Covenant Keepers 2020

Covenant Keepers 2020  will be held January 27-28, 2020, at the Regency Conference Center in O'Fallon. Theme for the event is Vital Conversations for Effective Ministry. Speakers for the event are the Rev. Dr. Kwasi Kena and Erin Hawkins.

Those that have need of childcare can register for childcare at:

*First Name
*Last Name
*Address 1
*Registration Fee ($50) 226 available

Includes Monday night's banquet of pan-seared chicken breast and Tuesday continental breakfast. Monday and Tuesday lunch is on your own.

There are only 226 available
Monday banquet

Please check the box if you are planning to attend Monday's banquet. This is to ensure a proper headcount. The meal will be a plated pork loin dinner

Request for Vegetarian Meal

Check the box if you request a vegetarian meal for the banquet instead of the pan-seared chicken breast dinner

Gluten-free diet

Check here if you request a gluten-free option

Chair massage opportunity There will be a sign-up sheet for the chair massage schedule at the registration table. However, please indicate your interest here to insure adequate staffing for those times.
Continuing education credit The IGRC Board of Ordained Ministry will grant 0.5 hours of Continuing Education credit to any participant who attends the ENTIRE Covenant Keeper event. Check this to be eligible for CEU's.
Covenant Groups
*Covenant Groups

Are you currently involved in a covenant group? 

Covenant Group Contact Information

If yes, who is the group's contact?  (name and phone number) 

Hotel Accommodations

Attendees are responsibile for securing their own accommodations if needed. Below are a list of hotels with room blocks for Covenant Keepers 2019.

Hilton Garden Inn, 360 Regency Park, O'Fallon, IL 62269, 618-624-4499. Press 1 to reach the front desk to make your reservation. Pressing 2 sends you to the national reservation system.

Rate:  $119 plus tax  Cutoff: Jan. 16, 2020

There is no group number, you must tell them you are with the Illinois Great Rivers Conference/Covenant Keepers. 

Drury Inn & Suites, 1118 Central Park Drive, O'Fallon, IL  62269, 618-624-2211

Rate:  $109 plus tax  Cutoff: Dec. 25, 2019 Group Number is 2397601.

Reservation online at

Keynote speakers

Rev. Dr. Kwasi KenaRev. Dr. Kwasi Kena

Rev. Dr. Kwasi Kena is associate professor of ethnic and multi-cultural ministry at Wesley Seminary on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University. His teaching interests include intercultural ministry, Bible story performance and the integration of faith and work.

Prior to coming to Wesley Seminary, Kena served in various national and conference positions in The United Methodist Church: Director of Evangelism Ministries, Director of Field Services and the General Editor of UMMen magazine and Congregational Developmenet coordinator.

Kena and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Safiyah Fosua, also served as missionaries to Ghana, West Africa, assisting the Methodist Church Ghana in currirculum writing, clergy and lay leadership development and local pastor's education. Kena has taught at several colleges and universities. He is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and has served as a pastor in Iowa. Kena is a published author of various devotional and Bible study curricular works. He has been in frequent demand as a preacher, workshop leader and guest musician for national events.


Erin HawkinsErin Hawkins

Erin Hawkins is the general secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race, based in Washington, D.C. As the general secretary of GCORR, Erin is a team leader, coach, learner and teacher, leading the staff and board of directors on a journey of discovery of God's call for this agency.

She builds on the solid history of GCORR by helping to makeThe United Methodist Church relevant to the times in which we are now living. The United Methodist Church and the world are more globally focused, more multicultural and more multi-textured and complex than at any point in our history, GCORR must be about creating a culture at all levels of the church that welcomes that complexity and is focused on engaging more people, more young people and more diverse people.





Special guests: A conversation between John Wesley and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rev. Bert Kite's personal mission is to live with passion which celebrates the joy of being an follower of Jesus Christ and he freely invites others to live in that joy through his portrayal of Methodism's founder John Wesley.

A native of Greenwood, Ind., Kite followed his call to ministry, serving in the former South Indiana Conference. He served as District Superintendent of the Indianapolis West District which later transitioned into the Central District of the Indiana Conference. In 2016, when Rev. Frank Beard was elected bishop, Kite was appointed to succeed Beard as senior pastor of Castleton UMC in Indianapolis. He retired in December 2018.

Bert and Debbie have been married since 1974. Debbie retired in 2015 from Lawrence Township Schools. They have four children: Corrie, B.J., Matt and Tom (identical twins), and 4 granddaughters: Kaley, Ryane, Avery, and Reese.  

Bert has sung professionally and is an avid airplane enthusiast, including being the Chaplain of the Indy Air Show. He and Debbie love to travel throughout Indiana and the United States.

Bishop Frank J. Beard was elected as a Bishop in the North Central Jurisdiction on July 13, 2016.  Prior to his election he served as an ordained Elder in the Indiana Area of the United Methodist Church. The newly elected Bishop has been assigned to The Illinois Great Rivers Conference effective September 1, 2016.

Bishop Beard has a wealth of experiences in a variety of ministry setting across the United Methodist Church.  He has served as a local church pastor, a District Superintendent, and as Senior Pastor of a large congregation. 

Bishop Beard is a gifted preacher and teacher.  He has a passion for Jesus Christ that is contagious.  His primary focus is encouraging churches to be “on fire for Jesus.”  His life quote is, “I want to be so full of Jesus that when a mosquito bites me it will fly away humming ‘there is power in the blood’!”

Bishop Beard is married to wife Melissa, has two adult daughters: Eleanor and Emily, and three grandchildren: Maya, Elijah, and Stanton. The Bishop is an avid fisherman and loves to tell stories about his fishing adventures. When asked if he is going fishing he is quick to reply, “No, I’m going catching, anybody can fish!”


Schedule is subject to change -- check back for updates

Monday, Jan. 27

12:30 p.m.             Announcements, Introduction of Conference Staff

                              Prayer and Praise -- Tim Price and Harvest

1 p.m.                    Keynote Speaker -- General Secretary Erin Hawkins

2:30 p.m.               Questions and Answers -- General Secretary Hawkins

3 p.m.                     Break

3:30 p.m.                Keynote Speaker -- Rev. Dr. Kwasi Kena

5 p.m.                     Questions and Answers -- Dr. Kena

7 p.m.                Banquet with John Wesley and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

7:45 a.m.              Continental Breakfast at the Regency

8:15 a.m.              Opening Praise

8:30 a.m.              Announcements

8:45 a.m.              Shauna Summers, Coordinator of Pastoral Care and Counseling

9 a.m.                   Keynote Speaker -- General Secretary Hawkins

10 a.m.                 Break 

10:15 a.m.            Keynote Speaker -- Dr. Kena

11:15 a.m.            Closing Worship, Communion and Reaffirmation of Clergy Covenant

12:30 p.m.            Adjournment

Scholarship assistance

A limited amount of scholarship money is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Gifty Smith by email.  Once your scholarship is confirmed, you must then register for the event.

Your browser is not supported or has JavaScript turned off. To register use a different browser or turn on JavaScript.