2002 Louisville, Kentucky 216th
2002 Logo

The 216th Annual Conference (June 29-July 3, 2002) of the Church of the Brethren was held in the Kentucky International Convention Center, 221 Fourth Street, Louisville, KY 40202, just a few blocks from the Ohio River with the State of Indiana on the opposite side. Brethren enjoyed the use of a 1999 renovated facility that covers 300,000 square feet of total space, including 200,000 square foot of exhibit space, 145,000 of which is column-free, plus 52 meeting rooms. Additionally impressive were the terrazzo flooring which depicted many of the important events in Kentucky history. The settlement that later became the city of Louisville was founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark and named after King Louis XVI of France. Locating the convention center was very easy as three major Interstates I-64, I-65, and I-71, all pass within a few blocks of the facility and surrounding Hotels. Downtown atmosphere was enjoyable, residents were friendly, and many notable figures of Kentucky were easy to engage in Conversation.


Louisville is naturally home to the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum, easily located by its mammoth 120 foot tall Baseball Bat leaning against the building. Since 1884 they have been literally Turning Out Bats for all major league baseball players, a few of which have been retired to their Baseball Museum following an impressive player career or one-time event. The river walk permitted Conference-goers an opportunity to relax, take a quick river tour on a Paddle-wheel Boat, or adjust their time to the gigantic 40 foot Colgate Clock at the Colgate-Palmolive factory across the river. It has been featured as a backdrop in several motion pictures. For those who like side trips, it's only a few blocks south to Church Hill Downs, famous for the Kentucky Derby, or several miles south to the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox.


Moderator Paul Grout opened the Saturday evening worship service by erecting his Cross of Jesus. He implored conference goers to recognize that sincere repentance is an extremely important segment of preparation before conducting and processing denominational business. Following the Old Testament custom for repentance as found in Daniel 9:3, “And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes,” Grout provided several tables of Ashes & Sackcloth. Following the main worship service but still under inspirational music, Willing Penitents spread ashes over their heads and set patches of sackcloth on their shoulders to outwardly express their inward spiritual need. Candles on the Worship Table were lit before each service to continually emphasize the theme of repentance. The Children Walking in their monitored groups were often observed around the city, and Tuesday evening is the treasured moment to hear the Children Singing before the evening worship service. Volunteers Quilted hundreds of patches sent in from districts and congregations. Finishing touches are given to the main 2002 Logo Quilt, featuring the Conference logo prominently centered and surrounded by patches from congregations, districts, camps, and agencies. A technological innovation permitted delegates to visually see Proposed Admendment Changes on screen, instead listening to them being read by the Conference Secretary. It was a welcome change.


2002 Conference Officers were Moderator Paul Grout, pastor of Genesis COB, Putney, Vermont; Moderator-elect Harriet Finney, Co-District Executive of Indiana South-Central; and Secretary Cathy Huffman.






“They determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain other of them,
should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders (about this question).”
Acts 15:2