JUNE 22-25, 2023

speakers convention
speakers convention
jim lyon



Spirituals Triumphant: Old and New is a collection of African American gospel songs published in 1927. Its editors, Edward Boatner and Willa Townsend, were both outstanding Black church musicians and scholars—experts in the history, lyrics, and melodies of that compelling musical genre born in American slavery. Old and New referred not to new songs, but to old songs with some new arrangements. It was in this catalog that the only gospel song ever to top the American pop charts was found first in print: “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”


Made famous in the 1950s when some of the world’s most celebrated artists covered the tune and its hopeful text, the song still rings true. Conceived in a desperate world of 19th-century trouble, the simple truth of God’s prevailing goodness and power seemed again to meet the moment, in the wake of World War II. “He’s got you and me brother, in His hands, He’s got you and me sister, in His hands…” prompted a new audience to look heavenward.

“For the life of every living thing is in His hand, and the breath of every human being.” —Job 12:10 NLT

The Church of God in the United States and Canada will meet in Tampa in June 2023 for its biennial Convention and General Assembly. More than routine, this meeting will also set the stage for a historic global assembly of the Movement, as a new international partnership, drawing together 100 Church of God assemblies at work in twenty-three time zones, convenes for the first time.

In every nation, at home and abroad, there are mountains to climb, souls to save, wrongs to right, Kingdom truths to bring to life, and tests to overcome. Plenary and elective sessions will inspire and teach, even as they tackle tough stuff and big questions. Cancer? War? Hunger? Division? Fear? Death? Everything will be framed by this reassuring and empowering truth: He’s got the whole world in His hands.

“He existed before anything else and He holds all creation together” (Colossians 1:17 NLT).
Like those who originally imagined the iconic spiritual, never give up; look up. Jesus is the subject.

Register now. Bring someone with you. Be encouraged. Change the world. 


Jim Lyon
General Director at Church of God Ministries, for the United States and Canada

Introducing the Global Church of God Alliance

The Tampa venue will also be host to the inaugural gathering of the newly formed Global Church of God Alliance (GCGA), which will convene immediately following Convention. This historic event is the first-ever convocation of representatives of Church of God assemblies worldwide to establish an ongoing strategic table to strengthen and network the Movement globally.


Its formation is in response to a global heart-cry for deeper relationships and synergy between the 100 autonomous Church of God assemblies, the acknowledgement of a maturing Movement around the world, and the realization that technology and sociology are transcending traditional ethnic, cultural, and geographic boundaries.

The GCGA is a defining moment in the Church of God, impacting, framing, and propelling the Movement for generations to come. It is grounded in our root commitment to Christian unity and the Holy Spirit, providing space for the Spirit to speak to the whole Body (not just an American, Canadian, or Euro-centric one) to expand the Kingdom.

The GCGA exists to:
  • provide a regular and consistent forum for the Holy Spirit to speak to and through the Church of God around the world,
  • make possible conversation and collaborative partnerships within the Church of God family spanning the globe,
  • provide a definitive space for Church of God assemblies to process together issues impacting the global church, and
  • develop, strengthen, and maintain relationships between the many Church of God assemblies worldwide.
None can tell what challenges and opportunities the future will bring. But the GCGA will allow the Church of God to wrestle with, face down, and seize them together, as one Body in Christ.

A Fresh Look for a Historical Event

worship team

We’ve assembled a world-class lineup of fresh voices from across the U.S. & Canada ready to inspire…including this diverse group of beloved musicians and worship leaders from all corners of the Movement joining their talents for the first time!




Eugene is the president and CEO of Bread for the World, a prominent non-partisan Christian advocacy organization urging both national and global decision-makers to help end hunger—both in the United States and around the world.


He is also the founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages (ODW), a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. He is also the founder and former senior pastor (18 years) of Quest Church, an urban, multicultural, and multigenerational church in Seattle, Washington.

Eugene is the author of two acclaimed books, Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian’s Guide to Engaging Politics (2020), which was nominated for Christian Book of the Year, and Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World? (2014). Eugene and his wife Minhee have been married for over 25 years and they have three adult children.


Actively involved in one of the largest Church of God congregations in Canada—East Side Church of God in Swift Current, Saskatchewan—Jeremy Patzer is most well-known across Canada and around the world as an MP—a member of parliament.


Elected with 81-percent of the vote in 2019, Patzer took the baton of leadership from retiring MP David Anderson, who held the position since 2000. Having grown up on the family farm and ultimately taking a job in telecommunications, Patzer now champions the rights of people of faith when establishing policies, a mission passed down from his predecessor. Considered a “voice of Canadian conscience,” Patzer represents the Cypress Hills-Grasslands “riding” (think congressional district) of Saskatchewan, simultaneously representing the kingdom of God in the public square.


