Merge 2015

Source: The Belle Report / The Belle Report

From left to right; Traci Blackwell, Rona Fourte’,

Dr. Holly Carter, Robi Reed and Sheilah Belle

Baltimore — If you are interested in growing your brand, your ministry or you, keep reading! The Merge Symposium Baltimore offered just about everything you needed to get started and on your way.

Birthed out of The Merge Summit, based in Los Angeles, CA, The Merge Symposium (a smaller version of the Merge Summit) offered a “mini boot camp” to help educate, empower and inspire creative men and women of faith.

This year’s Merge Symposium, sponsored in part by Walgreens, was held on Saturday, August 1st and nestled back in the sanctuary of Empowerment Temple, where Dr. Jamal Bryant is the pastor.

This year’s special hosts, panelists and moderators included; Film Producer and Author DEVON FRANKLIN, MIKKI TAYLOR from Essence Magazine, Grammy Award Winning Artist MICHELLE WILLIAMS, TV Film Producer/Manager DR. HOLLY CARTER, Emmy Award Winning Casting Director ROBI REED, Award winning Television Executive TRACI BLACKWELL From the CW Network, Activist/ Sr. Pastor, Empowerment Temple Pastor DR. JAMAL BRYANT, Media Personality and Editor & Creator of The Belle Report SHEILAH BELLE, Sr. Pastor, Greater Works Than These Ministries Pastor MARK BAKER, Actress LISA RAYE MCCOY, Media Personality ROLAND MARTIN and HARRY LENNIX From “NBC’S The Blacklist.”

Upon arrival guests, were greeted by some of the Los Angeles staff who handled registration, VIP, Red Carpet, Gift Bangs and ultimately keeping the day running smoothly.

VIP guests were escorted across the Red Carpet and into the Green room where fresh pastries, fruits and designer cupcakes awaited them, including everything from chocolate to strawberry to chicken (a real piece of chicken) and waffle cupcakes. Guest hosts, panelists and moderators were also treated to gift bags that included selfie sticks, the latest in mosquito repellent wrist bands, Hair conditioner, neck ties, earrings, lotion and so much more.

The goal of the “one-day” Arts Empowerment, Faith and Entertainment experience was designed to move you forward with Forums and Sessions leaving you wanting more.

Some of this year’s topics included “Building a Legendary Career”, a “Pastors & Leadership Forum”, “Creating Content that Matters”, “Talent, Personality & The It Factor”, and a special session with Devon Franklin on “Produced by Faith.” Incidentally, Franklin is currently in Atlanta filming “Miracles From Heaven,” starring Jennifer Garner. Franklin is producing the Christian film, which is slated for a March 18, 2016 release, along with Bishop T.D. Jakes and Joe Roth.

Here are some of the nuggets that came out of a few of the classes”

“Better a little bit of something of great worth, than a lot of something that means nothing.”

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there.”

“When you are chasing something more than God, you’ve got a problem”

These are just some of the comments that came out of the Pastors & Leadership Forum.

However what makes the Merge Summit and Symposium a success is its interactive approach for those who come seeking answers, help and assistance with where they are in life, their careers and receiving the answers and direction that will help propel them to the next level.

Wrapping up the days event was the Freedom Experience Concert with special guests, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Michelle Williams, Deon Kipping, Y’Anna Crawley, Thomas Clay & Evolution and Danni.

Since its inception, the Founder and Chair of the Merge, Holly Carter has pushed to create a platform for those already established in the “business” to share their wealth of knowledge with new and upcoming talent, in addition to those who are right on the edge to have an opportunity to shine as well.

However keep in mind, the Merge Symposium Baltimore, was merely a taste of what The Merge Summit offers in Los Angeles, which by the way is slated for Thursday, August 25 thru August 27, 2016.

Lock it in now! It will be a weekend you don’t want to forget!

Courtesy of

Actors, Singers, Pastors and Leaders Get a Boost at the The Merge Symposium Baltimore  was originally published on

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