Jeb Bland comes with a strong background in missions as a ruling elder who has given major time to ministry, even full-time during various seasons in his life. With him, we believe and trust God for a full-time season in his life with MNA. Jeb and Gail married in 1978 and have two married daughters and four grandchildren. Having come to Christ at an early age, Jeb attended King’s College and has taken counseling courses with CCEF at Westminster Seminary. He currently chairs the Missions Committee at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lancaster PA, and has led the church in an extensive commitment to Native ministry. His other missions experience includes service in Niger, Africa; Mexico; and Haiti, where he served in short-term trips over 12 years, with sufficient sharing of life among the Haitian people that he is conversant in Haitian Creole. Jeb summarizes his heart commitment very simply, “I maintain a strong desire to serve the Lord with gladness and to make a difference in this world for the gospel.”
Heidi Rist was born in Pennsylvania and has been a member of Covenant PCA in Harrisonburg VA. She served for 2.5 years with a Mission to the World church planting team in South Asia. The uncertainties that come from living in countries other than her birth nation and living out of a bag have helped her understand something of the refugee experience. She currently lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where she works with and for asylum seekers through Journey Home Community.
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.
Steve is a Colorado native. Educated at Westmont College, Denver Seminary, and Covenant Seminary, Steve entered the ministry in South Carolina, where he pastored a church, planted another and started an adoption agency. For eighteen years he also served as senior pastor of Peace Presbyterian Church, Cary, NC. He currently serves as “pastor at large” in Helena, Montana, where he joined the MTS team in 2014. Steve and his wife Via live just north of Helena, Montana. They have eight children and eight grandchildren.
Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Cristina and her husband, Darcy, moved to the US in the late 80s and have been involved in church planting longer than they have been married! They have served twelve years among Brazilian immigrants and the last nine among Americans in the most diverse corner of the world: the metropolitan New York area, where Darcy serves as executive pastor and multi-site lead pastor at Queens Presbyterian Church. 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, which gives her a true heart for women in ministry. At her local church she administrates an ESL program, co-leads a women’s fellowship, and serves on the Mercy Team which addresses various community needs. Cristina has acquired a taste for ethnic foods, coffee, dark chocolate, cultural diversity, traveling and her iPhone, which combined with her journalistic background, make her very resourceful if anyone is hungry or thirsty. As she helps in the development of global 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.
There are some things that a person never forgets. They are indelibly etched into his mind. For Mark Casson, it was the words of a Superior Court Judge who told him in March, 1989, “I hereby sentence you to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The key word here, sir, is possibility. You may never parole from prison and in fact, you may die there. Do you understand this sentence I am imposing on you?” These words were spoken only a few weeks after Mark was converted to Christ through jail/prison ministry. For the next 15+ years, he would spend his days growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mark availed himself of the few Bible studies and courses which were available to him, and he spent much of his time in the Word, teaching others and ministering from the “inside”. Mark went to five parole hearings and was denied parole each time. It was at the sixth hearing that he heard the words, “By unanimous decision, we find you suitable for parole.” On February 19, 2004, he walked out of prison a twice freed man. Mark has continued his active Christian life on the outside. For nine years he and his family lived in Fresno CA, where Mark served as a ruling elder at Sierra View Presbyterian Church (PCA). In 2013 they moved to Chattanooga TN, where Mark currently serves as a ruling elder at First Presbyterian Church (PCA). Metanoia is now headquartered in Chattanooga. Since his release, Mark has been involved in the Dare to Hope program, which takes a message of hope into the prisons in his area. He has been blessed to return to prison more than a dozen times through this program. He has been actively involved in teaching Bible Studies, Sunday School, and the occasional exhortation from the pulpit. He has worked with people at the local Rescue Mission, and he continues to minister to children at a local children’s shelter with the members of his church. In 2007 Mark was added to the Board of Directors of Metanoia Ministries. Sensing Mark’s burden for prisoners, his love for the great commission and his desire to see men and women changed through the power of the gospel, the Board called Mark to be their Executive Director in 2008.
With 9 years of non-profit administration experience and 6 years as a small business owner, Jamie has developed a passion for process and finding the best approach for the long term. Whether it's graphic design, marketing or operations, she loves solving problems creatively and getting the job done. Jamie lives in Chicago with her husband, Peter and son, Cullom. She serves alongside many dedicated individuals at a church plant of Holy Trinity Church on Chicago's north side. In her often-elusive spare time, she loves listening to people's testimonies, drinking high-maintenance lattes, making her son giggle and walking around the city with her family.
Andy and his wife Holly reside in St. Louis MO where the are members of New City Fellowship PCA. He grew up in the PCA, attended Covenant College and came on staff with MNA Disaster Response in 2012 after having served as a volunteer and key leader. He serves as the Regional Specialist for Chicago Metro, Central Indiana, Illiana, Northern Illinois, and Missouri Presbyteries.
