More than 3,200 Foursquare pastors, leaders and church members from across the nation and around the world gathered for Foursquare Convention 2008, held in Houston last week.

During the four days spent at the Hilton Americas—Houston and at the George R. Brown Convention Center, attendees heard from dozens of speakers and teachers, including Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor of the largest United Methodist Church in the nation; Robert Morris, founder and senior pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas/Fort Worth and author of The Blessed Life (Regal Books); J. W. Macklin, who serves as bishop of the Northern California Prelate of the Church of God in Christ; Steve Riggle, senior pastor of Grace Community Church in Houston; Doug Stringer, founder and president of Somebody Cares in Houston; and Ron Luce, Teen Mania founder.

“The Word of God is getting out to a lot of people in Houston, Texas, right now,” said the Honorable Bill White, mayor of Houston, who offered his greetings to the group during the first night of the event. “We are so proud that a faith community like this has come from [all over the world].” Native Houstonian Joel Osteen, best-selling author and senior pastor of Lakewood Church, offered his welcome to congregants via a special video message.

Leaders within the Foursquare family who addressed the convention body included Tony Krishack, local convention chairman and senior pastor of Victory Christian Center in Houston; Dale Evrist, senior pastor of New Song Christian Fellowship in Brentwood, Tenn.; Randy Remington, senior pastor of Beaverton Foursquare Church in Beaverton, Ore.; Jim Tolle, senior pastor of The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, Calif.; Peter Bonanno, senior pastor of Grace Capital Church in Pembroke, N.H.; and Tammy Dunahoo, national director of Foursquare Women.

Pastor Jack Hayford, president of The Foursquare Church, hosted and pastored every session, praying for speakers and offering confirmation after their messages. “The Holy Spirit met us in Houston,” said Pastor Jack. “Our together time was important in setting a pace for the coming year in our Foursquare family. We will move ahead and move together as a church and as followers of Jesus Christ!”

The theme throughout the event was “The Unchanging Christ and the Unshakable Kingdom,” with a special emphasis on equipping the next generation for leadership. “God is indeed working in young peoples’ awakening in the Foursquare church,” said Pastor Jack.

All of the proposed bylaw amendments passed during the business session, and several items of Foursquare news were also announced to the convention body. The Foursquare NextGen Summit 2010 will be held in December 2009 in two cities that will be connected by satellite in an effort to make the summit more accessible; in addition the Foursquare Women's National Gathering will be held in Atlanta February 19-21, 2009. General Supervisor Glenn Burris Jr. announced that more than 400 people have expressed interest in the newly formed Foursquare Association, and Pastor Jack introduced two new leaders: Jonathan Hall, the newly appointed missions director for The Foursquare Church, and Robert Flores, interim president of Life Pacific College, also known as LIFE Bible College.

Jim Hayford, chairman of the Foursquare Foundation board, announced that $20,000 had been placed in the ARC account of each district to assist the Foursquare churches in the United States; the five regional counsels of FMI received $100,000 each. Stating that “The Foursquare Foundation wants to say yes more often and no very, very seldom,” he announced that a “major policy change” has been put in place at Foursquare Foundation—grant requests as low as $10,000 will now be accepted, with a cap of $100,000.

The convention included praise and worship from worship group Israel and New Breed (leader Israel Houghton comes from Houston’s Lakewood Church), as well as Foursquare’s own Roger Thrower (New Hope Foursquare Church, Fairmont, W.Va.), Carolyn Foster (New Life Foursquare Church, Everett, Wash.) and Eric Green (New Life Foursquare Church, Canby, Ore.). Convention attendees had the opportunity to choose from 24 workshops and to explore more than 90 exhibitor booths.

“We don’t have dry meetings, dead times, lifeless events,” said Pastor Dale Evrist, in his Tuesday evening sermon. He noted that the church’s work in the lives of young people and said: “In our event we’re not content with anything other than the fullness of God’s Spirit being fully on display whenever we gather, whatever we do.”

On the final night, Pastor Jack encouraged those in attendance to contribute to an offering that will provide relief to those affected in the recent Myanmar and China disasters. The spontaneous offering brought in over $185,000, including $155,000 promised from local churches.

 

Read more about what happened daily by visiting www.FoursquareChurch.org:

To download MP3s of select workshop sessions, click here. To order CD or DVD copies of general sessions and workshops, click here.

Foursquare Convention 2009 will be held in Anaheim, Calif., May 25-28, 2009. The annual conference will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center, Hilton Anaheim and Marriott Anaheim.