American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

2019 Biennial Mission Summit Speakers Announced


Plan now to attend the American Baptist Churches USA 2019 Biennial Mission Summit event, June 21-23 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia! The theme is "Summit by the Sea." Registration will be available in January 2019 – Don't miss it!

Speakers have been announced for the event: Dr. Howard Stevenson, 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, will provide Sunday Morning Word and Witness. Ngwedla Paul Msiza, BWA president, will bring the message during Sunday morning worship.

In addition to hearing from significant speakers, American Baptists and friends will have an opportunity to take part in an all-new Biennial Academy, with tracks offering continuing education and spiritual growth opportunities for both clergy and lay leaders alike. Academy Tracks will include Social Media, Technology and Ministry; 21st Century Options for Church Planting and Renewal; Transition Ministries Training; Bible Studies; and more.

The 2019 event will also offer opportunities for all ages featuring new events for youth and children, with a new 3-day youth conference for middle and high school students, and separate VBS-style classes available for elementary ages. Day care will also be offered. 

Speaker Information


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. 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.



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. His specialties lie in human rights and religious liberty. 



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. She has focused on researching the experiences and needs of Millennials in ministry positions. Her book, Millennials in Ministry (Judson Press) documents her findings. She specializes in providing training and consulting on team effectiveness and inter-generational leadership.



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. He is the senior pastor of Peniel Salem Baptist Church in Pretoria.