By Carl Stagner
Last year, for the first time in more than a century, the Church of God Convention was held outside of Anderson, Indiana. The location and venue weren’t the only updates, however. Church of God people from across the country and around the world noticed a change in the format, duration, and daily schedule. Now that the schedule has been released for Church of God Convention 2015 (June 22–25), many will notice improved flow, a greater variety of options, and an even more strategic sequence of activities.
Church of God Ministries is pleased to offer a schedule complete with stellar speakers and acclaimed artists. The Church of God has become very familiar with Jim Lyon, and many are also acquainted with Steve Rennick—former missionary, and pastor of The Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis.
But Steve Southards may be a fresh face to many at the Church of God Convention this year. Last year, he helped coordinate the Young Pastor’s Luncheon, but this year he’s a scheduled speaker. Steve is married to the daughter of Greg Wiens, who served as the state pastor for Florida Church of God Ministries and also founded Healthy Growing Churches. Steve attended Anderson University before becoming a youth pastor and serving as campus pastor at the multisite Indian Creek Community Church in Olathe, Kansas. He now serves as lead pastor of Salem Church of God in Clayton, Ohio.
Maybe you’ve not heard Gillian Grannum speak, but it’s possible that you recognize her last name. Gillian Grannum, known also for her music, is the daughter of Milton Grannum, who pastors New Covenant Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Another next-generation voice making waves in the kingdom is Andy Thompson. Gideon Thompson, Andy’s father, was the founding pastor of Jubilee Christian Church, a thriving Church of God congregation in Boston, Massachusetts. Andy, an author and radio speaker, is the lead pastor of a megachurch in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Throughout the convention, you’ll worship with the Crossings Venue Band, made up of everyday professionals and friends who call Crossings Community Church their home. Worship at this year’s convention will emphasize congregational participation, with the band highlighting singable tunes and classic texts with a modern flair.
Popular speaker across denominational lines, Francis Chan is acclaimed for his bold, in-your-face preaching style that is both relevant and Christocentric. But not many know his connections to the Church of God. Students and youth leaders, who have attended the International Youth Convention through the years, know Chan very well, as does one of our West Coast congregations for which Chan serves as an elder at-large. Turn on the radio today and you’ll likely hear one of Selah’s worship songs. Tune into Good Morning America, or attend a Women of Faith rally, and you might get a taste of Anita Renfroe’s clean, family-friendly comedy. Shane and Shane, who have produced numerous hits over the years, offer a modern acoustic-driven worship experience and a unique leadership training program.
Such speakers and musicians make this year’s convention schedule appealing to Church of God people across the demographic spectrum. In addition to the return of the Heritage Sing-Along this year, you may also notice designated times for pre- and post-convention activities and electives. Click here to view the Church of God Convention 2015 daily schedule.
Tickets are now available for Church of God Convention 2015. Visit www.chogconvention.org for details.