General CBF

Register today for ChurchWorks 2019


CBF’s ChurchWorks conference creates space each February for congregational ministers of education and spiritual formation to be equipped for the journey through creativity, community and worship.

ChurchWorks 2019 will focus on sharing the love of Christ by battling injustice, exclusion and marginalization in our communities. Join your colleagues February 25-27, 2019, at Third Baptist Church in St. Louis.

Register today at

Featured Speakers

Rev. Joe Phelps — “Dispatch from White America”


Rev. Joe Phelps

Rev. Joe Phelps served for 21 years as pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., until his retirement in 2018. During his tenure, the church doubled in size, stretching to four weekend worship services including the innovative Friday Church service.

A highly regarded community leader, Phelps is known for his advocacy on behalf of racial justice as the co-chair of EmpowerWest, a coalition of area pastors and churches seeking to unleash the educational, economic and spiritual power of West Louisville residents. He is the author of More Light, Less Heat: How Dialogue Can Transform Christian Conflicts into Growth. Phelps and his wife, Terri, are enjoying retirement with their children and grandchildren.

Dr. Edem Dzunu and Dr. Pam Dzunu – “Everybody Has A Story That Needs to Be Heard”


Dr. Pam Dzunu and Dr. Edem Dzunu

Edem Dzunu was born and raised in Ghana and has a fascination for understanding different cultures.  This fascination has taken him to many different places in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. As one who travels, he cherishes most the opportunity to meet people and know about them in an environment of mutual respect. It is this desire that led to the establishment of Baobab People, a Saint Louis-based nonprofit organization that works to connect cultures through dialogue and learning. Edem has degrees in music, English, TEFL, theology and ethics, and currently teaches in the English Language Program at Washington University in Saint Louis. Edem also serves as associate pastor at Third Baptist Church in St. Louis, leading their community engagement efforts.

Pamela Guntharp Dzunu grew up in rural northeast Mississippi and holds a B.A. in English from William Carey University. She received her Master of Legal Studies degree at Washington University, an MA-TESOL degree at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and an M.A. in Intercultural Studies at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Pamela has extensive travel experience, including living two years in Ethiopia and two years in Azerbaijan. In both countries, she taught English as a Foreign Language among high school or university students. Pamela’s travel experience has given her a broad worldview and an appreciation for all cultures. She has been teaching in the English Language Program at Washington University since 2003, where she specializes in Legal English.

Laura Ayala, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico – “Semper Reformanda”


Rev. Laura Ayala

The Rev. Laura Ayala is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, after having served as associate executive minister of Christian Education and Leadership Development for Iglesias Bautista de Puerto Rico. She also served as executive director of Caguas’ Coalition for the Homeless and Miracles of Love Corporation, an American Baptist Home Mission Society Neighborhood Action Program Christian center. For more than 20 years, she served as a consultant for the development of social ministries. She holds an MBA, a master’s in religion and society, and a bachelor’s in social sciences with a major in research. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in theology.

Sam Harrell, CBF Associate Coordinator of Global Missions, Atlanta, Ga. – “Environmental Stewardship for People of Faith”


Sam Harrell

Sam Harrell is the Associate Coordinator for Global Missions with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Sam was born to Baptist missionary parents in Nairobi, Kenya, where he spent his entire childhood and most of his adult life.

A graduate of North Carolina State University and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Sam, together with his wife Melody, founded Africa Exchange, a nonprofit education and community development organization. A long-time advocate of environmental stewardship, Sam leads Kutana Kenya, an immersion experience for graduate and seminary students that CBF hosts in partnership with Africa Exchange. The experience explores the intersection between creation care, transformational development and mission.

Sam’s primary work has been in community development and appropriate technology with marginalized urban and rural communities in Kenya. He has conducted cross-cultural field education and created development modules for institutions including Mercer University, Baylor University and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.

Sam is passionate about the environment and spends much of his free time as close to the land as possible—birdwatching, hiking, beekeeping—doing all that he can to conserve and protect the tremendous gift of creation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s