The Stanford University motto, “The wind of freedom blows,” became a reality for 750 leaders from mainline Protestant denominations, the Roman Catholic Church, the charismatic movement, and evangelical churches. This diverse contingent showed remarkable freedom of dialogue and unity of spirit at the first National Convocation of Christian Leaders on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California, August 27–31.

The ecumenical gathering explored the theme “Ministry for the 80s and Beyond.” With no obligation to produce a conference consensus statement or to defend doctrinal or ecclesiastical positions of their respective churches, these Christians, who represented a variety of geographical and spiritual backgrounds, listened openly to biblical preaching and teaching, shared their burden to bring Christ to the world, discussed creative new means of ministry, and pledged themselves to God and each other.

The “Stanford ’79” convocation was initiated by Lowell Berry, a 77-year-old United Presbyterian layman, Stanford alumnus, and retired industrialist.

David Hubbard, president of Fuller Theological diocese of San Francisco and the Diocese of Oakland, charismatic leader David du Plessis, and the Stanford Memorial Church, planned and coordinated the program. It consisted of 17 major addresses by a galaxy of pastors, priests, theologians, church executives, and 40 seminars and workshops in church strategy conducted by Christian scholars. As dean of the convocation, Hubbard provided an introduction and insightful expositions of Psalms 49, 141, and 147, in which he emphasized that “God has left nothing to chance, not where the welfare of his people is concerned.”

Ecumenical pioneer and Pentecostal leader David du Plessis said ...

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