The Parakaleo Team

parakaleo team





Tami Resch, Ruth Ann Batstone, Shari Thomas, Maria Garriott and Cristina Caires

Shari Thomas
Founder and Director
Manhattan NY or

As the granddaughter, daughter, and wife of a church planter, Shari isn’t sure if she has a love for the church or just can’t escape it. She researched and developed the Church Leader’s Spouse Inventory used in assessment, founded and directs Parakalaeo, writes, speaks and trains in all things related to church planting, whether she is good at it or not. Among her accomplishments she is gifted at blurting, speaking before thinking, and interrupting. After living in 3 countries and countless States, she and her husband currently call Manhattan home where John is the Global Director of Training for City to City. Among her many loves is storying and dreaming of the day on the other side where we will gather to hear the finished narratives of our current life stories.

Tami Resch
Program Director
Columbus OH or

Surrounded by coaches, Tami has become one herself (osmosis perhaps). She is the daughter and sister of professional football coaches, is married to Steve—a church planter coach, is mother of a college aged son who wants to coach lacrosse, and is the mother of two teenage daughters who love to coach their mom on what not to wear!

Tami’s passion is taking the hope of the gospel to the hearts of women. She enjoys assessing, mentoring, training, and coaching church planting spouses and the women leaders who work alongside them. If you ask Tami what time it is, she’ll tell you how to build a watch. So as you can imagine, learning to shut up, ask questions, and listen well is a relatively new lifestyle for her. But, she is learning. You could say she’s coachable!

Cristina Caires
Network Director
Astoria NY or

Cristina and her husband Darcy have been involved in church planting longer than they have been married! They have served for twelve years among Brazilian immigrants and nine among Americans in the most diverse corner of the world: the metropolitan New York area, where Darcy serves as an executive pastor and multi-site lead pastor.

As a church planting spouse, Cristina has experienced the power of the barrier-breaking Gospel of Christ and the pain of finding herself in the desert. She has also acquired a taste for ethnic foods, good coffee and dark chocolate, which combined with her journalistic background, make her very resourceful if anyone is hungry or thirsty. She is thrilled that Parakaleo is making a difference in the lives of church planting couples. As she helps in the development of Parakaleo networks, Cristina meets women who are hungry and thirsty for something far more valuable: the refreshing grace that can be freely experienced, even in church planting.

Maria Garriott
Resource Coordinator
Baltimore MD or

Sometimes Maria Garriott isn’t sure if she’s a well-seasoned pastor’s wife or just plain fried! She and her husband Craig planted Faith Christian Fellowship, a multi-ethnic, socio-economically diverse PCA church in urban Baltimore in 1980. She is the author of A Thousand Resurrections, a memoir of urban church planting, and countless unfinished to-do lists. She loves cheering for church planters through her work with Parakaleo and pointing them to Jesus . Maria and Craig have four adult children, one awesome son-in-law, and an energetic twelve-year old.

Ruth Ann Batstone
Gospel Life Consultant

When it comes to pastors, spouses, and issues in their hearts, Ruth Ann Batstone brings a wealth of wisdom and experience to the table. She has counseled and mentored women through World Harvest Mission’s year-long Sonship discipleship curriculum since 1990. She is a therapist in private practice and also teaches at seminars, conferences, and women’s retreats. With her husband Stu, Ruth Ann has ministered overseas in Europe, Russia, Japan and South America as well as in the United States, Canada and Mexico. They have been married since 1965 and love to travel, snorkel, ride bikes and shamelessly dote on their twelve-and-counting grandchildren.

Jamie Devins
Operation Manager