2016 Keynote 1 – Jorge Acevedo


Acevedo 56

Rev. Jorge Acevedo loves Jesus Christ and his Church.  Touched by the grace of God at seventeen, he was never the same.  Rescued from a life of addictions, his greatest delight is connecting people to Jesus and the Church.

Jorge is the Lead Pastor at Grace Church (www.egracechurch.com), a multi-site, United Methodist congregation in Southwest Florida with four campuses (Cape Coral, Fort Myers Shores, North Fort Myers and Fort Myers Central).  This church has grown in its weekend attendance from 400 to over 2700 in the past fourteen years.  Grace Church is recognized as having one of the largest and most effective recovery ministries in America with over 800 people involved in weekly recovery ministries.  In 2003, Grace Church planted a second campus in East Lee County by adopting a declining United Methodist Church.  Today this campus has more than 400 people in attendance.  In 2007, Grace Church purchased a former grocery store and opened the Grace Community Center, a holistic ministry center and home to the third worshipping community of Grace Church in November 2008.  On July 1, 2010, Grace Church adopted another closing United Methodist Church in downtown Fort Myers.  From 1992 to 1996, he served as one of the pastors at Christ Church United Methodist in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; from 1988 to 1992, as the Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Kissimmee, Florida; from 1984 to 1988 as Minister of Youth and Children at Trinity Hill United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.

2016 Keynote 2 – Melissa Bishop




Melissa Bishop has served full-time positions at Christ Church in both Student Ministries and Worship and currently serves as the Children and Student Staff Coordinator. She is a wonderful speaker known for her honesty about church, family and ministry all served with grace and good humor. Melissa has been a consistent innovator at Christ Church and a catalyst for moving the congregation in uncharted waters. She is the wife of our Senior Pastor Shane Bishop. The Bishops have two grown children and four young grandchildren.

2016 Keynote 3 – Justin Wise



I am a husband, dad, and CEO living in Des Moines, Iowa.

I founded Think Digital, a digital communications company. I started a podcast called #ThinkDigital. It’s a fun way to talk about new media and play lots of 90s rap.

My first book was published in February, 2014. Learn more here.

In 2012, I became an adjunct professor at Drake University, teaching public relations.

I graduated in 2010 from Bethel Seminary with a Master of Divinity, emphasis in Critical Thinking.

2016 Keynote 4 – Junius Dotson



Thousands of people, from Wichita and beyond, gather each Sunday to hear the thought provoking, faith-filled messages of Pastor Junius Boyd Dotson, senior pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church.  Unique challenges and opportunities confront every generation. Special individuals, endowed with special gifts, are required, if we are to transform these challenges into glorious opportunities. Such an individual is Pastor Dotson.

     A leader who responds to challenges and opportunities in new and creative ways, Pastor Dotson draws together people who share his vision for the future. He 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. A dynamic preacher and public speaker, Pastor Dotson is highly respected for his ability to establish networks that “get things done” in the faith and larger communities.

     In a world where many are called, but few are chosen, Pastor Dotson is well prepared both spiritually and academically. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science—with a concentration in economics—at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he was also president of the local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, the nation’s oldest African American fraternity. Pastor Dotson began his postgraduate work in at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California.

     Pastor Junius Boyd Dotson was ordained to the ministry of the United Methodist Church in June 1992. In 1996, he responded to the awesome challenge of beginning a new and innovative church in the Silicon Valley, Genesis United Methodist Church. The unique innovations of Pastor Dotson have generated much publicity. Pastor Dotson’s ministry has been featured in The San Jose Mercury News, The San Francisco Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, religious journals, and segments on CBS Radio’s “The Osgood File,” as well as the NBC affiliate KRON Channel 4 in San Francisco.

2016 Keynote 5 – Shane Bishop & Ashley Cooper



Ashely Cooper

Senior Pastor, Swan Bank Church – Stroke on Trent United Kingdom

Ashley is the Senior Leader at Swan Bank, the largest Methodist congregation in England. He joined the staff in September 2007. He has a passion for reaching the forgotten people for Jesus in his city’s urban setting. He and his wife, Moira, have two children.




Shane Bishop


Christ Church worship attendance has increased from 200 to over 2,100 since Shane’s appointment in 1997. He was named The Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church in 2010 and Christ Church was recognized as the seventh fastest growing United Methodist congregation in the United States in early 2016. Christ Church has three regional campuses and two Biker churches in addition to the main campus in Fairview Heights, Illinois. Shane holds both graduate and undergraduate degrees from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and graduated cum laude from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Elected to represent the Illinois Great Rivers Conference at General Conference three times and Jurisdictional Conference four times, Shane served as a member of the North Central Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee from 2004-2012. He has published two books, has been a featured writer in many publications.