By Lucille Badger, Atlanta 08 Conference Director

Calling Out Black Leaders

“God did an amazing work in my life at Atlanta, and I know the same is true for most, if not all who were there.”
Alexandria Grant, Swarthmore College

InterVarsity’s Student Leadership Advancement Conference in Atlanta at the end of December was designed to bring a core of black student leaders from various campuses together to challenge them spiritually, to equip them in ministry, and to commission them in the power and might of the Holy Spirit to transform their campuses.

They were challenged as 21st Century leaders to bring change to the world locally and globally. No matter what the changes and shifts within the black church, leaders should demonstrate concern for issues that will affect not only African Americans and people of African descent, but all people. With the theme Called Out to Call Out, Atlanta 08 challenged undergraduate and graduate students to hear the voice of God for themselves and to respond, “Yes, I’ll Go.”

Dr. Harold Dean Trulear, associate professor of Applied Theology at Howard University, guided students through three days of Bible exposition, examining the struggles and triumphs of the Old Testament prophet Jonah as he responded to the call of leadership.

Additional plenary speakers and the issues they addressed:

  • Ram Sridharan, InterVarsity Staff, repentance
  • Dr. Jeanne Porter, Associate Pastor of Apostolic Church of God and founder of TransPorter Communication, restoration
  • Rev. Joshua Settles, InterVarsity Area Director, reconciliation
  • Princess Kasune Zulu, founder of Fountain of Life, redemption
  • Rev. Phil Bowling-Dyer, Associate Director, Multi-Ethnic Ministries, commissioning to return to serve their campuses and their communities


On December 31st, approximately 64 students gathered together in prayer for their campuses, for one another, and for the world. They then marched into the dining hall with praise and singing to set the room ablaze—a 21st Century Haystack renewal and revival.

We as staff feel confident that the Father saw their tears of repentance, and heard their response to the call for restoration and reconciliation. We heard their fresh commitments; we believe we shall see advanced leaders who live lives of confession and prayer, pray for their campus, disciple and develop other leaders within the movement, and initiate godly changes within the United States and globally.

Audio from each of the speakers at Atlanta 08 is available on InterVarsity’s Audio Resources page.