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Angell College of Fine Arts to Host “To Tell the Story” Conference for Church Leaders Oct. 1-2

April 15, 2019

OBU’s Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts invites church leaders to attend the “To Tell the Story” conference Oct. 1-2 on the OBU campus in Shawnee. Registration is now open at

The conference will be presented to pastors, staff members and congregants to offer the expertise of OBU faculty members in order to enhance the abilities within local churches to share the story of the Gospel, particularly through weekly worship services.

Dr. Chris Mathews, dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, hopes that the conference will offer training, experience, skills and insights from its faculty and friends to local church leaders and congregations as an encouragement to foster creative story-telling, especially within the context of corporate worship.

“Each week, local congregations gather to remember and proclaim the Gospel of Christ,” Mathews said, “to tell the story of God’s work to create the world, to redeem his people and to display his grace throughout the heavenly realms. So, how can church leaders utilize their own skills and develop the abilities of their people to faithfully and effectively tell this amazing story?”

The conference will feature Dr. Ray Van Neste, dean of the School of Theology and Missions at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He will focus on The Psalms. The conference will begin Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 5:30 p.m. and will conclude Wednesday, Oct. 2, at noon.

In addition to teaching by Van Neste, students and faculty of the College of Fine Arts will offer a showcase of artistic ideas as examples of the creative incorporation of the Psalms into corporate worship. Those with expertise in singing, instrumental music, communications, drama, graphic design, journalism, media, and lighting and sound will present sessions intended to benefit churches as they proclaim the truths of scripture.

“We hope through our speaker, breakout session leaders and presentations, that attendees will leave encouraged and empowered to lead their churches in utilizing the Psalms to tell the story of our great God,” Mathews said.

Van Neste earned a bachelor’s degree from Union University. He then earned a Master of Arts from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He also graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Van Neste has served at Union since 2001 and also served as a visiting lecturer in 1997-98. He has published numerous books and scholarly essays on topics such as biblical studies, pastoral ministry and church history. An ordained minister, he preaches and teaches regularly in local churches and has served in pastoral or other staff roles in Baptist congregations in Tennessee, Wisconsin and Scotland.

He serves on the editorial board of the “Southeastern Theological Review” and on the Board of Reference for Eagle Projects International, a missions organization. He helped to start and currently leads the study group on the pastoral epistles for the Evangelical Theological Society. He manages the website, which reports on the work of this study group and other research related to the pastoral epistles.

Registration for the conference is $30 per person, including dinner on Tuesday night. Attendees may bring a spouse for an additional $10. Registration is now open online at and the deadline to register is Sept. 15.