The first Leadership Training for Christ (LTC) Convention was held in Dallas Texas in 1989. Leadership Training for Christ’s roots began with Lads to Leaders which started in Montgomery, Alabama in 1968. Jack Zorn began training young men in his congregation to be leaders in the Church and in the community. Other churches asked him to share his training with them and “Lads to Leaders” began. In 1974 training for young ladies was added and the program became "Lads to Leaders & Leaderettes".

A difference in philosophy inspired the beginning of Leadership Training for Christ as a different path with the same goal, raising young Christian leaders. Leadership Training for Christ and Lads to Leaders & Leaderettes continue to train young leaders to serve the Lord. Thousands of young men and women from a combined 15 conventions (5 Lads to Leaders and Leaderetts conventions and 10 Leadership Training for Christ conventions) are now better equipped to serve the Lord. Some congregations participate in both programs. The annual convention continues to be held Easter weekend to take advantage of the low hotel rates, but some conventions wrap up on Saturday to let families get back to their home congregations for Easter Sunday service.

Leadership Training for Christ originally awarded only a First, Second and Third rating where all participants are rated against a point system and therefore only a few could potentially get a First. Most conventions have changed that rating to Gold, Silver, Bronze and Participant where more young people can be recognized for their efforts. LTC has grown from the first Convention in Dallas with about 850, 3-12 grade participants, to 10 separate conventions in 2009 with just over 10,800, 3-12 participants from 488 congregations. Each LTC convention is a separate organization with its own Board of Directors. The organizations cooperate in many areas for the benefit all the students, but have local control to tailor the program to regional differences. Since its origin, LTC has focused on making the annual convention an opportunity to challenge young people to develop in an increasing number of leadership areas. Each year more congregations become involved in LTC. Over the years, new events have been added and removed.

The Dallas Convention helped many of the other conventions begin, and became known as North Texas LTC in 1979. Several of the Boards of the new conventions have also helped start other regional Conventions. The growth of Leadership Training for Christ is summarized below. Some conventions started in one location and have relocated to accommodate their growth or needs.

  • North Texas LTC in Dallas/Ft Worth, Texas (1989 to present)
  • LTC Southwest in Phoenix, AZ (1993 to present)
  • Midwest LTC in Indianapolis, IN (1996 to present)
  • LTC West in San Jose, CA (1996 to present)
  • Central Texas LTC in Houston, TX (1997 to present)
  • Great Plains LTC in Rogers, AR (1997 to present)
  • Southeast LTC in Mobile, AL (2000 to present)
  • Black Hills LTC in Spearfish, SD (2000 – 2002)
  • Heart of America LTC in Kansas City, MO (2002 to present)
  • Eastern Region LTC in Charlotte, NC (2004 to present)
  • LTC Northwest Region in Richland, WA (2007 to present)


The first CTLTC was held in 1997 in Austin Texas (hence the name Central Texas) after a particularly crowded year in Dallas. One of the goals of the Board was to either keep the CTLTC convention small (growing other conventions) or offer a more spacious venue. We grew quickly and the second year we moved to the Austin Convention Center. After 3 years in Austin we moved to Houston to the George R Brown Convention Center. We decided to keep the Central Texas name because most of our congregations come from the central Texas area of Austin, San Antonio and Houston.

We end our convention late Saturday afternoon forgoing the Saturday Night Celebration and offering a Friday night Devotional instead. This allows our congregations time to travel home and worship with their home congregations on Easter morning. While Easter weekend has proven to be a good weekend to find lower hotel rates, due to low occupancy, it is also one of the highest attended Sunday services for guests to our congregations. Many congregations plan special outreach events for their community and we want to make it easy for our groups to participate in their home events. Each congregation is encouraged to conduct their own award presentation at their home congregation so the local membership can see the accomplishments of their youth and encourage them.

While the main event of the LTC program is the annual convention, the main focus is not. LTC is designed to develop leaders in the Church through year round training and we would hope that the training would be utilized in presenting opportunities for our youth to participate in devotionals, Bible classes and worship. If it is all about the convention then might be missing the point. However, to get some of our youth motivated it may initially be all about the convention. Be sure to thank God for those individuals at your congregation that have dedicated so much of his or her time to the LTC program.


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