Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah is Associate Professor of Theology and Bible at Nyack College and also teaches Worship at Alliance Theological Seminary. She preaches and teaches for churches, conferences, and other ministries in the United States and internationally. She also encourages Christian women to expand the Kingdom of God through the educational program Empower as well as a rite of passage for Nyack College Seniors. She is the author of The Book of Womanhood, and her writing has been featured by Christianity Today, CBE International, Redbud Writers Guild, and Missio Alliance. Amy loves to exercise, take photos, climb mountains, adventure with her husband and sons, learn languages, and enjoy the beach.
David M. Bailey believes that the Church should lead by example in cross-cultural engagement and reconciliation. He’s the founder and executive director of Arrabon; a ministry that equips and empowers Christians to effectively engage in the ministry of reconciliation.
David is an active speaker, consultant and strategist for many national organizations about cultural intelligence and culture-making. He is the co-author of the Race, Class, and the Kingdom of God Study Series. David is the executive producer of documentary 11am: Hope for America’s Most Segregated Hour and the Urban Doxology Project. He's rooted at East End Fellowship and serves as a teaching elder. David's greatest honor in life is to be married to his wonderful and beautiful wife, Joy.
David Fitch | Pastor
David Fitch is B R Lindner Chair of evangelical theology at Northern Seminary, Chicago. He is an ordained pastor in the Christian and Missionary Alliance and currently pastors (along with 3 other pastors) the Peace of Christ Church of Westmont IL, USA, a church plant of the C&MA. He coaches churchplanters, and leads the Church Planting Institute, a amalgamated effort of 5 different denominations. He is married to Rae Ann and they have one son named Max. He’s a Bantam Hockey coach for the YMCA USA Hockey program. He speaks regularly on culture, politics, political theory, ethics, ecclesiology and mission. He writes from time to time on his own page at Missio Alliance but also for Christianity Today, OutReach Magazine, ChurchLeaders.com, EthicsDaily, and multiple other sites, magazines and journals. He leads discussion on his facebook page and on twitter at @fitchest. He has written several books, the most recent is Faithful Presence: 7 Disciplines That Shape the Church For God’s Mission (IVP). His forthcoming book is entitled The Church of Us vs. Them: Freedom from a Faith that Feeds on Making Enemies. (Brazos, 2019)
Efrem Smith | Author
Efrem Smith is a pastor, consultant, motivational speaker, and author. He is passionate about life transformation, racial righteousness, thriving churches, and community development.
Efrem Smith was the founding pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church, a multi-ethnic church in Minneapolis, MN, He also co-founded and was President of The Sanctuary Community Development Corporation. Efrem served as the Superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church, providing leadership to 160 churches within California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and Utah. He also served as the President and CEO of World Impact, an urban missions organization committed to empowering urban leaders and planting churches in under-resourced communities. Currently, Efrem is the Co-lead Pastor of Bayside Church Midtown, a thriving and multi-ethnic community in Sacramento, California.
As an internationally recognized preacher, he has spoken for organizations and events such as Athletes in Action, Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth Specialties, Compassion International, the Urban Youth Workers Institute, and Thrive. He is the author of Raising Up Young Heroes, The Hip Hop Church, Jump, The Post-Black and Post-White Church, and Killing Us Softly.
Greg Boyd | Lead Pastor, Author
Bio coming soon.
Howard John Wesley | Pastor
Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley is the pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church, a native of the south side of Chicago. He is the proud father of two beautiful sons, Howard-John, II and Cooper Reece. Dr. Wesley is a 1994 magna cum laude graduate of Duke University where he doubled majored in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering. After his first year in medical school, he yielded to God’s call once again and walked away from a medical career to attend seminary in preparation for serving God’s people. He attended the Boston University School of Theology where he was a Martin L. King, Jr. Scholar and a 1997 summa cum laude graduate concentrating on Biblical Studies and African-American religious history. His passion for preaching and learning led him to the Associated Chicago Theological School’s Doctor of Ministry in Preaching Program where he graduated from the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary with his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2003. Rev. Wesley has also completed post-doctoral studies at Oxford University in Oxford, England and has served as an adjunct professor of homiletics at Boston University and an adjunct professor of church administration at Hartford Seminary.
