Dr. Gary Johnson has served in the preaching ministry for four decades. He now leads e2 as Executive Director full-time, coaching pastors and elders nationwide. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Church history from Lincoln Christian Seminary, Master of Ministry and Divinity degrees from Cincinnati Bible Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Grace Theological Seminary (Indiana). Gary has taught as adjunct professor for a number of seminaries, including Cincinnati Christian University and TCM Institute, a seminary serving Europe and Asia. Gary has been blessed to travel overseas for the purpose of training elders and pastors in cross-cultural settings on over 100 mission trips. Gary and Leah have been married over 40 years, and have married sons, Jared and Aaron, who are both serving in the ministry. His pursuits outside of church life include running, mountain climbing, racquetball, cycling, and back-packing. Still, one of the greatest joys in life for Gary is being called “grandpa” by his six grandkids.
This is Renew
Renewing the Teachings of Jesus to Fuel Disciple Making
Join in the Mission to Renew the Teachings of Jesus to Fuel Disciple Making
- Renew.org Website – Get involved with our website and newsletter, where you will find practical material for everyday disciples and church leaders in the form of blogs, videos and audio posts, book reviews, etc.
- Renew.org Resources – Check out the resources and materials available from Renew.org Publishing. Many of these are available as free downloads from Renew.org.
- Disciple Maker Mentoring – Consider enrolling with one of our one-on-one mentors. We train individual church and lay leaders, both men and women, in a specific disciple making model, using the teachings of Jesus. Our model leads people to conversion, and a substantive grounding in the core teachings of the New Testament.
- Senior Leader Learning Communities -If you believe in disciple making, this is a way to ignite the shift you want to make in your local church. In the Renew.org learning communities, leaders come together for face-to-face learning, encouragement, and accountability in small groups led by top international disciple makers.
- Renew.org Gatherings – Attend our national and regional gatherings to gain further inspiration and vision. We will help you get connected to this great mission and vision and the people championing it.
1. Responding to God’s Spirit – we believe that God is the author of renewal and he invites us to access and join him through prayer and fasting for the Holy Spirit’s work of renewal.
2. Following God’s Reliable Word – we learn the ways of God with lasting clarity and conviction by trusting God’s Word and what it teaches as the objective foundation for renewal and life.
3. Surrendering to Jesus as King – the Gospel teaches us that Jesus is Messiah (King) and Lord. He calls everyone to salvation (in eternity) and discipleship (in this life) through a faith commitment that is expressed in repentance, confession, and baptism. Repentance and surrender to Jesus as Lord is the never-ending cycle for life in Jesus’ Kingdom, and it is empowered by the Spirit.
4. Championing Disciple Making – Jesus gave us the perfect model of disciple making, which he demonstrated with his disciples. Those same principles from the life of Jesus should be utilized as we make disciples today and champion discipleship as the core mission of the local church.
5. Loving Like Jesus – Jesus showed us the true meaning of love and taught us that sacrificial love is the distinguishing character trait of true disciples (and true renewal). Sacrificial love is the foundation for our relationships both in the church and in the world.
6. Living in Holiness – Jesus lived differently from the world, so the people in his church will learn to live differently from the world – even when it is difficult. We show that God’s kingdom is an alternative kingdom to the world.
7. Leading Courageously – God always uses leaders in renewal and they live by a prayerful, risk-taking faith. Renewal will be led by bold and courageous leaders – who make disciples, plant churches, and create disciple making movements.
Jason Henderson has spent over 20 years in corporate leadership. His experience includes Fortune 500, military and both public and private organizations. He has led professionally on governing boards, in corporate associations and in over 30 countries. He is the COO for Renew.org and a team member of Discipleship.org. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the Culinary Institute of America. He lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.
Bobby is the point-leader of Renew.org and Discipleship.org, both collaborative, disciple-making organizations. He is the founding and lead pastor of Harpeth Christian Church (by the Harpeth River, just outside of Nashville, TN). He has an M.A.R. and an M.Div. from Harding School of Theology and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of more than 10 books on discipleship, including Discipleshift (with Jim Putman and Robert Coleman), The Disciple Maker’s Handbook (with Josh Patrick) and Becoming a Disciple Maker: The Pursuit of Level 5 Disciple Making (with Greg Weins). He lives in the greater Nashville area with his wife and near his children and grandchildren.
My name is Christina Charley, I am a lover and follower of Jesus Christ. I am married to my best friend Damien, and a mother of 4 wonderful children; Mikah 16, Jordan 13, Jonathan 12, and Nate 6. I have been in the health and fitness industry for over 15 years.
I am passionate about helping women (and some awesome men) to live healthy, whole, and fit lives while experiencing the true freedom, love and joy that we were born to experience! I aim to steer health seekers away from obsession and guilt, and point them to a lifestyle of fitness that releases them to freedom. I believe true health exists when we seek health from the inside out. I guide my clients on their path to heal life and health imbalances naturally through my “Love Yourself Transformation,” and through one-on-one and group health coaching. I focus on my clients learning to make intentional choices for themselves through God nutrition, exercise, mindset training, and self-love. I give my clients the tools they need to become the best version of themselves.
Christian Ray Flores leads Tribe, a church community in Austin, TX and is co-founder of Third Drive – venture development company. He has a Masters degree in Economics speaks four languages and has lived on four continents. Christian has inspired audiences as an international recording artist, award winning producer and speaker. He has led churches in Russia, Ukraine and the US and has dedicated much effort to serve the poor in Eurasia, Latin America and Africa. Christian is married to Deb de Flores and has three daughters – Diana, Violetta and Isabella.
Brett is the founding pastor of New Life Christian Church in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Since launching in 1993 New Life has grown to be multi-site and has helped support 240 new church plants. They’ve also built a national church planting ministry Passion for Planting that has impacted countless other church plants by providing Assessment, Training, Project Management and Coaching, and by shaping Exponential into what it is today. New Life also runs the nZone, an indoor recreational facility, which allows over 400,000 Washingtonians to experience the love of God every year before they know it’s God’s love they are experiencing. Brett’s greatest blessing on earth is his wife of 29 years, Laura, and their four children. He enjoys sailing, coaching baseball, and his beagle, who will eagerly greet you by wetting the floor.
