Belmont University Professor of Theology and Religion and the Arts Dr. Steve Guthrie was chosen to help lead a recent conference for indigenous pastors in an unusual location—on the banks of the Amazon River. The 6th annual Jungle Pastors’ Conference, a mission trip hosted by Justice and Mercy International, was held in an effort to lead indigenous Amazon pastors who have little access to training or teaching in sessions on worship and theology. Guthrie was selected to join a team of 21 teachers who made the trip, and the team served 59 jungle pastors and their wives.
The conference consisted of large group worship services, breakout sessions on topics ranging from church finance to marriage to children’s ministry, shared meals and times of fun and fellowship. In addition to leading breakout sessions, Guthrie was part of an international group of musicians who played music for the week. He also explored the possibility of Belmont students participating in future trips with Justice & Mercy International.
“It was wonderful to be able to share some of the same material that I teach at Belmont with these pastors,” Guthrie said. “Over the course of the week, I was also able to meet with a number of the local pastors individually and find out about their experiences ministering in the incredibly remote places where they live. Some of the pastors I met had traveled more than a week by boat to reach the conference. I came away from the conference with a much richer and fuller picture of the life of the church worldwide, and what the life of a minister might look like in a very different setting from my own.”
Justice & Mercy International’s blog post about the conference states, “We were so honored to have some of the most respected Bible teachers and pastors with us, imparting wisdom to these faithful men and women that are serving in the darkest parts of the jungle. It was truly a Spirit-filled week and God was at work in the hearts of his people there.”