Lead>Defend 2017: Cultural Collision



Lead>Defend is a one-day conference designed to help high school and college students transition effectively from one of phase of their journey with Christ to another.  This is accomplished through three main sessions and a variety of breakout sessions offered twice during the course of the day. The primary topics of these sessions are: leadership, engaging culture in defense of the Gospel & being missional in life transitions.

REGISTRATION (Click to expand)



9am registration opens

10am – Plenary Session I
– Worship- Kasey Earl
– Speaker: Walter Strickland- Cultural Collision

11:15 – Plenary Session II
– Worship- Kasey Earl
– Speaker: Rhyne Putman- Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

12:15 – Break for Lunch

Breakout Sessions
1:30pm – Breakout Session I
2:30pm – Breakout Session ll
3:30pm – Breakout Session lll

4:30pm – Closing Session: Worship — Kasey Earl/Warren Gasaway

5:00pm – Dismiss

Breakout sessions by Session Time (click to expand)

Breakout Session I

Speaker Topic Location
Rhyne Putman Identity in a Gender Confused Culture SC 205A
Bob Stewart Why I am not an Atheist SC 205B
Walter Strickland Race & the Gospel Ida Auditorium
Chris Roller Winning a Big War With a Small Army SC213
Cole Penick From a name to a number: Transitioning Identity SC223/224
Kyle Crowell Not So Among You SC215

Breakout Session II

Rhyne Putman Identity in a Gender Confused Culture SC205A
Bob Stewart Can only one religion be true? SC205B
Walter Strickland Every Waking Hour Ida Auditorium
Chris Kohlman Are All Religions Basically the Same? SC223/224
Tarvoris Uzoigwe? Unashamed of the Gospel SC215
Eric Conley College 101: How to Sucessfully Start Your College Career SC213

Breakout Session III

Rhyne Putman & Walter Strickland QA for Church Leaders SC225
Bob Stewart Why I am not a Atheist SC205B
Chris Roller Winning a Big War With a Small Army SC213
Cole Penick From a name to a number SC223/224
Brandon Watson Lessons for Leadership SC214
Kyle Crowell Not So Among You SC215

Breakout sessions by Speaker (click to expand)

Eric Conely

College 101: How to Successfully Start Your College Career– 2:30pm (SC213)

Kyle Crowell

Not So Among You!– 1:30pm & 3:30pm (SC215)

Chris Kohlman

Are All Religions Basically The Same?– 2:30pm (SC223/224)

Cole Penick

From a Name to a Number- 1:30pm & 3:30pm (SC223/224)

Rhyne Putman

The Search for Identity in a Gender Confused Culture- 1:30pm & 2:30pm (SC205A)

Chris Roller

Winning a Big War with a Small Army– 1:30pm & 3:30pm (SC213)

Bob Stewart

Why I am not an Atheist– 1:30pm & 2:30pm (SC205B)

Can Only One Religion Be True?– 3:30pm (SC205B)

Walter Strickland

Race & The Gospel- 1:30pm (Ida Auditorium)

Every Waking Hour- 2:30pm (Ida Auditorium)

Q & A with Campus and Youth Leaders– 3:30pm (SC225)

Tarvoris (Tee) Uzoigwe

Unashamed of the Gospel- 2:30pm (SC215)

Brandon Watson

Lessons for Leadership- 3:30pm (SC214)

Session Speakers and Descriptions (click to expand)

Walter Strickland

strickland_sept15_2Walter Strickland serves as Special Advisor to the President for Diversity and as Instructor of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, where he leads the Kingdom Diversity Initiative. Born in Chicago and raised in Southern California, Walter’s passion is to equip people to flourish in their own context from a deep commitment to God’s design. Walter and his lovely wife, Stephanie, have three daughters: Hope, who is waiting to meet them in glory, Kendra, and Kaiya.

Cultural Collisions (Main Session)

How should Christian college students and young leaders respond when a confused culture collides with a biblical worldview?

Race and the Gospel (1:30PM)

America at large sees the racial divide as irreparable. Why? Because people keep applying secular solutions without results. “Secular culture conversations reduce us to finger pointing, but the Bible really allows us in love to sharpen each other as iron and to remove planks in our own eye.” Scripture helps people apply simple truths to this complex issue.