Jeremy Patzer and his wife Kyla, along with their three children, call Swift Current home. When not engaged in politics, Jeremy loves to spend time with his family, enjoying the great outdoors, finding time for a round of golf, and, in the winter, playing hockey.


Jo Saxton is a speaker, podcaster,  author, guest TV host, and leadership coach. She hosts a digital coaching community and is the founder of the Ezer Collective, two initiatives dedicated to investing in women leaders around the world, equipping them to own their voice, and boldly step into their calling.


Born to Nigerian parents and raised in London, England, Jo now lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daughters. She loves the everyday stuff like good music, good food, and good friends. And Target. She really, really loves Target.

Check out Jo Saxton on the All That To Say podcast with host Jim Lyon!

Watch on YouTube
Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

John Michael Hinton

Using no sorcery at all, John Michael Hinton performs captivating illusions that make people doubt their senses, question their reality, and search for answers. He fakes the supernatural to cause people to desire the Real Supernatural! In his words, “My goal is simply to be a tool that God can use to spread his incredible gospel.


If my illusions earn me the right to be heard, awesome! But it’s the heart of God that I want you to truly walk away remembering.” For more information, and to see him in action, please visit www.JohnIsMyFriend.com.


Mark Jackson is the lead pastor of Towne Church in Middletown, Ohio, a position he has held since 2016. Altogether he has served in pastoral ministry for over twenty years.


Mark received his divine call to ministry at the age of 18 and began preaching immediately. He was ordained in the Church of God in 1997. Mark graduated magna cum laude from Asbury University in 1995. He has two master’s degrees, an MA in biblical studies from Cincinnati Christian University, and an MDiv from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received his PhD from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2011 in the area of New Testament Studies.

Mark is a faithful and clear communicator of God’s Word. He has authored three books, A Closer Look at God’s Church: A Biblical Evaluation of Key Beliefs of the Church of God (2016), Salvation (2018), and The Gospel According to Pastor Mark (2021). For recreation, he enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, reading, and watching sports. He and his wife Jenny have three children—Graham, Savannah, and Ally.


Known as an engaging and passionate preacher, Nathan Leasure serves as the lead pastor of First Church of God in Greeneville, Tennessee. While Sunday mornings find him uncompromisingly proclaiming God’s Word, Tuesday nights at Celebrate Recovery are where his passion is fueled.


His great joy is to journey with broken people as they find healing from life’s hurts, habits, and hang-ups by encountering Jesus Christ.

Born in Pennsylvania, but raised in North Carolina, Nathan is a second-generation pastor in the Church of God. He is a frequent preacher at conferences and revival meetings. Nathan’s educational journey includes degrees from the University of North Carolina (BA), Anderson University (MDiv), and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (DMin, homiletics). He and his wife Jennifer are proud parents of four children—Ava, Olivia, Maria, and Sam. Their favorite moments together have been hiking in the mountains of Wyoming and Montana.

She’s a board member at Grace Horizon in Anderson, a certified radio marketing professional by the Radio and Advertising Bureau, a freelance designer, and a lover of neo-soul and classical music, having played the flute for over a decade.


Rod Stafford is the senior pastor of Fairfax Community Church in Fairfax, Virginia. Strategically located in the Washington, D.C. area, Fairfax Community is an intergenerational church committed to impacting the next generation for Christ.


Over the last three decades, Fairfax Community has grown from a worshipping community of 100 to over 2,500. The church has developed a ministry ethos in which every believer is empowered to use his or her abilities, passions, and spiritual gifts to build up the church and transform the culture. Nearly 100 people from the congregation have gone into vocational ministry, many of those going into cross-cultural mission settings.

Rod received his undergraduate degree from Anderson University and his master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Anderson University School of Theology. He has served the broader church on various local, state, national, and international boards. Rod’s passion is to help raise up a new generation of visionary pastors to lead the local churches in the great cities of the world. He is the author or Free to Lead: The Decision-Making Ethos of Healthy Growing Churches. He and his wife, Donna, have two children—daughter Kora (Ted), and son Zach (Heidi), and several beloved grandchildren.


Samuel George was born in Karachi, Pakistan. As an only child, he finished high school at Saint Patrick’s High School and earned his bachelor of theology with an emphasis on missions and a minor in business administration.


He attended law school at the University of Tulsa College of Law and finished his master of ministry and doctor of ministry from Triune Biblical University. As a teacher, pastor, and leader of some 225 congregations, Samuel is an excellent communicator and carries a deep urgency for bringing the hope of Jesus to those searching for truth, peace, and a hope-filled future.