Dave is a disciple, husband, and dad to 3 young boys. Along with his wife, he planted and helps lead Ethos Church, a young, urban church in Nashville, TN that is passionate about reaching the lost, serving the poor, and releasing ordinary people to plant churches all over the world.
In addition, he is the founder and lead visionary for Onward, a global family of leaders who are committed to making disciples and planting churches across the world and Awaken Nashville, a city wide movement unifying churches in strategic initiatives of prayer and fasting in the greater Nashville area.
David Young serves as the senior minister for the North Boulevard Church of Christ in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He has worked for churches in Missouri, Kansas, and Tennessee, taught New Testament at several universities, and travelled widely teaching and preaching. He is the former host of the New Day Television Program, a board member for the Renew Network, and the author of several books, including A New Day (NB Press), The Rhetoric of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, (Fortress Press, co-authored with Michael Strickland), A Grand Illusion (Renew Publications), and King Jesus and the Beauty of Obedience-Based Discipleship (Zondervan). He holds the B.A. from Freed-Hardeman University, the M.A. from Harding School of Theology, and the M.A. and Ph.D. in New Testament from Vanderbilt University. David and his wife Julie have two married children.
Dennis Okouth is a Bible teacher from Kenya Africa. For many years he lead a Christian school in Kenya. Currently he co-leads a network of hundreds of churches in Uganda where he trains men and women in the truths of the Bible and disciple making. He is considered by those who know him well as a wise disciple maker and guide to the Christian faith.
Born and raised in Trinidad, Dr. Sasha Noe moved to the United States at age 17 where she pursued medicine and went on to become an award-winning physician and researcher. She is a dual-doctorate, board-certified, award-winning physician, researcher, international speaker, two-time best-selling author, and expert in chronic disease management, preventative health and medical cannabis.
Emily Andrews is a staff writer and editor at Prison Fellowship, as well as a freelancer with topic knowledge on crime and incarceration in America. Emily is a graduate of the University of Virginia and MFA candidate at George Mason University. She lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
Jim is the founder and senior pastor of Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho. Prior to his role as senior pastor, he served as a youth minister in two small churches. In college, Jim won three All American titles in wrestling and went on to become a successful wrestling coach. Real Life Ministries began as a small group in 1998 and has grown to a membership of more than eight thousand. Ninety percent of its fellowship is active in small groups. Outreach Magazine continually lists Real Life Ministries among the top one hundred most influential churches in America.
Joanne Kraft is a nonfiction author and national speaker. Her passion is for women to catch the Titus 2 vision of discipleship. Author of The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids and Just too Busy — Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical, she’s a frequent guest on Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and CBN. Her articles have appeared in ParentLife, Today’s Christian Woman, In Touch, P31 Woman and more. Her newest venture is her podcast Grace & Truth Living, helping women to trust and follow Jesus in their everyday life. Joanne and her husband, Paul, once lifelong Californians, moved their family to Tennessee in 2012. They’ve happily traded soy milk and arugula for sweet tea and biscuits. Check out DiscipleshipforWomen.com for more from Joanne.
Kevin serves as the lead pastor of Turning Point Church in Los Angeles. He has a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degree from the Harding School of Theology, in Memphis Tennessee. His wife Tracena serves alongside him as a Women’s Ministry Leader. Together, they mentor church leaders in Los Angeles as well as in others parts of the United States. They have two daughters, Tory and Kennidy, and a son-in-law, Tory’s husband, Derrick Hinton.
Marcus De Carvalho, M.D. is the president and founder of The Center for a Healthy Mind and Wellbeing. He and his wife, Elizabeth attend the Jax Church in Jacksonville, Florida. They are parents to four beautiful boys, Rafa, Paolo, Raoul, and Elan. Marcus is a medical doctor who is board certified with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. His focus of practice is General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. His main passion is helping people regain their lives and become “unstuck” from the addictions and mental illnesses that have kept them in the darkness.
Melissa Gray has over 10 years of experience as a pharmacist in hospice, mail order, and correctional pharmacy. She recently stepped back from her career in healthcare to focus primarily on her family. Melissa has since ignited a passion for discipleship of women and children and joined the Renew team. She lives in Franklin, TN with her husband, Jonathan, and their two young children.
Michelle currently quarterbacks the Discipleship Ministry at Harpeth Christian Church in Franklin, TN.
Prior to joining the ministry team at Harpeth, Michelle was a Physician Assistant working with HIV infected mothers and their children in Jacksonville, FL. After a family move to TN in 2008, Michelle began volunteering in the home groups ministry at Harpeth which led to a staff administrative position. A lot of experience has been gained over the years and she takes great pleasure in coordinating and educating home group leaders, as well as matching church members to groups. Much of her experience has been gained through supporting women while they work the 12 steps of Celebrate Recovery. Michelle finds great joy in helping women grow in their relationship with Christ.
Mike Ackerman is a Professor of New Testament and Church Planting at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO.
Sakherra Rizkallah is an Arab Christian who grew up in Bethlehem, Israel. He graduated from Bethlehem Bible College and worked in archaeology for many years (with archaeologist and teacher James Fleming). Sakherra created an exact replica of the Tabernacle from the Old Testament as a tourist destination for several years. He now lives in Nazareth with his wife and four children and serves as tour guide and Bible teacher.
Shodankeh Johnson is part of the Core Team of New Generations. He is responsible for the mobilization of intercessors across all regions and the training of Disciple Making Movement (DMM) leaders in the ‘pioneer places’ where the gospel has never been or has never flourished. In addition, Shodankeh provides DMM training for movement-minded ministries around the world.
