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This year’s CONNECT Conference once again connected leaders across geographic, gender, and generational lines. Hundreds of pastors gathered in St. Cloud for three days of fellowship, laughter, and inspiring words from Mark Gungor and Assemblies of God General Superintendent, Doug Clay.

Mark Gungor opened the first half of the conference with his signature special “Laugh Your Way — A Couples’ Comedy Event,” and his hilarious illustrations on relationships filled the room with laughter. At the same time it was full of practical insights to cultivate better marriages. You can purchase his books and other resources online at

On Monday night, Pastor Clarence St. John shared the latest update on the Lake Geneva Expansion Campaign. Pastor St John has reached out to 82 individuals or churches and has seen 36 financial commitments thus far. The numbers are changing every week, but as of this writing, the commitments exceed $3.4 million. To find out more about the building project, view illustrations of what it might look like, or download promo materials, visit

Missions continues to be at the forefront of our movement as we celebrated increased missions giving in 2019. BGMC giving hit $302,298, and Speed the Light giving rose to $1,822,194. On Tuesday night, Pastor Mark Dean highlighted next year’s MDC Israel trip. This trip is open to all credentialed ministers. The dates are March 15-24, 2021 and the cost is $4,100. If you’re interested, reach out to Joanna Kalyvas at .

Doug Clay joined us Tuesday evening with a powerful message on the Holy Spirit, exploring a number of scriptural truths about His role in our lives. He said, “The Holy Spirit gives you a sense of contentment for where you are, even if it’s not ideal.” He closed out the conference Wednesday with another great message on the essentials of spiritual leadership. Doug Clay’s sessions were recorded and are posted on our podcast and on our website at:

Next year we return to St. Cloud January 1820, 2021. We believe that the connections made will continue to strengthen our district as we strive to become quality Christian leaders, lead healthy faith communities, and fulfill the Great Commission.