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Legacy Conference 2016 ‘Missio Dei’ – Day 1 Recap

For those who are unable to attend the Legacy Conference this year, we have you covered! Wade-O team members, Jacob and Mikaela, take you throughout the in’s and out’s of this year’s Legacy experience. We bring to you a brief recap of each event, including The Cross Movement Reunion Concert and The Wade-O Radio Mix Show.

We believe in the Legacy’s goal of equipping disciple makers with biblically-based tools and hope our small window into the day’s events will convince you to make the trip next year.

The Legacy Conference kicked off it’s first full day on Thursday, July 21 at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, with attendees coming in from different cities from across the country. Many came to connect with other believers, grow in their faith and understanding of God and His word, and to celebrate The Legacy’s 10th Year of existence. For this year’s theme, The Legacy focused on the ‘Missio Dei’ – the Mission of God.

9:00am General Session | Dhati Lewis and William “The Ambassador” Branch

The general session began with a word of prayer and worship, as attendees were encouraged to grow in the Lord and focus on the Missio Dei. The conference was emceed by J Givens and the general session speakers were pastor Dhati Lewis from BluePrint Church and William “The Ambassador” Branch. Both gave TED-Talk inspired sermons.

Dhati Lewis – Genesis 12:1-3 – Disciple Making

Dhati spoke on discipleship making and how we are now in a new urban. A new urban where cultures are colliding and consist of density and diversity. He drew inspiration from his own work within the urban context of Atlanta and how there needs to be “a group of people who are willing to go out and be urban practitioners.” 

He focused on Genesis 12:1-3 and gave points on discipleship.

  1. The call to discipleship is the call to follow Jesus Christ.
  2. A challenge to forsake all others.

Within the aspect of discipleship, Dhati also spoke on gentrification, urbanization and globalization. Stating that, “the answer to gentrification is not to relocate but it is to answer it with the Gospel.” 

He also highlighted the fact that God gives us the type of environments and neighborhoods we live in for a reason. It is so that we may be a blessing to the nation. 

Dhati concluded his talk with speaking on justification and reconciliation. Making the point that we must have both. “Justification without reconciliation is called Hell,” he said. “Being reconciled is a tangible expression of God’s love.” 

William “The Ambassador” Branch | ‘Hinderance of the Mission’ | Genesis 12:10-20

The Ambassador took the second half of the general session to speak on the Mission of God and to not be a hinderance to it. He took a look at the story of Abram and Sarai and the mission they were on and the trying times of ministry. In that specific scripture, Abram tried to manipulate the situation by telling Pharaoh that Sarai was his sister instead of his wife. Within that context, The Ambassador focused on how Abram did three things. He used self preservation, he made predictions on cultural observation and mission manipulation. 

The Ambassador also gave several nuggets on Missio Dei and how the Lord has a mission for his people, even in times that may be difficult. 

Here were a few notable quotes from his talk:

“The greatest hinderance to the mission are the people.”

“God sends his people to areas where there may be troubling times.” 

“The Missio Dei is not a mission trip. The Missio Dei is there is a famine coming, and you’re in the will of God.”

“We want a mission with no sacrifice, but that may be where God calls you.”

“Just because you blow up and it works, doesn’t mean that it was the right move for you.”

“God preserves His mission, His people, His outcome.” 

“Do God’s work, God’s way, for His Glory. Don’t be a hinderance.”

10:30 Workshops

Workshop | Track: Church In The City | John Onwuchekwa | Gospel Contextualization | Sponsored by BLVD


John O speaking during Legacy 2016


I (Jacob) try to make BLVD’s Church In The City track each year. In my 3rd year here at Legacy the content continues to evolve and is highly applicable to my home church & city context. John O. set off the track with a workshop on the church’s call to contextualize the gospel. Contextualization is sharing the gospel in a way that the listener can understand in their heart’s language while maintaining the integrity of the message.

“The only thing worse than no church in the city is a bad church in the city”

John walked us through a piece of Acts 17 to show us how Paul contextualized the gospel to a city on his “day off.” One of my main takeaways was that when the gospel is shared hastily without proper contextualization, the listeners are led to believe that the gospel simply isn’t the answer to their issues.

Workshop | Track: People Of God | Jackie Hill Perry | Love The Church When It Hurts | 


Jackie Hill-Perry speaking on Church hurt at Legacy Conference in Chicago


“God is not okay when his bride is disrespected. When you disrespect the Church, you disrespect God in the process.” – Jackie Hill-Perry

I (Mikaela) decided to attend Jackie Hill-Perry’s talk on the Church and dealing with Church hurt. Many sat listened with eagerness as Jackie spoke on her own Church hurt and feelings towards the Church during that time, and how to fight to love Christ’s bride.

I found this workshop to be helpful for the current season in my life. She gave 4 points on how to view the Church.

  1. Fight to see the Church as Christ see’s the Church. How to see it may affect how we treat it.
  2. Understand that you need the Church and the Church needs you.
  3. Seek reconciliation with the Church.
  4. Forgive the Church.

1:00 PM | Cross Movement Reunion Concert


The Ambassador rapping during the Cross Movement reunion Concert

During the lunch break we gathered in the outdoor courtyard for Cross Movement’s official reunion show. The legendary group ran through 20 years of classics with periodic breaks for members to share reflections on their legacy and encouragement for artists to continue sharing the gospel boldly through hip hop.

