Kentucky Annual Conference Strengthening the Black Church

November 10, 2017
African American leaders in the Kentucky Annual conference have begun a quest to re-vitalize the Black Church within the Kentucky Annual Conference. Conversations have been going on for some time in Kentucky with concerns about the state of the Black Church. The conversations were resurrected again in the meetings of the Kentucky Annual Conference (KAC) Ethnic Local Church Concerns (ELCC) Committee, chaired by Pastor Mark Windley. African American leaders serving on the ELCC began to converse about possibilities to assist the Black Church in fulfilling the mission of the KAC conference as well as the Great Commission found in Mathew 28; to make disciples for the transformation of the world. During those conversations Strengthening the Black Church for the Twenty-first (SBC 21) was suggested as a possible source to help guide our work. 

The energy and fuel given to the resurgence of this movement was the assignment of Bishop Leonard Fairley to the Kentucky Annual Conference. Bishop Fairley has unapologetically given voice and support to the African American church and its leaders. Bishop’s support has proven to be invaluable in that he supported the partnership with SBC 21 and assigned pastors to provide leadership to this effort. Later these leader came to be known as the KAC-SBC 21 Design Team. 
Dr. Fred Allen, presenting during the 2017 KY Annual Conference

Dr. Fred Allen and his staff, from the National office in Nashville, Tennessee, have visited the KAC several times encouraging leaders to define the mission, create SMART goals, get to know one another and pray together. Leaders continue to have weekly conversations and pray together as we await the monthly leadership trainings led by SBC 21.  Since the initial group identified as the KAC-SBC 21 Design Team was predominately clergy others have been named to the group…these additions includes laity and young adults.

The ways and means of financing this collaboration was quickly answered by donations and by including SBC 21 as a line item in the conference budget. These funds will support training events and supply coaches to each Partnering Church. Churches become Partnering Churches
by completing the SBC 21 Partnering Church application and submitting it for review by the KAC-SBC 21 Design Team. 

After gaining the support of the bishop and cabinet, Dr. Kathy Goodwin, Chair of the KAC-SBC 21 Design Team and Dr. Fred Allen presented before the 2017 Kentucky Annual Conference the goals, future plans and expectations of the Kentucky Annual Conference, SBC 21 partnership. Dr. Allen also presented an overview of the mission and goals of SBC 21.

The Design Team will use a formula that includes 3-G; Goals, God and Guidance. These were shared during the gathering of the 2017 Kentucky Annual Conference. 

  • Develop a resource center
  • Mobilize actions for ministry in the Black community
  • Begin the real work of starting and sustaining, unapologetically, Black faith communities.
  • We understand to make what seemed impossible, possible is to seek God’s guidance as found in God’s Word and we made a commitment to pray together.
  • We seek Guidance from SBC 21 National Office under the direction of Dr. Fred Allen. 

We believe as we hold fast to all that is before us, Goals, God and Guidance, the Black Church in the Kentucky Annual Conference will be a re-vitalized church with stronger leaders and laity who are making disciples for the transformation of the world.