Michael Peace was born and raised in New York City as the second oldest of four children. He has recorded four rap albums with Reunion Records. His 1994 release "Outta Control" contains all the sounds of the inner-city and is his most provocative, hard hitting album. Considered the Grandfather of Christian Hip-Hop, he is well respected and mentors young artists nationally. In 1994, Michael received the “African-American of Distinction” award for his commitment to urban communities from then NY Governor Mario Cuomo.
"The hardened streets of America are my mission field,” says Michael, "That's where I grew up.” One day the Lord spoke to me and said, "If you don't go, who will?" Michael is the Founder and President of Michael Peace and Associates, a multi-faceted youth, urban affairs, music and general consulting organization. He has developed curriculum for educational at risk children and part of a team spearheading the establishing of abstinence education funding for the city of Rochester, City-Wide Black Experience History game as well as an instructor in public schools. Additionally, Michael leads a youth ministry team into the Industry School, a minimum security state facility for youth every 1st and 2nd Sunday of the month.
Michael is a great baseball enthusiast and above all of what he does, he finds his greatest fulfillment being the Urban Children’s Pastor of Bethel Express and the “Remix,” an urban youth outreach in Rochester, NY. He has been married to Julia over 23 years, they have one son Roberto J.D., and a host of spiritual children.
Derek will serve as one of our keynote speakers this year at Excel. Derek is the lead Pastor/Elder at GraceLife Church in Avon, NY. He is also an author, worship artist, and speaker with the ministry focus of strengthening believers to be life-giving followers of Jesus. His passion is to see believers everywhere experiencing the grace of God, resulting in a lifestyle of worship and evangelism. Derek is also the lead singer and founder of Isaiah Six, our worship band at Excel. His solo album, “Prophets and Princes” came out in 2007. Derek has been to over 13 nations, including serving for a year in Tanzania, East Africa, where he nearly died of malaria.
Associated with Elim Fellowship, an international fellowship of churches and ministries, Derek also serves as an elder of the movement, and an instructor at Elim Bible Institute. Together, Derek and wife Heidi Jo live in Lima, NY, with their six children.
One Voice Anthem is a Christian band from Albany, NY. After years of serving as worship leaders for thousands of believers at their churches, three friends discussed the desire to lead Christians everywhere in worship by writing original music and putting their own passion, gratitude, and praise into song. Following the example of great worshipers past and present, the members of One Voice Anthem seek to bring a thoughtful and powerful message through each song they write, with Scripture being the core inspiration and the freeing truth in every line.
The name One Voice Anthem was chosen because of a vision seen during the first writing session; one person singing praises to God while seemingly standing alone until the viewpoint expands and millions of people around the world are seen singing the same song to the same Savior. With this idea of a united, global anthem, the members of One Voice Anthem are excited to bring Christians from every place and background together to praise the one and only Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.
One Voice Anthem is Caleb Barton (Guitar, Vocals); Tim Pombo (Drums); Dave Lewicki (Bass, Vocals); Matt Koonz (Guitar)
Tobias, a native Rochesterian, has been blazing trails in both music and ministry for almost 2 decades. From recording with JODECI, Timbaland, and Missy Elliott to sharing stages with Sean Combs, Mary J. Blige, Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary, and Mike Peace, Tobias has been cultivating his talents and advancing the Kingdom of God throughout the US and abroad. Born into a household where music was ever present, Tobias fell in love w/sound at an early age and recorded his first song at the age of 7. As a part of the “hip-hop” generation he was involved in everything from break dancing to freestyling. However, it wasn't until his teenage years did he realize that art and entertainment could be both a means of self expression as well as a powerful vehicle to impact culture on a global scale.
His penchant for lyrics that grip the soul is rooted in transparency. “I believe that when God’s children are transparent, exposing both the good, bad, and ugly parts of our lives, people are not only able to see Jesus in us but they’re also able to see Jesus through us in a relevant way.” To date Tobias has published numerous works, ministered on countless platforms, and has been used to impact lives from college campuses to correctional facilities. And in the grand scheme of things, he’s just getting started.
Brad Tate is a Real, Relevant, and Reliable conference speaker! He has had the privilege of being a part of conferences, camps, and events across the country and internationally. Brad's style of teaching stays true to the text while compelling students to listen, engage, and act on God’s word. Students say they find Brad easy to understand because of his authenticity, and willingness to be on the same page.
When Brad is not traveling, he serves as the Teaching Pastor for 2|42 Community Church, a fast growing, multi-site church in southeast Michigan.
Cory is passionate about seeing people set free to become who God created them to be. She loves God, her family, and cooking Italian food for all her friends. She and her husband serve as the Head of Pastoral Ministries at their local church in the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Cory is ordained with Alliance International Ministries, and is a frequent speaker at women's conferences and youth events across the country. You can often find her working with her charity, Hope for Kenya, or blogging at Sisters for Real. She is known for her humorous, personal, and authentic speaking style, and for her really, really, REALLY loud laugh.
