Friday Workshop, 9:00-4:30pm
Being Relevant as a Leader in the Church
Saturday Afternoon Worship Celebration, 1:45-3:00pm
Ben Merold is currently Minister-at-Large for Harvester Christian Church in St. Charles, Missouri. In 2008 Ben completed a 17-year ministry as Senior Minister of this church which he and his wife, Pat began in July of 1991.
His previous ministries include a student ministry at Assumption, Illinois; a 5-year ministry at Villa Grove, Illinois; a 13-year ministry in Sullivan, Indiana; and a 22-year ministry with Eastside Christian Church in Fullerton, California. During his ministry with the Eastside Christian Church, the church had a rapid growth from an average of 185 in worship service to an average of about 3000 in multiple worship services.
In 1991, Ben decided to "start all over again" and accepted the call to become minister of Harvester Christian Church. This was a rather new and very young congregation and has already had tremendous growth causing them to construct a Family Life Center, an Office Building, a Student Center, a larger worship auditorium, and a Community Lobby/Early Childhood building. Averaging about 200 upon his arrival, attendance at Harvester Christian Church now averages over 3000.
Ben received his education at Johnson Bible College in Tennessee and Lincoln Christian College in Illinois -- and honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Pacific Christian College and Los Angeles Seminary.
He is a past President of the North American Christian Convention and has served on several committees of that convention. He served on the Board of Directors at Hope International University and was an instructor at that college. He has taught at Cincinnati Christian University, Central Christian College of the Bible, Lincoln Christian College and more. Ben has been a speaker for over 70 high school commencements and 11 college commencements. He is a speaker for numerous revivals, men's retreats, state conventions, along with leadership and church growth seminars.
His video series, entitled "Principles of Church Growth" has been very popular in the United States and Australia. This series is produced by Good News Productions in Joplin, Missouri. His writings on Church and Sunday School Growth have appeared in The Christian Standard and The Lookout.
Ben and his wife, Pat, travel extensively as speakers for retreats, conventions, and seminars.
Dr. Richard A Knopp
Friday Workshop, 9:00-4:30pm
Being Relevant When Talking with the Skeptical
Dr. Knopp is Professor of Philosophy & Christian Apologetics, Lincoln Christian University (LCU), with dual appointments with the School of Undergraduate Studies and the Seminary.
He is also Project Coordinator and Presenter for “Room for Doubt,” a grant-funded apologetics project at LCU whose purpose is to provide learning experiences and resources to substantiate the faith of committed Christians, regenerate the faith of younger Christians who have doubts about their heritage, and vindicate the Christian faith to non-Christians. The project began in August 2013. Its initial three-year phase is funded by a $675,000 grant from the Loftis Foundation.
Dr. Knopps is also Program Director of WorldViewEyes, a grant-funded program for youth and adults administered through LCU. The program is designed to help Christian youth and adults EXPAND their minds, ENGAGE their culture, EVALUATE non-Christian beliefs; and EMBRACE a consistently-lived Christian worldview. Over 72,000 adults and youth have attended a WorldViewEyes multimedia presentation. The program has received six grants from the Lilly Endowment totalling over $1,000,000.
He has been a board member since 1992 for the Christian Campus Foundation, a campus ministry at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Knopp earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Illinois, 1991. He has an M.A. in Philosophy from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, earned his M.Div. in Philosophy and Theology at Lincoln Christian Seminary, and attained his B.A. in Christian Ministries from St. Louis Christian College. He is a member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, and he is a founding editorial board member for the Stone-Campbell Journal. He is extensively published. He is married to Paula, and they have three married children.