Umatilla church hosts human trafficking conference

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“Taking A Stand,” a conference designed to bring awareness, resources, preventative education and support opportunities to combat human trafficking, will be held Saturday, Nov. 9 at First Baptist Church in Umatilla.

The conference is sponsored by the church’s “Slaves No More,” a ministry created to fight the illegal trade of human beings for sexual exploitation or forced labor in its community.

Keynote speaker of the conference is Kay Bennett, Southern Baptist missionary and executive director of the Baptist Friendship House (BFH) in New Orleans, which has a vital ministry combatting human trafficking in the city.

She and Kendall Woltz, BFH assistant director, will help educate and give guidance to conference participants on how to become involved in identifying and fighting this modern form of slavery.

Among the speakers is Timothy Pigg, pastor of Fellowship Church in Immokalee, who will share the church’s program to assist those that are trapped in slave labor by helping them get into jobs and housing.

Other speakers include Christa Hicks, executive director, One More Child Anti Trafficking in Lakeland; Dottie Grover-Skipper of Tampa, recognized as Florida’s Human Trafficking Advocate of the Year” in 2013; and Patrick and Diena Nave, counselors at Sojourners Recovery and Wellness Center in Lake Mary.

The meeting is co-sponsored by the Florida Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board’s Send Relief.

The $5 cost to attend the conference, set for 9 a.m.-4 p.m., includes resources, a continental breakfast and lunch. To register, go to The church is located at 550 Hatfield Dr., Umatilla.

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