Marriage, God’s ﬁrst institution, offers ﬁrm foundation for healthy, fruitful lives. Children raised by Mom & Dad’s committed love in two-parent households enjoy safer, healthier childhoods. They do better in school. Married couples live longer. They support and enjoy each other more. Well-being and peace supplant addiction and despair.
We see the results of four decades of rejecting the divine plan. America teeters on collapse—marriage plummeting, widespread co-habitation, unwed births, soaring divorce—deceit redeﬁning marriage. God’s ﬁrst institution faces termination.
St. John Paul II once said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live.” This truth augurs perilous times for Detroit, America, and the world unless we set sail for a Godly, more prosperous future. Let us begin in Highland Park—epicenter of collapse or New Jerusalem rising in triumph!
Please join us Monday, November 10—God remains enthroned. Jesus’ teachings—love, life, marriage & family—still illuminate the way. God’s truth and proven best practices lead us. Bring your mustard seeds for a great conference and a new day in Metro Detroit. Let us share, digest, discuss, and plan— then work to make it happen.
Monday, November 10, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Soul Harvest Ministries
16300 Woodward, Highland Park, MI 48203
Cost: $20 Early Bird | $30 At the Door
(Includes lunch & refreshments)
For more information: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (734) 546-4395.
Doors Open at 8:30 a.m.
DOORS OPEN AT 8:30 A.M.
9:00 REGISTRATION & COFFEE
9:15 WELCOME – REV. CORNELIUS CLARK, MC
• BISHOP LEWIS EVANS, PASTOR SOUL HARVEST MINISTRIES
• HIGHLAND PARK MAYOR DEANDRE WINDOM
• METRO DETROIT MIRACLE BEGINS IN HIGHLAND PARK – REV. DAVID KASBOW & DR. MICHAEL ROSS
IDEAL OF MARRIAGE & FAMILY
9:30 DIVINE PLAN – BIBLICAL V ISION OF THE FAMILY – REV. WILLIE WESTON
10:00 PANEL DISCUSSION – Q & A
10:15 BLACK FAMILY IN AMERICA – ALICE G. THOMPSON
11:00 PANEL DISCUSSION – Q & A
RESTORATION OF FAMILY LIFE
12:20 CHILDHOOD & MARRIED FAMILY LIFE – REV. DAVID KASBOW
12:40 PREPARING FOR SPOUSAL LIFE – KATHY LALONDE
1:00 AWAKENING THE FEMININE GENIUS – MYRTHA GRICE
1:30 COMMUNITY RESTORATION – MARRIAGE MENTOR MINISTRY – DR. MICHAEL T. ROSS
1:50 BREAKOUT MISSION & METHODS – BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
2:00 PLANNING & IMPLEMENTING RESTORATION – REACHING WOMEN, MEN, & YOUTH
3:00 BREAKOUT REPORTS
3:30 MISSION CHARGE & CLOSING PRAYER
Since 1994, Alice G. Thompson has served as CEO of Black Family Development (BFDI), a multi-service, family focused Community Based Organization (CBO), whose mission is “To strengthen and enhance the lives of children, youth, and families through partnerships that support safe, nurturing, vibrant homes and communities.” Over the last 20 years, Alice has led the organization to focus on community engagement, youth development, reducing crime, and improving neighborhood safety. The organization is the lead agency for Promise Neighborhoods, and is laser focused on transforming communities.
Alice was educated at Wayne State University (WSU) where she received her Bachelor and Master of Social Work degrees. She later served for 10 years as Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Work. In 2007 and 1992, she was the recipient of the “Social Worker Alumna of the Year Award”. She presently serves as Chair of the WSU School of Social Work Board of Visitors.
Alice is a graduate of Leadership Detroit Class of XXV. In 2013, she successfully completed the Harvard Business School Strategic Perspective in Nonprofit Management.
Rev. Cornelius Clark
It’s God’s divine plan for His creation to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Everyone has been given the command to praise the Lord, it’s clear that Pastor Cornelius Clark has a special calling, not just to worship God, but also to encourage, uplift and inspire believers to walk in the principles of truth.
