News, updates and thoughts about standing for the Gospel.

STAND 2012 conference report (Joe Fleener)

We at Howick Baptist Church had the great privilege and honour to host our third annual Stand for the Gospel Conference.

Our keynote speaker this year was Conrad Mbewe:

Conrad Mbewe is the current pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia. Widely regarded as “the African Spurgeon”, Conrad is also the Principal of the Reformed Baptist Preachers College in Zambia, and together with KBC continues to oversee the establishment of over 20 new Reformed churches in Zambia and Botswana.

Alongside his preaching and teaching ministry, Conrad is the editor of Reformation Zambia magazine, as well as a columnist for several Zambian newspapers. His most recent book is Foundations for the Flock: Truths About the Church for All the Saints (2011, Granted Ministries). He also contributed a chapter to Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry (2004, Founders Press). He has been married for over 20 years to Felistas. They have three children, two sons and a daughter, and raise a number of other nephews and nieces in their household.

Learn more about Conrad in this video interview from August 2011

Even more about Conrad:

The conference registrations opened 6:30pm Friday (12 October) with Conrad’s first session beginning at 7:30pm. This year’s conference theme was “Go with the Gospel: Exploring the Mission of Christ and His Church in the World.”

At this year’s conference, Conrad focussed on Romans 10:10-21 and specifically Paul’s rapid fire questions in verses 14-16 to impress upon our hearts the clarion call for evangelism and church planting.

  • Session 1: The Need for Saving Faith
  • Session 2: The Need for Gospel Information
  • Session 3: The Need for Evangelistic Preachers
  • Session 4: The Need for Mission-Minded Churches
  • Session 5: The Need for Realistic Expectations

After morning tea, Saturday we spread out around the church building (and down the road to the Howick Salvation Army) for four of our workshops.

  • Cam Gracey: Evangelism/Christianity Explored Training
  • Peter Collier: Training? Me? How the Gospel Compels Us to be Equipped
  • Mandy Fleener: Creativity to the Glory of God
  • William Chong: Letting the Gospel Shape our Gathered Worship


Lunch followed with attendees spreading out in the village of Howick enjoying fellowship over food and coffee. New friendships were forged, old ones renewed, and all were blessed.

After lunch we had the second session of workshops. (All of the workshops were recorded. The audio will be available for download from the STAND website very soon.)

  • Joe Fleener: Learning to Read to the Glory of God
  • Paul Davison: Ministry for Everyone: Reading the Bible One on One
  • Peter Somervell: Gospel Centred Leadership

Following Afternoon Tea we were able to enjoy a Q&A with Conrad in the main auditorium.

We then enjoyed a wonderful dinner put on by the folks of Howick Baptist Church. So many faithfully and joyfully prepared and served a feast! We were well fed and once again enjoyed great fellowship.

Throughout the conference we were served by the music teams of Howick Baptist Church (with a few guests). Together they carefully and thoughtfully chose songs that reflected the person and work of Christ and led us to praise and savour our Lord.


The conference was attended by approximately 250 folks from all over the North Island of New Zealand with a few from the South Island, & Australia.

I think it is an understatement to say all of us were greatly convicted to pursue faithfulness in praying for the lost, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ, supporting Gospel proclaiming ministries/ministers, and pushing back the boundaries of darkness through deliberate church planting.


This report was originally posted at:

For more resources from STAND 2012, visit the conference page.



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