Transformed. Changed.

There’s something different in the way you reason, feel, and live. When God began to work in and through you, you saw how lives around you changed too and how the Kingdom of God came alive around you. But how does your experience translate into the lives of others?

Our shared faith tradition gives us an important starting point for understanding how God transforms people, communities, and the world. It helps us see how people grow in understanding, faith, and love. It gives us a framework for how to build up the leaders around us who are living out God’s love. It points us toward the work of love that God is already doing around us and asks if we’re willing to join in that work.

Join us for this year’s Free Methodist Experience (FMx) and be inspired by three incredible leaders whose diverse traditions and backgrounds give them a unique perspective on how God helps us understand who he is, recreates our hearts, and gives us a new life to live through the Spirit. Connect and share your story in targeted breakout sessions. Experience spirit-filled worship with the Azusa Pacific University worship team. Leave knowing love, filled by love, and ready to live love in your community.

Event Schedule

Monday, September 11

9am – 11am Women’s Clergy Event
1pm – 2:30pm Opening Session

  • Worship
  • Opening Devotional – Fraser Venter
  • Afternoon Keynote – Kevin Mannoia
2:45pm – 3:45pm Breakout Sessions 1
4pm – 5pm Breakout Sessions 2
5pm Dinner
7pm – 9pm Evening Session

  • Worship
  • Evening Keynote – Tara Beth Leach

Tuesday, September 12

7am Breakfast
9am – 10:30am Morning Session

  • Worship
  • Welcome
  • Morning Keynote – Rukshan Fernando
10:30am – 11:30am Breakout Sessions 3
11:45am Charge and Communion
12pm Dismissal


Kevin Mannoia

Kevin W. Mannoia is Professor of Ministry and serves as Chaplain at Azusa Pacific University. In that capacity he developed and oversees the chaplaincy and spiritual care ministry of the faculty, staff, and graduate students. Previously, he served as Dean of Haggard School of Theology at APU, coming from his role as President of the National Association of Evangelicals. From his experience as a pastor, superintendent, bishop of the Free Methodist Church and President of the NAE, Mannoia brings his understanding of the church at a congregational, organizational, denominational, and national level to his ministry. He and Kathleen, his wife, live near Los Angeles. They have three children, Kristyn, Christopher and Corey.

Tara Beth Leach

Tara Beth Leach is the Senior Pastor at First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena (“PazNaz”) in Southern California. She is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University (B.A. Youth Ministry) and Northern Theological Seminary (M.Div.). She is regular writer for Missio Alliance and has contributed to other publications such as Christianity Today, Christian Week, The Jesus Creed, The Table Magazine, Reflecting the Image Devotional, and Renovating Holiness. Tara Beth is also the author of the InterVarsity Press book, Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry (2017) and a Beacon Hill Press book, Kingdom Culture (Spring, 2017). She has two beautiful and rambunctious children, Caleb and Noah, and has been married to the love of her life, Jeff, since 2006.

Rukshan Fernando

Dr. Rukshan Fernando is the Associate Dean of the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences at Azusa Pacific University. Rukshan is committed to equipping leaders and organizations to flourish as portrayers of the kingdom of God. Rukshan consults with a number of universities and churches on issues of leadership, organizational culture, diversity, and inclusion. He has served as a consultant to World Vision Sri Lanka, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Treasury, and as a visiting lecturer at the Colombo Theological Seminary in Sri Lanka. He and his wife have two children and enjoy traveling, the outdoors, and all types of ethnic food.

Breakout Sessions

Board Training for the Local Licensed Minister

John Rittenhouse

As the denomination has moved to an Outcomes-Based system (OBO) for ordination, the FMCSC has developed the Local Licensed Minister (LLM) process.  This process of the LLM empowers each local church and their board of administration to evaluate, develop, and deploy licensed ministers. Pastor John

Rittenhouse will provide the framework for pastors to teach their boards how to evaluate candidates, how to administrate the process of the local licensed minister, and how to discern if a candidate should remain deployed at the local church or be recommended to the Conference MEG Board for ordination.

Spiritual Formation

Nina Lau-Branson

In this time of great change where the church is increasingly seen as irrelevant, can our Wesleyan heritage give us direction on what God may be inviting us into? How do we nurture communities of holy living that can be used by God as fuel for sweeping revival and change in this time and place? A key part of Wesley’s spiritual formation practice was groups or societies that met together weekly. They were committed to a set of spiritual practices and to being held accountable to these practices.

Platform and Advocacy for Women in Ministry

Cheri Coleman & Colleen Hurley-Bates

Core to our freedoms within the Free Methodist Church is the freedom for women to participate fully in the life, ministry and governance of the church as called and gifted by God. Following the W.E.L.L (Women.Equal.Learning.Leading) event on Sunday, Cheri and Colleen will lead a discussion on platforming and advocating for women in your local churches.

Living in a story economy

Rick Rekedal

It’s hard enough trying to navigate the changing markets of smartphone, social media, and app culture. The largest segment of the population have grown up becoming digital – living through tech – so community, sharing,and life has new language that needs to be named. In the biggest digital expansion of all time there is a growing need and desire for tangible connection. This is the beginning of understanding how to lead forward to reaching the next generation.


Matthew Anderson

Matthew Anderson has spent the last 30 years in ministry committed to evangelism and discipleship. While serving in over 50 different countries (including Singapore, Philippines, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Korea, Thailand, PNG, New Zealand, Australia, and Guam), Matthew has observed a consistent effective practice for church growth and health; discipleship.

Keynote Follow Up

Kevin Mannoia

Kevin will follow up his Keynote on Wesleyan Identify giving more language and insight to the Wesleyan Theopraxis course he developed for the denomination.

Keynote Follow Up

Rukshan Fernando

Embodying a community of adaptive churches characterized radical hospitality. As church leaders, we help people discover their God-given design. As we look towards the future, FMCSC leaders can adapt and employ tools to empower their churches to be hospitable spaces of transformation. Leaders can embrace adaptive leadership, a framework which can facilitate vibrant and empowered congregations. This session will introduce the principles of adaptive leadership and how this frame work can enable a radical hospitality.

September 11-12, 2017

Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center

601 West McKinley Avenue
Pomona, California, 91768