In light of the destruction brought by Hurricane Harvey, the conference focused on ways in which people from across Texas could support churches and organizations to fulfill specific needs in Houston, rebuilding what was lost in the storm and providing means of support to develop and empower communities. The schedule was adjusted to include service opportunities & listening sessions about how participants and volunteers could best serve in ways that go far beyond the initial relief efforts. One of the principal keynote speakers for the conference was Bob Lupton, author of Toxic Charity, a book that outlines how to structure programs that improve the quality of life for the poor and disenfranchised.
Carroll Institute is a sponsor of the NNAY Conference and hosted an exhibitor booth. Stacey Whitt, Director of Development at Carroll, represented the institute at the booth and shared with attendees about Carroll’s mission of delivering accredited theological education to ministers where they live and serve. Carroll Institute also partners with TxCCDN by offering a Christian Community Development Course taught by Dr. Jimmy Dorrell, Founder of the TxCCDN and Executive Director of Mission Waco, as part of its curriculum.
Dr. Eric Black, Resident Fellow and Ph.D. graduate of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute and pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, TX, attended the NNAY Conference and served as a volunteer. He shared the following comments about the conference:
No Need Among You is a wonderful time of learning, fellowship, and encouragement. All who attend are seeking ways to be more effective in how they care for “the least of these.” Therefore, attendees are looking for camaraderie and learning.
Among the workshop offerings were sessions on biblical and theological foundations for Christian community development, instruction on how to begin community development, a set of workshops on living and working alongside the poor, insight into caring for addicts and those with mental health concerns, and topics such as racial reconciliation, welcoming refugees, legal services, fundraising, and congregational leadership.
Several churches sent groups, who split up and attended a range of workshops throughout the conference. Doing so enabled those churches to glean as much information as possible.
In addition to numerous workshops, keynote sessions featured worship and well-known veterans of community ministry. Furthermore, time was given for networking by region.
B. H. Carroll has a great opportunity to add value to No Need Among You by teaching at least two workshops. Carroll can provide excellent theological and biblical insight into caring for “the least of these.” In addition, Carroll can share its experience in fundraising, a key component of community development.