Russell Moore serves as the eighth president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral and public policy agency of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.
A widely-sought cultural commentator, Dr. Moore has been recognized by a number of influential organizations. The Wall Street Journal has called him “vigorous, cheerful, and fiercely articulate” while The Gospel Coalition has referred to him “one of the most astute ethicists in contemporary evangelicalism.”
Dr. Moore blogs frequently at his website RussellMoore.com, and hosts the podcast Signposts. In addition, he is the author of several books, including Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ and Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches.
An ordained minister, Dr. Moore has served as a pastor for a number of Southern Baptist churches—most recently serving as preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church from 2008-2012. A native Mississippian, he and his wife Maria are the parents of five boys.
Prior to his election to this role in 2013, Moore served as provost and dean of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also taught as professor of theology and ethics.Kristen Waggoner View Bio
Kristen K. Waggoner serves as senior vice president of the U.S. legal division and general counsel, Arizona, with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, Waggoner oversees the U.S. legal division, a team of 60 attorneys and staff who engage in litigation, public advocacy, and legislative support. Since she assumed this role, ADF has prevailed as lead counsel in six U.S. Supreme Court victories. Waggoner currently serves as lead counsel in two pivotal artistic freedom cases: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which she will argue at the Supreme Court in fall 2017, and Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington. Waggoner has also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on religious freedom issues.
Waggoner has extensive experience in civil litigation, employment, education, nonprofit, and constitutional law. After clerking with Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders and interning with U.S. Rep. Linda Smith, Waggoner joined Ellis, Li & McKinstry, a Seattle law firm, where she became a partner in 2004. At ELM, Waggoner participated as counsel in hundreds of legal matters including constitutional cases such as Andersen v. King County (same-sex marriage), Stormans v. Wiesman (pharmacists’ conscience rights), State ex rel Gallwey v. Grimm (financial aid to religious university students), and State v. Hamlin (clergy-penitent privilege).
Waggoner is Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent™ in Martindale-Hubbell. Washington Law & Politics selected her as a “Rising Star” for many years, and she is a sought-after national speaker on legal and cultural issues. She regularly comments on religious freedom issues in television, radio, and print media, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Times, BBC News, CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox News. Waggoner is admitted to practice in multiple states, the Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.Joel Dillon View Bio
Joel serves as President & CEO at Jill’s House, a role he has played since early 2015. Prior to his service at Jill’s House, he served “at risk” children at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls (Chicago, IL), lived alongside adults with intellectual disabilities in a L’Arche community in Germany, and helped advance the mission of Trinity International University (Bannockburn, IL) as a member of the Advancement team.
Joel is a 2004 graduate of Wheaton College (IL), where he studied German. He enjoys pretty much anything outdoors, particularly golfing and running. He and his wife Hannah live in Northern Virginia, where they are raising two children, Lucy and Jonah.Amy Ford View Bio
Amy Ford is the Co-Founder and President of Embrace Grace, a non-profit that inspires and equips the church to love on single and pregnant young women and their families. She is also the author of A Bump in Life: True Stories of Hope & Courage during an Unplanned Pregnancy as well as Bump in Life Study Guide. Amy speaks nationally to a varied audiences including women’s ministry events, pro-life and adoption conferences, church leadership equipping and pregnancy center benefits.
Serving in Embrace Grace, she has countless stories of how churches, pregnancy centers and the body of Christ have come together to impact communities in a beautiful way.
She brings a fresh perspective of how one life can make a difference by stepping out of our comfort zones and just loving people. Amy delivers a combination of inspiration, authenticity, and depth to every event.
