Refresh Conference

Event date: January 30–February 2, 2018

Refresh Conference 2019

“The Fruit of the Spirit in Ministry”

A Conference for Christian Leaders and Spouses

Life in ministry is filled with joyous peaks, but it can also have its exhausting valleys. Refresh Conference is designed specifically to encourage ministry leaders who are currently serving in the trenches. The schedule is specially designed to allow busy Christian leaders to rest and spend time alone with their spouses. The general sessions and workshops offer you and your spouse a chance to soak in God’s Word while being taught from experienced ministry leaders. The hospitality room not only provides you with a variety of complimentary snacks and drinks, but also the perfect location to fellowship with others who can relate to the joys and struggles in ministry. We hope you will join us for this spiritually encouraging conference, and we trust that God will use it to refresh you in your ministry.

For a digital version of this year’s Refresh booklet, click here.


Dr. Gary Anderson: President Emeritus, Baptist Mid-Missions

Gary Anderson was installed as President of Baptist Mid-Missions in November 1989. He served two years as a member of Baptist Mid-Missions Advisory Council before being appointed as Executive Vice President in July 1987. Anderson served as pastor of Springville Baptist Church (Pennsylvania) from 1975 to 1987. Anderson holds a B.A. in Bible from Bob Jones University (1972) and an M.Div. from Biblical Theological Seminary (1975). He was honored with the Doctor of Divinity Degree by Baptist Bible College and Seminary in 1990. Gary and his wife, Barbara, have three adult children and make their home in Grafton, Ohio.

Dr. Jim Berg: Professor of Biblical Counseling, Bob Jones University Seminary

Dr. Berg serves as a member of the seminary faculty of Bob Jones University after having served as dean of students of BJU for 29 years. He teaches biblical counseling and discipleship courses. He holds an MA in theology from BJU and a DMin in biblical counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.He has authored numerous books including Basics for Believers, Changed into His Image, Essential Virtues, When Trouble Comes, God is More Than Enough and Quieting a Noisy Soul—a multi-media personal study program addressing guilt, anger, anxiety, and despair. See for more information about his books and seminars.Jim serves as the executive director of Freedom That Lasts®—a Bible-centered ministry to those struggling with addictions and hurtful life circumstances ( He is also the director of Faith Counseling Institute ( Both ministries are based at his home church, Faith Baptist Church in Taylors, SC.Jim and his wife, Pat, have ministered as speakers for men’s and women’s conferences and marriage seminars and retreats. They have three married daughters and eleven grandchildren.

Dr. Doug McLachlan: Former Pastor, Fourth Baptist Church, Plymouth, Minnesota

Dr. McLachlan has served as Pastor at First Baptist Church, New Ulm, Minnesota; Bethany Baptist Church, Grand Blanc, Michigan; and Fourth Baptist Church, Plymouth, Minnesota. While senior pastor of Fourth Baptist Church, Dr. McLachlan served as president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary and taught in the areas of homiletics and pastoral theology. Following his retirement from pastoral ministry at Fourth Baptist Church in 2007, he returned to Northland in a part-time teaching and itinerate ministry. Beginning in 2012, he rejoined the faculty of Central Baptist Theological Seminary where he serves as Chancellor and part-time professor of Pastoral Theology in the M. Div. and D. Min. programs. In addition, he continues to engage in itinerant teaching and Bible Conference ministries.

Rev. Patrick Odle: Pastor, First Baptist Church, Elyria, Ohio

Patrick Odle is the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Elyria, Ohio, having served there since 2011. Before being called to Elyria, Patrick served as the Chaplain and Vice President of Enrollment and Student Life at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, his alma mater. During that time he also served as Interim Pastor in two Iowa churches. Prior to serving at FBBC&TS, he was the Senior Pastor for nine years at Holmes Baptist Church in Clarion, Iowa and the Associate Pastor at Ankeny Baptist Church in Ankeny, Iowa. Pastor Odle is married to his high school sweetheart, Ruth. God has blessed them with four children. In his free time Patrick unapologetically cheers on his beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and enjoys spending time outdoors, especially gardening and deer hunting.

Dr. Les Ollila: President, Building Great Leaders

After graduating from Bob Jones University, Les Ollila served as the youth pastor at Calvary Baptist Church is Roseville, Michigan, and as a staff evangelist for Life Action Ministries. He was president of Northland Baptist Bible College from 1984 to 2002 and led the school to an enrollment of more than 600 students. Dr. O, as he is affectionately called, later became the chancellor of the school. He now has an itinerant ministry to pastors and churches.

Dr. William Senn III: Pastor, Tri-City Baptist Church, Westminster, Colorado

Dr. Will Senn graduated from Bob Jones University with a Master of Divinity. He served as pastor of University Baptist Church in Clemson, South Carolina for eighteen years. While in Clemson, Dr. Senn founded Cross Impact Campus Ministries, a ministry to reach the secular campuses of America. He serves on several missionary and college boards and teaches as an adjunct professor at several fundamental colleges and seminaries. In 2002, Pastor Senn was called to be pastor of Tri-City Baptist Church in Westminster, Colorado where he and his wife, Allissa, serve.

