400 Conference

Executive Summary

The 400 Conference was a two day event, hosted at Ebenezer Baptist Church on August 2 – 3, 2019. This event gathered 1,000 leaders from across ethnic, gender, denominational, and racial backgrounds from across the country to lean-in and commemorate the 400th year since the introduction of African people into the US colonies, who were then forced into enslavement. The goal of this event was to get leaders engaged in the narrative that has shaped much of American history, highlighting the church’s complicity in such a history.

The event followed the OneRace Model of Transformation, taking leaders on a journey to encounter the sin of historic racism, then moving them to respond to the pain of God and their fellow image bearer. We ended the conference by offering solutions on how leaders should engage in changing the story of our country’s and the Church’s sinful past.

Know the Story

We kicked the event off with a retelling of American history and how that intersects with Church history. We sought to highlight the ways in which the Church was culpable in the sin of historic racism. We heard from voices like Leonce Crump, Dr. Soong Chan Rah, and Josh Clemons present a condensed condensed history, shaping our perspective on the racial history of America and the complicity of the Church.

Own the Story

In this segment we leaned into the pain that this history has caused to our black and brown brothers and sisters, the Church, and ultimately to God. In this segment, we heard from voices like Dr. John Perkins, Jack Alexander, Cornelious Lindsey, Billy Humphery, Johnson Bowie, Lisa Fields, Brian Loritts, and a special panel composed of Bishop Dale Bronner, Andy Stanley, Cornelious Lindsey, Jeff Norris, Dr. Kendra Momon, Johnson Bowie, and Lee Jenkins.

Change the Story

In this final segment, we sought to examine the effects of racism in our nation and the Church, and proposed some solutions for where we must go from here. We heard from leaders such as Senator Dr. Raphel Warnock, Justin Giboney, Dr. Mark Demayz, and Louie Giglio, and Dr. Crawford Loritts.

The Purpose of the Event

We as the church are called to mourn with those who mourn, and rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). Lamentation and celebration are key expressions that will comprise the Day of Remembrance and the season leading up to it. We will invite people specifically into a special service hosted at participating churches across our city on Sunday August 25th. The service will be comprised of times of reflection, response, and resolution, intended to unite and strengthen the Body of Christ. If we enter into mourning, we trust God will release to us His comfort.

1,000

Participants

500

Churches and ministries represented

Mobilized leaders to engage in Mercy and Justice work.