The Evangelical Network 2019 Conference

Elk Grove, Illinois
Thursday, August 08, 2019

Conference Schedule: (subject to change)

Day Event Location
Thursday, August 8
11:00 AM Registration Open
12:01 PM - 3:00 PM
Pastor's Retreat
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
TEN Affiliates Annual General Meeting TBA
5:00 PM Volunteer's Meeting TBA
6:00 PM Welcome Dinner Ballroom
7:00 PM Remnant Sings... Again!
led by TBD
Friday, August 9
8:30 AM Registration Open Foyer
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Morning Devotional
led by TBA

10:00 AM Wake Up & Praise Him Ballroom

Women's Retreat Workshop
with Sherry Roby and Tina Mercer

Men's Retreat
with Jack McConnell


12:00 PM Lunch Break
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Workshop 1 - Reconciliation - The Old Testament
with David Thomas

Workshop 2 - Enlarging Your Tent - Theme Presentation
with Sharon Busch

Workshop 3 - HIV/AIDS
2:45 PM Break  

Workshop 4 - Reconciliation - New Testament
with Keith Peri

Workshop 5 - Intercessory Prayer
with Jonathan Smith and Barb Molitoris

Workshop 6 - Forgetting: The Past, Religion, and the Old Gods
with Brian Ladd
4:15 PM Dinner Break  
7:00 PM General Session
with David Thomas

Saturday, August 10
8:30 AM Registration Open Foyer
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Morning Devotional
led by Sam Sampson
10:00 AM
Wake up and Praise Him
10:30 AM Workshop 7 - Transgender and the Bible
with Brent Walsh

  Workshop 8 - Enlarge Your Tent - Exercise Your Faith
by Karla Spence
  Workshop 9 - Mix and Mingle: Bridging the Generational Gap
by Tracy Scheffield
 12:00 PM
2:00 PM
General Session
with Keith Peri
4:30 PM Group Photo
5:00 PM Ministry Expo
5:45 PM Break  
7:00 PM Group Outing
10:00 PM
Sunday, August 11
10:00 AM General Session
with Maria Caruana

Choir practice, support group meetings and other spontaneous meetings will be announced onsite.

Pastor's Retreat - This workshop is designed for pastors to come together and share information, learn and grow. It is a time to get to know one another and share in a safe environment with other pastors. This workshop is open to pastors and assistant pastors or those serving in a pastoral role in their church body only.
Facilitated by Maria Caruana / Friday morning


Women's Retreat - You'll enjoy a wonderful time of laughter, singing, praying, networking and more. And you may even enjoy a few fun surprises! You will be encouraged and uplifted as we spend this time together in fellowship and learning. There's no better way to kick off the very first day of the TEN Conference!
Facilitated by: Sherry Roby / Thursday morning

Men's Retreat - Enjoy a time of fellowship, networking and learning together.  A great way to kick off your first day at the TEN Conference!
Facilitate by: Jack McConnell

Theme Workshop - A workshop open to all attendees to get to know one another, review the theme and content of the conference and take a look at what this year's theme is all about.
Facilitated by Sharon Busch/ Friday morning

Reconciliation - Reconciling Homosexuality and the Bible; A presentation on Homosexuality and the Bible. This workshop addresses all the passages that have been traditionally used to condemn homosexuals. It is offered as a tool for education in your journey to knowing how precious you are to Jesus. This seminar is open to all. This year the workshop will be broken out into two sections:
Reconciliation - The Old Testament  - Facilitated by David Thomas
Reconciliation - The New Testament - Facilitated by Keith Peri

Workshop - Intercessory Prayer
Facilitated by Jonathan Smith and Barb Molitoris / Friday afternoon
Move the stakes out your tent is getting bigger! What is intercessory prayer? How do I know what to pray for and when? Am I a prayer warrior? What is praying the scriptures? Don't be confused by these questions. You will find out you already know more about prayer than you realize. Maybe you just need some little nudges to become the prayer warrior you were meant to be. 

Workshop 2 - Forgetting: The Past, Religion, and the Old Gods
Facilitated by Brian Ladd/ Friday afternoon
Paul described himself as someone who was "forgetting what is behind" in order to move forward; maybe, it could be argued that he was enlarging the place of his tent.  However, one may phrase it, Paul describes a process of letting go of what's in the past and moving forward to the newness of what lies just beyond the horizon. 

In this workshop, we will discuss the power of Forgetting - forgetting the confinement of our past; forgetting the shame and confusion of religion; and forgetting the Old Gods that fade in the reality of who Jesus is.  In this interactive time of considering some very challenging words in the Bible, we will encourage each other to "un-learn" all the stuff back there that keeps us tied to our comfort zones and from exploring the vast expanse of the Grace of God.

If you feel that you are stuck in a rut or bored with religious routine or simply looking forward for something or Someone more; maybe you could learn a great deal by Forgetting.

