Ouachita Baptist University will host “KALEO: Arkansas ’10” on the university’s Arkadelphia campus Saturday, Feb. 27.
KALEO, a New Testament Greek word that means “to be called,” is a specialized conference designed to guide emerging leaders to discover, embrace and pursue God’s call to change the world. The Arkadelphia event is co-sponsored by Ouachita, the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, Williams Baptist College, the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board and International Mission Board and LifeWay Christian Resources.
Hundreds of students and adults exploring or pursuing God’s call to ministry are scheduled to attend the one-day regional event. On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Plenary sessions, held in Ouachita’s Jones Performing Arts Center, will convene at 9:30 a.m. with the conference concluding at 5 p.m.
Keynote ministry leaders for the two plenary sessions are OBU graduate Doug Compton, founder of Doug Compton Ministries in Paragould, Ark., and Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif. Dave Hunt, a music artist from Nashville, Tenn., will serve as worship leader.
Among leaders of the conference’s 17 breakout sessions are Byron Eubanks, professor and chair of Ouachita’s department of philosophy; Danny Hays, dean of Ouachita’s Pruet School of Christian Studies; Ken Gore, chair of Williams’ department of Christian ministries; and Emil Turner, executive director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
“One of the looming problems for the church in America today, and in particular the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention, is that an extremely high percentage of pastors and other critical ministry leaders are over the age of 55,” Hays emphasized. “Over the next 10 to 15 years large numbers of people in ministry will be retiring. There do not appear to be enough young people committed to vocational ministry coming up through the system to be able to replace those who will be retiring. The KALEO conference is one of the ways in which we hope to locate and encourage high school and college students who feel called into vocational ministry.
“The Southern Baptist North American Mission Board, in close cooperation with other key ministry entities, has been organizing and sponsoring KALEO conferences and events in numerous states,” Hays added. “For Arkansas, Ouachita Baptist University was the logical place to locate the KALEO conference and we gladly accepted the offer. We encourage all high school and college students who feel that God may be calling them into ministry to attend.”
The Feb. 27 conference will serve as the launching event for a statewide network in which seasoned ministers will coach and mentor emerging ministry leaders. The network is the first of its kind with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention coordinating the pilot project for the Southern Baptist Convention.
The registration cost for the event is $15 per person, which includes lunch, conference materials and access to all sessions. For more information about the conference, visit www.KaleoConference.com. For information about the KALEO Network, visit www.KALEONetwork.com or call 1 (888) 554-7729.
By Trennis Henderson, OBU vice president for communications