Shodankeh is also the leader of New Harvest ministries in Sierra Leone, West Africa. New Harvest is an indigenous DMM organization that plants churches throughout the region and incorporates a wide-spectrum of ministries such as compassion, business development, leadership development, skills training and advanced education.
Sydney is a disciple, wife, and mom to 3 young boys. Along with her husband, she planted and helps serve Ethos Church, a young, urban church in Nashville, TN that is passionate about reaching the lost, serving the poor, and releasing ordinary people to plant churches all over the world.
In addition, she is a college professor with a doctorate in Physical Therapy, and enjoys training disciple makers in a variety of contexts. Sydney is especially passionate about equipping a new generation of women to live as disciple makers.
Tony grew up in Dallas, Texas and Alice Springs, N.T., Australia. His formal education included Milligan College, Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Southern Baptist Seminary, and Indiana University. Following graduation from Milligan he married Suzanne Grogan from Spencer, Virginia. He and Suzanne served churches in Virginia, Tennessee and Indiana with a primary focus on disciple making. His passions are disciple making, spending time with Suzanne, working out and making new friends around the world. He currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer for the TCM International Institute, a global graduate school for disciple makers based in Indianapolis, Indiana and Heiligenkreuz, Austria.
Stan Rodda is a disciple maker and lead pastor at Lee’s Summit Community Church outside of Kansas City. His wife, Misty, is his biggest fan and supporter with his Goldendoodle, Gwenny, a close second. Together Stan and Misty have three children; Grant, Ashton and Avary. When Stan isn’t discussing disciple making or ministry, you can find him riding open roads on his Harley and cheering on his favorite football teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Paul serves as the Lead Minister for the Grace Chapel Church of Christ in Cumming, GA, just north of Atlanta. Paul and his wife, Lori, have been married since the Spring of 2001, and have three children- Andrew, Nate, and Hannah. Paul holds a bachelor’s degrees in Bible and Psychology and a master’s degree in Professional Counseling. He enjoys spending time with family, reading, writing and getting outdoors. His passion is to see the Church embrace both the message and the mission of Jesus. Paul is a Renew.org Network Regional Director in the Atlanta area.
Kenny Boles taught Greek and New Testament at Ozark Christian College, Joplin, MO, for 45 years. Kenny is a graduate of Ozark Christian College (B.Th., 1968) and Abilene Christian University (M.A. in Biblical and Patristic Greek, 1972). He has held located ministries in Tyro, KS, and Abilene, TX. He has authored six books. Kenny and his wife Linda have two grown children.
Jon Sherwood strives to treat people with respect and dignity while expressing his heartfelt beliefs about Jesus and the Christian faith. He is lead pastor of Asheville Church in North Carolina, a network of Micro Churches throughout the western Carolina region. Jon holds degrees from The University of Florida, Athens Institute of Ministry, Columbia International University, and is undergoing doctoral work at Mercer University. He is married to Brittany and has two amazing boys. Together they love the beautiful outdoors and helping people fall in love with King Jesus.
Joel Singleton is the Lead Minister of the San Jose Church of Christ in Jacksonville FL. Joel is married to Alison and they have two children, Truitt and Quinn. Joel has served in full time ministry for the last 14 years and in that time he has written several resources devoted to disciple making and family. His desire first and foremost is for Christians to relearn how to make disciples in the home and in the church.
Guy Hammond started Strength in Weakness ministry which has helped thousands in 58 countries. He has taught over 100,000 people in churches, universities and faith based groups globally, has written 6 books and had a documentary movie made about his life and ministry called Finding Guy. Before becoming a Christian, Guy lived an active gay life until he was 24 years old. After becoming a Christian, he left that life behind forever. Guy is a news junkie, loves anything political, loves to read, and is an avid hockey and baseball fan.
Transplanted in the South from her home state of Michigan, this suburban mom-of-two loves her Lord Jesus and His wonderful Word. A dedicated student of the Word, she loves to share what she learns in the classroom, at events, and on the page—dependent upon the ever-faithful Holy Spirit to turn thoughts to text.
Debbra has authored four Bible studies, all published by 21st Century Christian Publishers in Nashville, Tennessee. She launched the series Advent Living Books for her seasonal daily devotionals in 2018. Debbra blogs at her website debbrastephens.com and has been published in Christian Woman Magazine.
Daniel is happily married to Susanna, and they have 3 daughters and 2 sons. He is the editorial director for Renew.org as well as an online adjunct instructor for Ozark Christian College. He has a bachelor’s in theology (Ozark Christian College), master of arts in apologetics (Veritas International University), and PhD in theology (North-West University, South Africa). He is the general editor of the Popular Handbook of World Religions, author of Mirage: 5 Things People Want From God That Don’t Exist, and co-author with Norman Geisler of The Atheist’s Fatal Flaw.
Julia Martin is a women’s speaker, writer and recording artist whose passion is to see Christians fully embrace the abundant life offered in Jesus Christ. She serves as Resident Worship Leader at Antioch Christian Church. Her favorite things are long dinners with friends and anything that takes place outside.
Susanna is a farm girl who channels her work ethic into raising three daughters and two sons. Coffee helps. She and her husband Daniel met at Ozark Christian College. She now enjoys homeschooling their school-aged children and writing about insights God teaches her along the family journey. A musician and a writer of poetry, she loves that there is always something new to discover in the family of God.
Mark joined the staff at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in Peoria, Arizona in July 2012 as a teaching pastor. CCV currently has nine locations and 33,000 in weekly attendance. Prior to joining the CCV team, Mark was a Professor at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Missouri (1990-2012). Currently, he is an online professor for Ozark, an Adjunct Professor at Hope International University in Fullerton, California and Haus Edelweiss, Vienna, Austria. Mark is also the author and co-author of many books mostly on the Life of Christ, book of Acts, and Revelation.