Workshop  - Transgender and the Bible
Facilitated by Brent Walsh / Saturday Morning

Workshop 2 - Enlarge Your Tent/Exercise Your Faith
Facilitated by Karla Spence
In this interactive workshop we will explore how to stretch our tent curtains wide and strengthen our stakes. A critical component of this process is faith. Our tents will grow as our faith grows. Growing our faith requires that we exercise our faith. Be ready to add one more exercise routine to your day!

Workshop 3 - Mix and Mingle: Bridging the Generational Gap
Facilitated by Tracey Scheffield

Forum: Panel of members representing different generational groups with workshop attendee participation.

Topic: Group discussion/brainstorming of ways churches can bridge the generational gap within their congregation and bring more people into the congregation of all age groups.  Discuss areas that are most difficult.  Churches that have found success in bridging this gap discuss strategies that have worked for them. 

We will come together Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning for a time of celebration and worship! Each main general session will feature special music, praise and worship from the conference worship team and relevant ministry from our incredible speakers.

Friday Main Gathering Speaker: David Thomas
Saturday Afternoon Main Gathering Speaker: Keith Peri
Sunday Main Gathering Speaker: Maria Caruana

Worship Leader: Debra Lynn Rodriguez

Welcome Dinner & Remnant Sings... Again!
We kick off the conference Thursday evening with a wonderful time of great food and fun fellowship at the TEN Conference Welcome Dinner. Catch up with old friends and meet many new ones during the pre-dinner reception. After the meal we gather around, let the music flow and enjoy the singing. Special musical guests will share as we join together in songs of praise, worship and celebration. It's the best possible way to start the conference!

Wake Up & Praise Him!
Join us Friday morning for a bolt of energy, info and praise as we start our first full day of the conference. The worship will wake you up and send you into a day of fantastic learning and fellowship. We'll make several announcements that will inform you of what to expect throughout the conference weekend and of several special and exciting unannounced events that may be added to the agenda.

Morning Devotions
Start your Friday mornings with scriptural kick-start. Join several of your fellow TENers for an early morning devotional and prayer time that centers on scriptural discourse, meditation and learning from the work. It's a great way to start the day!

Ministry Expo
On Saturday afternoon we gather together for a time of networking. As we visit the ministry and resource exhibits, we learn how we can work together and support one another. Learn about the ministries represented at the conference, pick up some resources to take back home, and enjoy the special give-aways!

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David Thomas
From his earliest memories, Pastor David had a desire to serve the Lord and bring others to Christ. He held his own vacation Bible school in his back yard when he was nine years old and preached his first sermon in his home church when he was 14. After graduating from Oral Roberts University with a degree in Theological and Historical Studies, he did mission work in Florida, Haiti and Jamaica and did prison ministry through a contemporary Christian music group. Over the years, Pastor David has served in a pastoral role for nine different churches, and in 2004, he founded Abundant Grace Church, a thriving congregation in Granite Falls, NC. He lives with his husband and partner in ministry, Pastor Jack McConnell in Taylorsville, NC and together they work to help others know the love and peace that comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Maria Caruana

Maria Caruana: Maria was raised in Brooklyn, New York. She was an atheist until her relationship with Jesus began in 1986. At that time, God delivered her from a life of alcohol and drugs to live life in abundance in Him. Maria was called by God’s into pastoral service.  Feeling this call on her life, Maria started attending and eventually graduated from Christ Evangelical Bible Institute in 1994.  In 1996 Maria moved from Phoenix to San Francisco to become the pastor of Freedom In Christ Church and to share a life with her wife, Terrie.  She retired as pastor in 2018.

It is Maria’s heart’s desire to tell everyone about God’s love and the relationship He wants to have with them through Jesus.  She prays to perform her ministry with compassion, mercy, and honesty as she reaches out to these individuals.  She also wants to encourage all to be the person God has created them to be as LGBTQS individuals.

Life Scripture:
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV), “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Keith Peri

Pastor Keith has been in ministry for over 20 years, and is currently the Senior Pastor of The Gathering Place Worship Center in Atlanta GA.   He graduated from The Jimmy Swaggart Bible College in 1988 and The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in 1992.  He was ordained with the Assemblies of God in 1986 and served in various ministry positions such as Minster of Music, Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor and even a missionary in Latin America.  Pastor Keith continued to minister with the Assemblies of God until he graduated from Seminary in 1992 when he moved to Kansas City Mo., to go through an Exodus Ex-Gay program where he was taught he could pray the gay away. He jokingly says, “It didn’t work, you can ask my husband.”

It was during this time in that God really began to deal with him about who he was and who God had created him to be.  This created a passion in his heart to bring to light what The Bible really says about homosexuality.  He has founded a ministry called Reconciled International which focuses on reconciling those who LGBTQ with their faith.  He has traveled to many places around the world teaching this truth and is excited to be completing his first book on this teaching in the fall of 2018.  He currently resides with his husband of 19 years, Edward and their two pups Barnum and Bailey in Atlanta GA.

Debra Lynn Rodriguez
Debra Lynn Rodriguez - Conference Worship Leader

Debra Lynn Rodriguez is a worship leader, songwriter, and recording artist based in Atlanta, GA.  She is passionate about leading and sharing collective worship, and loves to witness as people discover a connection to God through authentic and personal experiences. 

