ATLANTA, Ga. – Churches, pastors, ministers and those who speak for the evangelistic community are being called out to “do something” about the plight of the community, especially for young people.
This is a calling heard from almost every community throughout the world, and especially the African American community. The media sometimes carries this direct call to the Black Church, as reported in newspapers, radio, and television that the church is not doing enough.
“It was the 2014 dreadful shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. that moved me to take matters in hand and to realize that I had to do something,” said the Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr.
“If not me, who? And if not now, when?” the pastor emeritus of Salem Bible Church asked himself.
“Enough is enough,” says Williams, who heeded the call to lead the way with the founding of the African American Churches Transforming Society (AACTS) in 2014. “This is not a ‘me’ this is a ‘we’
and a ‘thee’,” he said.
The society will hold its 2019 Annual Conference at the Salem Bible Church, East Campus, located at 5460 Hillandale Dr., Lithonia, Ga.
Conference activities begin on Wednesday, March 13, with registration at noon; continue Thursday, March 14 with registration and breakfast at 8 a.m.; and resume Friday, March 15 with breakfast at 8 a.m.
Registration rates are $119 for pastors and leaders, and $69 for individuals. Admission prices will rise after March 1.
Attendees can register for AACTS 2019 three ways: by going to aactsconference.com; by calling 404-792-0303; or by sending registration by mail to AACTS, 2283 Baker Rd., NW, Atlanta, Ga 30318.
Information also is available at 404-7925664.
As an organization of churches, the African American Churches Transforming Society is working together with its membership to develop and expand initiatives, services, processes, programs and resources to help African American people thrive and prosper.
The society is a team of dedicated individuals who are at the forefront of identifying and overcoming obstacles in the African American community. By seeking solutions to the problems plaguing our communities, AACTS will fulfill its mission to provide social, economic and spiritual progress toward re-establishing African Americans’ position in society and advance the lives of many.
Many religious leaders in African American churches, political leaders, and community and education trailblazers have committed to participate on panels and to make presentations at the AACTS Conference. Morehouse School of Medicine has played an instrumental part in the conference planning.
“It was Rev. Jasper Williams who requested that I provide him with an analysis of the data he collected while researching what was causing the demise of the Black family and how can we fix this from a scientific prospective,” said Dr. Mary Langley (PhD, MPH, RN, ICPS), professor, Morehouse School of Medicine.
“The analysis of data from interviews conducted by Rev. Williams, with the heads of county governments, law enforcement agencies and school systems, as well as the mayors of two small cities in six of the major counties in the Metropolitan Atlanta, generated six strategic priorities linked to the greatest needs in the African American community,” Dr. Langley said.
“The top three priorities were centered around the home and school. Many of the problems impacting the African American community begin in the home, spread to the schools and end in negative life outcomes for a disproportionate number of African American youth and young adults.
“To initiate the process of addressing disparities in the African American community, according to the data, it must start in the home with better parenting and more parental involvement in the lives of their children,” she concluded.
This innovative conference, often referred to as the “Generation Movement,” is designed for pastors, ministers, and lay leaders, in order to equip those who attend and participate to restore their community. This “Movement” is an initiative to reverse the downward trend in many African American communities.
The Hon. Michael Thurmond, DeKalb County CEO, will appear on the AACTS Conference program as a speaker; and the Hon. Hank Johnson, Georgia state representative has endorsed the project. Many leaders in this state have endorsed Rev. Williams’ initiatives to identify and overcome obstacles in the African American community in Atlanta and Georgia.
The conference will offer two tracks: The Pastor’s Workshop, where pastors will discuss how the Word of God can change hearts, strengthen families and revitalize communities; and the Team Member’s Workshop, where participants will receive tools in building successful community collaborations that bring key stakeholders around the table to find solutions.
“I’m calling all African American church and community leaders to join forces to help turn our communities around,” said Williams, the conference host.