At the BCMC, each morning begins with an intentional time of corporate worship, led this year by Dr. Mel Blackaby, with music leadership provided by Bradley Knight and Shelly Johnson, focusing on our 2017 Conference Theme: “A Living Sacrifice.” This time affords us the opportunity for meaningful worship with other church musicians, as well as a time to be challenged by God’s word to a refreshed commitment to Him and His service.
Worship and Plenary Speakers
Dr. Mel Blackaby
|Dr. Mel Blackaby
Our conference pastor this year is Mel Blackaby, who currently serves as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, Georgia. He is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. 1991; Ph.D. 1997). It was in the pioneer mission field of Canada that the Lord shaped his life for ministry. He has a deep concern for a world without Christ, as well as a shepherd’s heart that longs to see people grow in their walk with God.
Even though he is an author and conference speaker, his first love remains with ministry in the local church. First Baptist Jonesboro is literally impacting the world as it preaches in seven languages every Sunday, is heavily invested in church planting and world missions, as well being committed to reaching and training the next generation of leaders.
Mel and his wife Gina have three children. As a family, they have learned to “enjoy the journey!” So they balance a busy schedule with a love for horses, sports, and travelling.
Leading in worship is Bradley Knight. Church music has been at the heart of Bradley Knight’s career. The son of a music minister, Bradley began serving his local church at the age of thirteen by playing trumpet in the church band, accompanying choir specials on piano, and trying his hand at writing arrangements for his dad’s choir. He attended Lee University, where he was a member of the prestigious a cappella group Voices of Lee. While at Lee, he began studying with Lari Goss, who was a legendary gospel music producer and arranger. This relationship led to opportunities for Bradley in Nashville, where he eventually moved to become the staff arranger at Christ Church. Once in Nashville, it didn’t take long for Bradley to become one of the most sought-after and best-selling arrangers in choral print music. Over the years he has arranged and orchestrated thousands of songs for church choirs, and those arrangements are sung all over the world. In addition to choral arranging, Bradley is a successful studio keyboardist and orchestrator, working on projects for The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Bill Gaither, Michael W. Smith, and many others. After four years of serving Christ Church in Nashville, Bradley and his wife Holly moved to Dallas,TX, where he served for thirteen years at Prestonwood Baptist Church as staff arranger, and eventually became worship leader and choir director. Currently Bradley is freelancing, traveling to churches across America to lead choir retreats and worship services, while continuing to use his pen to create new and progressive arrangements that give the church choir and orchestra great opportunities to lead others in worship.
Shelly E. Johnson
|Shelly E. Johnson
Leading us in corporate singing is Shelly E. Johnson. Most well-known for writing the powerful worship anthem “Power of the Cross”, which has been recorded by Natalie Grant, Steve Green and is being used in churches worldwide, Shelly has served as worship leader alongside Beth Moore, Tony Nolan, Andy Stanley, and toured North America with renowned Irish Hymn-writers Keith & Kristyn Getty. In September 2014, Shelly released her label debut worship album Your Kingdom Come, in partnership with LifeWay Worship and Elevate Entertainment. In January 2016, Shelly released her follow up worship album entitled Measureless, which debuted in the top 50 on iTunes, with the lead-off single "Loved Me First" hitting the #1 spot at Christian Radio the entire month of January. Less than six months later in June 2016, Shelly released her first ever live worship album, Christ Be Everything (LIVE), recorded and filmed at 1971 Sounds in Atlanta, GA. As LifeWay Worship's 2012 Songwriter of the Year, Shelly tours the country leading worship and striving to build the Kingdom of God and serve His Church through her music. Shelly and her husband Jack were married in May 2005 and currently live in Woodstock, GA, along with their baby daughter, Mary Carson. Visit www.shellyejohnson.com to learn more.