Since 2010, Debra Lynn has served in various capacities including Pastor of Worship and Director of Arts at The Gathering Place Atlanta, a come-as-you-are church that welcomes and loves all people. She is also the founder of Glory Tribe, an online community dedicated to exploring and inspiring the intersection of worship and community.

Raised singing in church in the hills of Appalachia, Debra Lynn draws from a deep well of musical tradition as a singer and songwriter. The soulful songs of the faithful continue to inspire her and influence her sound. She has released two full-length live albums.

Debra Lynn lives in Dallas, GA with her wife Robbi, their two daughters, three dogs, and Robbi's dad. There's NEVER a dull moment!

"I love to lead worship- I deeply cherish the bond that's formed when we celebrate and experience God in community." -DLR  (


Brent Walsh
Brent Walsh

Brent was raised in a conservative Christian family in central Illinois. He attended Northland Baptist Bible College in Dunbar, Wisconsin, then later, Bryan College in Dayton, Tennesee. Brent identified as lesbian throughout most of his life and for years struggled with the religious ramifications that came with being gay in a faith tradition that considers homosexuality a sin. After several failed attempts to “go straight,” he did some deep soul-searching and realized that sexuality need not conflict with faith.

In 1998, Brent began writing essays explaining why being gay and Christian are not mutually exclusive. Eventually he acknowledged that he had always identified as male, even if not always on a conscious level, and in 2005 underwent his transition from female to male. Since that time he has helped others find confidence in their own decision to transition. This includes travel to several African countries where he had the opportunity to share his story.

Brent received his master of divinity Degree at Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana. He is a prolific writer and is sought-after to preach about transgender issues at churches nationwide, to serve as a guest speaker and panelist in discussion forums, and to offer advice and support to gender diverse individuals around the globe.

Brent will be presenting Transgender and the Bible Workshop on Saturday at 10:30am.

 Tracey Sheffield

Tracey Sheffield

Bio coming soon...

Tracey will be presenting Mix and Mingle:Bridging the Generational Gap Workshop on Saturday at 10:30am.

 Karla Spence

Karla Spence

Bio coming soon...

Karla will be presenting Enlarge Your Tent - Exercise Your Faith Workshop on Saturday at 10:30am.

 Barb Molitoris

Barb Molitoris

Bio coming soon...

Barb will be co-presenting Intercessory Prayer Workshop on Friday at 3:00pm.
 Brian Ladd

Brian Ladd

Bio coming soon...

Brian will be presenting Forgetting: The Past, Religion, and the Old Gods Workshop on Friday at 3:00pm.

Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • All conference attendees are required to register.

    Full Conference:
    (includes access to all conference events)
    Early Bird: $125 (through 06/15)
    Regular: $145 (between 06/15-08/08)
    Onsite: $150 (after 08/08)

    Day Passes:
    Thursday Events: $50
    (includes welcome dinner and Remnant Sings!)
    Friday Events: $75
    (includes workshops, seminars, general sessions and more!)
    Saturday Events: $75
    (includes workshops, seminars, general sessions and more!)

    General Session Passes:
    Friday Evening: $25
    Saturday Morning: $25
    Saturday Afternoon: $25
    Sunday Morning: FREE

    The 2019 TEN Conference accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card and personal/business checks for advance registration. In addition, cash will be accepted at onsite registration.


    Holiday Inn Chicago-Elk Grove

    1000 Busse Rd.,

    Elk Grove Village, IL, 60007


    Hotel Reservations: The Evangelical Network has negotiated discounted hotel rates for all of our conference attendees. Rooms are limited and discounted rates are based on availability.

    It is highly advisable that you make your reservations now! The last day to make reservations and take advantage of the discounted TEN Conference hotel room rate is 07/25/2019 or while rooms last.

    SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATES: Standard Double/King (2 queen beds or 1 king bed): $109.00 (+ taxes)

    Be sure to indicate your room type (double or king) while making your room reservation.

    To Make Reservations in the Group Block: ONLINE – follow the online booking link HERE.

    1. Select the correct check in and out dates by scrolling through the calendar.

    2. Click the “More Options +” button under the calendars, and enter the applicable information.

    3. Make sure the Group Code box has “TEN” entered.

    4. When the “Room Rates and Packages” page loads, click on “Show More Room Types” at the bottom to show all the available options.

    PHONE – call Central Reservations at 1-888-HOLIDAY [465-4329]

    1. Set up the reservation at the Holiday Inn Chicago – Elk Grove property.

    2. Let the agent know the reservation(s) should be part of the 2019 TEN Conference block.

    NOTE: As is typical, you will be required to submit your credit card payment information during the room reservations process. However your credit card will NOT be charged until you check into the hotel.

    For full details on amenities and services offered by our host hotel please click here. (Please DO NOT use this link to book your hotel stay as it will not provide the appropriate discounts.)

    You may qualify for a discount. Learn more about the variety of discounts that are available
    The Evangelical Network offers two scholarships that provide assistance to those who are interested in attending the annual conferences. For more information and to apply click here.

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