Every Waking Hour (2:30PM)

Every Christian is called to minister through his or her work in the world, and we must look to the Bible to develop a fuller understanding of work as any way in which we interact with God’s creation. Doing so will transform our view of how Sunday morning worship impacts our workday lives and vice versa.

Q & A with Campus and Youth Leaders (3:30PM)

Rhyne Putman

dsc_8513_1Rhyne Putman serves as Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also leads the Defend the Faith conference. He is the author of In Defense of Doctrine (Fortress, 2015) and When Doctrine Divides (Fortress, 2017). An Arkansas native, Rhyne is a husband, father, pastor, and nerdy pop culture enthusiast.

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? (Main Session)

Jesus is almost universally regarded as one of the nicest and smartest guys in history, though very few people seem to understand what he was truly about. Everyone seems to want him on their team. People want a Jesus that thinks like them, acts like them, votes like them, and feels like them. But who is the real Jesus? What did he care about the most? Why does he matter for us today? Jesus’s question “Who do you say that I am?” may well be the most important question to have ever been asked.

The Search for Identity in a Gender-Confused Culture (1:30PM & 2:30PM)

Today’s ongoing cultural conversation about sex, sexual attraction, and gender has met with some helpful and some not-so-helpful responses from the community of faith. This session intends to be compassionate and biblically-informed, addressing a gap found in many other discussions of LGBT issues: the God-given need for humans to identify with something greater than ourselves. While much of secular culture distorts this true need into identification with selfish desires, Jesus calls us to self-denial and identification with God’s Kingdom.

Q & A with Campus and Youth Leaders (3:30PM)

Bob Stewart

dsc_6345_re-copyRobert (Bob) Stewart serves as Professor of Philosophy and Theology and occupies the Greer-Heard Chair of Faith and Culture at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS). He has authored or edited ten books, published numerous book and journal articles, and spoken in university settings across North America and Europe. Bob is directs the NOBTS Institute of Christian Apologetics and the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum in Faith and Culture. He and his wife, Marilyn, have three adult children and two sons-in-law, and they reside in New Orleans.

Why I Am Not an Atheist (1:30PM & 2:30PM)

In December, the American Atheists organization promoted a nationwide campaign targeting the younger generation. Billboards featured a teen texting with a friend: “U going to church this Xmas?” “Lol. No way. I don’t believe that stuff anymore.” The tagline read “Atheist Christmas: the More the Merrier.” In this session, we will look at New Atheism and its key beliefs. We will also challenge three core tenants of atheism and look at a half-dozen reasons why I am not an atheist.

Can Only One Religion Be True? (3:30PM)

Could it really be the case that only one religion is true? Or does God work through non-Christian religions? This session explores objections to exclusive Christian truth claims and considers how some Christians handle this sensitive topic.

Chris Roller

Chris Roller is currently the lead student pastor at First Baptist Church in Rogers. He holds a degree in student ministry from Central Baptist College and has served in student ministry since 1999. Chris and his wife, Amy, are the parents of two daughters, Addy and Olivia. He loves spending time with his family, and he enjoys the outdoors, including wakeboarding, camping, hunting, and fishing. His passion is to reach students and disciple them to in turn go and reach others with the Gospel.

Winning a Big War with a Small Army (1:30PM & 3:30PM)

Many people believe that to reach an entire school campus you need a large group of people who can reach a lot of other people in a small amount of time. But what if your campus doesn’t have a ton of people willing or available to reach others? More importantly, is this the way God designed the church to reach the world? In this session we’re going to look at how to reach your entire campus one person at a time.

Cole Penick

Cole Penick is the Baptist Campus Minister at the University of Arkansas and has lived in Fayetteville since 2003. He likes yard games, reading, and sports and is his friends’ “go to guy” for info on Fayetteville diners, drive-ins, and restaurants. His passion is twofold: to see college students become passionate about following Christ and to see churches become passionate about reaching and growing collegiate Christ-followers. Cole and Caroline have been married for nine years and have four children–Charlotte, Elliot, Silas, and one on the way. Cole is a graduate of the U of A and holds the Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

From a Name to a Number (1:30PM and 3:30PM)

How will you make the most of your walk with Christ as a college freshman? How will you leave college with a greater love for Christ and for his church? In this session, you will hear how to avoid the number one pitfall for college students, and you’ll gain valuable insight on how to maximize your college years.

