Global United Fellowship (GUF) Presiding Bishop Neil C. Ellis says that the mandate of Global United Fellowship is to “be different” in its approach to uniting the Body of Christ and equipping church leaders with the tools necessary to build and maintain healthy churches.
Therefore, GUF distinguishes itself as not another church denomination but a fellowship of churches united to enrich and expand the Kingdom of God to all the nations in the world. Although the fellowship is international, it has a significant presence of more than 600 Churches in the United States, which is where its last five conferences have been held. Next month, GUF will host its annual conference – called The Gathering – outside of the United States for the first time. The Gathering will be held July 9 – 12 at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, which is the home of Ellis and the world headquarters of the organization.
“Hospitality is central to the Bahamian people, so this promises to be an extraordinary experience as everyone will feel welcome,” says Ellis. “If this is an attendee’s first time on the island, they will leave home to come home. If it is not their first time, they will leave home to return home.”
Since the conference will be held in The Bahamas, GUF organizers made some programmatic changes this year so that attendees can enjoy the beautiful Atlantis Resort and explore the island overall. “We are not having the same amount of services and sessions as we customarily do,” says Ellis. “We want people to enjoy the Bahamas because they will have vacation and relaxation on their minds while they are here.”
A central theme of this year’s Gathering is What is a Healthy Church? On Wednesday there will be breakout sessions including “The Community Within the Community” which will be facilitated by the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team to help equip leaders with the tools to respond to the myriad personal crisis that can come up in congregants’ lives.
On Thursday there will be one corporate session from 9 – 11:45 a.m. on the healthy church. “We are doing it this way instead of offering breakout sessions because everyone needs to hear this,” says Ellis. “We are going to reexamine the biblical model of what constitutes a healthy church, because it is time that we rethink the way we do church.” Some of Thursday’s topics include “Creating a Culture of KONIONA”, “The Traits of a Vibrant Congregation”, “The Healthy Pastor” and “Size Doesn’t Matter”.
“We have to come to grips with the fact that the culture of church is changing, particularly in the Western Hemisphere. We are adjusting to accommodate a changing society, but we have to maintain a commitment to the biblical morals of the church. With all of our adjusting, there still has been a decline in church attendance over the last 10 years. We cannot allow culture to dictate the agenda of the church,” says Ellis.
There are no afternoon sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday evening will feature speaker Bishop Carolyn Showell and psalmist Maranda Curtis. Thursday there will be two evening sessions: Devon Franklin and Meagan Goode will give a talk about relationships and there will be a late-night service featuring speakers Dr. Jamal Bryant and Bishop Marvin Sapp.
On Friday morning there is prayer time from 5:30 – 7 a.m., and a Morning Glory service from 8 – 9:30 a.m. Attendees will be free the rest of the day. Friday evening’s session will feature speaker Bishop Neil Ellis and psalmist Bishop Marvin Sapp.
More than 1700 people are expected to travel to the Bahamas to attend The Gathering 2019, while a total of 3500 are expected to attend. Ministries will converge from The United States, The Bahamas, Pakistan, England, South Africa, Ghana, Cuba, Haiti, the Philippines and other countries. Registration and more program information can be found at https://globalunitedfellowship.org/thegathering2019/
About Global United Fellowship
Established in October of 2013 under the leadership of Bishop Neil C. Ellis, Global United Fellowship (GUF) is a cross-denominational fellowship of spiritual leaders and churches united to strategically plan, implement and execute transformative and generational impact. In six years, GUF has grown from 41 churches to more than 1400 churches in 42 Countries. The Fellowship’s Five Prong mandate is to unite churches; equip leaders; enhance marriages; resurrect the dying discipline of prayer and build covenant relationships within the Body of Christ. GUF is represented in churches from countries and provinces including the Bahamas, England, Jamaica, Pakistan, South Africa, the Turks & Caicos Islands, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and The United States. With more than 100 consecrated Bishops and Apostles in the Fellowship, and hundreds of influential pastors, GUF is equipped to leave a major spiritual imprint on today’s culture through targeted ministries in the areas of Family, Education, Business, Media, Religion, Government and Arts & Entertainment. More information can be found at www.globalunitedfellowship.org.
About Bishop Neil C. Ellis
Bishop Neil C. Ellis is Presiding Bishop of The Global United Fellowship, and Senior Pastor of Mt. Tabor Church in Nassau, Bahamas. A gifted and dynamic pastor, speaker and leader, Bishop Ellis is passionate about the Word of God and its ability to transform lives. He is the author of 12 books; serves as mentor to more than 40 pastors in the Bahamas and throughout the United States; and has traveled throughout The Caribbean, North America, Germany, Africa, Israel, Greece and Rome preaching the Gospel. Bishop Ellis has been recognized by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth of England, for rendering distinguished services in Commonwealth nations. He is the recipient of the 2010 Trumpet Award for Spiritual Enlightenment and he is the youngest living inductee in the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, GA. Bishop Ellis is married to the former Patrice Michelle Johnson and they, along with their two children Johnathan and Renechea, reside in Nassau, Bahamas.