The 94.9 FM & 950 AM WTLN 10th Annual Pastors Appreciation Brunch features high-quality food, worship, speaking and even free gifts. Bill Files, the event's organizer, says everything is being done with one goal: to make local pastors feel appreciated.
The brunch is set for Sept. 22 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida.
Salem Media Group first began these events 28 years ago in San Francisco, California, when a group of local pastors gathered to have lunch together. This time of fellowship soon became an annual event, and that annual event spread across the country. Files, the general manager of Salem Media Group's Orlando branch, has seen plenty of fruit from the program.
"We call this the Pastors Appreciation Brunch, and this will be our 10th year ... ," Files said. "Usually we have between 300 and 500 pastors show up. It's really all about the pastors."
This year's event begins with a ministry expo, in which pastors can visit tables sponsored by nonprofit organizations and Central Florida businesses. After that, attendees enter a large ballroom, where they can dine, worship with musical guests, and listen to the keynote speaker.
This year's keynote speaker, Rice Broocks, produced the God's Not Dead film series, wrote the books God's Not Dead and Man, Myth Messiah, and co-founded the Every Nation family of churches. Files felt led from an early stage to get Broocks as the keynote speaker.
"One Sunday, Rice Broocks came in (to my church) and was the guest speaker that day," Files said. "(My pastor) introduced him and right away I knew about God's Not Dead. I knew of the movies and the book, and then to meet him was really great. His message was so awesome that I sat there during worship, during church, thinking, 'I'm going to get him for our event.'"
Files says Broocks has a tremendous message planned for brunch attendees. The event begins at 8 a.m.
To any pastors debating whether to attend, Files was blunt: "You need a break. Pastors need a break. They need to take the time to come."
"What I hear when they leave is, first, they're very thankful," Files continued. "Each pastor when they leave gets a tote bag, and it's full of resources from our national ministries. (The pastors are) always very thankful. I had one last year who said, 'You know I haven't done this in so long and I just realized how much I really needed it.' Pastors preach on Sunday, and then they work the rest of the week getting ready to preach on Sunday and dealing with the congregation's issues. Sometimes they need to stop and refuel themselves, and hopefully this event lets them do that."
Pastors can sign up here for tickets. Attendees pay a $20 deposit to reserve a seat, but that money can either be refunded at the event or donated to a pro-life adoption campaign.
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