Scott Dawson (born September 14, 1967) is the founder of the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association (SDEA), and of the Strength to Stand Conference movement which has grown into one of the largest annual gatherings of teens and young adults for Christian music conferences in the South.
Dawson was born on September 14, 1967. He graduated from Samford University earning a Bachelor of Arts, and earned a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. Later in 1993, he received his ordination and certificate of gospel ministry by order of the Roebuck Park Baptist Church. Even before seminary, Scott Dawson was active in ministry. He preached his first sermon at the age of 16. Shortly after, he began speaking at various churches. By the age of 20, Scott founded the evangelistic association that would come to be known as SDEA (Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association). Since 1987, the organization has founded and directed numerous Christian music festivals featuring some of the most influential Christian artists and speakers. The SDEA conferences and festivals have become a staple for youth pastors all over the south. In 2005 Scott Dawson partnered with Scott Lenning who worked as crusade director at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for nearly 20 years. The Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association operates out of Birmingham, AL where Scott and his wife, Tarra, reside with their children Hunter and Hope.
Scott Dawson Conferences:
One of the essential conferences in the southern student Bible movement, is the Strength to Stand Conference founded by Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association. As of 2013, over 11,000 teens and young adults gather annually to listen to popular Christian artists and speakers at the Strength to Stand Conference. The conference has now become a groundbreaking attraction for the Pigeon Forge area of Tennessee during the months of December and January. Each year attendance has grown by thousands of participants and like the Passion Conferences, it has become a Southern tradition for multiple church groups. The conference is primarily known for its music line ups featuring artists such as Lecrae,Jamie Grace and David Crowder. The first STS (Strength to Stand) conference was held in 1989, and the headquarters are now in Birmingham, Alabama. It is also known as the Smoky Mountain Student Bible Conference.
In 2011, the SDEA team acquired AtlantaFest. AtlantaFest which features popular Christian artists and speakers usually serves over 20,000 with various forms of entertainment, including Bello Nock. The festival grounds are also used for camping which sees roughly 1,000 campers and over 75 youth groups. AtlantaFest is held at Stone Mountain Park.
SDEA is also the parent organization behind StadiumFest, a festival which draws over 30,000 attendees annually. One Birmingham News reporter billed StadiumFest as "the largest free Christian crowd Birmingham has seen since 1986". Scott Dawson's StadiumFest has continued to expand its outreach to thousands (held every other year) at the Spain Park Stadium. As reported on Al.com by Jon Anderson: "The free Christian music festival, put on by the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association, drew more than 25,000 people to Samford University's Seibert Stadium for the event's first year in 2009 and an estimated 39,000 people to Spain Park's football stadium in 2011. Due to the popularity of the festival two years ago, organizers this year are expanding it to cover two days, April 12-13."blog.al.com
Dear Lord Why?' (Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association, 2001).,
Complete Evangelism Guidebook (Baker Books, 2006).,
Evangelism Today: Effectively Sharing the Gospel in a Rapidly Changing World (Baker Books, 2009).