Raised in a musically rich family, Cornelius has spent his life using the gift of song to hearten those who are around him. In 1992, his vocal talents secured him a role in the theatrical presentation and motion picture, Leap of Faith, starring Steve Martin and Debra Winger. Since then, Cornelius has been a featured vocalist on several gospel musical projects including Edwin Hawkins, Bishop Larry Trotter and Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Starting his ministerial journey while serving as a core member of The Potters House of Dallas under the leadership of Bishop T.D. Jakes in 1998 and finally ordained by Bishop Larry Trotter in 2007 to be the founding pastor of Streator Community Church of Streator and subsequently reorganized as Jacobs House of Chicago in 2014. Bringing a fresh wind of preaching and teaching to the body of Christ, Pastor Cornelius Clark is helping to change the face of what traditional churchgoers call “ministry” and challenging Christians (with a unique emphasis on fatherhood) to cultivate their own personal walk with the Lord.
Myrtha is a lifelong resident of Detroit. Married 58 years, Myrtha and her husband are proud great grandparents. A businesswoman and entrepreneur since 25, Mrs. Grice has also served as a vocational teacher in the Detroit Public Schools and as a Sunday school teacher in her congregation. Her love for fairness for all people inspired her to lead her Church to develop a 6-week training workshop to help people struggling with drug addiction.
Myrtha Grice has always been the person asked to speak for a group regarding justice. Most recently, she has contributed her energies and gifts as part of the Detroit Clergy Gathering, a project of the Harriet Tubman Center (www.tubmanorganizing.org). This project seeks to unite Detroit clergy in the common mission of lifting up the city by leading citizens to be all they can be while overcoming challenges shared by many. For Martha, making a difference in the lives of others remains a constant source of joy and inspiration.
Rev. Dr. Willie L. Weston Sr.
Rev. Dr. Willie L. Weston Sr. is the Founder and Pastor of Hope Evangelistic Ministries International located in Chicago, Illinois. He celebrates 49 years of marriage to the lovely Dr. Sherion M. Weston. Their three children, now raising families of their own, are all active in Ministry and the Pastorate. Their greatest feat is now to rear their four adoptive special needs children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Rev. Dr. Willie L. Weston Sr. has been active in ministry for 36 years, receiving his ordination as an Elder from the Independent Baptist Ministry in 1978. He attended Charles H. Mason Bible College from 1994 to 1996, and in May 1997 he received his Pastoral Appointment by the Late Bishop Louis Henry Ford of the Church of God in Christ. June 1, 1997, he founded Hope Evangelistic Ministries. From 2001 – 2003, he served as the Chairman of the Ordination Board for the7th Jurisdiction of Illinois Church of God in Christ.
Rev. Dr. Willie L. Weston Sr. became a member of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) in 2001. In September 2001, he was appointed an Ambassador of Peace. July 2004, the American Family Coalition of Illinois presented him the 2004 Excellence in Parenting Award. October 2004, he received the ACLC True Family Values Award. In 2005, he was appointed by the ACLC National Board the office of Co-convener of Chicago. In December 2005, the World Christianship Ministries of Fresno, California bestowed upon him an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity.
Rev. Dr. Willie L. Weston Sr. is known for his dynamic teaching ministry. Having traveled in ministry to all parts of North America, Europe, Africa, South Korea and many tours to Israel. Dr. Weston continues his life mission to educate the masses with the unadulterated Word of God, to motivate the body of Jesus Christ to become kingdom builders, and to facilitate the development of today’s youth by empowerment and mentorship.
Mayor DeAndre Windom
Mayor DeAndre Windom took office as Highland Park’s mayor in January 2012 following his November 2011 election. A life long resident of Highland Park, he served the city as Councilman during the two years prior to taking office.
Mayor Windom graduated from Highland Park High School and attended Northwood University. After completing business studies at Northwood, he enlisted in the United States Navy, traveled the world, and fought for his country in the Persian Gulf War. Mayor Windom served six years in the military. Following an honorable discharge, he began a civilian career in the post office while developing a business plan to launch his retail clothing business.
Mayor Windom is a man of deep faith who loves his hometown. He’s passionate about its future and envisions Highland Park triumphing over its many challenges as a city nested in the heart of an embattled, much older and larger American metropolis, our beloved 313 year old Detroit. A family man with a young adult daughter, Mayor Windom believes home is where the heart is. His heart is firmly dedicated to making Highland Park a great place to call home for all its citizens.
Bishop Lewis E. Evans
Bishop Lewis E. Evans is the son of the late Bishop O.A. Evans pastor emeritus of the Indiana St. Church of God In Christ where he pastored for over 50 years, and the late Mother Oxolla Evans, a praying, Godly woman. He attended the University of Detroit and received a Bachelor of Religious Education from Detroit Bible College (William Tyndale) in 1977. In 1987, he received a Masters of Arts degree in Biblical Counseling from California Graduate School of Theology, Anaheim, California, and in 1991, a Master of Arts degree in pastoral Studies from Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland Ohio. He engaged in doctoral studies, beginning in 1988 at California Graduate School of Theology, and later at Faith Evangelistic Theological Seminary.