Cheryl worked with Mission to the World (MTW) from 1998-2014, serving in Jamaica and the Medical Department in the U.S. office in Atlanta, GA. Cheryl joined MNA Special Needs Ministries (Now Engaging Disability) as Assistant in April 2014. She uses her administrative gifts and international experience to support all the aspects of this ministry. She enjoys behind-the-scenes support that enables those on the frontlines to serve others more. When she isn't working she enjoys baking, cooking, various hobbies and cheering on the Phillies and Penn State football.
I am thrilled and extremely thankful that God in His providence has opened the opportunity for me to become the PRCC’s Associate Director for Civilian Chaplaincy. It is a great honor and privilege to serve my fellow civilian chaplains and to assist as needed with serving our military chaplains. What follows is a brief recount of how the Lord has used me through the years – all to His glory! I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas but went away for college to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. I received a B.A. degree in Journalism from LSU and following college went to work for Young Life in Kansas City, Missouri for a year before becoming the Area Director for Young Life in Odessa, Texas. I left West Texas for Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi and received a Master of Divinity degree from RTS in 1985. After seminary I taught Old Testament and New Testament at the Episcopal High School in Houston, Texas and was an assistant basketball coach. (The director of the Religion Department defended hiring a Presbyterian by saying he couldn’t find any Episcopalians qualified to teach the Bible, and the headmaster and Bishop accepted that explanation. And when you see me, you will know that being a basketball coach is also quite funny.) I then served as an assistant pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Little Rock before becoming the solo pastor of a church in North Carolina. I have been a Teaching Elder in the PCA for 27 years. My chaplaincy experience began nearly 22 years ago in September of 1991after our family (my wife Hazel and two children, son Loddrick and daughter Hannah) needed to return to Arkansas following the pastorate in North Carolina. I began as an on-call chaplain at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock. By the spring of 1992, two other chaplain positions became available to me, one as a fee-basis chaplain for the Central Arkansas Veterans Affairs Hospital System and the other as a hospice chaplain. I continued as a chaplain for all three until I became the Director of the Pastoral Care Department at ACH in May 1995. I have been the Director of Pastoral Care ever since – until now. I have been involved in the national leadership of the Pediatric Chaplains Network (PCN) since 1998 and served as President from 2003-2005. I was the Project Coordinator for the PCN’s development of a national training curriculum specific to pediatric chaplaincy. The Pediatric Chaplains Institute (PCI) was founded in 2007 as a week-long intensive training using the new curriculum. I have served as the Dean of the PCI since its beginning. I have been a member of the ACH Bioethics Advisory Committee for 18 years, and I received a Certificate in Clinical Bioethics in 2001 from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Last year I was elected the first non-physican co-chairman of the Bioethics Committee. I served on the faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in the Medical Humanities Department for 10 years assisting with teaching Medical Ethics to second year medical students. In 1998 I began ACH’s palliative care program (PalCare) and served as Director of PalCare until 2006 while continuing to be the Director of Pastoral Care. And saving the best for last, I became a grandfather for the first time in October 2012. All praise and glory to our great Savior and King!
Born in Baltimore, Maryland Chuck was educated at the University of Baltimore and Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. For over twenty years he pastored in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma before being called to Washington, D.C. in 2003. There, Chuck and his wife Debby started and continue to develop Ministry to State, a ministry to people in government in our national, state, and international capitals. Chuck has traveled and preached extensively throughout the United States, South Africa, Central Europe, Asia and Haiti. He is the author of Obama Prayer, Work Excellence (which was translated into Chinese), and Rulers: Gospel and Government.Chuck and Debby live in the District of Columbia. They have four children and five grandchildren.
Maria and her husband, Craig, moved to a distressed urban Baltimore neighborhood in 1980 to plant Faith Christian Fellowship, a multi-ethnic, socio-economically diverse church committed to ministry in Word and deed. The church presently operates a Christian day school, tutoring program, sports leagues, and other ministries. Her memoir, A Thousand Resurrections, describes what happens when a pastor's large family meets the grit of the city, weaving together stories of redemption and loss, elation and discouragement, and the ever-elusive quest to balance ministry, marriage, and motherhood. Maria's poetry, essays, and nonfiction articles have appeared in many publications, and she enjoys speaking at retreats and conferences (especially when dark chocolate is involved). She loves cheering for church planters through her work with Parakaleo and pointing them to Jesus. Most of all, she enjoys spending time with her husband, four adult children, one awesome son-in-law, and her energetic thirteen-year-old.
