Life for Rori Francis Blakeney can be best described as a jazz improvisation. You never know what you are going to get, but you play the best song you can.

Originally hailing from Washington, DC, Rori journeyed to Atlanta to study at Morehouse College, where he had plans to major in communications. But, one day he got a letter from the registrar’s office informing him that the Communications Major was being discounted which led him to major in Religion and Philosophy. m When not pursuing his major, you could find Rori in the office of the Maroon Tiger, the student newspaper where he served as the designer and the editor in chief.

Rori’s time on the staff of the school newspaper served him well. He interviewed the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Javy Lopez, Kyle Massey among others. Rori is also a freelance writer and has been published in several United Methodist publications. He spent more than a decade on staff of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Rori is also a freelance writer and has been published in several United Methodist publication.

As the early 2000’s created a new beat in the news industry, he found himself having to play a new tune. On assignment at a local United Methodist Church, he and the pastor discovered the mutual United Methodist connection and soon he was serving as the children’s and youth pastor. at Hoosier Memorial United Methodist Church. His service there gave birth to a new song.

Currently, he gets to make music with a multitalented team known as Young People’s Ministries. Rori serves as regional staff for the Southeastern Jurisdiction. In this capacity, he works to nurture, empower and equip youth, young adults and young adult workers to assume leadership roles in the life of the church.

In addition to his work with Young People Ministries’, he works with several North Georgia Congregations including the East Point First Mallalieu United Methodist Church, a multi-cultural congregation, and Cascade United Methodist Church, a thriving flagship African American congregation. He has served on the staffs of Winters Chapel and Hoosier Memorial United Methodist Churches.

Rori has a passion for equipping and empowering small membership churches to be fruitful and effective congregations. Rori has a successful track record of designing and teaching confirmation classes, organizing mission trips and growing small youth groups. He also believes that developing healthy partnerships is key to effective ministry.

Rori is the son of the late Roy Robert Blakeney, Sr. and Barbara Blakeney and brother to Evangeline, Terri, Rolando, Tonya, Katrina and the late Vernice.

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.