He completed an acclaimed dissertation entitled, “A Case for Prioritization of Evangelism in The Local Church”, and was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Theology from Faith Evangelistic Theological Seminary on May 14, 1994. Bishop Evans places great value on the call of God, the anointing of the Holy Spirit and educational preparation for the work of the ministry. Called to preach at only four years old, Bishop accepted Christ and was filled with the Holy Spirit as a pre-teen, and pursued his childhood calling as a preacher at age 17. He was a much sought after youth minister and revivalist throughout Michigan and in other states. Bishop accepted his first pastorate at age 34, at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Fremont Ohio. He later pastored the Jehovah Baptist Church for 14 years, where he met and married his wife, Pastor Lynda. Bishop Evans is now Sr. Pastor of Soul Harvest Ministries, an interdenominational, church, which he founded by the Holy Ghost in May 1994; and Presiding Prelate of the Soul-winners Evangelism And Disciple-makers Interdenominational Fellowship (SEAD), which was organized in 1996.
SEAD is comprised of churches throughout the eastern half of the U.S. It includes many Pastors who have come to Bishop for personal Mentorship and accountability. Soul Harvest and SEAD are both well known in the area for their extensive work in the community of Highland Park and the surrounding areas of Detroit, and for promoting Evangelism and ministry to those in need among its Fellowship churches. Bishop Evans is married to Pastor Lynda Evans.
Dr. Michael T. Ross
Dr. Michael T. Ross has practiced medicine for over three decades in urban and suburban emergency departments in New York and Michigan since graduation from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine in 1981. He traded his Bronx hometown for Motown that year to train in emergency medicine at Detroit Receiving Hospital and Wayne State University during the early 1980s.
Interest in the broken family and its relationship to suffering children and blighted communities has risen steadily over his medical career. For the past fifteen years, Dr. Ross has turned his attention to serving on several non-profit boards committed to crafting solutions for plummeting marriages & pandemic broken family life across Michigan. While numerous leaders have trumpeted efforts to rebuild Detroit with towering edifices and restoration of older structures, over 80% of babies enter Detroit to unwed homes in which poverty is six-fold greater and tragic and costly illness, trauma, mental health disorders and unimaginable suffering are the only reliable legacy Michigan and Metro Detroit leaders have left for today’s children, parents, and families over the past four decades.
Dr. Ross envisions a Metro Detroit Miracle arising from a renaissance in marriage and family life in Detroit and southeastern Michigan spurred by cooperation and collaboration amongst clergy and lay leaders of faith. Communities and nations will be inspired by the transformation of America’s poorest, most violent city and want to emulate the El Paso Miracle that showed us the way to imagine the impossible.
Baptist businessman Barney Field imagined a new day of hope for America’s 3rd poorest metropolitan region in El Paso and inspired clergy and other people of faith to join him in a mission of marriage and family restoration that rapidly dropped the divorce rate by 80% and increased total married households to 51% of all households by the 2010 Census. Married couples with minor children now comprise 26% of all households in El Paso as compared to 8.5% for Detroit. El Paso has become the safest and best performing of the nation’s largest 200 cities. Austin, Tx, now home to 850,000 people, had similar success.
Born and reared in the Bronx, Dr. Ross has lived and worked in New York City’s Manhattan and Queens boroughs. Married and father of a daughter and two sons, Dr. Ross has lived with his family in Troy, Michigan since 1987.
Rev. David Kasbow
Rev. David Kasbow is the senior pastor of the Metro Detroit Family Church in Warren, the worship center of the Family Federation for World Peace & Unification, a position he has held for 14 years. He is a co-chair of the interdenominational group, the American Clergy Leadership Conference. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from George Washington University, a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Loyola College in Baltimore, Md., and an MRE from Unification Theological Seminary.
Rev. Kasbow has a limited license in psychology and worked at Counseling Associates from 1992 to 2000 when he took the position as full-time pastor. From 1973, when he joined the Unification Church, to 1992 he worked in a variety of missions involving travel through 47 of the 50 states and to Asia, South America and several nations of former Soviet Union. He was born and raised in Detroit and has been married for 25 years to his wife Shigeko. They have one son, Adam.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why should a conference like Restoring Marriage & Family Life in 2014 take place in Highland Park?
