Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM - Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM (EDT)
475 Boulevard NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
The BLVD Conference: Christianity in the City
Living Missionally in the City
D.A. Horton currently serves as the Executive Director of ReachLife Ministries, the non-profit ministry of Reach Records and the National Coordinator of Urban Student Missions at NAMB. Prior to his current roles D.A. was an urban church planter, pastor and Lead Teaching Elder in Kansas City, MO for 6 years. For over 16 years D.A. also has used the medium of rap music as a tool to help educate the people of God on the precepts of Scripture as well as how to evangelize to the lost by presenting them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was recently named one of the top 33 Millennial Generation Leaders by Christianity Today (July/August 2014 Edition).
D.A. also has served as an Adjunct Professor at Calvary Bible College teaching systematic and contemporary theology courses in addition to the seven urban-focused courses he wrote for the Urban Studies major. D.A. earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies at Calvary Bible College and his Master’s Degree in Christian Studies from Calvary Theological Seminary. D.A. is currently working on his Ph.D. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
With a heart to provide local churches with quality Bible-centered tools and resources for evangelism and discipleship, D.A. wrote two books; G.O.S.P.E.L. and DNA: Foundations of the Faith both published through Moody Publishers.
D.A. is currently using the Spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit has given him to edify the body of Christ while serving under the leadership at Blueprint Church where he and his family are privileged to hold membership. He and his wife of 11 years Elicia have two daughters, Izabelle and Lola and one son, D.A. Jr.
Dhati Lewis is the Lead Pastor at Blueprint Church in Atlanta, GA. Dhati, born and raised in California, moved to Texas for his undergraduate studies at the University of North Texas and his graduate studies at Dallas Theological Seminary (Master of Arts in Cross Cultural Ministries). While in Texas, Dhati served on staff at Denton Bible Church for 7 years. He started Plumbline, a very successful college ministry on UNT and TWU campuses. He served as the college pastor there and eventually planted a church, which he pastored for 3 years.
During that time, he also served as chaplain to UNT’s football team and coached high school football (sports have always been a big passion for Dhati and a large part of how he came to the Lord). Dhati furthered his training in Little Rock, AR at Fellowship Associates in 2008-2009, completing a year long course designed to train pastors in the area of church planting. After completion of that course, Dhati and his family moved from AR to Atlanta, GA with dreams to start a church that was both culturally relevant and biblically accurate. Dhati, along with 25 other individuals moving from TX to GA, launched Blueprint Church in 2009.
Dhati’s passions are for church planting and discipleship. He launched The Rebuild Network in 2011 to answer the call to see more churches planted in the urban context. He currently serves as the president of The Rebuild Initiative.
Dhati is married to Angie Lewis and they have six beautiful children: Trinity(10), Jade(9), Briaiah(7), Dhati Jr(6), Brayden(5) and Nathaniel(4).
John Onwuchekwa is currently serving as Teaching Pastor at Blueprint Church in Atlanta, GA. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Shawndra for over 6 years. John graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Masters in Christian Education and moved with 25 of his closest friends and family in the summer of 2009 to help plant Blueprint Church. He is currently working on his Doctorate of Education at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. John’s enjoys unpacking the Scriptures in such a way that cause people to think deeply and respond passionately with a life fully submitted to Jesus. In his spare time you can find John reading, writing, playing basketball or coming out on top in games of Monopoly.
Walter R. Strickland II serves as Special Advisor to the President for Diversity & Instructor of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Walter was born in Chicago and raised in Southern California, and his passion is for people from every culture to fully embody the gospel of Jesus Christ in their context. Walter holds a BA from Cedarville University, an MDiv and ThM from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is pursuing a PhD in theology from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). Walter and his lovely wife Stephanie live in Wake Forest, NC and have a daughter named Hope who is waiting to meet them in glory, and a second daughter named Kendra.
Amisho "Sho Baraka" was educated at Tuskegee University and the University of North Texas and studied Television/Film, Anthropology and English. He has become a philosopher, academic, activist, artist, and deep thinker in contemporary culture. He has spent 7 years traveling as a recording artist and public speaker. He has done numerous activist works overseas ranging from Race relations in South Africa to establishing musical co-horts in Indonesia. He now desires to blend his artistic platform with his academic leanings to contribute a unique perspective in both arenas in hopes of raising the standard, thereby raising the culture.
Ben Sciacca currently serves as the Executive Director at Restoration Academy (www.restorationacademy.org) in Birmingham, AL. Restoration Academy has been providing a quality private Christian education to urban youth for the last 25 years.
The school exists to afford predominantly lower-income families with a high caliber education and to introduce them to the love of Christ. For the last eight years 100% of RA’s graduates have been admitted to college. Ben has served at RA for 14 years.
He received his BA in History from Wheaton College in 2000 and his MEd from Covenant College in 2007. He is also the author of Kai’Ro: The Journey of an Urban Pilgrim and Kai’Ro Returns with Moody Press (www.moodyurban.com) which are being read and used as urban discipleship curriculum in schools, after-school programs, and prisons around the country. Ben has a passion for making disciples through the matrix of our local schools. He and his wife Sara, and their four children Judah, Asher, Eden and Leah live in the community where they serve.
Patrick Palmer currently serves as the Ministry Director of the Atlanta Dream Center, a non-profit ministry in Atlanta with a mission to reach, rescue and restore men, women and children that the glory of God may be known. Patrick has been ministering in the urban context for the last 10 years and has been a visionary in his field.
Early on, Patrick started a missions program, mobilizing thousands of Christians into urban ministry. This was the launching pad for what made up his next few endeavors.
Patrick wanted to see long lasting impact happen for the people they served through the urban mission teams so he developed a model for a holistic approach; reach, rescue, restore. Using this holistic approach Patrick developed an anti-sex trafficking program that is currently rescuing over 200 women a year.
Patrick’s biblical studies were done at GA School of Ministry and his non-profit studies were through the University of Notre Dame. Patrick is the proud father of 4 children and the lucky husband of Shelly Palmer. They live in the area they minister, with up to 15 full-time drug dealers working right outside their home. It’s not uncommon for neighborhood children, prostitutes, homeless or drug dealers to stop by their home to visit. Often times joining them for dinner, for prayer or a chance for a fresh start; whatever the reason, they know they’re always welcome. Patrick believe that urban ministry is most effective when you become fully emerged in your mission.