The speakers this year are from Horizons Stewardship and will present the Academy of Faith and Money.
Dr. Clif Christopher, M. Div., CFRE
Clif founded the Horizons Stewardship Company in 1992 following a challenging career in pastoral ministry. He serves as the company’s CEO to this day. In his 20 years as a pastor, he led numerous major building and capital campaigns. Since founding Horizons, he and his strategists have led consultations in over 2,000 churches, conferences, synods and diocese in all phases of building, finance and church growth raising billions of dollars for ministry.
Dr. Christopher is a certified church growth consultant and has earned the coveted title CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive). In 1995, he was given the National Circuit Rider Award by the United Methodist Church for outstanding leadership in developing vital congregations.
He has personally worked in over 42 states and is a frequent speaker at stewardship seminars around the country. He is the co-author of the book "Holy Smoke," the author of "Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate, Whose Offering Plate Is It?," "Rich Church - Poor Church" and "The Church Money Manual." Dr. Bill Easum, noted consultant and author, said, “No one knows more about local church stewardship than Clif Christopher. ”Mega church pastor, Adam Hamilton said, “When I have a stewardship question, I call Clif Christopher.” Foundation director, David Atkins said, “Clif is one of the most effective communicators in the field of church fundraising today.” Author and highly successful pastor, Mike Slaughter said, “Clif Christopher is one of the top authorities on church finance and stewardship in America.” Abingdon Press has described him as “The leading voice of finance and stewardship in the Christian Church.”
Clif has been an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church since 1975, is a combat veteran of the Gulf War, and is married and living in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Mike Slaughter, former lead pastor at Ginghamsburg Church, served for nearly four decades as chief dreamer of Ginghamsburg and the spiritual entrepreneur of ministry marketplace innovations. His life-long passion to reach the lost and set the oppressed free has now made him a tireless and leading advocate for the children, women and men of Darfur, Sudan, once named by the U.N. as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Mike’s call to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted challenges Jesus followers to wrestle with God and their God-destinies.
When Mike arrived at Ginghamsburg Church in 1979, worship attendance hovered at 90 with 118 members and an annual budget of $27,000. Today 4500 guests on average worship or grow weekly at Ginghamsburg and the multi-million dollar budget helps resource a faith community committed to serving the poor, lost and disenfranchised.
As a mentor, Mike travels globally to speak and uses his “gift of irritation” to equip ministry leaders to minimize brick and maximize mission so that they may fully deploy the mission of Jesus into the world. He is also the author of multiple books with the most recent being "The Passionate Church: Ignite Your Church and Change the World" (Abingdon Press), "The Christian Wallet: Spending, Giving, and Living with a Conscience" (Abingdon Press); "Renegade Gospel: The Rebel Jesus" (Abingdon Press); "Christmas Is Not Your Birthday" (Abingdon Press) and "Change The World: Recovering The Message and Mission of Jesus" (Abingdon Press). "The Church Report" listed Mike as one of the top 50 most influential Christians in America.
Mike lives in Tipp City, Ohio, with his wife Carolyn. Their children are daughter Kristen (Slaughter) Leavitt with husband Brendan, as well as son Jonathan with wife Stacy. Mike and Carolyn have three granddaughters, Ellie, Addison and Anna and three grandsons Luke, Caleb and Jack.