As the saying goes, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” This year, the Ascend Conference is challenging women to take a STAND— Strategically Take A New Direction. The conference exists to inspire, encourage, and educate women to be all that God has purposed them to be. They have assembled a gifted team of speakers, panelists, and hosts, who will lead women into discovery of God’s deliverance at this year’s conference.
Lisa Osteen Comes is an associate pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, the largest church in the US. Known for her practical, easy-to-understand messages, she is no stranger to the ordinary. She’s survived both a birth defect and a mail bomb explosion that made headlines around the world, and she has overcome many other challenges with hope and optimism. She speaks globally to thousands viewing Lakewood’s services regularly.
One of the most recognizable voices in gospel music, CeCe Winans has sold millions of albums during her 25-year music career. The charismatic singer has been recognized numerous times, including Grammy Awards, Dove Awards, gold and platinum albums, several #1 Gospel and Top Ten R&B hits, and a reputation as one of the friendliest people in the music industry. Her community and ministry accomplishments are great, but mostly, she just loves telling the world about Jesus!
Lindsey is a writer, speaker, Bible leader, and the former radio talk-show host of Washington DC’s “The Hopeline.” Her books include: Make A Difference Mentoring Woman to Woman, the Just Jesus Bible Study Series, and Your Story Your Life on the Book of John. Lindsey is a founding board member of ministry.com and the Dream Center Foundation and holds an honorary doctorate for outstanding philanthropic contribution from Victory University. Her passion is making the Bible lovable and livable.
Star Parker is the founder/president of The Center for Urban Renewal and Education, providing market-based solutions to fight poverty, having personally spent seven years in the grip of welfare dependency. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and International Business and has received numerous awards and commendations. She founded UrbanCure with Generals John Ashcroft, Ed Meese, and Dr. Ben Carson, and board members, which focuses on new ideas and policy for transitioning America’s dependency on welfare. She has authored several books, consults regularly with legislators, has spoken (at last count) to 190 colleges, and is a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate.
A former prosecuting attorney, corporate manager, and cash flow consultant, Maryann “escaped” to her best career ever: homeschooling her children. When the “What’s Next?” question surfaced, Maryann experienced insecurity originating from childhood abuse, advancing age, an outdated resume, and technological ignorance. But she returned to the business world triumphantly and has an active and professional career as a life coach. She is passionate about teaching women to overcome their fears and insecurities, which she shares in her recent book, Have I Ever Told You, You’re My Favorite? She believes that it’s never too late, everything is redeemable, and she teaches women to be courageous professionals.
Founder of Right On Mission, Sarah tailor-makes mission statements for individuals, couples, families, and organizations. Her consulting specialty is teaching boards how to lead by policy, not politics. The only woman in the US to have served as dean and full professor of a conservative seminary, Dr. Sumner travels internationally and speaks for conferences, businesses, the Pentagon, the White House, and on radio and TV shows. Sarah is the author of four books, her latest, Angry Like Jesus: Using His Example to Spark Your Moral Courage, releases November 1, 2015.
Kathleen Cooke (ASCEND Speaker & Host):
Kathleen is an actress, businesswoman, writer, speaker, and a founding partner (with husband, Phil Cooke) at Cooke Pictures and The Influence Lab in Burbank CA. She edits the monthly Influence Women Newsletter, a weekly blog, and is a column regular for WHOA Magazine. She is on the boards for Hollywood Connect, Hollywood Prayer Network, and the National Salvation Army. Kathleen also travels internationally, speaking on faith, media, leadership, and culture.
Brenda Epperson-Moore is no stranger to television. As an actress, she is known by audiences internationally for her portrayal of Ashley Abbott on the CBS daytime drama The Young and The Restless for eight years. You may have seen her recent Spring 2015 appearance on the CBN 700 club where she shared her testimony and upcoming book series. Brenda is an accomplished singer-songwriter and a signed Sony Tri/Star musical artist, and she toured with Lionel Richie as his opening act. She recently released her new single I Cry Freedom, and works regularly as a women’s speaker, a TV host, and blogger for MICI (Made in Christ Image). She has led worship, served on the boards of W.C.I G., ICAN, ILP, and has led a flourishing women’s Bible study group.
Susan’s background is in interior design, but she works as a philanthropist, event planner, fundraiser, and bible study host dedicated to furthering the cause of Christ. She and her husband, C. Frederick Wehba, have planted churches including In Christ Church and Westside Shepherd of the Hills. They are also supporters of many ministries and charities including InTouch Ministries, the Southern Baptist Mission Board, Childhelp, and St. Jude and are currently serving as deacons at Bel Air Presbyterian Church. Susan also serves on several charity and church boards including In Christ Church, Associates for Breast Cancer Studies, Sonance, and Young Musicians Foundation.
The Ascend Conference will be held on October 3, 2015, at the Angelus Temple in LA. For more information and registration details, visit their website: AscendConference.org.