Jorge Acevado | Lead Pastor
Jorge loves Jesus Christ and his Church. Touched by the grace of God at seventeen, he was never the same. Rescued from a life of addictions, his greatest delight is connecting people to Jesus and the Church.
Keisha is a growth coach, speaker, author, and missionary. She passionately walks with leaders who have kingdom dreams as the Associate Director of the Tampa Underground and is a member of the Ezer Collective leadership team.
She also serves with Created Women, a ministry committed to serving vulnerable women caught in the sex industry in Tampa, Florida.
Keisha leads a house church with her husband, mothers two boys, survived Kidney cancer and loves cupcakes.
Kyuboem Lee | DMin Director
Kyuboem Lee (BA Biblical & Theological Studies, MDiv Urban Mission, DMin Urban Mission) was born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. He was educated in US evangelical and reformed institutions (Wheaton & Westminster). He has lived, church planted and ministered cross culturally in Philadelphia, USA, since 1993. He has also taught urban mission at the graduate level since 2006, and has edited the Journal of Urban Mission (http://jofum.com/) since 2010. Currently, he serves as DMin Program Director and Assistant Professor of Missiology at Missio Seminary. Kyuboem is married to Christe and is the father of 2 sons, Amoz and Theo.
Lisa Yebuah | Lead Pastor
Lisa Yebuah is the Lead Pastor of the Southeast Raleigh Table, the newest worshipping community of Edenton Street United Methodist Church - a multisite congregation in the heart of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s a ’99 graduate of Wofford College and an ’04 graduate of Duke University Divinity School. Life in ministry brings her great joy. When asked, Lisa sums up her vocation through the lens of Mark 2: “I’m trying to help people in the pews become less concerned about the holes we make in our roofs and become more holy restless about our friends who’re bound to their mats.” Beyond ministry, Lisa is a professional people-watcher and party-starter, a biscuit-eating CrossFitter, and admits to having a slight obsession with The Office.
Lucas Pulley | Director, Tampa Underground
Lucas Pulley is the Director of Tampa Underground, a network of over 200 grassroots microchurches in Tampa Bay, and a nonprofit platform of services that exist to launch and empower these and more microchurches. After undergraduate studies in material science engineering and mathematical theory at SIUC, Lucas spent 6 years serving with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, planting Carbondale Underground Network, and finishing a Masters in Global Leadership from Fuller Seminary. Lucas is driven to see cities renewed through Kingdom proclamation and demonstration by the empowered priesthood of all believers.
MaryKate Morse | Professor
MaryKate Morse, Professor of Leadership and Spiritual Formation, is at Portland Seminary of George Fox University. She has served in various administrative roles including University Director of Strategic Planning. She is a church planter, spiritual director, leadership mentor and coach, speaker, and author including Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space, and Influence and A Guidebook to Prayer.
Welford’s calling is to work with young adults to help them discern their identity in Christ and grow as missional leaders in that identity. To that end, Welford serves the General Association as the Kairos Initiative Coordinator. In this role he helps to build and strengthen collegiate and young adult ministries throughout the General Association, on college campuses, through local churches, Fresh Expressions of church and collegiate focused church plants. Welford specializes in the areas of leadership development, forming mentoring relationships, personality assessments, visioning and strategic planning for ministry. He serves as a consultant and coach for collegiate and young adult ministries to enable them to assess their gifts, passions, competencies, context and call to grow flourishing ministries.
We’re glad to welcome Taeler Morgan who will be joining Dan White Jr. and Kyuboem Lee as presenters for the Pre-Conference Workshop, “Starting Missional Churches From Scratch.”