Amy has been married for over 20 years to her high school sweetheart, Ryan, and has 4 children. Her oldest son, Jess, is now at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma and majoring in Ministry and Pastoral Leadership. Mackenzie is a Junior, Landry is in 6th grade and Judah Brave is in 1st grade. The Ford family resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.Herbie Newell View Bio
Herbie Newell is the President/Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services and it’s ministry arms including (un)adopted, Crossings, and Lifeline Village. Herbie holds a Master’s degree in Accounting from Samford University. He joined the Lifeline staff in 2003 as Executive Director. From January 2004 – December 2008, he served as the president of the Alabama Adoption Coalition. Herbie was chosen as a Hague Intercountry Adoption evaluator and team leader by the Council of Accreditation and serves in that capacity currently. Under Herbie’s leadership, Lifeline has increased the international outreach to 23 countries, helped Lifeline attain membership in the ECFA (Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability), and led the creation of foster care ministry. Mr. Newell has been invited to speak regionally for many events concerning adoption and the church’s response to orphan care. He is a regular speaker for the National Council for Adoption, Christian Alliance for Orphans, Together for Adoption and Care-Net. Having witnessed the plight of older orphans on many trips overseas, Herbie’s burden for the fatherless was a catalyst for starting (un)adopted during 2009. He worked with WAKM Companies, LLC, a prominent accounting firm, for many years as an independent auditor before being led to Lifeline. He and his wife, Ashley, live in Birmingham, Alabama, and are parents to son, Caleb, and daughters Adelynn and Emily. During parts of May, June, and July of 2013, the Newell’s traveled for 7 weeks in China working hands-on with (un)adopted and orphanage partners.Afshin Ziafat View Bio
Afshin was born in Houston, Texas. He moved with his family to their native country of Iran when he was two years old. In the midst of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Afshin’s family moved back to Houston when he was six years old. In the second grade, he was given a Bible by a tutor who was teaching him the English language. He read that Bible 10 years later as a senior in high school and came to faith in Christ. His conversion to Christianity was only the beginning of his journey to understand what it would look like to follow Christ.
Ultimately, his family would disown him because of his faith in Christ. His story illustrates the call of Christ on each of our lives—to follow Him regardless of the cost. In so doing, Afshin found that the reward was greater than the cost. He found the life Christ had for him. Afshin says, “My story is not about a man’s faithfulness to God; it’s about God’s faithfulness to a man.” His story is one of hope and inspiration, which demonstrates the truth of Matthew 16: 25- that whoever loses his life for the sake of Christ will find it.
Afshin received his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Master of Divinity with Biblical Languages degree from Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Currently, Afshin resides in Dallas, Texas, with his wife Meredith. He is the founder of Afshin Ziafat Ministries and travels nationally and internationally proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in churches, retreats, camps, conferences, and missions. Afshin speaks weekly at Truth Bible Study at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He also partners with Elam Ministries and travels into the Middle East regularly to train Iranian pastors. Afshin’s passion is to teach the Word of God as the authority and guide for life, to preach Jesus Christ as the only Savior and Redeemer of mankind, and to proclaim the love of Christ as the greatest treasure and hope in life.J.D. Greear View Bio
J.D. Greear is the pastor of The Summit Church, in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
The Summit is characterized by its gospel focus and sending culture. As Pastor J.D. often says, “The gospel is not merely the diving board off of which we jump into the pool of Christianity, it’s also the pool itself.” The deeper we dive into the extravagant love of Christ, the more our lives will be filled with unquenchable joy, reckless generosity, and audacious faith.
Depth in the gospel also leads to width in the mission. Under Pastor J.D.’s leadership, the Summit has grown from a plateaued church of 300 to one of over 10,000, making it one of Outreach magazine’s “top 25 fastest-growing churches in America” for many years running.
Seating capacity, however, is not the church’s primary metric for success. Sending capacity is. Pastor J.D. has led the Summit in a bold vision to plant one thousand new churches by the year 2050. In the last 15 years, the church has sent out more than 1,000 people to live on church planting teams—in North Carolina, across the United States, and around the world.
Pastor J.D. Greear has authored several books, including Not God Enough: Why Your Small God Leads to Big Problems, Gaining by Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches That Send (2015), Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary (2011), Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved (2013), and Jesus, Continued … Why the Spirit Inside You Is Better Than Jesus Beside You (2014).
