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“ACROSS” explores how Christianity builds bridges and reaches across divides. We will address a few different topics: racial divides, socioeconomic divides, community divides, political divides, and international divides. These will be addressed in workshops, faculty lectures, seminars, and sermons.
At Homecoming this year, we will…
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Alan Ahlgrim and his wife Linda have three Christ-loving children and six life-enriching GRANDchildren! He has served as the catalyst for a national church planting emphasis and as president of the North American Christian Convention. He is a two-time church planter, leading churches in growth, ranging from 50 to 2,500 in size.
Since transitioning in 2013 as the founding pastor of Rocky Mountain Christian Church, Alan has developed a system of soul care for pastors nationwide. He now serves as founder and CSO (Chief SoulCare Officer) of Covenant Connections for Pastors, Inc.
The transformational covenant group model Alan has designed and leads is breathing new life into Christian leaders of all ages. These groups are typically composed of four to six leaders, meeting together over three years, twice each year in retreat and monthly face-to-face via the internet. This dynamic relational model is producing life-enhancing and even ministry-saving results. The network is now expanding nationwide through trained facilitators.
Terence Lester is a speaker, activist, author, and thought leader in the realm of systemic poverty. He’s known for nationwide campaigns that bring awareness to issues surrounding homelessness, poverty, and economic inequality. His awareness campaigns have been featured on MLK50, TVONE, Creative Mornings, USA Today, NBC, AJC, Black Enterprise, Rolling Out, and Upworthy, and have been viewed by millions of people worldwide. In 2018, Terence led the March Against Poverty as he walked from Atlanta to Memphis (386 miles). He finished the march and spoke at the historic Lorraine Motel for the 50th anniversary of MLK’s assassination.
He has spoken on the same platform as other civil rights activists, such as Bernice King, Roland Martin, Gina Belafonte, Michael Eric Dyson, Tamika D. Mallory, and many others. Terence’s unique approach combines storytelling and digital media to illustrate social justice issues and holistic approaches to solving these ailments.
Terence has written four books, and his book new book, “I See You: How Love Opens Our Eyes To Invisible People” released in summer 2019 with InterVarsity Press. He also holds four degrees and is working towards his doctorate.
He is happily married to his best friend, Cecilia Lester, and they have two amazing children, Zion Joy and Terence II.
Alex Diaz is a teaching pastor at Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, a multiethnic urban congregation in the city of Little Rock. He has served as worship pastor, church planter, and campus pastor at one of the fastest-growing churches in the nation. Alex speaks regularly in local churches as an ambassador for the Mosaix Global Network, championing diversity in the local church and providing insight and best practices for local churches seeking to reflect the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, for the sake of the gospel. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Alex studied law and biblical studies. He and his wife, Erin, have two children.
Ben Cachiaras is from Minnesota, has ministered in Tennessee, and has served since 1997 as lead pastor with Mountain Christian Church near Baltimore, Maryland.
A graduate of Minnesota Bible College (renamed Crossroads College), he has studied at Bethel Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary, and graduated with the Master of Divinity degree from Emmanuel Christian Seminary where he is currently working on his Doctor of Ministry final project.
Ben has served on boards for Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Milligan College, and Standard Publishing as well as a contributing editor with Christian Standard and President of the North American Christian Convention. He is the co-founder of MOVE Northeast, a church planting network.
With its beginnings in 1824, the story of the Mountain Church is remarkable. The northeast is a vital mission field with a high concentration of unchurched people, and God is using Mountain to make a regional and global impact. With a mission to make disciples who love God, love people, and serve the world, Mountain is known for its impact in the local community and as a multi-ethnic, multi-site church of over 6000 that gathers in four locations. One campus is also a community center with a focus on changing the trajectory of under-resourced children.
Ben and his wife Karla, have three awesome children, Nathan, Andrew, and Ellie. He has an irrational devotion to his Minnesota Vikings, bats around a lot of tennis balls, gets a kick out of skiing on water and snow, and remember when he did more rock climbing. Most of all, he loves his family, has a passion for preaching and leadership, and wants to build Jesus-shaped communities that draw people to the love of God.