Rich Villodas | Lead Pastor
Rich Villodas is the Lead Pastor at New Life Fellowship Church. On October 6th, 2013, Rich succeeded Pete Scazzero as Lead Pastor. Rich was born and raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn, just 20 minutes from New Life. He graduated from Nyack College and then went on to complete a Masters of Divinity degree at Alliance Theological Seminary. When Rich is not reading, he is cheering on his beloved Mets, Knicks and Jets teams. Rich is married to Rosie and they have a little girl and boy, named Karis and Nathan.
Rev. Dennis R. Edwards is Associate Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary (Lisle, IL). Dennis earned a BS in chemical engineering from Cornell University, MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, MA and PhD in Biblical Studies from Catholic University of America. He has served as a pastor in urban contexts for three decades, including twice as a church planter (Brooklyn, NY and Washington, DC) and twice working in established congregations (Washington, DC and Minneapolis, MN). Dennis is married to Susan Steele Edwards, and they are the parents of four adult children.
Verlon Fosner | Leadership Coach
Dr. Verlon Fosner has led a progressive congregation in Seattle Washington since 1999. In 2008 the congregation transitioned from a traditional proclamation church into a multi-site Dinner Church called Community Dinners. In 2016, Verlon joined the Fresh Expression US leadership team and began coaching declining churches, leading “Dinner Church Encounters” across the country, and hosting “Seattle Immersions” at their home, which enables a few leaders at a time to observe Dinner Churches in action followed by training conversations around a fireplace. Verlon holds a Doctorate of Ministry from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, and has written several books. He and his wife Melodee have three adult children, five grandchildren, a collection of grand-foster-kids, and two grand-dogs.
Sean Palmer | Teaching Pastor
Sean Palmer is Teaching Pastor at Ecclesia Houston, a writer, and sought-after speaker across the country. He, along with his wife, Rochelle, and their two daughters live in Houston, TX.
Juliet Liu | Co-Pastor
Juliet Liu is a co-pastor at Life on the Vine, a missional church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago; she also serves as Missio Alliance’s Editorial Director. She is married to Sheldon Waite and they have two children, Isaiah and Ezra. Juliet is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Prior to coming to Life on the Vine in 2010, she ministered in Asian-American local church settings and on diverse university campuses. Between her time pastoring disciples on mission, parenting two young boys, and adjunct teaching at Trinity International University, she enjoys having friends over to try her latest cooking experiments.
Rose Lee-Norman | Associate Pastor
Rose Lee-Norman serves as an Associate Pastor at Sanctuary Covenant Church, an urban, multiethnic church in Minneapolis, MN. She has served there since 2010. Rose earned a BA in Biblical and Theological Studies from North Park University in Chicago, IL, MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, and is a Doctor of Ministry candidate at Boston University. She has served in urban, multiethnic churches for close to 15 years in Chicago, Los Angeles, and now North Minneapolis. She was ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church in 2015. She is married to Ryan and they have two young children. She believes the mission of the Church is to be a prophetic voice, while also living in such a way that the prophetic is realized in local communities.
Carey Sims | Co-Director
Carey currently serves the as co-director of The Center for Faith and Leadership (Fredericksburg, Virginia) where she and her husband, Gannon, are training the next generation of leaders through faith formation and leadership development. Carey is passionate about pioneering fresh expressions of church in the local community and developing new economic models that lead to church sustainability. As an entrepreneur, she is particularly interested in the intersection between theology and economics and how the church can make social impact while proclaiming the gospel.
Dan White Jr.
Join Dan White Jr. along with Kyuboem Lee and Taeler Morgan for a Pre-Conference Workshop presented by Missio & The V3 Movement: “Starting Missional Churches From Scratch.”
Santes Beatty is currently the Director of Multi-Ethnic Ministries at The Wesleyan Church World Headquarters. In this role he serves 1,700 churches and 31 districts in North America helping to plant new multi-ethnic churches and transitioning mono-ethnic ones. Prior to this he was a youth pastor and teaching team member for a multi-ethnic, missional and multiplying church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and at a predominantly Black traditional Baptist Church in North Carolina. A graduate of Guilford College and Huntington University, Santes is a coaching consultant for Mosaix Global Network, a motivational speaker and guest lecturer for conferences, camps and other events, and the founder of Crossover Consulting. Santes and his wife Nicole live in Indianapolis with their four children.
