Chicago | October 4th-5th 2019

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Prophetic Voices

We will elevate voices of truth who speak prophetically toward a holistic, diverse Black Christian community.

Black Centered

We will center the voices, theological perspectives, and ecclesial practices of the Black Diaspora. We desire for Black Christians to find healing, encouragement, and inspiration from the conference.


We believe our tradition is theologically rich and holistic. We will lean into our unique church history to bring those principles into our modern day.


We desire for each of our attendees to take principles that can transform their local communities and faith families.

Plenary Speakers

We will continue the journey of pursuing joy and justice together in the midst of struggle.

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Plenary Speakers

Jemar Tisby

Jemar Tisby (B.A., University of Notre Dame, Mdiv Reformed Theological Seminary) is the president of The Witness, a Black Christian Collective where he writes about race, religion, politics, and culture. He is also the co-host of the Pass The Mic podcast. He has spoken nation-wide at conferences and his writing has been featured in the Washington Post, CNN, and Vox. Jemar is a PhD student in History at the University of Mississippi studying race, religion, and social movements in the twentieth century.

Ekemini Uwan

Ekemini Uwan is a public theologian who received her Master of Divinity degree in 2016 from Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS) in Philadelphia, PA. She is the co-host of Truth's Table podcast alongside Michelle Higgins and Dr. Christina Edmondson. During her time at WTS, Ekemini won the 2015 Greene Prize in Apologetics Award. In 2018, Christianity Today named her among "10 New or Lesser-Known Female Theologians Worth Knowing.”

Her writings have been published in the Huffington Post Black Voices, Christianity Today, and The Witness: A Black Christian Collective to name a few. Her insights have been quoted by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker among other publications.

Nicole Massie Martin

Reverend Doctor Nicole Martin was born and educated in Baltimore, Maryland. She graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a triple major in Human and Organizational Development, Educational Studies, and French. Dr. Martin received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary where she was the recipient of the Jones Prize in Music and the Swink Prize in Preaching. During her time in seminary, she served as the Director of Evangelism at St. James AME Church in Newark, New Jersey and spent a summer in ministry at Mandalay Baptist Church in Cape Town, South Africa. She earned a Doctor of Ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where she teaches as an adjunct professor.Dr. Martin currently serves as the Executive Minister at The Park Church in Charlotte, North Carolina under the direction of Bishop Claude Richard Alexander, Jr. She has been inducted into the prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Board of Preachers at Morehouse College. Dr. Martin is a gifted writer and author of her forthcoming first book entitled Made for This: Empowering Women for Leadership in Ministry.

John Faison

Dr. John R. Faison, Sr. is the Senior Pastor of Watson Grove Baptist Church (The Grove), a growing, multigenerational, multisite church with campuses in Nashville, TN and Franklin, TN. The Grove endeavors to be “A GROWING church for GROWING people whom Christ will use in GROWING His Kingdom.” A native of Boykins, Virginia, Pastor Faison holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, a Master of Arts in Practical Theology from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and a Doctor of Ministry from Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio. Pastor Faison is a highly sought-after communicator of the Gospel. Young and seasoned alike have been blessed by his message of allegiance and authenticity, as well as his willingness to deal with relevant issues.

Breakout Speakers

Ally Henny

Ally Henny is a writer and speaker. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Missouri State University and is currently pursuing her Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, with an emphasis in Race, Cultural Identity, and Reconciliation. She is a regular contributor for The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, where she writes about black motherhood and other topics related to the black experience from a faith-based perspective.

Lisa Fields

Lisa Fields, one of the world’s most sought-after female apologist, combines her passion for biblical literacy with her heart for sharing God’s love to all those she meets. As Founder and President, Lisa’s primary mission for the Jude 3 Project is to help the Black Christian community know what they believe and why they believe. In August 2018, the Jude 3 Project hosted its first annual Courageous Conversations in Chicago, Illinois. She is a graduate of the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Religious Studies, and Liberty University with a Master of Divinity with a focus in Theology.

Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

Natasha Sistrunk Robinson (MA, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is a writer, international speaker, leadership consultant, mentoring coach, and the visionary founder of the nonprofit, Leadership LINKS, Inc. She is author of Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship and the Hope for Us: Knowing God through the Nicene Creed Bible study. A graduate of the US Naval Academy and a former Marine Corps officer, Natasha has nearly twenty years of leadership and mentoring experience in the military, government, church, seminary, and nonprofit sectors.
As the chairperson of the board at Leadership LINKS, Inc., Natasha's vision is to holistically develop transformative and redemptive servant leaders who are united in community and committed to invest in long-term generational and cultural change. In addition, she is a columnist at Outreach Magazine, regular contributor at Missio Alliance, and a member of the INK Creative Collective.

Earon James

Pastor Earon James became the lead/teaching pastor of Antioch Fellowship in April of 2015. He is a military veteran having served in the United States Marine Corps. Pastor Earon is passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ and making disciples. His desire is to see Antioch Fellowship reflect the glory and love of God in our community and beyond. Pastor Earon has been a preacher of the gospel for over 20 years and has traveled nationally and internationally proclaiming Christ and training leaders. In addition to serving the people of Antioch Fellowship, he serves as the Pastor in Residence for The Witness: A Black Christian Collectiv

BJ Thompson

Tyler Burns

Beau York


Michelle Higgins

A native of St. Louis, Michelle Higgins is actively engaged in the #BlackLivesMatter movement through participation in civil disobedience, leadership development, logistics, and administrative support in both sacred and secular spaces.
Michelle holds an MDiv at Covenant Theological Seminary. She is a proud supporter of local activism groups MCU (Metropolitan Congregations United), MORE (Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment) and OBS (the Organization for Black Struggle), through which she has learned a great deal about collaboration and solidarity. She is also the director of Faith for Justice, a Christian advocacy group. She serves as an organizer for the Leadership Development Resource Weekend (LDR Weekend), an annual gathering founded to address the core concerns of dignity, identity, and significance for people of color.

Location - Chicago

October 4-5 2019

The historic Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church 

The Witness 2019 National Conference will be held at this historic church located at 4501 S. Vincennes Ave, Chicago, IL 60653

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Our Schedule

October 4-5 2019

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Chicago | October 4-5, 2019

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