Kyle Crowell

Kyle Crowell has served at Indian Springs Baptist Church in Bryant, AR, for two years. He cut his teeth on the Atari 2600 in the 1970s and has gradually worked his way up to the Xbox One. Kyle has a PhD in student ministry and authored a chapter in Accelerate: Parenting Teenagers toward Adulthood. He enjoys spending time with his family, helping teenagers walk with Jesus, the aforementioned video games, camping, smoking (meat), painting, and reading. Kyle and his wife, Brandy, have three sons and one daughter.

Not So Among You! (1:30PM and 3:30PM)

In this session, we will look at Jesus’ criteria for leadership from Matthew 20:25-28: “be a servant and influence others.” Everyone can be a leader, but leadership doesn’t happen accidentally–we need to stay sharp and focused.

Chris Kohlman

Chris Kohlman, husband to Shawnee and father to three-year-old Hudson, wears a number of hats. He is the Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) Baptist Campus Minister and the Media Mobilization Strategist and Community College Consultant for the Collegiate & Young Leaders Team of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. While serving in these ministry roles, he also owns Community Auto Mart in Springdale, AR, which is an outreach opportunity to the local business community.

Are All Religions Basically the Same? (2:30PM)

In this session we look at world religions and the uniqueness of Christianity through the Written Word (evidence for Christianity’s reliability in the Bible), the Incarnate Word (Jesus’ coming in flesh among His creation), and the Indwelling Word (the uniqueness of the indwelling/transformational Holy Spirit).

Tarvoris Uzoigwe

Tarvoris “Tee” Uzoigwe has been the Baptist Collegiate Minister at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff for three years. He and Erica have been married seven years and have three children: Avaria, Jon, and Titus. Tee loves playing basketball, coaching, and learning magic tricks. He is a graduate of Henderson State University and is pursuing a Master’s of Theological Studies through Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Tee’s heart’s desire is to share the gospel with everyone on the UAPB campus, from the President to the janitor and everyone in between.

Unashamed of the Gospel (2:30PM)

Sharing the good news (gospel) can be intimidating, uninviting, and hopeless in many cases. Statistics show that only 2% of Christians share their faith within a year’s time. This breakout session will help to give you confidence, hope, and tools for being more proactive with the message that changed our destiny for all eternity.

Eric Conley

Eric is married to Sarah and has 3 children, Jordan (3), Cade (2), and Hudson (6 months). Eric and Sarah met while at the University of Central Arkansas and have been married since 2008. They love to watch movies, laugh a lot, and serve together. Eric is currently working on his Master’s in Theological Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and serves as the collegiate pastor at Second Baptist Church Conway. His passion is to see the gospel spread to the ends of the earth and to take part in that any way possible.

College 101:  How to Successfully Start Your College Career (2:30PM)

The high school to college transition is the first big life change for many students. This session covers the two main areas of transition: Common Pitfalls and Habits for Success.  Engage in preparing for your transition through interactive teaching, Q & A, and prayer.

Brandon Watson 

Brandon is the young adult pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church Little Rock.

Brandon and his wife, Claire, have two daughters, Alex and Allison. Brandon is passionate about being gospel-centric, missional living, discipleship and building relationships. He loves leading young adults, coffeehouses, live music, all things Mac, and sports (especially golf)! Brandon holds a B.F.A in Radio/Television/Film from Sam Houston State University, a Teacher’s Certification from University of Texas at Tyler, and a M.A. in Biblical Studies and M.A. in Religious Education from Southern California Seminary.

Lessons for Leadership (3:30PM)

This session will give practical and important leadership lessons and tools. You’ll learn from the experiences of other leaders in specific situations, and you will leave with a list of resources to help you develop in your own leadership roles.


Kasey Earl

Kasey Earl joined the staff of Immanuel Baptist Church Rock staff in 2015 as the contemporary worship leader. Kasey grew up in east Texas and has been involved in leading worship since age 12, playing for his home church, area youth camps and events, and his church youth group and collegiate ministry. He met his wife, Amanda, while pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in Music, Percussion Performance, at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Kasey leads worship at the IBC Highpoint service and directs the student worship team. In addition to his ministry in Little Rock, Kasey travels to lead worship and play in different bands.