A first-generation immigrant from Mexico, Antonio was raised in the United States. As a college student, he trained for ministry. After working in missions overseas, Antonio and his family came back to the United States to engage with Muslim refugees and make disciples among them. He is passionate about training and mobilizing the church to do the same.
As a child David Hunzicker spent his evenings shooting basketball and swinging in the backyard. It was in those moments where David would often connect with God, pray and sing God’s praises. Since David has experienced the love of God in his life, he is passionate about helping other people discover God for themselves. He earned university degrees in education and in ministry which have equipped him to serve as a youth and family minister and then as a high school Bible teacher. David is now the campus minister at North Boulevard Church of Christ’s West Murfreesboro Campus. He enjoys eating apple pie with his high school sweetheart Kristin, wrestling with his two boys Braxton and Judah, and dancing with his daughter Anna Marie.
Damien currently serves as the Family Discipleship Minister at Harpeth Christian Church where he oversees and personally works with the families of Junior & Senior High School Students. He has over 18 years of experience working in full time ministry most of which has been focused on families throughout Tennessee and the Southeast. Damien graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Engineering where he was a scholarship athlete on the football team. Damien lives in Franklin, TN with his wife Christina and their four children.
A highly respected teacher at Harding School of Theology for over 40 years, Dr. Richard Oster helps prepare students for work in Christian ministry (and a smaller number for doctoral studies elsewhere) by teaching courses in New Testament Greek and courses in the content of the New Testament. These courses include Acts of Apostles, Pauline letters, book of Revelation, NewTestament Theology, and historical and cultural backgrounds of the NewTestament. He is also an expert on ancient Ephesus.
Brandon Guindon is the lead pastor of Real Life Ministries Texas, a non-denominational Christian church in Tomball, Texas, 30 miles north of Houston. Brandon has over 20 years’ experience leading churches worldwide to become healthy and effective in making disciples of Jesus Christ. He has been an executive team member at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, ID and at The MET Church in Houston, TX. He has authored and co-authored several publications on biblical discipleship, including the Real Life Discipleship Training Manual, Stay the Course, and
Disciple Making Culture. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Linfield College and an M.A. in Church Leadership and New Testament Theology from Hope International University. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Relational Discipleship Network. Brandon is a bow hunter and avid outdoorsman. He and his wife, Amber, have four children, Emma, Olivia, Grady and Garrett.
Dr. David Roadcup is Professor of Discipleship and Global Outreach Representative with TCM International Institute. He has been in ministry for over 40 years. Besides youth ministries, senior/preaching ministries and college/seminary teaching through the years, Dr. Roadcup has authored numerous articles and three books. He has spoken in 37 states and 5 foreign countries. As one of the founding members of the men’s ministry Promise Keepers, he served on their Board of Directors for 11 years. In 2001, he was on the summer P.K. Men’s Conference Speaking Team. In addition to his wide-ranging ministry to the Church, teaching classes for TCMI and formerly at Cincinnati Christian University, he is presently on the Board of Directors of Christ in Youth in Joplin, Missouri (C.I.Y.) and the Board of Directors of Christian Arabic Services (C.A.S.). He has been married to Karen for over 50 years. Dave and Karen have two daughters, one son-in-law and three grandchildren. Dave’s great passion is discipling believers and helping Christians grow to deeper levels in their personal walk with Jesus Christ.
Joseph Shulam was born in Sofia, Bulgaria on March 24, 1946 to a Sephardic Jewish Family. In 1948 his family immigrated to Israel just before the establishment of the State. While in high school he was introduced to the New Testament and immediately identified with the person of Yeshua. In 1981 Joseph and the small fellowship that was started in his house established one of the first official non-profit organizations of Jewish Disciples of Yeshua in Israel – Netivyah Bible Instruction Ministry. Joseph has lectured extensively and has assisted in encouraging disciples around the world. He and his wife Marcia have two children and two grandchildren.
During his senior year of high school Bob realized a desire in his heart to enter the ministry. Soon thereafter, he enrolled in Cincinnati Bible Seminary where he graduated in 1965.
At just twenty-two years of age, Bob became the pastor of Southeast Christian Church. That small congregation of 120 members became one of the largest churches in America, with 18,000 people attending the three worship services every weekend in 2006 when Bob retired. Now through Bob Russell Ministries, Bob continues to preach at churches and conferences throughout the United States, provide guidance for church leadership, mentor other ministers and author Bible study videos for use in small groups. An accomplished author, Bob has written over one-dozen books.
Bob and his wife Judy of 52 have two married sons and seven grandchildren with whom they enjoy spending their time. Bob also enjoys playing golf and is an avid University of Louisville football and basketball fan.
Reggie is the Adult Ministries Pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) a church that sees over 33,000 in attendance each Sunday. He is a 3rd generation pastor committed to the local church and the advancement of Jesus Christ. He is experienced in family ministry, church planting, and adult ministries and is passionate about his ministry at CCV.
Taffeta Chime, called Taffy by most, is a writer and language teacher from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she and her husband Shane Xu serve with the Chinese congregation at the North Boulevard church of Christ. Taffy has a BA in English and Creative Writing (2011) and an MA in English and Foreign Languages/Linguistics (2015), both from Middle Tennessee State University. She has won multiple awards for her short stories, poems, and essays and has been published in several literary journals. She also has two published young adult novels, Stoodie (2007) and The Last (2011). Through her twelve years of teaching English as a foreign language, Taffy has built intentional relationships with people from all around the world and continues evangelistic efforts through online Bible/language lessons, homestay for international students and visitors, and volunteer work in the local international community. Most recently, she is learning her new role as a mother to her daughter, Beili. Taffy enjoys watching YouTube, exercising, playing with her two cats, and streaming language games on Twitch.
Andrew obtained his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Political Science at Kansas State
University and then pursued his Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at Washburn University in
Topeka, KS. Andrew is licensed to independently practice psychotherapy including the
diagnosis and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. Andrew is currently the
Director of Academic Advising and Counseling at Neosho County Community College. Andrew
co-leads the youth group at Ambassador Christian Church in Chanute, KS. He is married to his
wife Heather and they have 3 children together. He enjoys modern board games, reading,
movies and spending time with his family and friends.
