As the Brethren in Christ U.S. General Assembly convenes in the birthplace of BIC world missions, it is apt to hear from the voice of a pioneering leader in a sister denomination. Tara Beth Leach, the first woman to serve as senior pastor of Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene, will be a plenary speaker and breakout session presenter at the July assembly.

Tara Beth leads a historic Nazarene congregation that has important connections with the founding of that denomination. She is the author of Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry and Kingdom Culture: The Sermon on the Mount.

“I am in love with the church. If I can just be one encourager that uses my voice — through the Spirit — to edify the body of Christ, I will do it until the day I die,” said Tara Beth.

“Tara Beth is a significant leader in the Church of the Nazarene and is known personally by several members of Leadership Council,” said Alan Robinson, BIC U.S. national director. “We are delighted to welcome her and we are very much looking forward to her ministry at General Assembly.”

“Leadership Council, as the planning team for General Assembly, strives to have at least one speaker from outside the BIC U.S. community,” said Alan. “We believe it is helpful for us to hear from others who are also seeking to follow Jesus, especially others from within theological streams that are part of our own DNA and identity.”

The theme of General Assembly 2020 is Rooted & Ready: Inspired By the Past, Positioned for the Future. The focus will be on the question: “How does our unique heritage inform our mission, and where is God directing us anew?” Being held at Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina, Kans. from July 10 to 13, this is the first time since 1951 that General Assembly has been held in Kansas.

In 1894, a young woman, Rhoda Lee stood up during a General Assembly (then called General Conference) meeting in Kansas and gave a compelling plea for the Church to engage in global mission work. This inspirational event led to the development of BIC U.S. World Missions and discipleship efforts throughout the world. The Midwest — Kansas in particular — became a missional hub in the BIC, especially for encouraging women to enter into ministry.

Tara Beth lives in Sierra Madre, Calif., along with her husband, Jeff, and two sons. Holding a Master of Divinity degree from Northern Theological Seminary, Tara Beth served as a teaching assistant for world-renowned theologian Dr. Scot McKnight.

Register now for General Assembly 2020. Early bird pricing available through Sunday, March 15, 2020.

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