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Wee Kirk Conference

For leaders of small membership churches

Aspires to provide Christ-centered opportunities for inspiration, encouragement, and community among leaders of small membership churches

A Montreat Conference Center Event
October 21–23, 2019

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. –John 14:23 

The Wee Kirk conference aspires to provide Christ-centered opportunities for inspiration, encouragement, and community among leaders of small membership churches so they can do the same in their congregations and regions. This year’s conference offers the following tracks:

  • Barnabas Track
  • Missional Track
  • Spiritual Formation Track
  • Retreat Track

You will select one track that will be your focus throughout the conference (see “Track Descriptions”). Everyone will be together for plenaries and worship. Participants will be housed in the Assembly Inn, however all participants taking the Barnabas track will be housed at the William Black Lodge.

THIS CONFERENCE IS A LOVE GIFT to those serving small membership congregations. The average cost per person is $380. Through the generous support of governing bodies, large churches, co-sponsors and individuals, the conference fees for actively-serving Presbyterian congregational leaders (PCUSA, ECO, EPC, PCA etc.) are reduced substantially.

On-site conference registration check-in will begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, October 21 in the Assembly Inn upper lobby. Housing check-in is available AFTER 3:00 pm on day of arrival. The main conference begins with the first seminar on Monday at 3:00 p.m. and concludes with lunch on Wednesday. The Barnabas Track begins a day earlier on Sunday, October 20. Dress is casual.

Child care is NOT available for this event.

Check out more details below, including leadership, track descriptions, accommodations, registration, and more. Be prepared to choose your track before you register.

 

Event Leadership

Rev. Dr. Robert Austell – Worship and Music Leader

Rev. Dr. Robert Austell serves as pastor of Good Shepherd in Charlotte, NC. Previously he served as associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lenoir, NC. He is a graduate of Davidson College, studied at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Boston, MA), and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with a MDiv in 1996. In May of 2008 he completed his dissertation on worship and music and graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte with a DMin. Robert is a life-long musician and continues to write and record music. He is married to Heather and has three daughters.

Morning and Evening Prayer Leader

Rev. Dr. Robert McRae, Pastor Emeritus at Galatia Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Eagle Rock, VA, served Galatia as pastor for thirty-two years before retiring in May of 2016. Robert has been active in Presbyterian Pilgrimage Spiritual Retreats since 1988. Robert has a DMin from Union Theological Seminary, and for 17 years worked as a teacher and principal in Mississippi before attending seminary. He is married to Jane C. McRae, and they have four children and eight grandchildren. Robert’s favorite outdoor activities are biking, hiking, and camping. He and his wife have attended all but two of the Montreat Wee Kirk Conferences.

Rev. Dr. Robert McRae – Morning and Evening Prayer Leader

Rev. Dr. Robert McRae, Pastor Emeritus at Galatia Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Eagle Rock, VA, served Galatia as pastor for thirty-two years before retiring in May of 2016. Robert has been active in Presbyterian Pilgrimage Spiritual Retreats since 1988. Robert has a DMin from Union Theological Seminary, and for 17 years worked as a teacher and principal in Mississippi before attending seminary. He is married to Jane C. McRae, and they have four children and eight grandchildren. Robert’s favorite outdoor activities are biking, hiking, and camping. He and his wife have attended all but two of the Montreat Wee Kirk Conferences.

Sarah Allred – Conference Choir Co-Director

Sarah Allred is the Director of Music Ministries at Matthews Presbyterian Church where she shares the love of Christ through music with all people young and old. She enjoys helping others explore their musical gifts giving each person an opportunity to use their God-given talent to glorify God in worship through whatever creative means possible. When not working, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband, Adlai, playing with their dogs, Betty and Rocket.

Rev. Dr. Denise Grier – Barnabas Track Leader

Rev. Dr. Denise Kingdom Grier is the lead pastor at Maple Avenue Ministries, a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-generational congregation of the Christian Reformed Church and Reformed Church in America in Holland, Michigan.  She was born in New York City and moved to North Carolina as an adolescent. In 1994, Dr. Grier received a BA in psychology from Shaw University in Raleigh, NC and immediately began a career as a social worker. She went on to attend Western Theological Seminary becoming the first African American female to graduate with the Master of Divinity in 2005 and the Doctorate of Ministry degree in 2017. Dr. Grier’s doctoral research interrogates a system of apartheid in the American church in order to redirect outreach practices towards a reciprocal model of community engagement she calls Embracing.

Rev. Dr. Martha FrizLanger – Spiritual Formation Track Leader

Rev. Dr. Martha FrizLanger is an ordained PCUSA pastor, graduating from University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. She received her Doctorate in Ministry from Union (PSCE) Seminary in Richmond, Virginia where she specialized in spiritual formation through the spiritual disciplines. Later, she received her Certificate in Spiritual Formation from Columbia Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been serving the church for over 30 years as an ordained pastor and most recently has been serving Dale Presbyterian Church for 19 years. She has authored three books.

Rev. Dr. Herb Codington – Missional Track Co-leader

Rev. Dr. Herb Codington was born and raised on the mission field (Korea), as was his wife Suzan (Brazil). They have five children, one of whom is a missionary in Albania. Herb pastors three smaller congregations in Lauren’s County, SC. He also serves with a small mission agency with work in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In addition, he teaches an introductory missions course at Presbyterian College. Herb is a conference speaker and has led the Laurens cluster of 16 churches for 25 years.

Rev. Dr. Lisa Culpepper – Missional Track Co-leader

Rev. Dr. Lisa Culpepper serves as pastor of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Hemingway, SC. She is a graduate of Furman University (BS), as well as a magna cum laude graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv and DMin). Lisa serves in leadership with a missional cluster of five churches in New Harmony Presbytery, and has been involved in short term cross cultural mission for 25 years. Her most recent involvement is in Lebanon with the Outreach Foundation’s ministry to Syria and Lebanon.

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