Jon Kehrer teaches Old Testament and Biblical Languages at Ozark Christian College. He and his wife April live with their five children in Joplin, Missouri.
Anthony Walker has been preaching the gospel for 20 years. He has been actively involved in the church as a song leader, youth worker, preacher, and any other role God calls him. He attended Lipscomb University in pursuit of an Art Education Degree. For 12 years, he has been the full-time minister of the Highway 231 Church of Christ in Murfreesboro, TN. He and his wife Jenny are the proud parents of 2 young children: a son, Remington, and a daughter, Reign.
Luke Gray was born and raised in the Philippines as a missionary kid. After studying writing at the University of Kansas, he settled in Asheville, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and four children. A perpetual learner, Luke is constantly trying new things—remodeling a bathroom, growing a garden, or raising livestock. He runs a small automotive detailing business, which lets him listen to audiobooks while getting paid. His favorite part of life is experiencing God at work around him.
Dr. Orpheus J. Heyward is Senior Minister of the Renaissance Church of Christ. He is considered one of the most dynamic and scripturally sound gospel preachers among churches of Christ today. Having received his Masters of Arts in Theology, Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies and doctorate degree in Theological Exegesis, he is a constant student of the Bible.
Brett Seybold and his wife Heather served as missionaries in Germany for a decade. He is now currently working on his PhD at Liberty University where his focus is Jesus and the post Christian mindset while specifically highlighting skeptics’ inability to get rid of the Biblical portrait of Jesus. Brett has just launched KAPOL (Kontakt Apologetics) which is a sub mission of Kontakt Mission. It is a non-denominational, European-based missions network and movement. His mission includes interviewing skeptics apologetically across Western Europe specifically the French, English and German areas and to use speaking engagements internationally in churches, campus ministries, camps and more to help plant seeds and help churches get their non-believers and skeptics more curious about Jesus. Brett’s international apologetics YouTube channel is called KAPOL Kontakt Apologetics.
Buddy is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. After working in campus and preaching ministry at churches in Alabama and Florida, Buddy returned to Montgomery in 1996 to serve as senior minister of Landmark. Buddy leads Landmark through preaching, overseeing the small groups ministry, and, with the Elders, casting vision for the church. He is married to Stephanie and they have four children and two son-in-laws: Laura (Charlie), Lindsey (Ben), Luke, and Lincoln…AND he is the proud Grandbuddy to 5 precious grandchildren.
Corey and his wife, Leah, have been married since 2000. They have four children (Ethan, Kaylee, Kasen and Caleb). In 2002, he graduated from Ozark Christian College with the Bachelor’s in Music and Worship. He has served in a wide range of ministry, and has been blessed to do so at Northside Christian Church (Springfield, MO) since 2003. He is on the leadership team for the Respond Worship Retreat, an annual worship teams retreat at Maranatha Bible Camp (Everton, MO). In addition to worship ministry, he loves to preach, teach and be a champion for Global Outreach. He enjoys playing guitar, songwriting and collecting vinyl records. The joy of his life is to see the Body of Christ in fully committed worship. The theme of his life is: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
In high school, Matt was a National Merit finalist who enrolled at the University of Iowa as a journalism major. But after hearing God’s call, he transferred to Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Missouri. Now instead of broadcasting the bad news, he’s proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. Matt has served as a youth minister, preaching minister, Bible college professor and is now president of Ozark Christian College. He was the president of the 2013 North American Christian Convention and he serves as a contributing editor for Christian Standard magazine. His writing includes two books, Finish-Line Faith and Victorious. He enjoys reading, cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals, and traveling widely to preach about Jesus. Matt is especially grateful to God for his wife Katie and their six children—Luke, Lydia, Clara, Carl, Conrad and Caroline.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.
Matthew is the visionary leader of Plant Utah and is dedicated to leadership development and launching disciple-making movements in Utah. The Anderson family moved to Utah from Hillsboro, Missouri, in 2013. Matthew and his wife Chandra have five biological children and have several boys from polygamous backgrounds. Matthew works as a web developer and has served as both a lead pastor and youth pastor since 2001.
Rick Atchley has been the Senior Teaching Minister at The Hills Church of Christ since 1989. He leads a congregation that has expanded to three campuses in the Greater Fort Worth Texas area, and ministers to 5,000 people each weekend. Rick was not always a believer. Growing up he was taught to fear God, but not to love Him. Even worse, he was not sure God really loved him either. While attending Abilene Christian University, he began to believe in God through hearing the gospel of God’s grace preached. Rick is the author of several books, including Together Again, with coauthor Bob Russell. Rick is married to his wife, Jamie and has three grown children – Michael, Morgan and Matthew.
Shane J. Wood completed his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh (UK) and published his dissertation entitled The Alter-Imperial Paradigm: Empire Studies & the Book of Revelation (BINTS 140; Leiden: Brill, 2016). Most recently, Shane published his widely acclaimed book Between Two Trees: Our Transformation from Death to Life (Leafwood, 2019). In addition, Shane was named one of Christian Standard’s “40 Leaders Under 40” (July 2013) and also recognized by Theology Degrees Online as one of the “100 Remarkable Professors & Scholars Theology Students Should Know About.” Shane’s other publications include: Dragons, John, and Every Grain of Sand: Essays on the Book of Revelation (Joplin, MO: College, 2011) and “God’s Triumphal Procession: Re-examining the Release of Satan in the Light of Roman Imperial Imagery (Revelation 20:7-10)” in Currents in British Research on the Apocalypse (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015). Shane’s website www.shanejwood.com offers a variety of free lectures (audio and video) and other unique Bible study opportunities.
