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Guest Speakers

You have the opportunity to dialogue and learn from some of the most respected and influential Christian leaders in the nation. This is done by bringing the guest speakers into the virtual classroom through web conferencing. Click on a speaker's name to view their profile.

Fred Luter, Jr.

Fred Luter, Jr., is the Senior Pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was born in New Orleans and grew up in the historic "Lower 9th Ward" of the city. Although his parents were divorced when he was only six years old, Fred was raised in the church by his mom.

In 1986 Fred's life was changed forever when he was elected as pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church. At the time Franklin Avenue was a small struggling mission church with about 65 members in attendance. By 2005 Franklin Avenue had grown to over 8,000 members, making FABC the largest Southern Baptist Church in the State of Louisiana and one of the largest churches in the Greater New Orleans area. Pastor Luter has a passion for preaching and teaching the Word of God and for reaching and developing men in the ministry. One of his favorite sayings is that "if you save the man, the man will save his family!"

In August 2005 Pastor Luter lost his home and church to the flooding waters of Hurricane Katrina. Because of his love for his members Pastor Luter traveled all across the country to minister to his displaced congregation while living in Birmingham, Alabama. As a result of so many displaced members Franklin Avenue started two other churches in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Houston, Texas.

Mark Devries

Mark is the founder of Family Based Youth Ministry. For the past 18 years, he has served as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn., where he continues to oversee the youth ministry on a part-time basis. Mark has trained youth workers across the United States, as well as in Russia, Canada, Uganda and South Africa, working with a wide variety of denomninations. He has taught courses or been a guest lecturer at a number of colleges and seminaries, including Princeton Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt Divinity School, David Lipscomb University, Travecca Nazarene College, King College (Bristol, Tenn.), Montreat College (Montreat, N.C.), William Tyndale College (Detroit, MI), Presbyterian College (Montreal, Quebec), Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte, N.C.), and Tyndale Theological Seminary (Toronto, Canada). Mark is on the national parenting seminar team of Wayne Rice's "Understanding Your Teenager."

Andreas Köstenberger

Andreas Köstenberger is Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology and Director of Ph.D. Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the Founder and President of Biblical FoundationsT (www.biblicalfoundations.org),an organization devoted to encouraging a return to the biblical foundations in the home, the church, and society. Dr. Köstenberger also serves as editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. He has authored, edited, or translated over twenty books, including God, Marriage, and Family, Women in the Church, Encountering John, Salvation to the Ends of the Earth (with Peter O'Brien), and John in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series. Dr. Köstenberger is also the series editor of the Biblical Theology of the New Testament series, to which he contributed the inaugural volume, A Theology of John's Gospel and Letters, and the author of a major New Testament introduction, The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown (with Scott Kellum and Charles Quarles).

Kendra Fleming

Kendra Fleming is the Director of Children's Ministry at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga. In this position she oversees the ministries of Waumba Land (birth-Preschool), UpStreet (K-5th grade), and KidStuf on each campus, which currently serves over 4,500 children each Sunday. In addition, Kendra works with the multi-campus strategy of North Point Community Church. She lives in Cumming, GA with her husband Gary and their four children, Jessica, Catherine, Jack, and Emily.

Chaplain (Colonel) David W. Smartt

Chaplain (Colonel) David Smartt is Commandant, US Army Chaplain Center and School. His academic education includes a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management from Northcentral University, a Master of Divinity from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, a Master of Business Administra¬tion from Syracuse University, a Master of Strategic Studies from the Army War College, and a Bachelor of Arts from Lee University.

His military education includes the Chaplain Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Airborne School, Combined Arms Service School, Command and General Staff College, Division and Installation Chaplain Courses, the Army Force Management Course, and the Army War College.

Chaplain Smartt assumed the Commandant responsibility from his previous assignment to the Pentagon as Command Chaplain, Installation Management Command. Prior to that, he served as Director, Information Resource Management and Logistics for the Army Chief of Chaplains at the Pentagon.

Craig Groeschel

Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv. Meeting in multiple locations around the United States, and globally at Church Online, LifeChurch.tv is known for the innovative use of technology to spread the Gospel.

Craig, his wife, Amy, and their six children live in the Edmond, Oklahoma area where LifeChurch.tv began in 1996. He speaks at conferences worldwide and has written several books, including his recent release: The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn't Exist.

His other books include It, How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It, Chazown: A Different Way to See Your Life, Confessions of a Pastor, and Going All The Way.