Tara Beth Leach | Senior Pastor
Tara Beth Leach is the Senior Pastor at First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena in Southern California. She is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University (B.A. Youth Ministry) and Northern Theological Seminary (M.Div.). She is regular writer for Missio Alliance and has contributed to other publications such as Christianity Today, Christian Week, The Jesus Creed, The Table Magazine, Reflecting the Image Devotional, Renovating Holiness, and most recently a chapter in The Apostle Paul and the Christian Life: Ethical and Missional Implications of the New Perspective with other contributors including N.T. Wright, James D.G. Dunn, Scot McKnight, and Bruce Longenecker. Tara Beth is also the author of the forthcoming InterVarsity Press book, Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry (2017) and a Beacon Hill Press book, Kingdom Culture (Spring, 2017). She is married to her husband Jeff and has two children.
Mandy Smith, originally from Australia, is lead pastor of University Christian Church, a campus and neighborhood congregation with its own fair-trade café in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a regular contributor to Christianity Today publications and the Missio Alliance Blog and the author of The Vulnerable Pastor: How Human Limitations Empower Our Ministry and Making a Mess and Meeting God. She is also the creator of The Collect, a citywide trash-to-art project. Mandy and her husband Jamie, a New Testament professor at Cincinnati Christian University, live with their two kids in a little house where the teapot is always warm.
Melodee Fosner | Trainer
Melodee Fosner is a trainer, mentor and friend to who works alongside Verlon to pass on their hard-won lessons in how to start dinner churches. Inspired by Hosea 11:4, Melodee believes that God wants his followers to join him in leading “cords of human kindness”, and bending down to feed the those who are hungry. Melodee’s greatest accomplishment in life has been creating a nurturing home where their children were led in the ways of Christ. As the Dinner Church vision began to unfold, the example of their own family table served as the palette of what the church could look like. Melodee holds a bachelor’s degree in Ministry Leadership from Northwest University.
Rev. Dr. Mia Chang | Lead Pastor
Rev. Dr. Mia Chang, Lead Pastor, planted NextGen Church in 2008. Rev. Mia was ordained as a pastor by the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey upon completing her studies at the Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. She obtained her doctorate in ministry studies at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University in Pennsylvania.
Bruxy Cavey | Pastor
Bruxy Cavey is the senior pastor at The Meeting House, a church for people who aren’t into church. The Meeting House is a multisite Anabaptist congregation in Ontario, Canada where thousands of people connect with God and each other through a widespread house church network, Sunday services, and online interactions. (You can learn more about The Meeting House at www.themeetinghouse.com.) Bruxy is also author of the bestselling book, The End of Religion and his recent book, reUnion, is an overview of “The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners.” Bruxy, his wife, Nina, and three daughters live in Hamilton, Ontario.
Bruxy Cavey (bruxy.com), is pastor of The Meeting House (themeetinghouse.com), and author of the bestselling book(re)union: the good news of Jesus, for seekers, saints, & sinners
Al Tizon | Executive Minister
Rev. Dr. Al Tizon serves as the executive minister of Serve Globally, the international ministries of the Evangelical Covenant Church, and as Affiliate Associate Professor of Missional and Global Leadership at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. Al has engaged in community development, church leadership, advocacy, and urban ministry in the United States and the Philippines. He is the author and editor of six books, including Whole & Reconciled: Gospel, Church, and Mission in a Fragmented World (Baker, 2018). Al is hopelessly missiological. His wife of 37 years, four children, five grandchildren, their Great Dane “Dude,” sushi, and racquetball make life worth living.
Charles Montgomery | Teaching Pastor
Dr. Charles A. Montgomery, Jr serves as a Teaching Pastor at Vineyard Church of Columbus, an 8,000 member multiethnic, multicultural and multigenerational congregation with over 125 countries represented. A Spirit-filled, gifted preacher and lecturer, he is nationally and globally recognized as a critical thinker and advocate for racial reconciliation.
