Two thousand Wesleyan pastors, leaders, and educators converged on Jacksonville, Florida, January 4-6, 2011 to participate in The Gathering, a Wesleyan ministry conference
Benji Kelley, founding and current pastor of newhope Church in Durham, North Carolina, served as emcee and opened the Tuesday evening rally, after an initial greeting from General Superintendent Dr. Thomas Armiger.
Branden and Jenn Petersen, who lead the arts and worship ministry at Collin Creek Community Church, a Wesleyan congregation in Plano, Texas, along with their worship band, led worship for the initial rallies of The Gathering.
The Gathering featured such speakers as Dr. Wayne Schmidt , the current vice president of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University; Michael Smalley, a clinical psychologist who specializes in marriage and family relationships; Pastor Keith Loy of Celebrate Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, preacher and author in the field of racial and ethnic reconciliation; and Mark Batterson, lead pastor of Washington DC’s National Community Church and author of the bestselling book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day.
Christian comedian Jeff Allen also entertained the crowd in the hotel’s grand ballroom and singer/songwriter Paul Baloche led worship in the latter rallies of The Gathering.
In addition, The Gathering planners featured more than 15 seminars, including those led by Gordon MacDonald, editor-at-large for Leadership Journal, and Gary McIntosh, speaker, author, and professor of pastoral ministry.