2017 Mississippi Convocation on the Black Church

Join church leaders from across the state for the 2017 Mississippi Convocation on the Black Church Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Anderson United Methodist Church located at 6205 Hanging Moss Road in Jackson.The theme of this year’s convocation is "Intentional Discipleship through the Lens of the Black Church Experience." All those attending can expect to:

  • Be informed about the tools and resources needed for transforming your communities
  • Be inspired to lead fearlessly and strategically to make disciples for the transformation of their communities and the world
  • Be intentional in creating, planning and implementing a course of action for building relationships and discipling your communities
  • Be transformed and be what God has intended you to be!


2017 CONVOCATION ON THE BLACK CHURCH PROMO from Mississippi Conference on Vimeo.

All clergy and laity are welcome to participate and attend. Experience exceptional preaching and teaching, innovative and thought-provoking workshops and soul-stirring music.

A special offering will be lifted in support of the Clay-Conoway Scholarship. This scholarship, in memory of Dr. Henry Clay and Rev. Dr. Merlin Conoway, is for Mississippi students attending Gammon Seminary in Atlanta.

0.5 CEUs available (Continuing Education Units) 

The conference cost $30 per person. Registration is required and the deadline is Monday, October 23, 2017. For questions, contact Jane Horstman at jhorstman@mississippi-umc.org or 769.243.7072.



Download the 2017 Mississippi Convocation on the Black Church agenda here.


The Rev. Telley Lynnette Gadson, senior pastor and spiritual coach at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Taylors, South Carolina and president of the National Black Clergy Women of the United Methodist Church (BCWUMC), will be this year’s keynote preacher.

Rev. Gadson has been blessed by God with an anointing that has enabled her to share on a local, state-wide, regional and national platforms. In February 2007, Rev. Gadson lifted the Morning Meditation at the South Carolina Prayer Breakfast in honor of then presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama (later to become President Obama). 

Rev. Gadson brings a wealth of F.I.R.E – faith, inspiration, redemption and excellence! During her tenure and under her leadership, St. Mark UMC has experienced spiritual growth, more than tripled its membership and more than quadrupled its financial stewardship – and in April 2010, St Mark UMC celebrated the consecration of a new church building designed for worship, study and fellowship.

Rev. Junius Boyd Dotson, a recognized visionary leader in church revitalization, is the general secretary (chief executive officer) of Discipleship Ministries, an international agency of The United Methodist Church.

Prior to his present position, Rev. Dotson, was pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas, where he was instrumental in transforming the 3,500 member church into a multi-campus congregation. The church is also the host to the E.C. Tyree Health & Dental Clinic that provides affordable care to thousands of patients annually. 

As a leader who responds to challenges and opportunities in new and creative ways, Rev. Dotson believes that effective ministry is about training, developing and empowering leaders to establish ministries that address the needs of the whole person – body, mind and spirit.

Rev. Dotson’s unique innovations have generated a great deal of interest. His ministry has been featured in The San Jose Mercury News, The San Francisco Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, The Wichita Eagle, religious journals and segments on CBS Radio’s “The Osgood File” as well as on ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates in San Francisco, San Jose and Wichita.


Rori Francis Blakeney serves on the staff of Discipleship Ministries as the young people’s ministries’ regional staff for the Southeastern Jurisdiction. In this capacity, he works to nurture, empower and equip youth, young adults and adult workers to lead in the life of the church.

In addition to his work with Young People’s Ministries, he serves on staff at East Point First Mallalieu United Methodist Church, a multi-cultural congregation. Prior to joining EPFM1’s staff, he served at Winters Chapel and Hoosier Memorial United Methodist churches. He believes that developing healthy partnerships is a key to effective ministry and has a passion for equipping and empowering small membership churches to be fruitful and effective congregations. Blakeney has a successful track record of designing and teaching confirmation classes, organizing mission trips and growing youth groups. 


JaNae` Swanson-Brown is an Executive Assistant at Kennesaw United Methodist Church in Kennesaw, Georgia. JaNae` attended University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Pellissippi State Community College, where she studied Criminal Justice and Business Administration.

JaNae` has been employed with The United Methodist Church since 2006, serving in different capacities:  a receptionist, administrative assistant, registrar and event planner in the Holston Annual Conference and a youth director at Middlesettlements UMC. During her tenure at Holston Annual Conference she planned events, hosted United Methodist secretaries conferences and led workshops on cyber and electronic device safety, technology, event planning, church and office safety and church secretary record keeping. Swanson-Brown served as vice-president and treasurer for the Holston Conference Secretaries Association. Swanson-Brown is a certified UMC church secretary.

Swanson-Brown is the wife of Vernon Brown. They have a daughter (Laila), a dog and a bird. They reside in Acworth, Georgia.