Session Speakers

Mary Frances Bowley

Executive Director & FounderWellspring Living

Mary Frances Bowley is the Executive Director of Wellspring Living, an organization fighting childhood sexual abuse and exploitation since 2001. She has been a leader in bringing the fight against child sex-trafficking to Atlanta and is a founding member of the Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force.  Bowley was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Domestic Violence in 2010-2012.  Bowley has also received the Martin Luther King Community Service Award, AKA Humanitarian Award, and DREAM Forward Award, given by the King Center. Through the Wellspring Living Institute, many organizations are supported as they create new residential care homes through networking calls, direct care training, and their mentoring program.

Mary Frances is the author of A League of Dangerous Women, The White Umbrella, and Make It Zero (released in January 2016).  Mary Frances is married to her best friend, Dick, and has 2 sons and 3 grandsons and most recently a granddaughter. Dick and Mary Frances currently resides in Peachtree City, GA with their goldendoodle, Nugget.

Kevin Ezell

President – North American Mission Board

Dr. Kevin Ezell serves as the President of the North American Mission Board, providing strategic vision, direction, and leadership as NAMB works to reach North America through evangelism and church planting. Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He received a Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a Doctorate of Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.  He most recently served as Senior Pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky for 14 years.  He and his wife, Lynette, have six children, Anna, Shelly, Taylor, John Michael, Libby, and Micah Lyn.

Gordon Fort

Senior Ambassador for the President – International Mission Board

Gordon is Sr. Ambassador for the President, IMB.  He received the bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M University, College Station, and the master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX. Gordon grew up in Zimbabwe, one of 5 boys born to medical doctor missionary parents.  Gordon, and his wife, Leigh Ann have served with the IMB since their appointment in 1985, in Botswana as Associate to Area Director for Southern Africa; as regional leader for southern Africa; as vice president for the Office of Overseas Operations; as Sr. Vice President of Prayer Mobilization, and most recently as Senior Ambassador for IMB.  Gordon and Leigh Ann have 4 children, and 2 grandchildren.

Gregg Matte

Senior Pastor – Houston’s First Baptist Church

Gregg Matte is the senior pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church. Under his leadership, this historic church founded in 1841 has moved to the cutting edge of ministry and experienced tremendous growth.  Before coming to Houston in 2004, Gregg founded Breakaway Ministries at Texas A&M University — the largest college Bible study in the nation. What started with twelve participants in his apartment grew to a weekly gathering of thousands of students each Tuesday night under his leadership. Gregg holds a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas A&M and a Master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an author of numerous books, the latest being Unstoppable Gospel.  Gregg has received the “Outstanding Alumni Award” from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M. He was the first pastor and youngest person to receive the honor in the history of the award. Most importantly, Gregg is married to Kelly and together they have a son and a daughter, Greyson (2001) and Valerie (2008).

John Onwuchekwa

Lead Pastor – Cornerstone Church

John Onwuchekwa serves as a pastor of Cornerstone Church.  A native of Houston, John was born into a Nigerian home where the gospel was cherished deeply and modeled excellently.  After graduating from college, he studied at Dallas Theological Seminary.  In 2015, John moved to the West End of Atlanta, GA to help plant Cornerstone Church with his best friends.  He and his wife Shawndra are the proud parents of one new baby girl. They’re eager to see the hope of the gospel restore a sense of family, dignity, and hope to their neighborhood through their local church of ordinary people.

Bryant Wright

Senior Pastor – Johnson Ferry Baptist Church

A successful businessman before answering God’s call to ministry, Bryant is a respected Bible teacher, pastor, husband, father and community leader. He is a straightforward communicator who uniquely connects God’s unchanging truth with a diverse culture through compelling and creative teaching.

He has authored five books, One Minute of Your Time, Another Minute of Your Time, One Minute of Your Day, Seeds of Turmoil and Right from the Heart. You can find out more about Bryant’s resources, listen or view his messages online and download podcasts at Right from The Heart Ministries.

Bryant served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from June 2010 – June 2012.

Bobby Smith

Modern Worship Pastor – Johnson Ferry Baptist Church

Bobby Smith is a worship leader and songwriter based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has had a passion for music from early on in his life starting piano lessons at age 5. He has a deep love for the local church and desires to see disciples raised up with John chapter 4 in mind worshipping in “spirit” and in “truth.”

Currently, he serves as the Modern Worship Pastor at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church along with composing and producing music with his company The Studio B. He is loving life with his wife Kelley, their son Tucker (3), and his baby girl Evelyn (9 mos).​