2021 Keynotes

 

 

Thursday 9:40 am

Michael Gantt
Author, Missionary, Speaker
“Sharpening the Iron of the Church”
www.mkgantt.com  
Director, Kenya Development Fund

 

Michael was born in rural North Carolina to an 18 year old mill worker. Though his early life was one of poverty and isolation, God miraculously intervened in his life as a teenager by bringing him into the sights of a young youth pastor in western North Carolina. Michael was discipled into Christ and mentored into manhood through his teen years. He enrolled in Bible College in 1967 and entered the full time ministry in 1971. He met his wife Barbara in high school and they were married in 1969. They have five children and as of now, 14 grandchildren. The couple have made their home in Southern Vermont for the past 50 years.

After serving the same pulpit for almost 40 years, Michael retired from full time pastoral ministry to pursue other opportunities to serve the Kingdom of God. He is the author of seven books, and as the director of the Kenya Development Fund he has served the Deaf in the East African country of Kenya for more than 30 years. He is a frequent speaker at various conferences nationwide. He has a radio show MONDAY MORNINGS WITH MIKE, over WLPV-FM in Greenfield, Massachusetts, which he also features on Facebook live. He also regularly comments on a wide variety of issues through his blog at www.mkgantt.com.

Old Paths, Ancient Markers – Guarding the Treasure of the Gospel 
It wasn’t the messenger the council feared; it was the message. It was the Name. They hoped their threats would frighten the believers into silence, but they only emboldened the disciples. Their prayer was powerful: “Grant unto us a boldness to speak the Word of God” (Acts 4:29 ESV).


Thursday 7:45 pm

Leona Choy
Author, Broadcaster, Writing Coach
Publisher, Golden Morning Publishing
www.leonachoy.com

 

Leona has decades of editorial writing, teaching writers' workshops, conference presenting, publishing and radio broadcast production. She has written, collaborated, ghosted, edited, and published more than 50 books through both royalty publishers and indie self-publishing. It didn't happen overnight! When Leona was in her mid-twenties, exhausted, with three toddlers in tow and returning from the mission field she experienced the sweat and thrill of seeing her first piece of writing published in a giveaway Sunday School paper. No payment, but oh, how sweet it was to see her byline! Read the whole story in ABOUT LEONA.
     Leona will turn ninety-six two days before the conference. You won’t want to miss the wisdom she will share in her keynote.

A Target on Our Back 
As writer friends who are Christians, we can't afford to stand down, to back off from writing honest words in appropriate ways. We can't afford to live or write on the safe side by avoiding controversial topics. We must tackle edgy subject matter. We can't be wimpy writers. Let's stand our ground and stand up for our faith and truth and righteousness even if we stand out with a target on our back. When we see deception and fakery, God is counting on us to pray and write well with courage.


Friday 9:40 am

Liz Curtis Higgs
Author, Speaker
www.lizcurtishiggs.com

 

Liz is the author of 37 books, with 4.6 million copies in print. She has spoken at more than 1,800 conferences in all 50 states of the U.S. and 15 foreign countries, including South Africa, Indonesia, Germany, Ecuador, and Japan. Her messages are biblical, encouraging, down-to-earth, and profoundly funny, helping both sisters and seekers embrace the truth of God’s amazing, unchanging grace. Liz’s dedication to platform ministry has not gone unnoticed. In 1995 the National Speakers Association honored Liz with their Council of Peers Award of Excellence.

Ministering to Our Readers

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” 
(1 Peter 4:10 NIV).

Liz Curtis Higgs has a question for you: Is your writing career entirely in God’s hands? Discover the surprising answer as Liz shares the life-changing lessons she's learned from three decades of writing for the Lord.


Friday 7:45 pm

Author’s Night

If you have published a book traditionally or indie, this is your night to give glory to God and to encourage those who have not YET gotten their book in print. Darcie Gudger and Erick Sprinkle will moderate this entertaining LIVE evening. Afterward, our bookstore will be open to order books that will be autographed.

 

 


Saturday 9:40 am

Liz Curtis Higgs
Author, Speaker
www.lizcurtishiggs.com

Liz is the author of 37 books, with 4.6 million copies in print. She has spoken at more than 1,800 conferences in all 50 states of the U.S. and 15 foreign countries, including South Africa, Indonesia, Germany, Ecuador, and Japan. Her messages are biblical, encouraging, down-to-earth, and profoundly funny, helping both sisters and seekers embrace the truth of God’s amazing, unchanging grace. Liz’s dedication to platform ministry has not gone unnoticed. In 1995 the National Speakers Association honored Liz with their Council of Peers Award of Excellence.

Sitting at His Feet 

“Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to all He said” (Luke 10:39 NLV).

As a storyteller, Liz Curtis Higgs knows the very best stories have already been written in God's Word. The New Testament accounts of Mary and Martha offer valuable insights about how we write, why we write, and what the Lord might be teaching us in the process.


Saturday 5:30 pm

James Watkins
Acquisitions Editor
EABooks Publishing
Author, Speaker
www.jameswatkins.com


Jim is a writer saved by grace. That’s what’s most important. Not that his 20 books and over 2,500 articles have won numerous national awards, or that he has worked as a magazine and book editor since his sophomore year in college, or even that he taught writing for fifteen years at Taylor University. And it’s really not important that he’s spoken around the world in churches, colleges, and conferences. What is important is that he loves God, his family, writing, mentoring writers, and Chinese food—in that order. He has been online since 1997 and has welcomed millions of visitors from virtually every country around the world. The site has grown from a few book excerpts to hundreds of posts, videos, and original music.

Four of Jim’s books have won national industry awards (Christianity Today “Book of the Year” award of merit and “Retailers Choice Award”) and for his reporting and editing (five Evangelical Press Association awards), as well as an “Amy” award for writing in the general market. He was also honored with an “Alumnus of the Year in Literature” from Indiana Wesleyan University. (Go Wilcats!)

His articles have been published by Christianity Today, Decision, Focus on the Family, Guideposts, Leadership, Ministry Today, Rev., Today’s Christian Woman, The Upper Room, USAToday, The Whittenberg Door, War Cry and many more.

His website has been honored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for its creative Christian message.

Keeping Your Dreams Alive 
An inspiring message using the story of Joseph as an example of a dream received, the dreamer refined, the dream redefined, and finally, the dream realized in relationship to writing.