Pastor J.D. completed his Ph.D. in Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, writing on the correlations between early church presentations of the gospel and Islamic theology. Seeing Muslims come to faith in Christ has long been a burden of his, a burden that led him to serve in Southeast Asia with the International Mission Board.
Pastor J.D. is currently serving as the 62nd president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Pastor J.D. and his wife Veronica live in Raleigh. Together they are raising four ridiculously cute kids: Kharis, Alethia, Ryah, and Adon.Daniel Darling View Bio
Daniel Darling is the Vice President for Communications at the ERLC. He is a contributor to Christianity Today, In Touch and a columnist for Homelife. His writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Washington Times, CNN, FaithStreet, and The Gospel Coalition. Daniel is the host of The Way Home Podcast and is the author of several books, including his latest, The Original Jesus. He personally blogs at danieldarling.com.Dhati Lewis View Bio
Dhati Lewis is the Lead Pastor of Blueprint Church in Atlanta, Georgia and the Executive Director of Community Restoration with the North American Mission Board. He was born and raised in California and later moved to Texas where he completed his undergraduate studies from the University of North Texas. He later earned his master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and his Doctorate of Ministry in Great Commission Mobilization from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
During his time in Texas, he started a college ministry, served as a chaplain to UNTs football team, coached high-school football, became a college pastor, and eventually planted a church. In all these years of ministry, Dhati became increasingly burdened to see healthy disciple-making churches in the city. This burden grew until the Lord gave Dhati a clear vision to plant a church-planting church in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2009, Dhati, along with twenty-five others, moved to Atlanta with the goal to become the last generation of believers who have to leave the urban context in search of sound discipleship.
Dhati is is most passionate about making disciples, equipping urban leaders, and loving his family. On any given day you might find Dhati changing a plan, coaching his kids in basketball, or strategizing on a whiteboard. Dhati has seven beautiful children and is married to Angie, a discerning woman who empowers and encourages him to live fully in his identity in Christ. He is the author of both the Bible Study and book, Among Wolves: Disciple Making in the City.Mindy Belz View Bio
Mindy Belz is the senior editor of WORLD magazine. Writing for the publication since 1986, she has covered war in the Balkans, Sudan, Iraq, and Afghanistan—and has reported also from Nigeria, Syria, Turkey, Haiti, and elsewhere. Her reporting has been published overseas and in the United States in The Weekly Standard and other publications. She has appeared on Fox News, ABC News, and radio talk shows. Mindy is a contributing author of Sorrow and Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution, and Martyrdom and speaks frequently about persecution and survival in the Middle East. She enjoys engaging with younger audiences on a broad range of current events, as well as teaching journalism both abroad and closer to home under the auspices of the World Journalism Institute. Mindy worked on Capitol Hill and attended George Washington University, but for more than thirty years has lived in Asheville, NC, where she is a wife and mother of four children.Karen Ellis View Bio
Karen Ellis writes and lectures on theology, human rights, and global religious freedom. She is president and co-founder of the Makazi Institute, which trains and equips the next generation of cultural analysts. She’s a PhD candidate in missiology at the Oxford Center for Mission Studies in England. She also holds an MAR from Westminster Theological Seminary and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.
Tysons Corner Campus
8925 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
Tickets can be refunded in full until October 31, 2018. Please email [email protected] for more information.
Full schedule coming soon. Schedule subject to change.
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The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention. The ERLC is dedicated to engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ and speaking to issues in the public square for the protection of religious liberty and human flourishing. Our vision can be summed up in three words: kingdom, culture and mission.
The North American Mission Board exists to connect every Southern Baptist church to its next missional opportunity. It equips and empowers church leaders to move the people in their churches out of the pews and into ministry action through Send Network church planting initiatives, Send Relief compassion and mercy ministry opportunities, and additional resources, tools and events.