2023 Advance Conference | Raleigh

Join us in Raleigh March 6-8 for our first Advance Conference of 2023!

Advance Conferences are regional training and assessment events that bring together new and aspiring church planters, dynamic thinkers, and proven practitioners. Whether you’ve been involved in church leadership for three decades or are planning your first church plant’s launch Sunday, every church leader, both men and women, will benefit from these events and we can’t wait to see you there!

As a reminder, if this event location or dates don’t work for you, check out our other Advance events:


Monday, March 6

6:30 p.m. – Doors Open
7 p.m. – Main Session 1

Tuesday, March 7

9 a.m. – Main Session 2
10:40 a.m. – Break
11 a.m. – Main Session 3
12:05 p.m. – Lunch on your own*
1:30 p.m. – Breakout Session 1
2:30 p.m. – Break
3:00 p.m. – Breakout Session 2
4:00 p.m. – Dinner on your own*
7:00 p.m. – Main Session 4

Wednesday, March 8

9 a.m. – Main Session 5
10:30 a.m. – Conference Ends

*Check out local restaurant recommendations here!


Brian Howard

Brian Howard has over 20 years of proven leadership experience as a leadership coach, non-profit executive, church planter, lead pastor, and business owner. Brian holds a master’s degree from Talbot School of Theology, has been married for 26 years to the love of his life, and has four children.

Brian Key

Brian is the Professor of Urban Ministry, Church Residency and Coaching Coordinator at Grimké Seminary. Before Grimké, Brian was a pastor at Redeemer Fellowship in Kansas City, MO, where he led the preaching team as well as a two-year residency program designed to train high-capacity, deep character, ethnic minority pastors and church planters to serve in the urban context. He has sixteen years of urban ministry experience and is passionate about developing leaders to advance the gospel in that context. Brian and his wife, Kelly, have three daughters.

Justin Anderson

Justin has spent the last 20 years leading churches. He has planted three thriving Acts 29 churches (Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle), led a large-scale church merger and has coached and consulted dozens of leaders through major church transitions. Justin serves as the Director for Church Planting for Acts 29, and resides in Los Angeles with his wife Emilie and five kids.

Tony Merida

Tony is a graduate of the University of the Cumberlands (BA), where he played shortstop (!) and of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv; PhD). In addition to serving as Pastor for Preaching and Vision at IDC, Tony serves as the Dean of Grimké Seminary and Executive Vice President for Acts 29, and also serves as a Council member for The Gospel Coalition. Tony has written over fifteen books including The Christ-Centered Expositor, Love Your Church, and multiple volumes in the Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series. He’s happily married to Kimberly, and they have five children.

Tyler Jones

After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in 1997, Tyler and his wife Kimberly moved to Raleigh, where they now continue loving their city with their three kids. Tyler planted Vintage Church in the fall of 2002, which has now grown to five locations in the Triangle. Serving in a myriad of leadership roles with Acts 29 since 2003, he is driven by his passion for planting and growing churches to advance the gospel across the US and the world. Tyler serves as the Vice President for Church Planting for Acts 29.


Imago Dei Church

9200 Strickland Road
Raleigh, NC 27615