Bluegrass District Conference

September 23-25
Ridgecrest, North Carolina
Ridgecrest Conference Center


After a hurricane-induced cancellation last year, Citygate Network’s Bluegrass District Conference is excited to finally be gathering at the Ridgecrest Conference Center in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina this September. Located less than a day’s drive from 15 states, you can load up a van full of participants to take in this popular event jam-packed with education, inspiration, and networking—all designed to enrich and connect mission and ministry staff from throughout the district. 

Theme: Better Together 

The Lord prayed, “I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me” (John 17:23, NLT).

Every sports team is comprised of different people playing different positions, but there is one common goal for each team. The players on the most successful teams don’t ask “What the team can do for me?” Instead they ask, “What can I do to make the team better?” Great teams understand that oneness of mind and purpose is the key to victory. We will explore the common goal of well-coordinated and purpose driven efforts—like a championship team that understands we are better together when we ask, “What can I do to make my team better?”

Meet the Keynote Speakers


Bobby F. Griffin, Founder, Bobby F. Griffin, Inc.

The youngest of seven children, Bobby F. Griffin was born and raised in Bristol, Virginia. Bobby, hindered by a learning disability, recalls struggling through school. He enlisted in the Army and was sent to Korea, where he was wounded. He returned to Bristol where he began operating a gas station. After winning a trip to Florida, Bobby and his wife Frieda took their last $20 and went to Sarasota, where their journey would take a turn. While in a used-car lot inspecting a car that interested them, they noticed the lot used make-shift cardboard mats to get the carpets clean. This inspired Bobby to produce and market cardboard mats. After much adversity, he was awarded two US Patents for his invention. Through hard work, growth through discouragement, and much prayer, he found success in business. Bobby says, “Regardless of your situation, background, or education, with God-given self confidence, you can make it. You can be what you want to be. After 40 years, he is one of the world’s top suppliers of floor mats, and he wants to inspire others to reach their goals, too.

Jim Thompson, Teaching and Equipping Pastor for Fellowship Greenville Church in Greenville, SC

Jim is a follower of Jesus, a husband to Sara, a dad to James and Anna Jubilee, a pastor, a pastor’s kid, a South Carolina Gamecocks fan, a music snob, a Bible nerd, and an avid porch-sitter. Aside from serving at his home church, Fellowship Greenville, Jim occasionally gets to travel and teach student groups, college classes, church plants, and in other contexts. He previously taught theology at the high school level at Southside Christian School, and he also got to help teach in the Master’s program at Columbia International University.

Go on a road trip with Jim here (one of his past messages) -
Find out more about Fellowship Greenville here -

Lodging: Ridgecrest Conference Center

Participants will enjoy the surrounding 1,300 acres of beauty and serenity while taking in a program that includes speakers and seminars, resource tables, and six meals (dinner Monday through lunch Wednesday), as well as plenty of opportunities to connect. 

This district gathering creates an event intentionally loaded with opportunities to build relationships and learning among your own team, as well as with others in similar roles who face similar challenges in their work. Because this conference takes place within your own district, many staff members who can’t attend Citygate Network’s Annual Conference can benefit from interaction and education pertinent to them. Select a whole team to retreat from the everyday grind, and refresh your mind, relationships, and ministry.

Call Ridgecrest at (800) 588-7222 to make your reservation, or click here to reserve a room online. Our block rate is $99 for a single or $119 for a double; payments are 50 percent refundable until 30 days before the event, and then non-refundable. 

The $109 registration fee includes all programming and meals.


Theme: Better Together
September 23-25, 2019

Harvest Season is a time to reap what we've sown. That means we work hard and enjoy the fruits of our labor. This is especially true when our efforts are well-coordinated and delivered in faith. From turning the soil (planning), to watering (nurturing relationships), to recovery and redemption (prayer, discipleship, friendships), let's enjoy working the fields God has put before us.

Monday, September 23

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Registration and check-in
Pritchell Lobby
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Dining Room
6:30 p.m.
District Group Picture (Meeting Room Lobby)
6:45 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Opening General Session
Johnson Spring Building Room 2
Sponsor: TrueSense
Speaker-Bobby Griffin
Worship-Christie and Brooks Clary
8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Fellowship around the campfire
Ivy Firering

Tuesday, September 24

7:15 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.
Dining Room
8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
John Spring Building Room 3 A/C
8:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
General Session
Johnson Spring Building Room 2
Sponsor: Milwaukee Direct
Speaker-Bobby Griffin
Worship-Christie and Brooks Clary
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Sponsor: blue dawg
10:20 a.m. - 11:35 a.m.
Track Seminars 1
  • Less=More: Balancing Worship Work, Families, and Faith with Wisdom (Johnson Spring Room 2)
    • Pastor Robert Loggins, Citygate Network Minister at Large
  • Facilities Management and Public Image (Johnson Spring Room 3 A/C)
    • Tim Jones, VP/COO, Hendersonville Rescue Mission
  • 25 Best Practices for Social Media (Johnson Spring Room 3 B/D)
    • Todd Baker, Milwaukee Direct
11:40 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
Professional Network Gatherings
Johnson Spring 2, 3 A/C and 3 B/D
12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Dining Room
1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Track Seminars 2:
  • Empowering Clients to Make Decisions about Their Own Recovery and Restoration (Johnson Spring 2)
    • Burt Rosen, Executive Director, Knox Area Rescue Mission
  • Solutions-Based Social Enterprise (Johnson Spring 3 A/C)
    • Ed Price, Director of Life Skills, Charlotte Rescue Mission
  • Intentional Approach to Ministry (Johnson Spring 3 B/D)
    • Tony Marciano, President/CEO, Charlotte Rescue Mission
3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Snack break and gathering with your co-workers
Sponsor: One&All
3:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Free time (optional activities)
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Dining Room
6:45 p.m. - 8:00 p.m
Evening General Session
Johnson Spring Building Room 2A/B
Sponsor: Douglas Shaw & Associates
Speaker—Jim Thompson, Teaching and Equipping Pastor, Fellowship Greenville Church
Worship-Christie and Brooks Clary
8:15 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
S'mores fellowship around the campfire

Wednesday, September 25

7:15 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.
8:15 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.
Johnson Spring Building Room 3 A/C
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Track Seminars 3
  • Make Disciples: Building Tomorrow's Leaders Today (Johnson Spring 2)
    • Pastor Robert Loggins, Citygate Network Minister at Large
  • Opioids—Current Data Missions Need to Know (Johnson Spring 3 A/C)
    • Beckey Turchi, Abba's House Director, Western Carolina Rescue Mission
  • Using and Managing Data to Inform High Impact Decisions and Communications (Johnson Spring 3 B/D)
    • David Strom and Todd Gilbert, Knox Area Rescue Mission
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Closing General Session
Johnson Spring Building Room 2
Speaker-Jim Thompson, Teaching and Equipping Pastor, Fellowship Greenville Church
Worship-Christie and Brooks Clary


For Citygate Network business members, there are three levels of sponsorships available at the conference. Sponsor sign-up is located at the bottom of this page. A sponsorship or display table is required in order to attend. Please note that sponsors must be in membership with Citygate Network. If you plan to participate in the conference sessions and/or meals, you will need to register as an attendee in addition to purchasing your sponsorship. If you have additional questions, please email Stacie Hughes,

$700–Primary Sponsor 

  • Address attendees during one of the general sessions
  • Handouts during the speaking opportunity
  • Display table during conference 

$400–Break Sponsor 

  • Handout during break
  • Display table during conference 

$250–Table Sponsor 

  • Display table during conference


Online registration is not available at this time.