Thanks for a great time in Fremont!


Destiny Christian Fellowship
42326 Albrae Street
Fremont, CA 94538


Discounted hotel reservation access will be provided in your registration confirmation.

Nearby Airports

San Jose (SJC ) – 14 miles
Oakland (OAK) – 22 miles
San Francisco (SFO) – 33 miles

Church Location

Conveniently located off I-880, the major North-South Interstate of the East Bay. Only 4 miles from the Fremont Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), which will seamlessly connect you with downtown San Francisco.

See the Sites in San Francisco

California Schedule


   5:00 – 7:00 PM Check-in and registration    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
   7:00 – 9:00 PM Opening Session
   9:15 PM Advancement Reception (sponsored by Everence)


   8:00 – 9:00 AM Check-in and registration
   9:00 AM – Noon Panel/Discussion/Presentation/Q&A. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
   Noon – 2:00 PM Lunch Break
Christian Women Connection Luncheon
CARE Luncheon
   2:00 – 5:00 PM Panel/Discussion/Presentation/Q&A
   5:00 – 7:00 PM Dinner Break
   7:00 – 9:00 PM Evening Worship, Speaker with Q&A
   9:00 PM WARM Dessert Reception


   9:00 – 11:00 AM Closing Session vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Speakers & Special Guests

LOCATIONS: Fremont, Anderson

Brian Bennett

Brian Bennett, lead pastor at Pathway Church in Vero Beach, Florida, is a passionate Christ-follower who loves life, the beach, and being a part of God’s movement in the world through the local church.


He is from Michigan (don’t hold it against him!) and has pastored vocationally since 2003. Brian has been married to his wife Cindy since 2001, and they have four awesome children. Before moving to Vero Beach, the Bennett’s enjoyed their time living in southwestern Michigan and planting Overflow Church and Mosaic Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), a nonprofit organization that is transforming lives in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Brian has a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary and is the author of Go Now and Be the Church, a book highlighting the first five years of the Bennett’s church plant.

LOCATIONS: Fremont, Anderson

Justin Brown

Justin Brown is Daddy to three children, husband to an amazing wife, and lead pastor of a church body in southern Indiana. He will readily admit that he does not have all the


answers as to who and what the Church is and should be, but he is passionate about pursuing those answers with God and others. He earned his masters at Warner University not to have a piece of paper on the wall, but to widen the net of individuals in his life and tools to use to help on that journey. He is a Chapter 4 Institute fellow and member of the Youth Ministry Team.

LOCATIONS: Fremont, Anderson

Abbie Craig

Abbie Craig is currently pursuing a master of theological studies at Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry. Prior to seminary, she served for eight years as the


youth pastor at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis and director of the 365 Indiana State Youth Convention. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband Brock and four-year-old son Roman. They are looking forward to a new addition to their family this summer.


Kyle Hayes

Kyle Hayes loves telling stories. As director of development for Children of Promise, Kyle travels the world, documenting and sharing stories about how God is at work in the global church.


Driven by the idea that everyone should have a seat at the table, Kyle encourages families, individuals, and churches around the world to share, from what they have been blessed with, to make wholeness possible for children experiencing poverty.
Rev. Hayes earned multiple degrees from Anderson University (bachelor of arts in Bible, bachelor of arts in history, and master of arts in Christian ministry), while spending the first decade of his career in church ministry as a children’s, mission, and communications pastor. Kyle and his wife Jessica work together as the development team for Children of Promise, tackling the storytelling duties as a family. When not working, Kyle loves to watch soccer, and travels the world with Jessica and their two children Adelaide and Caspian.


Mark Matlock

Mark Matlock is a facilitator of innovation and impact, helping organizations adapt to changing times by turning research-based insights into action. A regular presenter and workshop


facilitator for Barna, Mark facilitates training and onsite application of research findings for Barna clients.

He is the founder of WisdomWorks, LLC, a consultancy helping churches and faith-based organizations leverage their collective wisdom and insight to innovate and adapt in changing times. Mark also has been an advisor to organizations such as the Seed Company, Youth Specialties, Brotherhood Mutual,, and BetterMan, and he chairs the committee on governance as a board member of the American Bible Society.

Mark is the author of more than twenty books for teens and parents, and in 2019 coauthored Faith for Exiles: Five Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon, with Barna Group president David Kinnaman. Having initiated many research projects with Barna over the last two decades related to Next Gen studies, Mark’s research continues to provide insights into emerging generations and how to cultivate faithful disciples.

Mark is an ordained minister, certified LifePlanner, LEGO Serious Play facilitator, and MCORE trainer and coach. He’s been married for twenty-seven years to his wife Jade. They have two adult children.


Paul Sheppard

Paul Sheppard is the pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. An effective preacher and leader, Pastor Paul is widely known for his practical and dynamic teaching


style, which helps people apply the timeless truths of Scripture to their everyday lives. He serves as speaker for the radio and online broadcast Destined for Victory. He’s also an author whose latest book is Lessons from the Vineyard. He is married with two adult children.

LOCATIONS: Fremont, Anderson

Richard Smith

Richard Smith grew up in Baltimore and still calls the city home. He earned a bachelor of arts in sociology at McDaniel College, and both a master’s degree and a PhD from Temple University.


He now teaches at McDaniel College and holds the position of associate provost for equity and belonging.

