Faith and Rural Life: Down to Earth Ministry Conference to Feature Will Willimon

University of Mount Olive is hosting the Third Annual Faith and Rural Life: Down to Earth Ministry Conference on March 4, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in W. Burkette and Rose M. Raper Hall and Rodgers Chapel. The theme for this year’s conference is “Growing Food, Growing Faith, Growing Community.”  The Reverend Dr.Will Willimon will be the opening worship preacher.
Dr. Willimon is one of the most widely-read and well-respected preachers and authors in the world of Protestant Christianity. An elder in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Willimon served as Dean of Duke Chapel and professor of Christian Ministry at Duke University for 20 years. He recently returned to Duke Divinity School after serving as the Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church from 2004 to 2012. Dr. Willimon is the author of over 60 books. More than a million copies of his books have been sold. He is editor-at-large for The Christian Century, and his articles have appeared in many publications including Theology Today, Interpretation, Liturgy, Worship, and Christianity Today. Dr. Willimon’s book Pastor: the Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry is used as a standard textbook in dozens of seminaries in the United States and Asia.
Dr. Willimon will lead a workshop entitled, “The Challenges of Christian Leadership.” Other workshop guest speakers include Dr. Nathan Kirkpatrick, the Reverend Laura Early, Dr. Micheline Ridley Malson, the Reverend Jeremy Troxler, the Reverend Al Warrick, the Reverend Ferrell Hardison, John Coggin, and Raul Gámez.
When asked about the upcoming conference, Dr. David Hines, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, said, “Those of us who live in eastern North Carolina know something about connections. While we may worship in different churches, we face similar concerns about how to best serve our communities, how to be good stewards of the land God has given us, and how to be faithful to the Gospel. This conference will explore and celebrate these connections and concerns we all share.”
The public is invited to attend. Registration for the event will be $10 and one canned food item.  The fee covers lunch and workshop expenses.
University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville. For more information, visit