More than 800 people gathered for the annual leaders’ conference, organised by the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) in November 2017.
For the first time, the conference was held at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay and included teaching ministry in the main plenary sessions from Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor at Anacostia River Church in Washington DC.
Adrian Reynolds, FIEC training director, and Paul Rees, pastor of Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh, preached in the evening meetings. An historical lecture from Michael Reeves, president at Union School of Theology, and a series of seminars for church leaders completed the programme.
The main theme was ‘Transforming church’, and seminars included practical support on leading churches through change, as well as a focus on the prayer and devotional life of the leader. Kristie Anyabwile also led a ministry track for the women who attended.
As well as the Bible teaching and practical seminars, the leaders’ conference was an opportunity to meet others in ministry around mealtimes and over coffee breaks. Among the delegates in Torquay was Dan Steel, pastor of Magdalen Road Church in Oxford. Commenting on the conference, he said: ‘One of Thabiti Anyabwile’s huge gifts is explaining the way in which the foundational gospel of grace (as it should) brings both challenge and comfort for us as believers. He reminded us of the simplicity of church, before going on to explain the need to recapture the importance of good works that spring from God’s grace’.
During the Fellowship’s annual general meeting, there was prayer for the 17 churches that joined the FIEC in 2017.