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Montreat Conference Center

Dr. King’s Unfinished Agenda

A Teach-In for Rededicating Ourselves to The Dream

August 21 - August 23, 2015

Conference Resources

Download the CD order form to purchase recordings of the sermons from the following three worship services:

  • Friday evening worship, Yvette Flunder
  • Saturday afternoon worship, William Barber
  • Sunday morning worship, Vashti McKenzie

Please note: The agreements we established with Leonard Pitts and Charles Blow do not allow us to distribute their content.

John Lewis’ Keynote:

Other Resources:

Back in stock! Books from Dr. King’s Unfinished Agenda are available again from the Montreat Store.

  • Rev. Dr. William Barber – Forward Together
  • Charles M. Blow – Fire Shut Up in My Bones
  • John Lewis – Walking with the Wind
  • John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell – March Book One & March Book Two
  • Vashti M. McKenzie – Not Without a Struggle
  • Leonard Pitts – Forward From this Moment and Freeman

Call us at 828.669.5298 to receive information about purchasing books and CDs from the conference!

Conference Theme

Our intention for these three days is to engage an intergenerational community in embracing and lifting up Dr. King’s unfulfilled dream as our very own: his brave, prophetic, and educative legacy of standing up against what he persistently labeled as the horrible scourges of our national and world orders: racism, poverty, war and materialism.

Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. King’s address to the Christian Action Conference in Montreat is the occasion for a look toward the future. In a nation still struggling to build bridges between races and heal divisions generations old, how can the church of today answer the challenges King posed in Anderson Auditorium in 1965?

Keynote and Worship

Gather with us to hear leaders from the church as well as from public life. Those challenging us will include

Saturday Afternoon Activities

Hike Lookout Mountain: 1:00-2:30 PM. Meet in lower lobby of Assembly Inn. Get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of Montreat. Join Montreat’s Wilderness Director, Jason Nanz, for a 1.2 mile round trip to Montreat’s most famous hike, Lookout Rock. This hike will take about an hour. For questions about the hike and to reserve your spot, please download information about the hike and/or reception.

Reception hosted by Johnson C. Smith Seminary: 2:30-3:00 PM in Convocation Hall. All are welcome to cool off at a reception hosted by Johnson C. Smith, the PC(USA)’s only African American seminary. Hear Paul Roberts, the seminary president, describe what Johnson C. Smith is doing to complete Dr. King’s unfinished agenda. Light food and refreshments will be served. For questions about the reception and to let us know how many from your group will be attending, download information about the hike and/or reception.

Remember and Recommit Workshop: 1:00-2:30 or 2:30-4:00 PM. Left Bank, First Floor. Through reflecting on his own words and video clips from that time, we will remember the crucial last year of Dr. King’s life (April 4, 1967 – April 4, 1968) when he emphasized our nation’s ongoing need to confront what he called “the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism.”  We will also discuss what it means for us to recommit ourselves to confronting these triplets today as disciples of Jesus. As part of the discussion, we will offer a way for congregations to follow up on this conference by engaging in an intentional process of in-depth learning about the modern civil rights movement, shared spiritual formation, and our call to pursue justice for all God’s children today. The workshop leader is The Rev. Dr. James (Jim) Melson, Director of The Cornelius Corps. The Cornelius Corps is a ministry of New Community Church in Washington, DC, which is one of the faith communities of The Church of the Saviour.

The Covenant Network of Presbyterians Meet and Greet Reception: 2:30-3:30 PM in Moore Center Meeting Room. Come enjoy cool drinks with Brian Ellison and Tricia Dykers Koenig, national staff of The Covenant Network. They’ll share a few words about the network’s visions and plans for the future, including continued work for inclusion of LGBTQ people and a deepening of our commitment to partnering with other groups seeking justice and inclusion in the life of church and society. We welcome your thoughts! Join us for this informal time of conversation.

For Children and Youth

We will welcome participants across the age spectrum to learn, sing, reflect, and worship together. The conference will provide intentional and age appropriate educational opportunities for children and youth to deepen their understanding of the church’s, and their own, call and responsibility to participate in shaping the world to more closely reflect God’s justice for all people. There will be one group for children who have completed kindergarten through 11 years of age led by Becky Davis, and one group for youth ages 12-18 led by J. Herbert Nelson and David LaMotte.

