One of the nation’s most prominent religious leaders, Bishop T. D Jakes, will appear along with local pastor Doug Sauder, of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, and Bishop Henry Fernandez, of the Faith Center, during the 2016 International Believers Conference hosted by The Faith Center on February 18 – 19 in Sunrise. Now in its 24th year, Fernandez said the conference is designed to be relatable to an international audience of believers and “it makes no apology that there is no other name by which people can be saved but Jesus. We want people to know that our God is a sustainer and well able to protect and provide for his people in any season.”
This year’s conference theme is accelerated growth, said Fernandez. “It is centered around 2016 being the year where a seed is planted in hearts and the message will cultivate and stir the word to create tremendous growth spiritually, emotionally, relationally and financially. We’re going to touch every area of their lives with this relevant word.”
Bringing light into darkness
Leading the charge will be American pastor, author and filmmaker, T.D. Jakes, who is bishop of The Potter’s House, a non-denominational megachurch with 30,000 members in Dallas, Texas, and author of the book: “Destiny: Step into Your Purpose,” among many other titles.
When asked about Bishop Jakes’ role in the conference, Fernandez said, “Bishop Jakes and I are friends more than just colleagues, and he has a very unique ministry that breaks religious barriers somewhat like Jesus who maintained his spiritual integrity but exposed himself to the dark places of the world letting his light shine in the dark places. We are the light of the world. And he [Bishop Jakes] can produce movies, music and plays and have conferences not just for the religious but for the secular to reach the lost and that’s part of the reason we brought him in.”
While the church is comprised of people from all walks of life, Fernandez said that we cannot build walls around ourselves. “In order to have influence, you have to get into the business, educational and banking systems of the world to show the light of Jesus Christ and to be relevant… Understand that marketplace ministry is nothing new. It’s what Jesus left his disciples with to go into the marketplace and preach the word. We have isolated ourselves as if we are the church and everyone else is bound for hell, and that was never His intention. We are to leave our comfort zone and get dirty with these people and lift Christ.”
Fernandez said, “Bishop T.D. Jakes is one of the most prolific, relevant voices of our time, and I believe the whole world will be impacted by his message at IBC.”
Simple and profound teaching
Fernandez said he was also “very humbled and delighted to have Pastor Doug Sauder accept his invitation to speak at the conference.” Sauder, is the lead pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, serves on the board at 4KIDS of South Florida where he was formerly president, and has written a book entitled “The One Factor.” The two men met just this year after Sauder invited Fernandez to lunch.
“I have always wanted fellowship of pastors in our community. And you know we’re working for the same boss, so when he invited me I accepted and was blown away by the sincerity of his heart and his passion.”
Fernandez said he could not think of a greater way to give a local pastor a voice, make sure there is diversity on the platform and to be relevant. “He will bring something that only Pastor Doug can bring and the world will be exposed to this great man who is very simple in his teaching and yet profound.”
Faith, family and finances
The final speaker at the 2016 Believe Conferences will be Bishop Fernandez. As senior pastor of The Faith Center Ministries, he is a minister, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and author of his most recent book “Faith, Family & Finances.”
Fernandez said faith, family and finances are the most critical areas of your life. Your faith must be rooted and unshakable. You can’t be a flip flopper…. And family is huge. That’s what the enemy did from the beginning. The first marital argument started in the garden. The woman sinned first but God went to the man because men are responsible for the home.
And finances is an area where people get born again and think money is evil, that it’s dirty to God. And we’re on edge because we don’t want to offend anyone, but a part of the blessing doesn’t just deal with healing and salvation. It deals with money too… Your finances are important to God and money opens the door for you to do so much for yourself, your family and most importantly the Kingdom of God.”
Fernandez points to Matthew 6:33 as a key verse: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (NIV).
In addition to these three speakers, the conference will feature appearances by gospel singer, songwriter and worship leader Vicki Yohe, Christian recording artist and speaker BJ Putnam and Travis Greene, whose song “Intentional” rose to the top of the gospel charts in 2015.
“For those who are really hungry for a fresh word and would like a positive atmosphere free of the clutter, the International Believers Conference is that place and it welcomes all races, all cultures to come and get into the presence of God,” said Fernandez.
The conference begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 18 and continues at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, February 19 at The Faith Center, located at 5555 NW 95th Avenue, Sunrise. To register, visit www.henryfernandez.org/ibc or call 954-742-7832. For more articles by Shelly Pond, please visit goodnewsfl.org/author/shelly/