What do you truly value? Today’s culture applauds success, beauty, power, wealth, and status. Being considered “humble” is certainly not a label to be envied. Yet a large group of Christian writers can point to the encouragement and mentoring of a couple greatly characterized by their humility.

David and Joanne Sloan, both respected and successful writers, responded more than 20 years ago to God’s call to equip Christian writers for fruitful ministry. They founded the Southern Christian Writers Conference, which convenes annually in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

As conference directors, their organizational work and personal contributions were never referenced nor were their own impressive credentials. Even serious health issues were hidden. Their goal was to teach writers to pursue their dreams of writing to honor God. Additionally, twice a year, the Sloans opened their home to provide small groups a day of more intense training.

The quiet commitment of this couple to encouraging and mentoring writers in an affirming and affordable setting has influenced many—myself included. They definitely provide a splendid visual for Titus 3:2: showing “true humility toward all men.”

Lettie Kirkpatrick Burress loves Jesus, missions, writing, the east Tennessee mountains, and her family. Connect with her at

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