Scott is vice president for church services at Lipscomb University, where he also teaches in the College of Bible and Ministry. Prior to Lipscomb, Scott served for 15 years as senior minister of the Preston Road Church of Christ in Dallas, where he founded Christ’s Family Ministries, a fully functioning health clinic that serves the working poor. He serves on the board of Christ’s Family Ministries and the Christian Relief Fund where his focus is on supporting AIDS orphans in Africa. Sager earned a D.Min. in evangelism from Southern Methodist University as well as undergraduate and master’s degrees from Abilene Christian University.
Sy is lead minister at College Heights Christian Church, in Joplin, MO. He is passionate about Jesus, the church, and making disciples. He has been married to the love of his life, Monica, for 9 years, and has the two most precious daughters, Geri Jean and Chandler Joy. Sy is also an avid Dallas Cowboys fan, loves food in all its shapes and sizes, and wishes he lived in the story of the Lord of the Rings.
Julie holds a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University in special education and behavioral therapy and has over 10 years of experience working with children and families in home, school, and research settings. She now serves as Children’s Minister at Harpeth Christian Church, where she is able to use her background in education and behavior to help kids learn to trust and follow Jesus and equip parents to disciple their kids. Julie lives in Franklin, TN, with her husband and two young sons.
After over 25 years of full-time ministry, Marcos planted a church in the heart of Wilmington, Delaware. Educated at Manhattan College and Abilene Christian University, he wears many hats, including that of Pastor, Church-Planter, and Radio Personality. You can hear him host the popular Radio One show “Marriage beyond the Vows” on WPPZ Praise 107.9 FM. Marcos, who is fluent in both English and Spanish, speaks both nationally and internationally in places like South America, the Caribbean, and Asia. Happily married to his wife Amarilis, they are the proud parents of Lillian and Matthew.
Jared is the preaching minister at Fellowship Regional Church in Iola, KS, with a satellite campus in Caney, KS. He is also the host of a long-form interview podcast show called The Homilist, which explores the various aspects of preaching.
Aaron Brockett is the lead pastor of Traders Point Christian Church in Indianapolis. Since he joined the church in 2007, it has grown from 1,500 people in one location to more than 9,000 people in four locations. He is passionate about removing barriers that keep people from Jesus, just as the men in Mark 2 “wrecked the roof” in order to get the paralytic to Jesus. Aaron has contributed to several books and articles and also serves as a board member of the Orchard Group, a worldwide church-planting organization. He and his wife, Lindsay, have dedicated their lives to seeing people all over the world come to know, trust and follow Jesus. They have four great kids and a silver lab named Winston.
Stephen is married to the love his life Joy and is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Worship Tabernacle, a non-denominational Church in Nakuru, Kenya. He is also the founding President of Cross Power Agape Ministry–a Mercy Non-profit to the “least of these.” Stephen holds two Bachelors’ Degrees (Biblical Literature and Christian Ministry) from Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO, and a Master of Divinity Degree from Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO.
Emma’s earliest memories are infused with art. While some artists find joy in designing edgy or shocking pieces, she finds delight in cultivating art that encourages, inspires, and reflects the beauty of God’s creation. She graduated from Homelife Academy in 2016 after being homeschooled for 10 years, and is graduating in 2020 with a B.A. in Graphic Design from Middle Tennessee State University. She is passionate about working with kids and young adults, especially through nannying and tutoring. When not designing, some of her favorite pastimes are picnicking in Centennial Park with her husband Thomas, trying out new recipes, and starting a new sewing project.
Kerry has been doing ministry since he was 18, all the way back in 1996. In 2004 he and 30 others planted a church in Wentzville, MO. The Crossings Church has grown to be a very young, diverse, and unchurched group of disciples committed to making disciples. The Crossings has since planted three other churches and partners with a fourth church plant. He has been married to Hannah for 20+ years and they have 3 kiddos who are all actively engaged in College, High School, and Children’s ministries!
Lee and Ginger Keele have been married and ministering together for over 27 years. Life is an adventure with 5 children; the two youngest still at home, and two in college. Lee has degrees in Bible and Ministry from Oklahoma Christian University and is currently working toward a Master of Business Administration. Passionate about teaching, preaching, and making disciples, Lee continues to enjoy working with the local church. Together, Lee and Ginger have experience in adult ministries, youth, and children’s ministries, and have partnered together in missions and several overseas mission trips.
Matt is the Director of the Worship and Creative Arts Department at Ozark Christian College. A faculty member since 2004, he currently teaches in the area of creative and technical arts, music, worship leadership and the Psalms. In his more than thirty years of college ministry, his focus has been on discipleship and spiritual formation. His latest endeavor is directing the Creative Arts Academy, a summer arts camp for high school students. He also serves on the board of directors for Casas por Cristo. Matt is married to Joy and together they have two adult sons, Aaron and Ethan. His education includes a Bachelor of Theology in Old Testament from Ozark Christian College and an M.A. in TESOL and Linguistics from Ball State University.
With over two decades in church development and leadership experience, Dr. Michael Patterson has served ministries in Tallahassee, FL, New York City, and currently in Atlanta, GA. He is also the author of Running with Lions, a leadership development book, and an adjunct history professor at the prestigious Morehouse College. His doctorate is in education from Abilene Christian University. After the blessing of salvation, Michael has enjoyed 25 of marriage to his wife Shawn, and they have two children Alexis and Joseph.
Randy, along with his wife Julie, co-directs the Life and Ministry Preparation Center, (LAMP) at Ozark Christian College, in Joplin, Mo. He spent 40 years in local church ministry, 33 of those as the Preaching Minister of the College Heights Christian Church in Joplin. In this present season, he coaches and mentors college students and emerging leaders toward wholeness, healthy relationships, and ministry. He and his wife both speak to the pleasure and delight of having 18-22 year olds as some of their closest and dearest friends. He has been married 44 years with 3 children and 9 grandchildren. As a hobby, Randy builds custom furniture. Randy is frequently speaking to churches on leadership, and college campuses on relationships and personal maturity.
