Dr. Pernessa Seele, community activist, founder and CEO of the Balm in Gilead, recently announced the Healthy Churches 2020 Conference, being held Nov. 4 to 6 at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, N.C.

This three-day national event brings together faith leaders, health directors, doctors, nurses and members of congregational-based health ministries to find answers to today’s complex questions and provide the information needed to help ease the troubling issues in our inner cities and third world-like rural areas.

“The Healthy Churches 2020 conference is designed for churches who already have or who want to establish a healthy ministry,” stated Seele. “This conference is designed for the ministry and pastor to come and get skills and resources that will help them with the needs of the congregation within their community.

“Our health plays a major part in how we are addressed in society. We cannot dismiss the challenges we face in the health care community, but at the same time, we must continue to move forward.”

Healthy Churches 2020 will offer education sessions and workshops on disease prevention, care and treatment in to strengthen the knowledge and skills of people involved in faith-based health activities such as health ministries, annual church health fairs, community kitchens, faith-based clinics and other community health programs.

This year’s host is former NBA star Earl “the Pearl” Monroe. The 2015 Conference Chairpersons are world-renowned medical experts James R.Gavin III, MD, Ph.D., and Bishop Horace E. Smith, MD. Organizers expect 350 to 400 attendees from across the country.

“Black churches for generations have endured the consistent burden of racial hate and violence in ways other communities, perhaps, cannot imagine,” Seele stated in a press release. “Unfortunately, like the days of slavery and Jim Crow laws, unimaginable violence has entered Black churches once again. Places of worship must become equipped on how to take protective measures before, during and after an emergency. Gun violence, terrorism, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires and all ‘incoming’ disasters must be prepared for.”

Healthy Churches 2020 is based on the goals and concepts of the Healthy People 2020 federal government program. Conference sponsors have included AARP, CVS Health and the National Council of Churches. For information, visit healthychurches2020.org or call 888-225-6243. Follow the conference on Facebook at HealthyChurches2020, Twitter @HC2020 and Instagram @TheBalmInGilead.