Child Care

Child Care for children ages 5 and under is available only to registered participants. The price is $90 and includes the plenary sessions and worship services. Childcare reservations must be made by Tuesday, August 18. On-site registration for child care will not be available. If you have already registered for the conference and need to add child care, please contact the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org.

Meals for Commuters

Meals in the Galax Dining Room are no longer available to commuters, however, boxed lunches provided by The Red Radish, along with bottled water, may be requested when you register online. The lunches are available on both Saturday and Sunday. The cost is $11.00 per lunch. (The additional charges will be added manually by the registrar.) Boxed lunch reservations must be made by noon on Thursday, August 20. Lunches will be available for pick-up in Upper Anderson Auditorium.

If you have already registered for the conference as a commuter and would like to order boxed lunches from The Red Radish, please contact the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org and request boxed lunches for Saturday, Sunday, or both days. The additional charges will be added to your reservation.

Also, please check out our Business Patrons and the Black Mountain Chamber of Commerce for restaurants in Black Mountain.

Registration Information

Registration is now closed.

Click on the printer icon below to print out full details for this event.

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Special Two-Option Conference Fee!

PLEASE NOTE: ONLINE REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.
On-site registration will open at 1:00 pm on Friday, August 21 and will also be available one hour prior to each plenary session in the lobby of Anderson Auditorium. Please bring cash, check, or credit card.

Option One:
$40 per person (conference scholarship fee) — This reduced fee is available to all who choose this option. It is made possible through generous gifts in support of the conference. (This fee does NOT include housing or meals.)

Option Two:
$100 per person (non-scholarship conference fee) — If you choose this fee, your additional $60 will enable our scholarship funds to support more conferees. (This fee does NOT include housing or meals.)

Housing Information

Please note: We no longer have housing available in Assembly Inn, Winsborough, or Glen Rock Inn. You may still register as a commuter (see rates below). For alternative housing options, please click on the “More Information” tab above.

Commuter Rate

Commuter rates below include the conference fee, plus a $2 community services fee per adult for public services provided by the Town and the fire district. See above for explanation of special two-option conference fee. (This fee does NOT include housing or meals.)

  • Option One: $42 per person age 5 & older (scholarship conference rate)
  • Option Two: $102 per person age 5 & older (non-scholarship conference rate)

Please note: Meals in the Galax Dining Room are no longer available to commuters, however, boxed lunches provided by The Red Radish, along with bottled water, may be requested when you register online. The lunches are available on both Saturday and Sunday. The cost is $11.00 per lunch. (The additional charges will be added manually by the registrar.) Boxed lunch reservations must be made by noon on Thursday, August 20. Lunches will be available for pick-up in Upper Anderson Auditorium.

Also, please check out our Business Patrons and the Black Mountain Chamber of Commerce for restaurants in Black Mountain.

Child Care

Child Care for children ages five and under is available for this event for a fee of $90 per child. Pre-registration is required and enrollment is limited. Childcare reservations must be made by Tuesday, August 18. On-site registration for child care will not be available. You may request child care when you register online. The additional charge will be added manually by the registrar. Questions about child care? Email the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org.

Refund Policy

Cancellations must be received by July 10 in order to receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. Cancellations received after July 10 but on or before August 14 will receive a 50% refund of the conference fee and payments made toward room and meal charges (if applicable) less $40. No refunds will be issued after August 14. All requests must be in writing and received via email, fax, or U.S. mail.

Contact the Registrar

If you have any questions about the registration process, please email the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org or call 828.419.9829.

Key Leadership

Montreat Conference Center John Lewis is an American politician and civil rights leader. He currently serves as the United States representative for Georgia’s fifth congressional district. Often called “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced,” Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building the “Beloved Community” in America. At the age of 23, Lewis was an architect of and a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington. In 1965, Lewis set out to lead 600 peaceful protesters from Selma to Montgomery before being attacked by Alabama State Troopers in the event known as “Bloody Sunday” which hastened the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A graduate of Fisk University and American Baptist Theological Seminary, Lewis also holds over 50 honorary degrees from universities throughout the United States, including Harvard, Princeton, and Duke. He is the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy, MARCH, and has been interviewed for numerous documentaries and news broadcasts.

