Published on February 11, 2010 by Mary Wimberley  

The Global Center at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School will sponsor an interdenominational forum for church planters Feb. 18-19.

“Breaking Ground” is the theme of the two-day schedule of panel discussions and breakout sessions. Four experienced church planters will address the calling, struggles, successes and realities of establishing new churches, and share information on strategies, resources and support.

Panelists are:  Phil Chambers, planter of Christ Community Church, which will launch worship services in Helena, Ala., in March; Dan Claire, planter of multiple congregations and rector of Washington, D.C.’s Church of the Resurrection, which began in his living room in 2002; Darren Paulson, planter and pastor at Providence Community Church in Vacaville, Calif.; and Ronald D. Sterling, pastor of Birmingham’s St. Stephen AME Church since 1997, when it had five members in regular attendance.

Speakers also include Beeson’s Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism Dr. Lyle W. Dorsett and Global Center director Dr. Kurt D. Selles.

The schedule begins with a noon lunch discussion on Thursday, Feb. 18, and concludes with a lunch wrap-up session on Friday, Feb. 19.

Pre-registrants represent varied denominations and hail from many states, India and Canada.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.