Rev. Brandon Wrencher is from a small town in the Sandhills area of North Carolina. Since 2013 he has been serving in Western North Carolina in a cross-racial appointment as pastor of Blackburns’ Chapel United Methodist Church, a once dying rural church that in a few years has doubled its congregation and has a significant missional impact in the wider community. The growing vitality of the church is owed in large part to its partner community development ministry, Blackburn Community Outreach, Inc. (BCO) which leads programs in tutoring and mentoring youth, community gardening, hunger relief, Christian intentional community, and grassroots organizing. Wrencher serves as executive director of BCO. He completed coursework from Garrett and Asbury seminaries while pursuing his Master of Divinity degree at North Park Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a Th.M. degree at Duke Divinity School, researching and writing on the theology and politics of race and identity within the Moral Monday Movement. Wrencher writes for several Christian blogs and magazines, including Sojourners, and speaks and preaches regularly on the subjects of race, identity, missions, and community development. Brandon has served in a host of parachurch and church settings, as a campus minister at UNC Chapel Hill and with InterVarsity at the University of Chicago, and in discipleship and missional ministry roles with the AME Zion Church and other churches in the Raleigh-Durham area. Brandon is married to Erica and they have two sons, Phillip and Morris.

The contemporary challenges of rural and small town churches and their communities are very similar to those in urban settings. Is the role of church leaders to be that of chaplain or activist? What if the answer is: both! In this talk, I will discuss how pastoral care, New Monasticism, community development and organizing can shift the posture and leadership of congregations.

The LEAD Conference creates a space where leaders can come together to share their failures, successes, ideas, and dreams. We’ll supply the space, the food, and the hotel, but we need you. We need your participation, your ideas, your challenges, your perspectives, and your stories. So register now before it’s too late! Registration will close once we reach 85 people.