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August 13th
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David Empson

David Empson is a native of Columbus, Indiana, where he was raised attending the New Hope Christian Church…where he was both baptized and ordained into the Christian ministry. He attended Kentucky Christian College (1977-1981) where he met Sherree Hunt and they married after graduation. David served as a youth minister Illinois, Kentucky and in Indiana from 1981 thru 2001. He  received a Master of Arts from Cincinnati Bible Seminary in Practical Ministries in 1991.During his youth ministry years, David led many student mission trips. This experience led him to be recommended to lead to the student program, creating the Windows of the World Teen Convention for the NMC in 1998. As Windows grew, David became the first full time student director, operating from central Indiana. Upon Walter Birney’s retirement in 2008, David took on the executive director role and moved operations from Copeland, KS to Indiana. That change took place in 2008. David and Sherree have two daughters, Emily Drayne (who also works at ICOM) and Jenny Empson.

Bobby Harrington

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.

Ajai Lall

Dr. Ajai Lall and his wife, Indu, founded Central India Christian Mission (CICM) more than 30 years ago. The primary focus of CICM is evangelism, church planting and leadership training. The Mission has grown from two to more than 6oo full-time workers and has planted 1,400-plus churches in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Lall has written many books for Hindi-speaking people and has a passion to preach the Word of God.

Stephanie Garman Freed

Stephanie Garman Freed co-founded Rapha International in 2003 after she was challenged by her father to research the issue of human trafficking.  Beginning with one aftercare program for under age female survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation in Battambang, Cambodia, 15 years later, Rapha now serves child survivors in Cambodia, Thailand, and Haiti.  Stephanie is a firm believer in quality programming and collaboration, which allows Rapha to enjoy the cooperation and respect of the governments where they are working.

Stephanie is an activist in empowering girls who have faced extreme trauma to understand their great worth and value and ultimately to live in sustainable freedom.  Using her voice in a variety of public speaking venues, including churches, civic events, and conferences, Stephanie is committed to engaging and educating people on these topics.  She has helped produce a documentary on the issue of human trafficking in Cambodia, ‘Finding Home’, which spent two years on Netflix and won multiple awards at film festivals.

A self proclaimed “soccer mom”, Stephanie has a message that God can call us and equip us to serve Him in ways we could never imagine.  Stephanie and her husband, Brandon, live in Joplin, Missouri and have three amazing children- Blair, Brooke, and Barrett.  When Stephanie is not traveling, she can usually be found in her backyard enjoying her family, flowers, and dogs.

Shodankeh Johnson

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.

Tony Twist

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.

Curtis Sergeant

Curtis Sergeant worked with International Mission Board (IMB) as a pioneer church-planting missionary among an unreached people group in China and later served as their vice president for global strategy. Next, Curtis was the director of church planting at Saddleback Church. While at Saddleback, he helped develop an online training system for missions and led large-scale church-planting projects, especially in India. Curtis then served as international vice president of e3 Partners. Curtis currently operates MetaCamp, a disciple making and missions training center located in Dadeville, Alabama. He also works in leadership with Zúme Project and 24:14 Coalition. Curtis and his wife, Debie, have two grown and married children, Nathan and Megan.

Brett Andrews

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.

Mihail Malancea

Mikail is the Academic Dean for the College of Theology and Education in Chisinau, Moldova. He serves as National Director of Moldova and Central Asia, in the Training Christians for Ministry International Institute.

Monte Cox

Monte served as a missionary to Kenya from 1982 to 1992, when he began teaching full-time at Harding. He served as Director of the Center for World Missions until 2008 when he accepted  the position as Dean of the College of Bible and Ministry. He also teaches courses in missions, anthropology, world religions, North American culture, and textual Bible, and continues to have an integral part in the Center for World Missions.

About Renew.org
We are disciples of Jesus from various ethnicities, generations, nations, and communities and we champion all of Jesus’ teachings for disciple-making and disciple making movements.