Highland Park is the geographic center of Metro Detroit. It is a pivotal part of restoration of Michigan, Metro Detroit, and the people of our region. Highland Park served a vital historical role in the development of Michigan and of the world economy related to the automotive industries. Highland Park is home of the world’s first automotive assembly plant, Ford Motor Company’s Model T factory designed by famous architect Albert Kahn in 1908 and completed in 1910. In just one decade, Highland Park swelled 1100 percent from a village of 4100 in 1910 to a city of 46,500. Chrysler Motor Company moved its world headquarters to Highland Park in 1926. Today, marriage and family life suffers in Highland Park where 90% of babies are born to unwed homes and suffer many challenges including soaring poverty. Marriage, God’s first institution, has served humanity as a proven, strong, reliable foundation for health, safety, well-being, and economic prosperity for children, families, neighborhoods, and the larger community. Mentoring has been shown to be an effective way for congregations of faith to help their members marry and succeed in marriage and family life. Restoring marriage and family life in Highland Park will inspire other Michigan communities to do likewise. An important goal is to show the whole nation that being America is an identity we can become excited about once again and share with family and community alike.
- How does this conference connect with Michigan’s history and our future?
Highland Park, Detroit, and Michigan played an important role in the social and economic ascent of black Americans from slavery into the main stream of American life. The fall of the black family between 1950 and today has been a grievous setback for this vital population and for America. Of course, marriage and family life is collapsing throughout the nation amongst all ethnicities and socio-economic groups. More than any other group, the black family has suffered the travails of broken family life—and for far too long. Restoring marriage and family life in Michigan and America must begin here in Highland Park.
- What are the goals and objectives of this conference?
The primary goal is recognition that marriage and family life can be restored and broken family life healed by concerted pastoral efforts within congregations of faith through marriage mentor ministries that serve the family under clergy leadership. Becoming transparent and conversant about this reality is an important first step. A key objective includes education about the role of a Community Restoration Agreement by clergy in a given local geography to implement volunteer marriage mentor ministries to help families make marriage a vital strength in family life. Building upon the accomplishments of clergy and other leaders at the April 2014 Restoring Marriage & Family Life in 2014 in Dearborn Heights, conference attendees will design the plan and set a timeline for restoring marriage and family life in Highland Park that inspires adjacent communities to join the effort.
- Does this focus on marriage & family life concern other communities in Michigan?
Marriage in the United States has reached a 93 year low. Broken family life has become a pervasive American problem of serious concern to every community and every family. The 2010 U.S. Census showed that 54% of U.S. kids now grow up in broken homes. Broken homes suffer high rates of poverty, health problems, mental illness, substance abuse, learning problems, accidents, trauma, violence, unwed births, serious social disadvantages, and criminal justice concerns. American women at the prime age for pregnancy & child rearing now deliver most of their babies out of wedlock. That’s 53% of women under age 30. Half of all first-born babies in America begin life in unwed homes. With few exceptions, unwed births account for about half or more of all births in Michigan’s cities. In Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, Pontiac, and Highland Park, 75 – 90% of all births are to unwed households. About ninety percent of these children will spend their entire childhood and adolescent years in broken homes.
- What are the expected outcomes of this conference?
Clergy and other leaders will discover great hope to reverse the broken family life plague and become comfortable crafting authentic solutions that produce measurable results from year to year. Attendees will learn of proven solutions and use them in their breakout sessions to craft a foundational plan for restoration of Highland Park. This conference achievement becomes part of a larger plan to restore marriage and family life in the Metro Detroit area. A key part of that plan will be making specific prayer for marriage & family restoration a routine activity for every congregation and a commonplace interfaith activity in the public square. Conference planners expect an upsurge in recognition of God’s vital beneficent role in American life in our region. Other cities and towns in Michigan and other Great Lakes communities will notice and see the importance of this initiative and follow suit in their regions as well.
- Who should attend?
Clearly, this is a conference for all clergy and leaders, those from Highland Park, from all of Michigan, and from communities across the nation. Those concerned particularly about the black family will not want to miss this conference. Our press corps should be well represented and prepared to write about what they learn here. Lay faith leaders, church staff, business and other professionals, social service people, nonprofit leaders, academics, and public officials including office holders, police, and fire safety professionals will all find something very hopeful, informative, and worthwhile. This is a conference for people who want to be part of making a difference and leaving a legacy.