His academic expertise includes African American culture, race and justice, and ethics. Richard is also the lead pastor at a Church of God near Baltimore called The Movement Church, a Leadership Focus graduate, and a Chapter 4 Institute fellow. Widely published and respected, Richard has been recognized for excellence with multiple awards, including the Multicultural Leaders’ Most Valuable Faculty Award in 2015.

LOCATIONS: Fremont, Anderson, Orlando

Carla Sunberg

Carla Sunberg was elected the 43rd general superintendent for the Church of the Nazarene in June 2017. She has been a missionary, an educator, and a minister in the Church.


She began her ministry as a registered nurse, but was later ordained in the Russia North district, where she and her husband were serving as missionaries. After they returned to the United States, she and her husband pastored Grace Point Church of the Nazarene in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and went on to become the first couple to serve as co-district superintendents. In 2014 Carla took on the role of president of Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City. She has authored and edited numerous books, including Why Holiness?, Color: God’s Intention for Diversity, and the soon-to-be-released Faithful to the Call: Women in Ministry. She and her husband Chuck are the proud parents of two adult daughters, Christa and her husband Iain, along with their son Theodore, who live in Manchester, England; as well as Cara and her husband Justin, and their three children, Mackenzie, Alice, and Halston, who live in Kansas. Chuck Sunberg copastors Shawnee Church of the Nazarene with his daughter Cara.

LOCATIONS: Fremont, Anderson, Orlando

Jason Varner

Dr. Jason Varner serves as an assistant professor of the history of Christianity at the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministries. After earning bachelor’s and master’s


degrees from Anderson University, Dr. Varner moved to Scotland where he studied early modern history at the University of St Andrews. Upon completion of his MLitt and PhD at St. Andrews, Jason returned ‘home’ to Anderson University, where he enjoys teaching courses in the history of Christianity, intellectual and American history, philosophy, worship, and biblical studies.

Dr. Varner’s research interests include European encounters with ‘the Other’ in seventeenth-century America, the changing notion of the ‘self’ in modernity, and the early years of the Church of God movement. Most recently, Dr. Varner presented a paper titled “The Transformation of Trauma: on Liminality and Identity in Seventeenth-Century New England” at the European Association for Early American Studies’ annual conference at the University of Poitiers (France) in December 2021. The 2021 conference theme was “Colonisations, Revolutions, and Reinventions in early America and the Atlantic World, 1492–1848.”

Dr. Varner is actively engaged at Catalyst (Church of God) in Pendleton, Indiana, where he leads worship and serves on the teaching team.

LOCATIONS: Fremont, Anderson

Nathan Willowby

Nathan Willowby is the dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry at Anderson University. He grew up in Anderson, Indiana, attending Park Place Church of God, camp


meetings, and Anderson public schools. After high school, Nathan attended Anderson University, where he earned degrees in Bible and religion, and business administration. He studied one year at the Anderson University School of Theology before eventually earning a master of divinity from Duke Divinity School and a PhD in theology and ethics at Marquette University (where he wrote on holiness and political theology). An ordained minister in the Church of God, Willowby served as pastor of Crossroads Church of God in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for seven years. He was active in statewide unity services and was the president of the Wisconsin Assembly of the Church of God, 2013–2016. In 2016, Nathan began serving at AU as a professor of theology and ethics. He also currently serves as the General Assembly’s appointed historian of the Church of God. Nathan and his family live in Indianapolis and attend Church at the Crossing. He is passionate about Church of God commitments to racial and Christian unity, holiness, and full support of women in ministry.




prattLeader: Melissa Pratt
11:45AM–1:00 PM
Female clergy are invited to a conversation with the senior pastor of Teays Valley Church of God to discuss the unique joys and challenges of being a woman in ministry.



Leader: Worship Pastor Roundtable
11:45AM–1:00 PM
Worship leaders, join us for a time of encouragement, food, and fellowship; experience the blessings of coming alongside one another in life and ministry.



Leader: Adam Rentas
11:45AM–1:00 PM
Join other youth pastors and youth leaders for a time of connection, celebration, and camaraderie. We promise to not feed you pizza!



carrLeader: Gary Carr
11:45–1:00 PM
An informal gathering for chaplains to connect, learn, be challenged, and grow while enjoying a meal together.



carrLeader: Gary Carr
Tues 1:00–2:30 PM
The chaplain endorser will help you spark interest in your sermon among those who are not part of a church, but belong to an organization (military unit, hospital, federal agency). Issues involve content, selection of text, wording, mannerisms, and evoking response. Bonus feature: “How to preach the two-minute sermon.”



flynnLeader: Jeannette Flynn
Tues 3:00–4:30PM
Discover how assemblies and credential teams best partner to provide an ongoing environment where we can share resources, adopt best practices, learn about new developments in Leadership Focus, and understand changes and updates to the Credentials Manual.



Leader: Atlas Team
Tues 3:00–4:30PM
The Atlas team will be offering a demo of the new portal scheduled to launch April 25 for the Church of God movement. Create an Atlas account, learn the features Atlas has to offer both churches and pastors, and ask questions about current and future functionality. Bring your laptop or handheld device, and join the conversation!




cookstonLeader: Joe Cookston
12:15–1:45 PM
“What the New Grant Means for Church of God Pastors”—Find out what the third major Lilly Endowment grant could mean for you. Celebrate what pastors and church boards are saying about the ongoing impact of CARE.

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