Chaplain Griffith was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in 1983 serving as a Signal Battalion Chaplain in the Florida Army Guard. In 1987 he transferred to the North Carolina Air National Guard serving as a Chaplain with the Military Airlift Command, C130 Aircraft. Returning to the Army Chaplaincy in 1991, Chaplain Griffith served as Group Chaplain for the 426th Area Support Group and then later as Brigade Chaplain for the 31st Armor Brigade. In 2004 he went on active duty serving as the Director of Family Ministry for the United States Army Reserve. At his retirement ceremony he was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service to Soldiers and Families. Chaplain Griffith retired from the Army 15 November 2011. Mack is a Florida native, growing up in a Christian home, active members of the McIlwain Memorial Presbyterian Church in Pensacola. Chaplain Griffith graduated from Pensacola Christian High School, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University in 1972. Upon graduation from college Chaplain Griffith worked in the office of the Court Administrator of the Florida Supreme Court. He then served as the Deputy Court Administrator of the 10th Judicial Circuit of Florida. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is a graduate of the Army Chaplain Officer Basic Course, the Air Force Officer Orientation Course, the Air Force Chaplain Basic Course, the Army Chaplain Captain Career Course, Command and General Staff College, Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel Course and the Chaplain Colonel Course. Chaplain Griffith was promoted to the rank of Colonel March 2007. Chaplain Griffith has been a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America for 35 years. He first served as Pastor of Lebanon Presbyterian Church, Learned Mississippi from 1979-1981 and Associate Pastor of McIlwain Presbyterian Church 1981-1987. From 1987-1990 he served as Associate Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Rock Hill, South Carolina. He then was Senior Pastor of Eastern Shore Presbyterian Church, Fairhope Alabama 1990-2000. From 2000-2004 Chaplain Griffith served as Ministry Director of Ridge Haven Conference Center, Brevard North Carolina before being called to active duty as an Army Chaplain. He was endorsed as a Chaplain his entire military career by the Presbyterian Reformed Chaplain Commission (PRCC), and served for two years as a member of the Commission before assuming his current role of Associate Director of the PRCC. Chaplain Griffith has been married to his wife Chris for 45 years, they have two daughters, Catherine and Bethany, and three granddaughters, Mary Blake, Anna and Ruthie. Catherine is a pediatric nurse at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham Alabama and is married to Gary Noah a firefighter and paramedic. They are active members of Oak Mountain PCA where Gary serves as a deacon. Bethany formerly served with Campus Outreach in South Carolina and then served as the Director of the Westside Children’s Ministry at Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in New York City and then as the Children’s Director at Oak Mountain Presbyterian in Birmingham. Bethany is now married to Dustin Belue who is a student at RTS Atlanta and is interning at Perimeter Church (PCA). Bethany is currently serving on staff with the Committee on Discipleship Ministries PCA.
Gary was born in Alice, TX on December 15, 1947. He resided in Texas until 1984, when his work in financial management with regional department stores took him to Des Moines, IA as Controller for Younkers. He met and married his wife Diane in 1987. They received Christ the same year and soon afterward, the Lord took them to Hattiesburg, MS for employment. By an act of providence, they stepped into the wrong church building one Sunday morning, and (now PCA Stated Clerk) L. Roy Taylor was used by God to help them find their church home in the PCA. The Lord called Gary and Diane to full-time administrative ministry at a missions conference at First Presbyterian Church where Gary was ordained an Elder, having served previously as Chairman of the Diaconate. In 1999, they sold their home in Hattiesburg and moved to the Atlanta, GA area, raising support to work for Dr. Archie Parrish and Serve International, Inc. The Hitzfelds helped Dr. Parrish develop the Kingdom Campaign Prayer Training materials (www.Kingdomprayer.org), and Gary assisted with prayer conferences around the country. Gary’s assistance to Archie included the church revitalization ministry of MNA. When Archie retired as MNA Coordinator for Church Vitality, Dave Peterson hired Gary in 2004 as Administrative Assistant for MNA Chaplain Ministries,. Gary and Diane have relocated to a small ranch outside of Cuero, TX, near San Antonio. Diane is the Communications Director for Desire Street Ministries, and in their free time, they enjoy their dogs, cats, and Arabian horses. They are members of Christ PCA in Victoria, TX.
Arklie and his wife Katherine live in Elizabethton TN and worship at Memorial PCA where he currently serves as a Ruling Elder. He has been leading the ministry of MNA Disaster Response since 2005, overseeing the growth and development of staffing, volunteer training and mobilization, a DR warehouse, and the Sheds of Hope project.
Sherr and her husband Steve live in Jackson MS, where Steve serves on the pastoral staff of Redeemer PCA, and she is involved in women’s ministries both on a local and national level with the PCA. Sherry attended Bellhaven College and RTS, and has been serving with MNA Disaster Response since 2005, starting as a volunteer before coming onto full-time staff. She oversees all volunteer mobilization, communications and administrative support.