One of the best parts of the show was the audience. DJ Wade-O, Json, Sho Baraka, Street Hymns, Da’ T.R.U.T.H., Pastor Jah & many others crowded the front row and created an infectious energy. Seeing hundreds of conference attendees rap each song word for word was a powerful testament to Cross Movement’s place in the lives of believers all around the world.

2:15 PM | Workshops

Workshop | Track: Church In The City | Ryan West & Dhati Lewis | City Vision | Sponsored by BLVD

BLVD continued the Church In The City Track in the afternoon with a workshop on City Vison with Ryan West and Dhati Lewis. Developing a proper city vision is the beginning of contextualizing the gospel in our cities. For Dhati and Blueprint Church in Atlanta this started with 6 months of working to understand the history, assets & issues of their community before stepping into any formal mission initiative.

Workshop | Track: The Christian and Politics | Carl and K.A. Ellis | The Church in Politics and Activism | Sponsored by The AND Campaign

“On the backside of persecution is perseverance.” –K.A. Ellis

Carl and K.A. Ellis tag teamed their workshop as they spoke on The Church in Politics and Activism. In K.A’s talk she gave an in-depth look at the difference between temporal activism and Kingdom activism. In those two differences, K.A. looked at what both offered in terms of peace and justice, the end goal, enemy, ethics, and strategies. With Temporal Activism it focuses on revenge, status quo, justice and peace are not always assumed and temporal activism is not transforming. While Kingdom Activism promotes biblical attributes of dignity, identity, and significance.

Carl Ellis looked at the Gospel and Political Engagement. He focused on the common core values America was founded on, and what Christians need to be and do as we engage politically. He also looked at the concept of theology, human nature from a Biblical worldview, and how we must focus on the Great Commission and our ability to disciple individuals and cultures.

“What we need now is not more politicians. We need Christian statesmen. Politicians fight for power, as statesman stands for the truth. A statesman stands for justice.” –Carl Ellis

4:30 PM |  Legacy’s Rap Showcase


Cellus Hamilton, winner of Legacy’s Rap Showcase


There was a good turn out for the Legacy Rap Showcase with a great amount of talented exhibited. The contest consisted of artists who were selected from rap entries submitted in April. The event was hosted by the humorous Jackie Hill-Perry and was judged by returning judges Json, Natalie Lauren and Odd Thomas.

The contestants for the showcase were K-Lake, KnuOrigen, Wande, Cellus Hamilton, Damon Plant, and Kay Sade. Each contestant brought originality, energy, lyricism and creativity to their set. Many had the crowd involved in their songs and moving to their beats.

Wande and Kay Sade represented for the ladies, as they both brought their own steez to the competition.

For this year’s Rap Showcase, Cellus Hamilton won over the crowd and the judges with his clear and solid performance. Jackie commended him on his performance and told him that she would buy his album, because he was so dope. Odd Thomas chimed in to say that he felt like he had a strong emphases on his lyrics.

To conclude the event, DJ Nisha played last year’s Rap Showcase winner Ki’Shon Furlow’s track “Obi Wan Kenobi.”

6:30 PM | General Session | Cross Movement Live Time Achievement Award & Pastor Chris Brooks | Matthew 16:13-18

Cross Movement

During the evening general session, The Cross Movement were given the Live Time Achievement Award for their 20 years of accomplishments and contribution to Christian Hip-hop and the genre. A tribute video aired in their honor and DJ Wade-O presented the group with the award.

Pastor Chris Brooks continued the talk on Missio Dei, and the movement of God’s love towards his people. He spoke on being on mission for God and how he is ultimately the greatest of all time and we must approach Him as such. Brooks also stated that, “the church exists because of the movement of God and no one else.” He continued to weigh in on the great nature of God and how he ultimately is the greatest, and bigger than any obstacle or idol we make.

“The Missio Dei is about God reaching out to sinners like you and I, and saving us.” –Chris Brooks

9:00 PM | Wade-O Radio Presents: The Mix Show

To cap off Day 1 of Legacy 2016 DJ Wade-O took the stage for the Wade-O Mix Show feat. Cross Movement, Stephen the Levite, Eshon Burgundy, JGivens, Odd Thomas, Json, Ki’Shon Furlow, Da’ T.R.U.T.H, Trip Lee & Andy Mineo.

Energy was high from the jump with fans celebrating the reunion of legendary CHH group Cross Movement. Collision Records newcomer Ki’Shon Furlow flew around the stage, JGivens performed “10 2 Get In” with Odd Thomas for the first time, and Json debuted a new 4 member collective called Dead Heroes.

Fans who missed the show will have another opportunity to see many of the featured artists at Legacy Fest on Saturday. Visit to learn more!

Stay tuned for more recaps from the Legacy Conference and check out our social media outlets for exclusive pictures.

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Wade-O Radio is a ministry dedicated to helping young urbanites grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. The ministry includes a widely read blog and weekly podcast, The Wade-O Radio Show, that has been downloaded over a million times. You can follow them on Twitter @Wadeoradio and like them on Facebook or subscribe to their free podcast in iTunes.

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