Ministers gather at P.O.A. for conference - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Ministers gather at P.O.A. for conference

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Three thousand ministers and family members from all over the country--and some other countries too--are in Cenla this week for the 31st annual "Because of the Times" conference at the Pentecostals of Alexandria.

"The Bible says, iron sharpeneth iron," said Gary Keller, senior pastor at New Life Christian Center in Lancaster, Ohio. "And this is a time when we can rub off on each other, strengthen one another."

"There just something special about the passion that this church has," said Ray Woodward, senior pastor for a congregation in New Brunswick, Canada. 

The title of the conference, "Because of the Times," is a reminder to keep the faith in this ever-changing world.

"The idea that we're living in a unique moment in history," said Carlton Coon, director of North American missions for the Pentecostal church. "While society, culture, technology has certainly changed in 31 years--some for better, some for worse--human nature still remains the same."

It's an opportunity to exchange ideas:

"I've found out that the longer I'm involved in the ministry, the more I need to learn," said Keller. 

And a time to encourage action. 

"You kind of go back home and think, you know what, if they can do it, I can do it," said Rod Pamer, bishop of the Apostolic Church in Barberton, Ohio. "I'm going to try again, and try harder."

Plus, there was a separate conference for the children of ministers.

"A lot of the people who speak to us were once pastor's kids," said Sumer Caudle, daughter of a pastor at P.O.A. "So it's nice because they've been there, and done what we've done; they have a lot of good advice to help us out with."

Because even a teenager can see the difference these three days can make.

"That's the greatest thing to watch," said Caudle. "People get refilled and lives change."
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