Walter Kim became the president of the National Association of Evangelicals in January 2020 after serving as a pastor for 15 years at Boston’s historic Park Street Church and four years at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia.


He has spent nearly three decades preaching, writing, and engaging in collaborative leadership to connect the Bible to the significant intellectual, cultural, and social issues of the day. He serves on the boards of Christianity Today and World Relief. Kim received his PhD from Harvard University in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, his MDiv from Regent College in Vancouver, and his BA from Northwestern University, and he is a licensed minister in the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.

LOCATION: Anderson

Rev. Heather Semple

Rev. Heather Semple is currently the lead pastor at Madison Park Church of God. Prior to Madison Park, she served on 12Stone Church’s Central Campus Leadership Team in Atlanta,


Georgia. Before 12Stone, she served as lead pastor of Red Cedar Church in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. During the tenure of her leadership, Red Cedar grew from a small storefront church to a multi-site congregation reaching the entire region of Wisconsin’s Northwoods. Heather is also a graduate of Southern Wesleyan University, and she received her master’s degree from Nazarene Theological Seminary.
While her calling and commitment to the local church is foremost, Heather is a much sought-after leader and speaker. Her direct and disarming communication style gives her a unique voice of both compassion and challenge. And her own personal story of rebellion to restoration fuels her passion to see all people find freedom and full life in Jesus Christ.


Horace W. Sheppard Jr.

Rev. Dr. Horace W. Sheppard Jr. is the senior pastor of Bethesda Christian Fellowship Church of God in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has been in pastoral ministry for forty years.


Sheppard is a graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate of divinity from the Southern California School of Ministry.

Dr. Sheppard is the founder of Shepherd’s Voice Ministries, a 501(c)(3) committed to supporting pastors, serving churches, and developing ministers and leaders.

He and his wife Linda have been married for forty-five years and are the proud parents of three sons and one daughter, and the delighted grandparents of twelve grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Horace W. Sheppard Jr.

Rev. Dr. Horace W. Sheppard Jr. is the senior pastor of Bethesda Christian Fellowship Church of God in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has been in pastoral ministry for forty years. Sheppard is a graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate of divinity from the Southern California School of Ministry.

Dr. Sheppard is the founder of Shepherd’s Voice Ministries, a 501(c)(3) committed to supporting pastors, serving churches, and developing ministers and leaders.

He and his wife Linda have been married for forty-five years and are the proud parents of three sons and one daughter, and the delighted grandparents of twelve grandchildren and one great grandchild.


Thursday, June 22, 2023

   9:00 AM-2:00 PM Pre-Convention Electives & MeetingsvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvVVVV
   Noon-2:00 PM Lunch Break
   2:00-4:30 PM General Assembly (RSVP required)
   4:30-6:30 PM Dinner Break
   6:15-8:15 PM KidzLIVE! Evening Childcare
   6:30-8:00 PM MAIN SESSION #1
   8:15-9:30 PM Receptions

Friday, June 23, 2023

   8:45-10:45 AM KidzLIVE! Morning VBS Programming (RSVP required)
   9:00-10:30 AM Electives vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
   11:00 AM-Noon MAIN SESSION #2
   Noon-2:00 PM Lunch Break

Arise Luncheon (RSVP required)

Children of Promise Luncheon (RSVP required)

  2:00-4:30 PM General Assembly (RSVP required)
   4:30-6:30 PM Dinner Break

Trellis Dinner (RSVP required)

   6:30-8:00 PM MAIN SESSION #3
   6:15-8:15 PM KidzLIVE! Evening Childcare
   8:15-9:30 PM Receptions

Saturday, June 24, 2023

   6:30-8:00 AM Global Strategy 5K (RSVP required)
   8:45-10:45 AM KidzLIVE! Morning VBS Programming (RSVP required)
   9:00-10:30 AM Electivesvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
   11:00 AM-Noon MAIN SESSION #4
  Noon-2:00 PM Lunch Break

CWC Luncheon (RSVP required)

CARE Luncheon (RSVP required)

   2:00-4:30 PM General Assembly (RSVP required)
 4:30-6:30 PM Dinner Break
   6:30-8:00 PM MAIN SESSION #5
   6:15-8:15 PM KidzLIVE! Evening Childcarevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
   8:15-9:30 PM Receptions

Sunday, June 25, 2023

   8:45-10:45 AM KidzLIVE! Morning VBS Programming (RSVP required)
   9:00-10:30 AM MAIN SESSION #6vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

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