Conference Ministry Partners
Meet the National Ministry Partners who will be joining us for this year’s conference:
Jeff and Lauren Bolger – Campus Outreach – The University of Alabama
Jeff has been on staff with Campus Outreach for 10 years. Their vision is to build Christ like leaders on the campus for the lost world. They seek to do this through small group Bible studies, life on life evangelism and discipleship, weekly meetings, season ministry events, and hosting students in their home. Jeff also helps lead and coordinate winter conferences for Campus Outreach and summer discipleship projects that take place in Florida.
Catherine Brown – Crown Ministries – Birmingham, Alabama
Catherine has served as the Area Director for Crown Ministries for the past 11 years in Birmingham. She spends her time resourcing small groups, organizations, couples and singles on how to manage money from a Biblical perspective. Most recently, she and a small team have written and recently released a video-driven curriculum to teach basic financial management to young adults called “Do Money Different”. The program can be used for individuals or in a workplace setting. For small groups, there is a faith-based discussion guide available.
Cedric Brown – Navigators – Camp Springs, Maryland
Cedric and Alicia Brown live in Camp Springs, Maryland where they serve on the national leadership team for Navigators Church Ministries. This team oversees a nationwide team of 125 Navigator Representatives and many more Ministry Partners who help come alongside pastors and their church leaders, training them in tested discipleship resources. These resources help to equip these leaders to work with people life-on-life, to grow from church attenders to laborers in the harvest. It’s their desire to help local churches build a culture of disciple making, producing generations of disciples with untold impact.
Gary and Wendy Cramer – FCA – The University of Alabama
Gary and Wendy Cramer are in their 16th season as “life coaches” to the athletes, coaches, and athletic administrative staff of The University of Alabama. They believe mentoring is as simple as “making salsa together.” It’s about letting people get close enough to “see how you live” rather than just “telling them how to live.” From walking with those who are far from God, to mentoring student-athletes who are preparing for the mission field, they are intentional about Engaging, Evangelizing, Establishing, Equipping and Exporting the next generation of leaders who will impact their sphere of influence for Christ.
Brian Goessling – Restoration Academy – Fairfield, Alabama
Brian is the Executive Director at Restoration Academy, K-12, an urban Christian school in inner city Birmingham. He received his BA in English with a minor in Chemistry and Bible from Wheaton College. Brian’s career has included serving and teaching in the inner city in Chicago, teaching and coaching at Briarwood Christian School, and serving as the Dean of Students and Principal at Restoration Academy before becoming the Executive Director. Brian and his wife, Lauren, have 3 children – Ellie (18), Liam (15), and Noah (11).
Lisa Hogan – Sav-a-Life – Birmingham, Alabama
Since 1980, Sav-A-Life, Inc. has existed to assist with problems associated with sexual promiscuity, unplanned pregnancy, and abortion on demand. Sav-A-Life, Inc. is the largest crisis pregnancy ministry in central Alabama. Thousands of babies have been saved by helping parents embrace the Truth of God’s Word and make Life-affirming decisions about their unborn children. Their comprehensive programs meet the health, emotional and spiritual needs of clients so they are fully equipped to become better individuals, spouses and parents. They operate two service centers in Vestavia and Fultondale with plans for a third location in East Birmingham in late 2021.
Joel Irvin – Heart City Church, PCA – Elkhart, Indiana
Heart City is a downtown, community-centered church plant, imitating the Word who became flesh and moved into the neighborhood! Heart City is faithful having ‘steel in its spine’ as those called out to be separate and fruitful having that same ‘steel’ as outward facing local believers! We envision the local church as a portal to heaven, making disciples through the ordinary means of grace, small groups and evangelism. They build relationships through neighborhood groups and hosting events like parenting classes. As seasoned foster parents, the Irvins lead a local support group. Pastor Joel has a dozen years in ministry.
Chris Johnson – Lifeline Children’s Services – Birmingham, Alabama
Chris Johnson serves as the National Director of Church Partnerships for Lifeline Children’s Services, which exists to equip the body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children. Based in Birmingham, AL, Lifeline currently serves in more than 16 states and 25 countries. They are passionate about coming alongside churches and Christ-followers through ministry to women in unplanned pregnancies, adoption, foster care and family restoration, global orphan care, and ongoing counseling and support for families that include children who have experienced trauma.