Groundzero Master's Commission is an intense and passionate 9-month discipleship school for young adults (18-25). Groundzero is for those that want to seek more of God in their life and make Him their sole focus. Through hands on ministry, mission trips, intense prayer, devotion, and worship, God will change and challenge you.
At Groundzero we focus heavily on reaching out to teenagers, working hands-on in youth ministry, and doing everything with excellence. Our program can best be described as aggressive and fast-paced . At Groundzero, you will have the chance to work with students in the community, build powerful relationships , and express the love of God. You will have an opportunity to impact this generation in a real and lasting way.
Reserving hotel/motel rooms for your conference weekend is completely in your hands. We have secured special pricing from a number of hotels/motels in Saratoga Springs, listed below. There are also other hotels and bed & breakfast facilities available. Visit the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau at www.discoversaratoga.org and click on “Saratoga Lodging.” Be sure you have a hotel reservation form in hand when reserving rooms. Each hotel/motel expects to receive this form from you in order to confirm your reservations.
The Saratoga Hilton (Excel Headquarters Hotel)
Saratoga Springs, NY12866
P: (518) 584-4000
F: (518) 584-7430
All Rooms $109/night
Courtyard by Marriott Hotel
11 Excelsior Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
P: (518) 226-0049
F: (518) 226-0542
Saratoga Downtowner Motel
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
P: (518) 584-6160; 800-480-6160
F: (518) 584-2907
Hampton Inn & Suites
25 Lake Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
P: (518) 584-2100
F: (518) 584-1700
Hilton Garden Inn Saratoga Springs
125 South Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
P: (518) 583-6875; (518) 587-1500 ext. 492
This is an annual time where students across the globe gather around their school flagpoles or perhaps a key location for homeschoolers to pray for the school year, for their classmates, teachers and staff.
It usually begins at 7:00 AM but that will depend on your school's schedule. Be sure to check with your principal or guidance counselor to make sure you have permission to gather that morning.
Youth for Christ USA seeks to equip teenagers to become life-long followers of Jesus Christ. With over 1500 staff worldwide and ministry from coast to coast in the states, YFC continues to reach out to young people who need someone who can share God's Word and Christ's salvation.
The purpose of Point Break is to improve the behaviors, values, and attitudes of high school students on their campuses and in their communities, intervening before acts of hatred or violence occur. As a result, better learning environments are created, relationships are forged and reconciliations begins.
Point Break seeks to encourage character, confidence and responsibility in the lives of adolescents. Today, with higher educational standards, busier personal schedules and social issues such as harassment, prejudice, bullying, and suicide, Point Break Workshops were developed to help schools respond to these issues.
Point Break New York presents Gotcha Back, a half-day workshop designed for that age group. Plus, the Bridges Peer 2 Peer Mentoring Program gives schools a 10-week follow workshop for seniors and freshman to be used to further connect students to what they learned and experienced at Point Break workshop.
Break Out is YFC's annual conference for middle school students and their church youth leaders. Like Excel, Break Out combines worship, music, games, teaching, laughter, comedy and more to create a weekend experience designed to help students grow in their faith in Christ...or perhaps surrender their lives to Him.
Closer to God
"This weekend at Excel was truly amazing and life changing! I feel so much closer with God than I ever have before and it feels amazing!"
I Accepted Jesus
"So guys guess what? This weekend, I accepted Jesus into my life and I'm happy. My family is gonna be confused because I've lived life as an atheist for a long time, but whatever." – Declan, student
It Has to Be Real
"It was the first time I saw people worshipping God passionately and authentically and I decided this has to be real." – student
"We had a fantastic weekend at #Excel2015! Thanks to all who attended and all those who worked so hard to make the conference a success!" – Derek, speaker
Something Big is Coming
"Honestly, after sharing my testimony with Curtis Zackery at Excel, I feel so much freer. I feel rejuvenated and refreshed, and so much closer to Christ. I already know He is working in me in ways I don't know yet, but I feel like something big is coming." - Ben, student
Can't Wait to See What's Next
"Exhausted from Excel this weekend and totally bummed that it's over. However it was one of the best Excel weekends I have ever had! We had a wonderful group of teens and a fantastic team of leaders this year. God is definitely moving and I can't wait to see what he has in store!!" – Kara, former Excel student, now a youth leader in her church
God on the Inside & Outside
"This weekend changed me as a person & my attitude . It showed me I have to not only have God on the inside but advertise I do on the outside . From tears to laughs to music to seriousness this weekend is a weekend I'll never forget! I'm glad I get to experience this every year with the most amazing people in the world!" —Jaymee, student
Go Out and Preach
"Had such a great weekend at Excel. Thank you to all the staff and everyone who made it possible. I grew closer to God this weekend. Now I will take what I learned and go out a preach God's word to my friends and enemies! Thank you God!! Had a great time with my friends too!" - student