2021 Speakers

Plenary Leader: Rev. Dr. Tod Bolsinger

Rev. Dr. Tod Bolsinger is the Associate Professor of Leadership Formation and Senior Fellow at the De Press Institute for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. Rev. Dr. Bolsinger has served as a leader in his denomination, as well as the pastor and head of staff in churches, in addition to authoring books including Canoeing the Mountains, and Tempered Resilience.

In two plenary sessions Rev. Dr. Bolsinger will speak to us about the opportunity and necessity for adaptive change in the church, and how change can reflect our role as stewards in God’s kingdom.

Plenary Leader: Aimee Laramore

Aimee Laramore currently serves as the Philanthropic Strategist for the first PhD in African-American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric in the nation. She is a speaker and consultant for ALlyd providing expertise in development, diversity, and organizational effectiveness. She has served as Associate Director of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and currently is the Director of Seminary Advancement at Christian Theological Seminary.

Ms. Laramore will share best practices, trends, and opportunities for institutional, faith-based development and strategies for creating sustainable organizations.

Plenary Leader: Rev. Dr. Brandi Casto-Waters

Rev. Dr. Casto-Waters graduated from Presbyterian College and Columbia Theological Seminary. She currently serves as the Pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Cape Coral, Florida and previously served for twelve years as pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Greer, South Carolina.

As a currently serving pastor, Rev. Dr. Casto-Waters will share her perspective on practical stewardship challenges and opportunities in the church today, as well as helping us to consider what we need to be doing now to ensure a strong church for tomorrow.

Worship Leader: Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II

Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., the largest reformed denomination in the US, Rev. Dr. Nelson is the son, grandson, and nephew of Presbyterian pastors. Nelson is the first African American to lead the denomination with duties that include interpreting assembly actions, representing the church on various denominational and ecumenical councils, witnessing on behalf of the church to social justice issues, and making statements as directed by an assembly.

Prior to becoming Stated Clerk, Nelson served as director of the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. His service to the denomination also includes calls as pastor of St. James Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, and organizing pastor of Liberation Community Church in Memphis, Tennessee.

Worship Leader: Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton

Rev. Eaton is the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Eaton is the ELCA’s fourth presiding bishop and was first elected at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. Eaton earned a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor of Music Education from the College of Wooster. In 2015, under Eaton’s leadership, the ELCA underwent an extensive vision process to help the church journey faithfully and effectively together in the years ahead. The process resulted in Future Directions 2025, a strategic framework that helps shared leadership across the ELCA realize common aspirations and better face the challenges of the church.