Peter Jones – truthXchange – San Diego, California and Columbia, South Carolina
TruthXchange equips and empowers churches to communicate the gospel effectively and lovingly to a culture that has lost the crucial distinction between worshiping creation and worshiping the Triune Creator and Redeemer. The name truthXchange comes from something the Apostle Paul wrote to a church in first-century Rome, when the Pax Romana claimed to unify the known world in peace and prosperity. Paul wanted Christians in his time to understand their culture, so they would know how to talk about the gospel of God to their neighbors and friends. Paul affirms counter-culturally that Roman society was based on a false premise. He speaks of the great exchange: human beings in rebellion “exchange the truth of God for the lie and worship and serve the creation rather than the Creator”.
Hank and Chrisy Marshman – Cru – Knoxville, Tennessee
Hank and Chrisy invested 35 years teaching, discipling and equipping college students to go to the world with the life-giving message of Jesus Christ. The transition to Cru City three years ago allows them to continue the same work with recent graduates, business men and women, church leaders, and college students. Hank continues to teach and disciple leaders, serve as chaplain for the Tennessee Rugby Program and Knoxville Men’s Rugby Club, and assist the Leadership with a church plant. Chrisy mentors recent graduates and gives leadership to several women’s Bible studies and prayer groups.
Bob McPherson – CRU Birmingham, Alabama
Bob has been on staff with CRU for 43 years and a religious volunteer at St. Clair Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison, for over 30 years. Over the years, he has taught EE and various Bible studies to the inmates. Currently, he is teaching a Bible class in the Faith-Based Honor Dorm which is self-governed, with 208 inmates, most of whom profess to be Christians. Because most of the men are not going to get out very soon if at all, Bob can invest deeply into the lives of a few men who can then build into the lives of others.
Pamela Reed Phipps – Grace House Ministries – Birmingham, Alabama
Grace House Ministries provides loving, Christian care to 40 Alabama girls in foster care on a residential campus in Fairfield, AL. All of the girls have been removed from the custody of their families due to physical/sexual abuse, abandonment/incarceration of a parent, and/or neglect. There are 9 properties, 5 of which are home to the girls who rely on Grace House to meet their basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, and education every day. Grace House hinges on five core values: Christ, education, family, life skills and outreach.
Jamie Strange – Fellowship of Christian Athletes – Northeast, Alabama
Jamie has been on staff with FCA for 16 years in Alabama. He served 7 of those year in the Anniston/Gadsden area and as campus director at Jacksonville State. The remaining years have been at Northeast AL serving as area director and overseeing the campus ministries that reaches over 1000 kids through summer camp programs. Jamie has been married to Rebecca for 25 years and they have 3 boys (Zack 21, Alex 19, and Baylor 13).
Erik and Amy Veerman – PCA Church Plant – Tucker, Georgia
Erik and Amy live in Tucker, Georgia, where they are planting a new Church – Tucker Presbyterian Church. Tucker was settled in 1820 as a small railroad community, and although it’s in the metro-Atlanta area, Tucker has been underserved by faithful Bible-believing, Gospel-preaching churches. Despite Covid, Erik and Amy, along with a core team of about 35 adults, launched in June 2020 and have experienced God’s grace in amazing ways as they’ve witnessed the lord building His church. Their vision is to be a church “living and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, through worship, prayer, the Word, and deed.”
Jason and Jessica Williams – Aspire Movement – Birmingham Alabama
Jason and Jessica live in Hoover, AL and have a 12-year old daughter, Kendall. Jason serves as executive director to the Aspire Movement, a Christ-centered mentoring program pairing godly men and women with at-risk youth. The vision of Aspire is to see youth transformed to reflect Christ and restore their communities. They accomplish this through evangelism and discipleship using mentoring as their platform. They have reached over 500 youth in Birmingham through Life on Life and Small Group mentoring.