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Photo: Calvin College January Series
Harvey Carey speaking at January Series
Photo by Calvin College January Series

Internationally known speaker Pastor Harvey Carey will be among those addressing Christian Reformed Church members when they gather in Detroit for next summer’s Inspire 2017.

But Carey will be doing more than speaking. As pastor of Citadel of Faith Covenant Church in Detroit, he will also be offering a big welcome to the participants coming to his city from all over North America.

Set in Detroit because of its location along the Canadian/U.S. border, Inspire 2017 is an event designed to connect people from the CRC’s 1,000-plus churches for three days of practical workshops, speakers, worship, and conversation.

The goal is for volunteers involved in church ministry at any level to gather at the river in Detroit to refresh, renew, refocus, and reimagine how a shared calling finds expression in local communities and beyond.

Carey’s church is located on the west side of Detroit in one of the lowest-income ZIP codes in the U.S. Every Sunday it draws people from a range of races, ethnic groups, and backgrounds as they meet for worship in a refurbished Catholic church.

Listening to Pastor Carey’s story is sure to inspire all who attend the CRC event. He grew up in Chicago as the son of a single-parent mother who had to work multiple jobs to provide. And on one desperate night while he was in college, he tells audiences, he almost took his own life, only to experience a conversion, which eventually led him to become a youth ministry leader at Salem Baptist Church in Chicago.

His partnership with God grew into another vision; he wanted to lead a church focused on reaching teens and others to experience a Spirit-filled transformation.

In 2003, Citadel of Faith Covenant Church started with a handful of people. Today, more than 1,000 people attend Sunday worship, praising God with lively music; intense, focused prayer; and stirring messages. Transformation is happening.

Whenever he speaks, Carey challenges people to use their God-given gifts to help others and to further God’s purpose and kingdom.

At the 2010 Calvin College January Series, for example, he encouraged listeners, “Wherever you are in the body, do not use it as an excuse not to do great things for God. You can literally defy the odds by being the best gift you can be to the body.”

Pastor Carey is the latest speaker to be announced for the Inspire 2017 event. Other mainstage speakers include author and blogger Ann Voskamp and evangelical leader and author Richard Mouw. Watch for news coming on our fourth speaker soon!

For all the news about this event, visit Inspire 2017. Registration begins in mid-January 2017.