Ralph Moore and his wife Ruby started the Hope Chapel movement when they planted Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach in California. Twelve years and 30 church plants later, they helped plant Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (now Anchor Church). Lately they and a wonderful team planted a third church, Hope Chapel Honolulu. Besides being church planters, they are happy parents and grandparents. A former surfer, Ralph occasionally gets in the water with a stand-up paddle board. Currently, he mostly spends free time walking, reading and hanging out at the pool. He also works as “Church Multiplication Catalyzer” at Exponential.org.
Shawn has built a career equipping and empowering others for life and leadership. As an author, motivational speaker, lay marriage counselor, leadership developer, and women’s ministry leader, she has addressed women at home and abroad and encouraged them to realize their worth, discover their true purpose, and navigate the uncertainties of life. She is a married mother of two beautiful adult children and a Women’s Ministry Leader at the Path Church in Atlanta, GA.
Zach Breitenbach (MA, MBA, PhD) is the Assistant Director of Room For Doubt, an apologetics initiative administered through Lincoln Christian University. He is also an adjunct professor at LCU in courses related to theology, apologetics, and worldview. Room For Doubt seeks to encourage questions, address doubts, and strengthen Christian faith. Zach’s special interests and publications focus on theology, apologetics, and ethics. He is also a sports fan and a former college wrestler.
“Dr. Zus” is Director of Counseling and Pastoral Care at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO. He has an MA and MDiv from Lincoln Christian University and a Doctor of Ministry from Abilene Christian University. A longtime expert on youth ministry and mental health, he has written a number of related works, including the books Intensive Care: A Manual for the Nonprofessional Who Work with Hurting and Broken Youth and Student Ministry That Leaves a Mark: Changing Youth to Change the World.
Angel made the commitment to follow Jesus in 2003 while attending Florida State University. Since then, he has done his best to love God and help others do the same. Angel is especially passionate about raising up the next generation of leaders to make an impact in the church and the community. He is the co-founder of the AND Campaign, a coalition seeking to improve how Christians engage politics and culture by asserting the justice and righteousness of Jesus Christ. Angel also mentors high school and college athletes as a Character Coach with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. After a decade-long career as a television producer and host, you can now see Angel in commercials for companies such as Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, and Atlanta Braves. He and his wife Christina have two precious daughters and live on the southside of Atlanta.
Michael is Director of Instruction and Professor of Theology at Amridge University. His PhD is in Theology from the University of Birmingham, UK (2012). He teaches courses related to Theology, New Testament, Church History, Apologetics and Hermeneutics as well as undergraduate mathematics. He serves as a deacon at the North Boulevard Church of Christ in Murfreesboro, TN. Michael’s newest books are David Young and Michael Strickland, The Rhetoric of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark (Fortress Press, 2017) and William Fowler and Michael Strickland, The Influence of Ezekiel and The Fourth Gospel (Brill, 2018).
Sam is a Pakistani pastor and church planter. He is the founder of New Hope Christian Ministries of Pakistan (NHCMP). He has two bachelor’s degrees, a BSC from Pakistan and a BA from the US (Boise Bible College). His MDiv is from Cincinnati Christian University. He and his wife Brittany have three daughters.
Vance is the Biblical Studies Department Head at Boise Bible College, where he teaches Greek and New Testament. He earned the MDiv from Lincoln Christian Seminary and a BTh and BBL from Ozark Christian College. Before joining the BBC Faculty, Vance served in preaching, discipleship, youth, and chaplaincy ministries in Kansas and Illinois for 15 years. Vance currently serves on the Preaching Team at Ten Mile Christian Church and enjoys traveling to teach and preach at churches and camps throughout the Pacific Northwest. Vance has been married to Julie since 2005, and they have two wonderful children. He is an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, KC Chiefs, and Kansas Jayhawks.
Dr. John Caldwell served Kingsway Christian Church of Avon, Indiana, as senior pastor for 36 years, retiring in 2010. During those years, KCC progressed from a small, infant congregation to a thriving megachurch. John has authored five books, has written dozens of published articles, and served as president of both North American Christian Convention and the International Conference on Missions. He has traveled in over 100 countries and ministered alongside missionaries in more than 25. John has been married to Jan since 1965, and they are parents to Shan and Jennifer. John presently leads John Caldwell Ministries, preaching, teaching, and holding seminars, with an emphasis on ministry on the mission field.
Dr. Carol M. Swain is a former tenured professor at Princeton and Vanderbilt Universities, and a nationally known political commentator and public speaker. She is the author or editor of nine books, one of which (Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress) won three national awards. Another of her books, The New White Nationalism in America, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Carol’s more recent books are Abduction: How Liberalism Steals Our Children’s Hearts and Minds and Debating Immigration (2nd ed.). She is the host of Be the People podcast and “Two Minutes to Think About It,” heard nationally on Bott Radio. In addition, she has appeared on Fox News, ABC Headline News, CNN, BBC Radio and NPR, among other outlets. Carol’s opinion pieces have been published in The New York Times, USA Today, CNN Online, the Epoch Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
David Upchurch has served as Director of Church Ministries at Lincoln Christian University since January 1, 2012. He is an alumnus of Lincoln Christian University (BA 1980, MA 2017). David served for 32 years in four churches in Illinois and Kentucky before joining LCU. He served on the board of a mission organization called ACM International for 25 years and has traveled to several countries in Africa 13 times, as well as Afghanistan, Cambodia, Thailand, Haiti, and Mexico. David has been married to his wife Cindy for 39 years. They have three adult children and five grandchildren.
MICHAEL EAGLE is Physician Assistant in Orthopedic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical School and previously at Mayo Clinic. He has run eighteen marathons, completed two Ironman events, and has an interest in nutrition, exercise, and fasting. Michael is an elder at Harpeth Christian Church and a graduate of TCM’s Discipleship Program.
