Courtesy Living Word

Living Word Christian Center, a mega-church with 20,000 members located here in Forest Park, is holding a mega-conference, March 29-April 1, titled, “Missions and Marketplace.”

A promotional flyer for the conference poses the question, “Does God belong in our business, workplace, entertainment and politics?” The promotional piece answers its own question by saying that the event will feature “three days of workshops, classes and presentations from 30 culture-shifting leaders in business, ministry, Hollywood, and social justice.”

Workshops held at the conference are listed under three main headings: business, ministry, and arts & entertainment. For those interested in integrating faith and business, workshops will be offered on topics like “The Mindset of Success;” “What Makes Your Business Fundable: An Investor’s Perspective;” and “Repair the Waste Cities: Empowering Restoration and Reclamation of Community through Technology.”

The workshop called “The Woman Code,” according to the promotional materials, “discusses how every woman lives by a code, whether she realizes it or not. It informs how she treats others and herself, how much she expects of herself, and how far she will go in order to find success.”

The ministry workshops for church leaders explore topics like “Transformational Prayer,” “The rise of the E-Church & Multi-Site Churches,” “Spiritual Songwriting,” and “Leadership: Becoming an Agent of Influence.”

One of the co-sponsors of Missions and Marketplace is the Merge Symposium, an organization that “brings together leaders in the arts and entertainment industry to teach, prepare and inspire the next generation of leaders in music, film, television, business and ministry.”

“The dream was to take his mission of winning souls to a creative marketplace where we could impact pop culture, which is in desperate need of an encounter.”

Workshops in this area include “Our Mission, His Marketplace” and “Actor’s Casting Session” (invitation only) in which “actors will have an opportunity to present a monologue for Emmy Award-winning casting director Robi Reed, VP of talent and casting for BET Networks.”

The daytime workshops are offered on March 31 and April 1 between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. The evening sessions begin at 6 p.m. with child care provided free of charge. Speakers and presenters include people like Steve Pemberton, author and global chief diversity officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance; Donald Lawrence, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer; Ted Shaw, civil rights activist, attorney and professor; DeVon Franklin, film producer and New York Times bestselling author; Traci Lynn Blackwell, SVP, Current Programs, the CW Network; and Mikki Taylor, author and editor-at-large for Essence Magazine.

Rev. Bill Winston, pastor of Living Word Christian Center, said of the conference, “Our speakers are top men and women in business, Hollywood, media, music, civil rights, and ministry who are changing the culture around them. They will download to those attending a wealth of personal insights and experiences. Through much prayer and planning, the 2016 Missions and Marketplace Conference will be the right place for every attendee to receive the empowerment they need to take them to the top of their industry … and transform it. Come expecting to be changed, and I guarantee you will be.”

The conference is presented by the Joseph Business School in association with The Merge Symposium, Living Word Christian Center, Living Word Bible Training Center, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and Walgreens.

General admission to Missions and Marketplace is $149. The career fair on March 29 from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m. and the business expo are both free. All speaker information can be found at For more information or to register for daytime workshops, visit the website, call 866-816-4653 or follow @drbillwinston on Twitter.