Dr. Dean Taylor: Faculty, Faith Baptist Bible College

Dr. Dean Taylor is Chair of the Ministries Division and of the Pastoral Training Program at Faith Baptist Bible College. Prior to coming to the college in 2016, he served as Senior Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina; Senior Pastor of Brookside Baptist Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin; and Youth Pastor of Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a graduate of Bob Jones University (BA, MA, MDiv) and Northland Baptist Bible College (DMin). Dean and his wife, Faith, have four adult children and two grandchildren. He enjoys reading; cycling; tennis; and trout fishing, and he blogs occasionally at

Dr. Jim Tillotson: President, Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary

Dr. Tillotson became the president of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary in June of 2015. He previously served for eighteen years as the Senior Pastor of Meadowlands Baptist Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. During that time he led the church in planting four other churches and helped start a Christian school and a small Bible institute. Dr. Tillotson holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Ministry degrees from Northland Baptist Bible College. In 2016 Bob Jones University conferred on him the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Jim serves on the U.S. and Canadian councils of Baptist Mid-Missions and on the board of Grand View Camp in Eagar, Arizona.
*Due to recent health restrictions, Rev. Ed Sears will not be able to attend and speak at Refresh Conference as originally planned.

Guest Workshop Speaker: Chris Brown

Chris Brown is the missionary-supported director of Technology Ministry Network. TechMin exists to help those in ministry with technology for the great commission. Chris’s passion is helping those on the front lines of ministry be effective in their calling while using this power tool of technology. He and his wife, Amy, have four children—from fourth grade to sophomore in college. Chris graduated from Clarks Summit University with a major in Bible and minor in youth ministry. He has been in ministry for 23 years.

Guest Workshop Speaker: Ron Byers

Ron Byers has degrees in mathematics, theology, and computer science, which led to teaching high school and college mathematics for 15 years, programming computers for 23 years, and preparing tax returns for 21 years. In 2009, he began Caesar Ministries, which is committed to helping Christians, pastors, and churches fulfill the command in Matthew 22:21 to “render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Ron’s goal is to help everyone be better financial stewards of the resources God has given them so they can satisfy their responsibilities to both “Caesar” and God.

Guest Workshop Speaker: Matt Williams

Matt Williams served as youth pastor and associate pastor at Tri-City Baptist Church in Independence, Missouri for over 30 years. In 2004, the Lord led him and his wife to join the Administrative staff of Northland Baptist Bible College in Wisconsin. After a few years of active ministry on campus, Matt began doing much traveling for the college—working with pastors and churches around the country. In August of 2011, he and Donna moved back to Kansas City where he currently works independently with pastors, churches, and ministries around the country and internationally. Matt has authored “How to Be A Team Player”, a study on staff relationships, and co-authored “Biblical Leadership” with Ken Collier. He is the director of Student Leadership Conferences for the American Association of Christian Schools and serves on several Christian ministry boards of directors around the country.

Already registered? You can view your arrival information here.

Start planning now for the 2018 Refresh Conference at Faith.

This conference is for all Christian leaders and their spouses.

• Senior Pastor
• Associate or Assistant Pastor
• Youth Pastor
• Discipleship Pastor
• Children’s Pastor
• Camp Director

• Music Pastor
• Evangelism or Outreach Pastor
• Missionary
• Deacon
• School Administrator
• Missions Agency Leader
• Other Ministry Leaders

Exhibitors and Advertisers

We invite fundamental, Bible-believing organizations to display and advertise at the Refresh Conference or in our conference booklet. Visit our Exhibitors and Advertisers page for more information.


By December 1 $150 $200 $25 per family
December 2-January 23 $175 $250 $50 per family

Please Note: There is no daily rate available for this conference.

Early Registration Deadline: December 1
Registration Deadline: January 23

The registration fee includes:

  • All conference sessions
  • All conference materials
  • Three meals: Wednesday lunch, Wednesday banquet, and Thursday lunch
  • Access to the hospitality room with a wide variety of complimentary
    snacks and drinks

Nursery & Childcare
We encourage you and your spouse to come by yourselves, but we will provide nursery and childcare for children (birth through age 5) during the general sessions and the workshops. Register your children when you register for the conference.


Special conference rates have been set up with the following hotels. To reserve your room, simply ask for the Refresh Conference or Faith Baptist rate. Make sure to book your room by December 29, as most of the room block rates expire after that day.

AmericInn $97.19
Comfort Inn $94.99
Fairfield Inn & Suites $90
Holiday Inn Express & Suites $109.95

Dress for Refresh Conference is business casual.


A wide variety of workshops and pre-conference seminars will be offered during Refresh Conference. Click the button below to view a full list of workshop titles, speakers, and descriptions. You can select your workshop choices on the registration form.

Alumni Receptions

Don’t forget to sign up for one of our Alumni Receptions! Alumni from Faith/Omaha/Denver are welcome to attend the Tuesday evening reception, alumni and friends of Northland are invited to attend the Wednesday evening reception, and alumni and friends of Pillsbury are invited to attend the Thursday evening reception. These receptions give alumni and friends opportunities to reconnect with old classmates, reminisce memories, enjoy refreshments, see memorabilia from the schools, and share testimonies from these schools. Guests can bring Northland and Pillsbury memorabilia to display at the respective receptions by contacting the Alumni Coordinator at by January 15, 2018.


8:30 Grand Prize Drawing
9:00 General Session:
Doug McLachlan
General Session:
Patrick Odle
General Session:
William Senn III
10:20 General Session:
Dean Taylor
General Session:
Jason LaFlamme
General Session:
Gary Anderson
11:30-1:30 Lunch Served Lunch Served
11:30  Panel Discussion Workshop #2
12:30 Lunch Break Lunch Break
1:30 Workshop #1 Workshop #3
5:30 Pre-Conference Seminars Starting at 2:00 PM Banquet
6:30 Mini Concert: Faith Chorale Mini Concert: Forever Be Sure Mini Concert: Faith Orchestra and Handbells
7:00 General Session:
Les Ollila
General Session:
Les Ollila
General Session:
Jim Tillotson
8:15 Alumni Reception
Faith, Omaha, Denver
Alumni & Friends Reception
Alumni & Friends Reception

For more information, contact Briana Harrier at 515.964.0601, ext. 234.

Did you miss last year’s Refresh Conference? See our recap video here.