Erwin McManus

Erwin McManus serves as the primary communicator and cultural architect of Mosaic church in Los Angeles. He is the author of An Unstoppable Force, a Gold Medallion Award finalist; Chasing Daylight; Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul; The Barbarian Way; Stand Against the Wind, Soul Cravings, and Wide Awake (soon to be released in July 2008). He also serves as a Research Advisor with The Gallup Organization.

His travels have taken him to over 30 countries and he has spoken to over a million people from a wide variety of audiences, including the NFL, Lionsgate, New Line Cinema, and ILOG. His work is featured in numerous films, articles, and magazines across the US and internationally.

Erwin is a native of El Salvador, and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Southwestern Theological Seminary. He and his wife Kim live in Los Angeles have two children, Aaron and Mariah, and a foster daughter Paty.

Francis Chan

Francis Chan founded Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, where he served as the pastor for 16 years. Francis is a nationally recognized pastor and spends time speaking in various places around the world to college-aged adults and pastors and is the author of Crazy Love and Forgotten God. It is his passion to see the next generation of American Christians display a much deeper love for Jesus and their neighbors. Francis Chan is also the Founder of Eternity Bible College and serves on the board of directors for Children's Hunger Fund and World Impact. Francis, his wife Lisa, and their four children recently returned from Asia, where they spent several months ministering overseas.

Pete Wilson

Pete Wilson is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN. This is the second church he has planted in the last seven years. His first church, Morgantown Community Church, was planted just weeks after graduating from college. Pete graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in communications and then attended seminary at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. Pete's desire is to see churches become radically devoted to Christ, irrevocably committed to one another, and relentlessly dedicated to reaching those outside of God's family. He is also the author of Plan B.

Joe Champion

Joe Champion is the senior pastor and co-founder, with his wife, Lori, of Celebration Church in Texas, serving the Austin area. He is passionate about helping people connect with their destinies through the balanced, life-giving ministry of the local church.

While a football player at Louisiana State University, he considered following in his father’s footsteps with a career in the National Football League, but entered full-time ministry in 1989 after a life-transforming experience with Christ, and later, answered the call to plant a church in the greater Austin area.

The Champions founded Celebration Church in October of 2000 as a non-denominational church with a vision to reach the city of Austin, and the globe, with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to raise up and train ministers, missionaries and Christian leaders through the Celebration School of Ministry.

Over the years since its founding, Celebration Church has grown from the Champion family of five to ministering to over 5000 people per week! Celebration Church is a multi-site church constantly involved in local and global service opportunities. Joe Champion is the senior pastor and co-founder, with his wife, Lori, of Celebration Church in Texas, serving the Austin area. He is passionate about helping people connect with their destinies through the balanced, life-giving ministry of the local church.

Joe Tiebout

Joe Tiebout is the lead pastor at The River Community Church in Cookeville, Tn

Bil Cornelius

Bil Cornelius is the founder and Lead Pastor of Bay Area Fellowship, which he and his wife Jessica founded in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1998. Bil's life calling has been to create a movement that is reaching into the lives of the lost and unchurched of the next generation and beyond. Bil leads Bay Area Fellowship with his unique brand of encouragement and wit, a teaching style and personality that allows him to engage a diverse audience. Now, more than 12 years later, Bay Area Fellowship has grown to over 8,000 people between 7 campuses, making it one of Outreach Magazine’s Top 100 fastest-growing churches.

Bil is the co-author of Go Big: Lead Your Church to Explosive Growth, which he wrote alongside Bill Easum. In 2007, Bil founded the Exponential Business Conference, where he teaches and mentors business leaders and investors on how to expand their business and real estate holdings. He recently expanded this to a ministry called Expo Coaching, where he works one-on-one with pastors and business leaders through personal consultation and tele-conference meetings. In September of this year, Bil’s latest book, I Dare You to Change!, will launch nationally in all major bookstores.

In 2008, seeking to reach the lost beyond Texas, Bil took his teaching to television and launched Bil Cornelius Ministries. By the end of 2009, the program expanded worldwide through Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), Daystar and The Church Channel and is currently reaching millions across the globe.

Bil travels around the country speaking and consulting on church health and growth. In 2004, Bil received the Purpose-Driven Health Award, from Rick Warren and Saddleback Church. Bil thrives on helping people reach their full potential in Christ and taking the limits off their life. Bil is the proud father of Mason, Cole, and Sophie, and is still madly in love with his wife Jessica after 17 years, which is second only to his love for God.