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December-January 2014

Roots: Growing
Deeper in Faith


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by Ryan Lewis, Convention Manager


As reported in the October-November issue of ONE Magazine, the cost of the 2013 convention was difficult to swallow. Free Will Baptists left many of the contracted downtown convention hotel rooms empty, forcing us to pay $54,000 in attrition penalties. That kind of disaster doesn’t have a line item in the budget!

Negotiating a convention hotel block is difficult. It requires a delicate balance between blocking enough rooms for everyone but only as many as the convention can fill. This year, we encourage you to help fill the convention room block to avoid costly attrition penalties.

Housing for the 2014 convention will open Monday, May 5, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. CT (10:00 a.m. ET). Attendees will be able to make reservations by phone or online. A complete housing form will be published in the February-March issue of ONE Magazine.

The convention has made one change to the housing policy in 2014. Rather than charging a non-refundable deposit of the first night’s room and tax for each reservation, a cancellation penalty will be charged instead. This means individuals and groups will no longer have to pay for each reservation up front. Instead, you will only be charged the first night’s room and tax if you cancel a reservation. Reservations will be transferable between individuals, and attendees will again have the opportunity to post available rooms on

In Fort Worth, the convention has contracted rooms at four downtown hotels: the Omni Fort Worth, the Sheraton Fort Worth, the Historic Hilton Fort Worth, and the Courtyard by Marriott.

  • The Omni Fort Worth is located directly across the street from the Fort Worth Convention Center (FWCC) and will serve as the headquarters hotel. With a rate of $151, the hotel features complimentary wifi throughout the hotel, a full-service Starbucks in the lobby, and $15 parking (valet or self). Attendees should be aware that the hotel has a limit of three reservations per person.

  • The Sheraton Fort Worth offers a rate of $146 and is just over a block away from the back door of the FWCC. It offers complimentary high-speed Internet, $18 valet parking, and $10 self-parking.

  • Two blocks from the FWCC is the Historic Hilton Fort Worth. The hotel has a rate of $129 with $15 valet parking.

  • The Courtyard by Marriott is located four blocks from the FWCC and one block from Sundance Square, Fort Worth’s entertainment and shopping district with more than 25 restaurants. The room rate is $129 with $20 valet parking.

Overall, you’ll find that each of these hotels offers a convention rate well below their normal rates. I encourage everyone to stay in convention hotels to take advantage of the opportunity. While the convention has nothing to gain from attendees staying in convention hotels, it has a lot to lose if they don’t.


About the Writer: Ryan Lewis is convention manager for the National Association of Free Will Baptists.





©2014 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists