The Heafner Mission turns 40 this year.
It was 1982, when J. Harlan and Evangeline Heafner funded a trust to promote and endow “a series of spiritual enrichment services for all people, regardless of race, color, or creed” and for the greater oecumenical community, according to spokeswoman Angie Pooley of Christian Ministry of Lincoln County. Since the Heafner Mission’s creation, many renowned speakers have appeared, including drs. Fred Craddock, Leighton Ford and Tony Campolo and Rabbi Judith Schindler.
This year, Rev. Dr. Michael Slaughter will be the speaker for the Heafner Mission, which will be held twice on March 13 at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and again March 14 at 6:30 p.m., with all three appearances at the First United Methodist Church of Lincolnton, located downtown at 201 E. Main St. Slaughter’s first appearance will be when he preaches a sermon that Sunday morning in the church’s sanctuary. The latter two talks will be made in the fellowship hall. A nursery will be available for all three appearances, and light refreshments will be available for the latter two.
Slaughter is the pastor emeritus at and a worldwide ambassador for Ginghamsburg Church in Dayton, Ohio. He has served the church in various capacities for some 40 years now. And he is known for his advocacy efforts, including for the people of Darfur in the Sudan. The war-torn region is one of the most impoverished and violent on earth, and the genocide of the Darfuri people is among the world’s worst humanitarian crises today.
Slaughter is also the founder and chief strategist of Passionate Churches, LLC, which specializes in developing pastors, church staffers and laity through coaching, training, consulting and more. At First Methodist, he will talk about thinking innovatively and strategically, and he’ll discuss the benefits of collaboration with local business, government and civic leaders.