On March 1-4 at Central Baptist Church Fountain City in Knoxville, Tn., ChurchWorks 2020 will center on how clergy can most effectively focus on their own wellbeing. ChurchWorks will be a time to think about caring for yourself in different ways; space for you to come and take a break from the day-to-day work, to network, to connect, to relax and to be renewed in your work as a minister.

As ministers we do quite well at taking care of other people when needs arise, but more often than not, we don’t take care of our own wellbeing as much as we should. When we are not able to physically, mentally or emotionally take care of the things we are dealing with, it’s much harder to carry those needs with other people. Three years ago, when ChurchWorks last engaged ministerial wellbeing, Matt Bloom of the Flourishing in Ministry Project at Notre Dame focused on why clergy and other caregiving professionals must prioritize self-care. Because a minister’s work is complex, often under-appreciated and subject to rapid change, Bloom emphasized maintaining a sense of calling and fulfillment is of central importance. In 2020, we will discover together how to care for ourselves as ministers.


ChurchWorks 2020 Keynote Speaker

Susan Sparks
Pastor, Madison Avenue Baptist Church, NYC

Reinhold Niebuhr wrote that there is laughter in the vestibule, the echo of laughter in the temple itself, but only faith and prayer, and no laughter in the Holy of Holies. Niebuhr was wrong. Join Rev. Susan Sparks, minister, comedian, and cancer survivor, for an engaging, fun look at the power of humor in life, ministry, and the spiritual path. You will leave a believer that joy and laughter not only ring in the vestibule/world, but ring clear and true in the Temple, and the Holy of Holies—the very presence of God.

Session 1 - Laughter in the Vestibule

Laughter is one of the most powerful, yet under-appreciated tools we have in this life. It can reduce stress, improve health, defuse conflict, empower creative thinking, build bridges, awaken our spiritual connections, and inspire hope.

Session 2 - Laughter in the Temple

In this session we will look at how humor can transform worship, scripture, and preaching.

Session 3 - Laughter in the Holy of Holies

On our last day, we will talk about the transformative, healing power of humor in times of crisis, including personal care and pastoral care.

Learn More

The Laugh In Peace Comedy Tour

Join us on Monday evening for The Laugh In Peace Comedy Tour with Rabbi Bob Alper, Muslim Comic Girbran Saleem and Susan Sparks for a fun-filled evening of interfaith comedy.
Learn More

ChurchWorks 2020 Registration

Regular Rate: $100 (includes morning & afternoon breaks, Tuesday lunch)

Seminary Rate: $50 (must be currently enrolled)

Sponsors - scroll below for info and how to register
Register for ChurchWorks

ChurchWorks 2020 Awards

Each year at ChurchWorks, two CBF ministers are recognized for their achievements in ministry with the Young Baptist Leadership Award and the Jack Naish Distinguished Christian Educator Award. Click the link to learn more and to nominate someone for 2020.
Learn More

ChurchWorks 2020 Sponsor Information

To inquire about sponsorship opportunities, click below or contact Josh Speight at or 770-220-1637

Sponsor Registration

Knoxville Hotel Information

Book your hotel room for ChurchWorks 2020 before February 10, 2020 at the Holiday Inn Knoxville North, located about 3.6 miles from Central Baptist Church Fountain City.

Rate - $119 per night (plus tax).

Complimentary wireless internet, breakfast buffet, and parking.

Reserve Room Here

ChurchWorks 2020 Schedule


Sunday, March 1, 2020
7:00 – 9:00 pm | Informal Gathering and Networking (Location TBA)

Monday, March 2, 2020
8:30 – 9:30 am | Registration Open (coffee/tea, light snacks provided)
9:30 – 10:15 am | Morning Gathering
10:15 – 11:30 am | Session 1– Laughter in the Vestibule, Susan Sparks
11:30am – 12:30 pm | Network Response
12:30 – 5:00 pm | Lunch (on your own) and Explore Knoxville (Afternoon options provided)
5:00 – 5:45 pm | Informal Gathering and Networking (Light snacks provided)
6:00– 7:30 pm | The Laugh In Peace Comedy Tour

Tuesday, March 3, 2020
9:00 – 9:30 am | Registration Open (coffee/tea, light snacks provided)
9:30 – 10:00 am | Morning Gathering & Awards Presentation
10:15 –11:30 am | Session 2 – Laughter in the Temple, Susan Sparks
11:45 – 12:45 pm | Lunch (provided)
1:00 – 2:15 pm | Networks Debrief
2:15 – 3:30 pm | Breakout Session 1
3:30 – 3:45 pm | Snack Break (provided)
3:45 – 5:00 pm | Breakout Session 2
5:15 - 5:45 pm | Evening Gathering
6:00 pm | Dinner Groups in Knoxville

Wednesday, March 4, 2020
9:00 – 9:30 am | Coffee/tea, light snacks provided
9:30 – 10:45 am | Session 3 – Laughter in the Holy of Holies, Susan Sparks
10:45 – 11:15 am | Closing Gathering

ChurchWorks matters because it is imperative that associates have safe, creative, intuitive space to think and grow around issues, questions and realities directly influencing and shaping their ministry and the church.

Molly Brummett Wudel, Co-Pastor, Emmaus Way Church (North Carolina) and Campus Minister at UNC Cooperative Baptist Student Fellowship


Past ChurchWorks Locations

2019 - Third Baptist Church, St. Louis, MO

2018 - Trinity Baptist Church, San Antonio, TX

2017 - Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL

2016 - First Baptist Church, Asheville, NC

2015 - First Baptist Church, Decatur, GA

2014 - First Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL

2013 - Broadway Baptist Church, Ft. Worth, TX

2012 - Freemason Street Baptist Church, Norfolk, VA