Montreat Conference CenterCharles M. Blow is an author, television commentator, and New York Times visual op-ed columnist. He graduated magna cum laude from Grambling State University in Louisiana, where he earned a BA in mass communications. Blow has covered significant news events ranging from 9/11 to the Iraq war. He served as graphics editor, graphics director, and finally design director for the New York Times before leaving to become the art director of National Geographic Magazine. Blow has been awarded the best of show award for the Society of News Design and awards at the Malofiej International Infographics Summit. He is known for writing columns addressing race and injustice. He is also the author of Fire Shut Up In My Bones, a New York Times best-seller, and is a CNN commentator.

Montreat Conference CenterLeonard Pitts Jr. lives in suburban Washington, DC, with his wife and children. He is a columnist for the Miami Herald and won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, in addition to many other awards. He is also the author of Freeman (Agate Bolden, 2012), Before I Forget (Agate Bolden, 2009); the collection Forward From this Moment: Selected Columns, 1994-2009, Daily Triumphs, Tragedies, and Curiosities (Agate Bolden, 2009); and Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood (Agate Bolden, 2006). In a career spanning 35 years, Leonard Pitts, Jr. has been a columnist, a college professor, a radio producer, and a lecturer. His recent columns on the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman have garnered much attention from his peers and readers alike. He is a three-time recipient of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Award of Excellence, a five-time recipient of the Atlantic City Press Club’s National Headliners Award and a seven-time recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Green Eyeshade Award.

Montreat Conference CenterThe Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder founded the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in 1991 in order to unite a gospel ministry with a social ministry. City of Refuge is a thriving inner-city congregation that celebrates the radically inclusive love of Jesus Christ. Preaching a message of action, the church has experienced steady numerical and spiritual growth. Flunder is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ and a graduate of the Ministry Studies and Master of Arts programs at the Pacific School of Religion. She received her DMin degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Flunder is a trustee and adjunct professor at Pacific School of Religion and she is a board member of the National Sexuality Resource Center, an active voice for the Religion Council of the Human Rights Campaign and co-chair of the Religious Advisory Committee of the National Black Justice Coalition. She also serves on the UCC Unified Governance Working Group as representative of the United Church of Christ Seminaries. A much sought after preacher, educator, conference speaker, and singer, Flunder has been a lecturer, adjunct professor, and speaker at numerous seminaries including Lancaster, Duke, Drew, Eden, Yale, and New York Theological. She is the author of Where the Edge Gathers: A Theology and Homiletic of Radical Inclusion.

Montreat Conference CenterBishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie serves as the 117th elected and consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Her historic election in the year 2000 represents the first time in the over 200-year history of the AME Church, a woman had obtained the level of Episcopal office. Currently, she is honored to serve as the presiding prelate of the 10th Episcopal District, which is the entire state of Texas. Bishop McKenzie was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the inaugural President’s Advisory Council of the White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and was invited to preach at the annual White House Easter Prayer Breakfast. Bishop McKenzie is the author of Not Without A Struggle, Strength in the Struggle, Journey to the Well, Swapping Housewives, and Those Sisters Can Preach!  Bishop McKenzie was named this year by Huffington Post as one of the 50 most powerful women religious leaders in the world.

Montreat Conference CenterThe Rev. Dr. William Barber II graduated cum laude from North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in Durham, NC, receiving a BA in Political Science. He received his MDiv from Duke University, where he was a Benjamin Mays Fellow and a Dean Scholar. Barber has a doctoral degree from Drew University in Madison, NJ, with a concentration in public policy and pastoral care, and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from NCCU. The Honorable Governor Beverly Purdue presented Rev. Dr. Barber with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest citizenship award presented to outstanding North Carolinians who have a proven record of service to the state. He has served as an adjunct instructor at NC Wesleyan, North Carolina Central University, and Duke Divinity School. Barber is the president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP (2005), and was re-elected National Board Member (2011), and appointed as the National NAACP Chair of the Legislative Political Action Committee. Under his leadership, the NAACP developed a new 21st Century voter registration/voter participation system. Nationwide this system registered more than 442,000 new voters and provided access to 1.5 million voters. Along with local, state, and national NAACP leaders, Barber has helped to lead the fight for voter rights, just redistricting, health care reform, labor and worker rights, protection of immigration rights, and reparation for women survivors of eugenics, release of the Wilmington Ten, and educational equality. Barber has been arrested three times for civil disobedience as he stood for educational, economic and equal justice.