Michael DeFazio is Professor of New Testament and Hermeneutics at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO, where he lives with his wife Beth and two children. He graduated from Ozark Christian College and Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA), and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). Before moving to Missouri, he and Beth served in ministry at Real Life Church in Valencia, CA. He considers it his mission in life to see Jesus clearly and help others do the same. He loves spending time with Beth and kids, coaching youth sports, reading good books, and (amateur!) woodworking. He has written a devotional exploration of Colossians called More Jesus.
Ronnie Rose and his wife Sharmarra lead the FirstRock Church in Greenville, SC. They’ve served in the full-time ministry since 1996 and have worked with churches in New York and South Carolina. Ronnie was born and raised in New York City and became a Christian as a teen. Sharmarra was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and became a Christian in 1995. They’ve been married since 1999 and have two children, Kaylen and Stephen. Their life passion is helping make disciples that make disciples.
An Atlanta native, Mandy moved to Nashville in 1999, where she handled tour press for superstar Amy Grant and facilitated the debut album campaign for Gold-selling boy band Plus One. She went on to serve as a label publicist for both Pamplin Records (Natalie Grant, Katy Hudson—now Katy Perry), and Essential Records (Third Day, Jars of Clay), before launching Savvy Media Solutions in 2004. Savvy Media became the go-to firm for both established and emerging artists, as Mandy created numerous innovative promotional campaigns for recognizable artists and brands including David Crowder Band, newsboys, Matthew West and “Passion.” In 2015, Mandy decided to take a break from publicity to stay home full-time with her children. She currently resides in Franklin, TN, with her daughter Savannah (9), son Davis (6), and husband Anyan. In her free time, Mandy enjoys singing, thrifting and making people feel loved.
Matt Reagan is a Lead Team/Vision Team pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. He is a visionary leader with a passion to see an entire generation awakened to the glory of God, and spends his energies creating a movement of disciple makers both locally and around the world.
Matt is the planting and lead pastor of Ekklesia Christian Church in Conway / Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His passion is leading in audacious, faith-filled moves to make Christ and His Church famous in SC and beyond. He loves seeing God work in unconventional ways so that His name is glorified. Matt and his wife Tina have been married for twenty years and have seven kids whose names all start with “R.”
Matthew W. Bates (Ph.D., Notre Dame) is Associate Professor of Theology at Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois. His books include Gospel Allegiance (Brazos, 2019) the award-winning Salvation by Allegiance Alone (Baker Academic, 2017), The Birth of the Trinity (Oxford University Press, 2015), and The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation (Baylor University Press, 2012). He also co-founded and co-hosts the popular OnScript podcast.
Myron is the most unlikely leader in his region. At the age 18, he stood before a judge while facing 200 years in prison due to his life of gang banging, drugs, and crime. While facing a life sentence of prison time, one thing changed: his heart. He’d surrendered his soul to the Lord Jesus. While leaving the courtroom with a 16-to-33-year sentence, Myron had heard a whisper. “I’m going to get you out of prison to plant churches.” This word from God became the vision that has now inspired thousands. Through a series of miracles, the prison doors opened for him after 8 years. Myron received his B.A. in Biblical Studies and Business Leadership at Grace University. He is currently working towards finishing his M.A. in global leadership from Crown College. Myron has authored several books, including Digital Ministry. He has launched a host of churches and businesses and is the Lead Pastor of Mission Church, a grassroots inner-city mission with a dream to saturate every inner city with diverse Hope filled churches. He and his wife, Kristin, live in the heart of North Omaha with their three sons and daughter.
Nate Ross has lead in local church ministry since his junior year of high school. Raised in a ministry home, he understands how to obey God’s calling. He graduated Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, Illinois where he also worked as a recruiter. He then worked in student ministry at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, Illinois.
In 2008 he and his wife, Ruthie, moved to Northside Christian Church where, through his passion for connecting people to Christ, community, and God’s calling, Nate now serves as the Senior Pastor. He couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of such an amazing staff and dynamic church.
Nate & Ruthie have been married for 13 years & have 3 children.
Rachel Younis was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, which is a 96% Muslim country with less than 2% Christians. She has five members in her family–parents and three siblings–and all are following our Lord. Altogether, she is a fourth-generation Christian. Pakistan is one of the most persecuted countries in the world for Christians, where persecution is present in the forms of blasphemy laws, church bombings, forced conversions, forced marriages, and mob attacks. Her life in Pakistan as a Christian woman has been very challenging, which has made her passionate to work in the future with women and children in countries like Pakistan. She has a Bachelor’s in Economics from Pakistan and a Bachelor’s in Christian Leadership from Boise Bible College. She now intends to get her Master’s in Apologetics and Philosophy from Lincoln Christian University, Illinois.
Dr. Rick Cherok completed a PhD in United States Religious History from the Kent State University. He has taught Christian History, including Restoration History, at Cincinnati Christian University and Ozark Christian College for over two decades. In addition to contributing numerous essays and articles to a variety of publications, Dr. Cherok has published a book titled Debating for God: Alexander Campbell’s Challenge to Skepticism in Antebellum America. Dr. Cherok has served on the editorial board of the Stone-Campbell Journal for over fifteen years and is currently the Lead Editor at the College Press Publishing Company. Dr. Cherok is also the founder and Executive Director of Celtic Christian Mission, and has led hundreds of people on short-term mission trips to various locations around the world. His favorite pastimes include reading, travel, watching baseball, and hanging out with his beloved Border Collie, Aidan.
Twenty-eight years married. Three college kids and a seventh grader. Always learning how to replace personal dreams with obedience to God’s will. Garnered enough mental fortitude to finish a B.Th. at Ozark Christian College, an MA New Testament at Lincoln Seminary, an MA Global Leadership at Fuller, and an MA Islamic Studies at Columbia Int. University. Making disciples for decades as a burger flipper, restaurant server, youth minister, cross-cultural servant in Central Europe and the US and now as the executive director of an organization that helps national church leaders and missionaries publish Christian books worldwide in dozens of languages.