The Kentucky Baptist Convention and Baptist Health join forces to sponsor Shepherding The Shepherd, a three-day event packed with inspiring, often funny, presentations intended to refresh pastors and their wives in their ministries and their marriages.
All slots have been filled for the event that brings couples together, without their children, so that they can strengthen their relationships and encounter God in worship.
More than 300 people will gather at the Hilton in downtown Lexington Jan. 23-25 for the event that Steve Rice, KBC team leader for church consulting and revitalization, said has proven to be popular year after year.
“It’s a more relaxed setting, a more relaxed pace,” Rice said. “It’s toward a time of refreshing, and, since all of us as pastors and pastors’ wives need that, it’s not a hard sell.”
This year’s speakers include:
Tom and Jeannie Elliff
Born in Texas, Tom Elliff, current president of the International Mission Board, is a fourth-generation Oklahoman and third-generation pastor. He served with his wife, Jeannie, as a missionary to Zimbabwe in the early 1980s. He was twice elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, in 1996 and 1997. He has led several key churches, including First Southern Baptist Church of Del City, Okla., where he was pastor from 1985 to 2005.
Elliff then served as IMB senior vice president for spiritual nurture and church relations from 2005 to 2009. During this time, the Elliffs founded Living in the Word Publications, a writing and speaking ministry focused on spiritual awakening. In 2011, he was selected to lead the IMB in an era of rapid change at home and around the globe.
The Elliffs have four grown children and 25 grandchildren.
Carroll, senior pastor at Parkway Baptist Church in Bardstown, grew up in a pastor’s home in rural Kentucky. At age five, he prayed to receive Christ and realized God’s call to ministry while in high school. He and his wife, Mikila, married in 1998 and have a daughter, Kenna and a son, Jake.
Carroll began serving in vocational ministry in 2000 in Scott County. In June 2003, he was called to the staff of First Baptist Church of Atlanta. In 2005, the couple was commissioned by the congregation as part of a team that planted WestHills Church about 30 miles west of Atlanta. After serving as WestHills’ teaching pastor for more than five years, he accepted the call to lead Parkway Baptist Church as senior pastor in June 2010. He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond and a two-time graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville where he completed a doctorate in December 2008.
Considered by many to be one of the funniest Christian speakers in the country, Smiley will speak during Thursday evening’s banquet. After winning a college stand-up competition, Smiley honed his comedic chops as emcee and merchandise manager on tour with bands such as Third Day, Newsboys, Mercy Me, Toby Mac, and Audio Adrenaline. His hard work plus “God-given idiocy” coupled to make him a top choice in the country for youth, marrieds and singles events.
Patrick is the lead worship pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville. He and his bride, Jamie, have been married and have served together in ministry for 20 years. The couple has four children: Justin, 17, Jailyn, 14, Jonathan, 6, and Jaclyn, 4. Additional members of the Highview worship team will join the Patricks during the conference.
Dave & Kay Hammond
Dave Hammond is a 1977 graduate of Georgetown College and holds a master’s degree from Morehead State University. In the 12 years he has served as pastor of Faith Baptist Church of Myra in Pike County, the church has grown from 12 members to more than 300. In 2001, he was honored as bi-vocational pastor of the year by the KBC. Kay Hammond holds degrees from Pikeville College, Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky University. She was a high school librarian for more than 30 years. She serves as campus missionary to Pikeville College and is director of Appalachian Pregnancy Care Center, also in Pikeville.
A pastor’s wife for 30 years, Davis has served in churches of all sizes. She is the author of three books and writes a syndicated column “Fresh Ideas” that is featured regularly in Baptist Press. She is married to Steve Davis, Midwest vice president of the North American Mission Board. The Davises have three children and one grandchild.