretary. He is currently registered with the University of Pretoria for a Post-graduate program and was recently presented with an Honorary Doctorate in Ministry by the Theological University of Andhra Pradesh, India.
He is the senior pastor of Peniel Salem Baptist Church in Pretoria.