PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 4, 2015) – Convocation, Holston Conference’s annual continuing education opportunity for preachers, experienced the highest attendance in over a decade with a new location and popular speaker.
The Wesley Leadership Institute, the event's organizer, said 310 United Methodist pastors attended the Feb. 24-27 meeting at Music Road Convention Center in Pigeon Forge. The theme was “Renegade Gospel: The Rebel Jesus,” the name of the 2014 book authored by speaker Mike Slaughter.
The Rev. Slaughter led four plenary sessions with lessons from his 36 years at the helm of Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, which grew from 90 members in 1979 to more than 5,000 people on four campuses in the Dayton, Ohio, region.
Describing his own teaching style as the “gift of irritation,” Slaughter challenged conventional church practices and denominational structure with sound bites, statistics, and scripture. Participants shared photos and commentary from the sessions through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.