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FSI and Covenant Seminary Present – Small Town, Big Gospel, Hope for the Country

Small Town, Big Gospel, Hope for the Country

A Special Weekend Conference on the Joys and Challenges of Rural Ministry

Friday, March 29 & Saturday, March 30

Rayburn Chapel

Cost: $25 (students taking for elective credit: $10 plus usual credit hour fees)

Register online here.

Whether you are considering planting a church, are already leading in an existing church or are looking to grow as a missionary to your small town, the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute and Covenant Theological Seminary invite you to join us in hearing experienced church planters speak to the challenges and opportunities confronting rural churches in America. Come be equipped to connect with other who are hopeful and passionate about small town ministry.


  • Donnie Griggs, pastor of One Harbor Church in Morehead City, North Carolina, author of Small Town Jesus, and part of the leadership team for the Advance Movement of churches
  • Mark Fugitt, pastor of Mountain Grove Family Church in Mountain Grove, Missouri
  • Belafae Johnson, pastor of Purposed Church in Mascoutah, Illinois
  • Duane Otto, pastor of Christ Community Church in Chenoa, Illinois; founder and president of Ithaka Fellowship, the Agrarian Center for Creation, Culture and Conscience in Gridley, Illinois
  • Jeanette Brown, Licensed Professional Counselor and currently working for Magellan Healthcare in St. Louis, MO

Event Schedule:

Friday, March 29

  • 10 a.m. – Chapel: Donnie Griggs – Why Should We Prioritize Small Town Ministry?
  • 11 .m. – In class: Donnie Griggs – Being a Good Local Missionary
  • 6:30 p.m. – Conference Opening Remarks by Prof. Mark Ryan, Director of FSI
  • 7 p.m. – Session 1: Donnie Griggs – A Big Vision for Small Towns
  • 8:30 p.m. – Close / Fellowship

Saturday, March 30

  • 8:45 a.m. – Welcome, Prof. Mark Ryan
  • 9 a.m. – Session 2: Mark Fugitt – Last One to Die Turn Out the Light: Rekindling Hope in Rural Churches
  • 10 a.m. – Coffee Break
  • 10:30 a.m. – Session 3: Donnie Griggs – Healthy and Courageous Leadership
  • 11:45 a.m. – Lunch
  • 1 p.m.  – Session 4: Donnie Griggs – Pushing Back on the Darkness of Addiction
  • 1:40 p.m. – Session 5: Jeanette Brown – Ministry and Mental Illness: Providing Care and Support to the Church
  • 2:20 p.m. – Coffee Break
  • 2:30 p.m. – Session 6: Belafae Johnson – Race, Class, and the Gospel
  • 3:15 p.m. – Panel Discussion with all speakers, moderated by Prof. Mark Ryan
  • 4:00 p.m. – Session 7: Duane Otto – Gospel Hope For Us All

Saturday evening supper/fellowship (optional)


March 29, 2019
March 30, 2019
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Rayburn Chapel
12330 Conway Road
St. Louis, MO 63141 United States
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