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NASHVILLE, TN—Welch College will host its annual FORUM/Bible Conference March 9-11. The event will be held on the campus of Welch and will focus on the theme “The Gospel for Life.” Through plenary and breakout sessions, speakers will address the implications of the gospel for evangelism, discipleship, Christian living, ministry, and public ethics.

The event promises to be engaging and informative with a wide range of highly accomplished speakers set to address this important topic. The featured speakers this year will be Ajith Fernando and Dr. Russell Moore.

Ajith Fernando, internationally acclaimed speaker and author, is the teaching director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka. Prior to his current position, Mr. Fernando served as the National Director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka for 35 years. A graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary, he is a visiting lecturer at Colombo Theological Seminary and is the author of 15 books published in 20 languages, including Jesus Driven Ministry and Sharing the Truth in Love: How to Relate to People of Other Faiths. He is actively involved in a grassroots ministry to reach the urban poor in his area with the gospel. Mr. Fernando will speak several times over the two-day conference.

The event will also feature Dr. Russell Moore, who will speak on Monday. Dr. Moore is President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, a post he assumed after many years as vice president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Moore is the author or editor of five books, including The Kingdom of Christ and Tempted and Tried. Highly respected as an ethicist and cultural commentator, Dr. Moore brings fresh, well-informed perspective to the topic of the implications of the gospel.

Four outstanding Free Will Baptist ministers will also address conference attendees.

Dr. Jeff Manning has been the senior pastor of Unity Free Will Baptist Church in Greenville, North Carolina since 1991. A 1986 Welch College graduate, Dr. Manning serves on the Board of Free Will Baptist International Missions and also teaches as an adjunct faculty member in expository preaching at Welch College. He earned his D.Min. in expository preaching in 2002 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His blog can be found at http://www.jeffmanning.org/blog/.

Jeff Nichols recently celebrated twenty years of service on the ministry staff of the Donelson Fellowship, a Free Will Baptist church in Nashville, Tennessee, where he now serves as Executive Pastor. He is a 1987 graduate of Welch College and holds a M.A. degree in Business Science from Trevecca Nazarene University. Before his current position at Donelson, he served as children’s pastor, and prior to that as a youth minister in Missouri.

Chris Talbot is a 2012 graduate of Welch College. He now serves as the Minister of Students at Unity Free Will Baptist Church in Greenville, North Carolina. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in Ministerial Studies at Grace Theological Seminary and is a regular contributor to the Helwys Society Forum, http://www.helwyssocietyforum.com.

Welch College Vice President for Institutional Advancement David Williford will speak Sunday night to open the conference. Mr. Williford joined the Welch College staff in 2002 after 27 years of successful pastoral ministry, including several years as Promotional Director for Florida Free Will Baptists. He is a 1979 graduate of Welch College. He also completed an M.A. in Pastoral Studies at Welch and additional graduate study at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

President Matt Pinson said, “This is shaping up to be one of our best conferences ever. We have an excellent slate of speakers preaching and leading breakout sessions on the most important topic we must consider: the gospel and its implications for private and public life. All are invited to come and join the conversation.”

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