In 2012, Dr. Montgomery took on the additional responsibility of becoming the Campus Pastor of Vineyard Columbus East Campus [VCEC], which he founded in Berwick Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio. Recently Dr. Montgomery has led in the securing of a permanent building for VCEC in Pickerington, Ohio. The new location is home to 500 parishioners who strive to reflect what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr referred to as "Beloved Community". He also is an Affiliated Professor of Leadership Studies at Ohio Christian University and a Martin Luther King scholar.
Dr. Montgomery was invited by the Cousins Foundation to participate in a special commission of Ministers studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Jerusalem and the West Bank. He also has preached and lectured on Critical Race Theory, Transformational Leadership, and African/African-American Spirituality at several universities and both in the U.K. And South Africa in 2017.
Dr. Montgomery earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Morehouse College (cum laude); a Master of Divinity from Emory University with certificates in Black Church studies and Christian Education (manga cum laude) ; and a PhD in Ethical and Creative Leadership from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio(highest honors).
He has also written several articles on Leadership and Spirituality, and is the author of the forthcoming book, In Search of Race Transcending Prophets: A Post-modern Model of Ministry for Black Men.
Throughout his career Dr. Montgomery has received numerous academic, civic, literary, and ecclesiastical awards. Concerning these and other accomplishments, Dr. Montgomery believes his greatest accomplishment is being married to the love of his life, the former Kimberly Pryor. He considers her the consummate “help-meet” who helps him to model servant- leadership, which focuses on not acclaiming or amassing honors, but doing justice, loving mercy, and to walking humbly with God. (Micah 4:6)
Jin Kim | Pastor
Jin S. Kim is founding pastor of Church of All Nations (CAN) and founder of Underground Seminary, an alternative postcolonial theological degree program in Minneapolis. He grew up in the South after emigrating from Korea with his family at age 7. He went to Georgia Tech, Princeton Seminary, has a DMin from Columbia Seminary, and has loved serving the local church as a pastor since 1993, and at CAN for the last 20 years. He's a PCUSA coach for new church pastors, and speaks globally. Jin is passionate about justice, ecumenical unity, and living into a post-imperial church. He & Soon Pac raise two teenagers and tend many sheep.
Jo Anne Lyon | Ambassador (Wesleyan Church)
Lisa Rodriguez-Watson | CCDA Training Director
Lisa Rodriguez-Watson, for over a decade, has served as an urban church planter, collegiate minister, and international missionary. Her heart to see people reconciled to God and to one another has led her to invest her life, family and ministry in places and people that have often been looked over by the world.
Lisa served as co-founder of a grassroots organization in Memphis, TN that was committed to mobilizing Christians to love their undocumented neighbors, and consider an appropriate Christian response to our nation’s immigration crisis.
She works as Leadership Development and Training Director at the Christian Community Development Association, and is a board member of Missio Alliance. Educated at Florida International University and Golden Gate Seminary, she now lives in Washington, DC where she is a mom to 3 fantastic children, Nathan, Elias, and Annelies, and wife to her best friend Matthew, who serves as Pastor of Christ City Church.
Michael Beck | Pastor
Rev. Michael Beck is South Atlantic Coordinator for Fresh Expressions US, Cultivator of Fresh Expressions for the North Central District, and a Cultivator of Fresh Expressions for the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. Michael serves as co-pastor of Wildwood UMC with his wife Jill, where they direct addiction recovery programs, a jail ministry, a food pantry, and a network of thirteen fresh expressions that gather in places like tattoo parlors, dog parks, hair salons, yoga studios, and burrito joints. Michael is the author of Deep Roots, Wild Branches: Revitalizing the Church in the Blended Ecology. He earned a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and is concluding a Doctorate in Semiotics and Future Studies at Portland Seminary with his mentor Dr. Leonard Sweet. Jill and Michael currently live in Wildwood with their blended family of eight children, three grandchildren, and a pug named Vader.