2019 Annual Conference Round-up
By, Koji Bell, Director (with assistance from Carolyn Johnson, Director)
The sun had already launched well into the sky increasing the daytime temperature outside Steele Creek Church of North Carolina to a balmy 98.0 F degrees. But the humid summer heat wouldn’t deter faithful Covenant Keepers who traveled from as far away as Christchurch, New Zealand; Vancouver, British Columbia; Tulsa, OK and Los Angeles, CA to pray fervently for their marriages. The atmosphere of the event can be best described as one of hope, encouragement, safety and presence.
Each year, Christians from all over the world gather in Charlotte, North Carolina to have fellowship with other faithful believers that the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob is greater. Greater than marriage strife. Greater than separation. Greater than divorce. Greater than addiction or infidelity and greater than anything we can ever imagine. A parallel can be drawn to Jacob in Genesis 28:18-22 who went to Bethel (a place of remembrance) to consecrate himself on his journey knowing that God would be with him wherever he may go.
Standing in faith for the restoration of your marriage is just that. It is a journey. A journey of faith that requires you to remember that God is with you wherever you may go. Marriage standers need to be in the same room with others that believe that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and that He is working to restore your marriage. We’ve had the opportunity to speak with many attendees of the annual Families Are Forever conference hosted by Covenant Keepers and they shared that they are encouraged by the fellowship from other attendees, enlightened by the teachings by pastors & ministry leaders and refreshed by the prayer & ministry throughout the weekend.
Key Takeaway: If you are standing for your marriage, this conference is the place to get equipped, encouraged and refreshed.
Some highlights of the conference include:
Leadership Transition & Installation of Pastor Koji Bell & Pastor Deana Bell
The main conference kicked off with Carolyn & Rex Johnson reflecting on the 12 years of service they have given to Covenant Keepers ministry. They shared beautiful stories of praying with and encouraging others, celebrating restorations and crying together while patiently waiting on God to move. The crowd was moved to tears as they modeled Jesus to Koji & Deana Bell by washing their feet as the mantle of leadership was passed to Koji & Deana.
Healed Marriage Testimony: Cynthia Losavio
Cynthia (Baton Rouge, LA) gripped the audience with a powerful testimony of God’s faithfulness in her marriage. God is actively moving in her marriage and returning her husband to their marriage. A marriage that quietly slipped away as they focused on raising children, Cynthia shared some key lessons:
- In order to persevere you must go back to your “stone of remembrance” – the moment that God spoke to you about your stand.
- The fruit of your stand is way more than the restoration of just your marriage.
- Your stand affects all the people in your life. Your suffering will benefit others.
Healed Marriage Testimony: BethAnn Zampol
BethAnn (Peachtree City, GA) enlightened us all (she is a school teacher) and shared an authentic journey of faith. She shared that when her marriage failed, she abandoned her faith and questioned her path. Her husband had suffered a brain injury that impacted his communication and commitment to his family. Reaching out to God for help once more, BethAnn shared the process of releasing all of her troubles at the Foot of the Cross. All expectations were released. In that moment, God moved in her life and her marriage and her restoration is at hand!
Mike & Marilyn Phillipps:
As the leaders of 2=1 Marriage Ministry that has helped millions worldwide to better understand God’s design for marriage, Mike & Marilyn Phillipps (Denver, CO) are uniquely qualified to speak on marriage. In the first session, they shared how God restored their marriage wounded by addiction, unfaithfulness, self-righteousness and accusation. They spoke of the revelation that they were not to fight one another, but to fight together against the schemes of the enemy. They shared teachings from their book “Don’t Sit While You Stand” written by Marilyn during the time of her stand.
Fellowship & Ministry Time
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18 19:20)
The presence of the Jesus is felt when faithful believers gather together in fellowship and love to pray for the restoration of their marriages. Attendees had ample time to worship in song and praise, pray with pastors and global ministry leaders, have intercessors lay hands and pray over them and sit in peace knowing that God was among them. From amazing food to the relaxed time at beautiful Lake Wiley, NC, everyone had a chance to unwind, be themselves, open up to one another and comfort each other.
If you were unable to join us in person for this annual event, we encourage you to be intentional about planning for next year’s conference. It is held every year in July in Charlotte, NC (USA) and it is conveniently located near Charlotte Douglas International Airport with lodging within walking distance to our venue. There is a modest registration fee so begin saving now for early bird registration! We expect registration to open in early January 2020.
I loved all the photos. Claude did a good job of the photography.
Great Conference. See you next July.
What a joy to see all the faithful Covenant Keepers being a perfect picture of Christ and the Church!! Faithfulness in the midst of unfaithfulness!! Fabulous photos and write up!!