Hundreds of Pastors and Church Leaders Gather in Charlotte for American Pastors Network ‘U-Turn’ Event

To read an article on the event by One News Now, please click HERE.

To watch a short video clip of the conference, please click HERE. 

Pastors and church leaders gave rave reviews about something many had never heard before—the role of the nation’s founding pastors, presented at last week’s “U-Turn” event hosted by the American Pastors Network and the North Carolina Pastors Network.

The fascinating ideals motivated pastors to make a real change in the way they preach, lead their churches and engage their congregations, as some pastors wrote in emails after the conference to APN President Sam Rohrer.

Hundreds attended the powerful day-long event, co-led by the North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN, and hosted by Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte. There, some of the nation’s leading speakers shared their incredible stories and inspiring words, in an effort to demonstrate to pastors and ministry leaders that a new vision for their churches is a catalyst for critical change in their communities.

The event delved deep into our nation’s history and gave reasons today’s pastors and their churches must be involved; it was more than a rally to pump up the crowd—it was a serious call to action for America to do a “180”—a U-Turn back to what made our country work and what made America great.

“We are immensely encouraged by the amazing experience at ‘U-Turn’ on Thursday,” said Rohrer. “We are grateful, and praise God for blessing the conference, and now will certainly continue to pray, not only for immediate and significant results but also eternal impacts.”

Rohrer added that one pastor in attendance remarked, “Even though I believe that I’ve been involved in cultural issues and have faithfully preached, I know now that I must do much more. There is so much at stake not only [in my] preaching [but] warning and discipling my people.”

Also at “U-Turn,” APN announced the new “We Will Stand—Preach, Pray, Encourage, Engage” initiative, a commitment pastors nationwide can make to “stand in the gap for truth” in their churches and communities. APN will share more about the new initiative in the coming weeks.

“I heard directly and indirectly from those in attendance that they were greatly challenged and blessed by the ‘U-Turn’ conference,” said Dave Kistler, president of NCPN. “The days ahead will certainly tell the tale of what God has done in their hearts, focusing and firing them up for faithful engagement. One pastor stated, ‘I’ve got to change some things at church and get both myself and my people engaged!’ Comments like these are so encouraging, as we now pray for those who attended, that they will take the important principles presented and meet the challenge.”

Although biblical and not political, the “U-Turn” conference for church leaders sought to equip, empower and educate attendees about the essentials to impact culture, especially now, as the culture changes rapidly.

Speakers for “U-Turn: A Roadmap for Renewal—A Conversation with Pastors on Society, Culture and Leadership” included:

  • George Barna, social science researcher, executive director of the American Culture and Faith Institute (a division of United in Purpose), president of Metaformation, a faith development organization, and author
    • David Barton, historian and leader of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on America’s moral, religious and constitutional heritage
    • Paul Blair, president of Reclaiming America for Christ and former NFL star
    • Jeremy Dys, senior counsel for First Liberty, formerly the Liberty Institute, where he focuses on religious liberty matters and the First Amendment
    • Gary Frazier, Biblical writer and founder and president of Discovery Missions International
    • Dr. Richard Land, evangelical leader and president of Southern Evangelical Seminary
    • Steve Scheibner, president of Characterhealth Corporation and a pilot who will share his gripping story from 9/11
    • Bryan Smith, senior manager for biblical integration for BJU Press
    • Sammy Tippit of Sammy Tippit Ministries
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