Montreat Conference CenterThe Rev. Paul Roberts Sr. is president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA, a position he has held since the spring of 2010. Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary is one of the ten theological schools of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the only one that is historically African American. Paul graduated from Princeton University in 1985 with a BA in Architecture and African American Studies. Prior to his career in ministry, Paul worked for eight years in advertising in New York City. Paul later received his MDiv with a concentration in New Testament Studies from Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA. Before being elected President at JCSTS, he served one year as the interim leader of the seminary. Paul is a contributing writer to Pastoral Care: A Case Study Approach ( Orbis Books,1998), and to Feasting on the Gospels (Westminster/John Knox Press, 2013).

Montreat Conference CenterRev. Gradye Parsons is the stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Gradye joined the Office of the General Assembly in 2000. A native of Tennessee, he served congregations in Newport and Bristol, TN, for 15 years before becoming the executive presbyter and stated clerk of Holston Presbytery in 1994. He was elected stated clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA) in 2008. The executive position includes interpreting the Book of Order, the church’s constitution, serving as the denomination’s chief ecumenical officer, and organizing meetings of the General Assembly. Gradye graduated from the University of Tennessee and received his MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA. He did postgraduate work at Columbia Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1979 by Holston Presbytery.

Montreat Conference CenterDr. Tony McNeill is the director of worship and arts at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. He holds a degree in music education from Appalachian State University, a master’s degree in choral conducting from Florida State University, and a PhD in worship studies from The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in Orange Park, FL. In Charlotte, McNeill worked as director of music ministry at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church for 13 years. Most recently he was a visiting professor of choral music at Appalachian State, where he conducted the ASU Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Men’s Glee Club and Gospel Choir. He also worked as interim director of Ebenezer’s Church Choir – so named because it was once the only choir the church had. McNeill said the Church Choir was founded by Alberta King, mother of the civil rights leader.

Montreat Conference CenterDavid LaMotte is an award-winning songwriter, speaker, author, and activist. He has produced 11 CDs and performed 2500 concerts on 5 continents. He has published two illustrated children’s books, S.S. Bathtub, a rhyming book for small children based on his award-winning song of the same name, and White Flour, a whimsical introduction to nonviolence, based on true events. David’s most recent projects include his new book Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness, and PickOne.org, a web site that nourishes positive change by inspiring and empowering people to take action on issues they care about.

Montreat Conference CenterThe Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II is the director of public witness at the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness in Washington, DC, which implements the social justice agenda of the General Assembly through advocacy. He is a third generation presbyterian pastor, who, before coming to Washington, served as founder/pastor of Liberation Community Presbyterian Church (LCC) in Memphis.

Montreat Conference CenterThe Rev. Dr. Rebecca Davis is assistant professor of religion and Christian education at Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC and visiting professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, NC. A teaching elder and certified educator, for over thirty years Becky has served in ministries and advocacy with and for children and their families in congregations, at the Children’s Defense Fund and the National Council of Churches Committee for Justice for Children and their Families. She served as the organizing chair of the Presbyterian Child Advocacy Network and on the Year of the Child Design Team for the PC(USA) and now teaches those preparing for leadership in the church to engage in ministry and advocacy.

Montreat Conference CenterThe Rev. Dr. James (Jim) Melson is in his 15th year as the Director of The Cornelius Corps, a ministry of New Community Church in Washington, DC. New Community is one of the faith communities of The Church of the Saviour. The ministry of The Cornelius Corps focuses on working with churches in the areas of spiritual formation and racial justice/reconciliation. Jim also serves as the Director of Spiritual Formation at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Arlington, VA. He is an ordained pastor in The United Methodist Church. He served for 19 years as the pastor of local churches in the Virginia Annual Conference before founding The Cornelius Corps in 2001. Jim is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA (1978 BA in Greek and Religion) and Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA (1982 D.Min.).

More Information

Private Rentals for Individuals and Groups

Meals for Commuters

Meals in the Galax Dining Room are no longer available to commuters, however, boxed lunches provided by The Red Radish, along with bottled water, may be requested when you register online. The lunches are available on both Saturday and Sunday. The cost is $11.00 per lunch. Boxed lunch reservations must be made by noon on Thursday, August 20. Lunches will be available for pick-up in Upper Anderson Auditorium.

If you have already registered for the conference as a commuter and would like to order boxed lunches from The Red Radish, please contact the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org and request boxed lunches for Saturday, Sunday, or both days. The additional charges will be added to your reservation.

Also, please check out our Business Patrons and the Black Mountain Chamber of Commerce for restaurants in Black Mountain.