Rick and his wife Shirley live in Frisco, TX, and attend Christ Community Church of Frisco (PCA). Rick is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel serving 23 years and was a Financial Advisor for seventeen years. He was at Keesler AFB, MS, during Hurricane Camille and was part of the response team. He started with MNA Disaster Response in 2008 during the Iowa Flooding disaster as a volunteer and became a specialist in July 2010. He has developed a disaster response preparation plan for presbyteries and churches, and serves as a regional specialist for Houston Metro, North TX, and South TX Presbyteries.
Mrs. Michelle "Shelly" Marshall is married with two children, Emily Ann and Owen Langley Marshall. Shelly was raised by a single mom who expected her children to fend for themselves, achieve good grades, and make something of their lives. They frequented the Polish Catholic Church in her hometown of Syracuse, New York, but the services were conducted completely in Polish. Shelly's early adult life revolved around work and drinking. In her early thirties, Shelly got seriously sick, which led her to re-evaluate her lifestyle and an obvious problem with alcohol and cocaine. She checked herself into a drug and alcohol program where she found temporary relief in Alcoholic's Anonymous (A.A.) and Cocaine Anonymous (C.A.) .Shortly thereafter, one of her friends from the meetings invited her to church. A few Sundays later the Lord graciously changed her heart. Miraculously, Shelly became a new creature in Christ with absolutely no desire to ever drink or drug again. Shelly has a rich background in bookkeeping, office management, database set-up and management, tax preparation, and utilizing a wide variety of computer programs. She had her own bookkeeping business for many years serving lawyers, restaurant owners, and small business owners. Shelly has a real heart for prison ministry. Her prison ministry experience began when she married her husband who spent 10 years in prison. When her husband graduated from seminary, they founded Metanoia Ministries (MM) together and opened a discipleship home for men just getting out of prison. For five years Shelly served as the matriarch and assistant to the director as she helped her husband oversee MM, keep the ministry books, and interacted daily with each of the men who lived in the home. When MM needed more beds to meet the growing number of applicants, Shelly used an inheritance she had received to help Metanoia Ministries move into a new 14 bed facility. She said, "It is God's money, and so it should be used for God's purposes." Shelly participated in some of the new resident interviews, she regularly served as an extra pair of eyes and ears, and she managed all the finances for the ministry. Today, Shelly holds the title of Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of Metanoia Ministries. Her responsibilities include designing all the handsome correspondence course covers, setting up and maintaining a comprehensive database, copying and reproducing all of our course materials, mailing all the course material to instructors, students, and chaplains, interacting with all our instructors and students, and handling a dozen other odds and ends that pop up week to week. Shelly is thankful she has the opportunity to serve brothers and sisters in Christ who are in prison. She knows what it is like to be imprisoned in sin as well as the joy of being set free by the Sovereign Grace of God. She sees the need. Her prayer is to be a small part of the solution to that need.
Curt is now serving as MNA ShortTerm Specialist, serving PCA churches, mission churches and organizations by helping to coordinate domestic short term mission options for teams looking for short term mission trips that are high impact, cross-cultural, flexible, convenient, and affordable. He comes to MNA ShortTerm Missions after serving with MNA Disaster Response as a regional specialist for over ten years. He and his wife Kelly live in Orlando FL.
Keith and his wife Marianne reside in Melbourne FL where they attend Covenant PCA. Keith began serving with MNA Disaster Response as a volunteer in 2004, served as a Key Leader during the response to Hurricane Katrina, setting up food distribution and establishing worksites, and has been instrumental in the development of disaster response training materials for local churches and key leaders. He currently serves the state of Florida as a regional specialist.
My wife Shirley and I have been in the PCA since 1982, and I was ordained as a PCA pastor in 1995. In addition to my position as MNA African American Ministries Coordinator, I also serve as part-time pastor at New City Fellowship, Chattanooga TN, and am a member of the Advisory Board of Covenant Theological Seminary. I earned my undergraduate degree from Howard University and graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Chesapeake Reformed Theological Seminary.
Ted Powers is MNA Church Planting and Midwest Church Planting Ministries Coordinator, a role he has had since June 2002. Mission to North America is the home missions agency of the Presbyterian Church in America. Ted was previously a church planter/pastor in Downers Grove IL. Christ Presbyterian Church was planted in February 1987. Ted continued on as pastor of that church until January 2002, when he joined MNA’s staff, initially as Assessment and Training Director. In his role as Church Planting Coordinator, Ted spends a great deal of time in the areas of vision-building, prayer mobilization, strategic planning with church planters, recruiting, assessing, training, and mentoring. He also oversees staff in the area of regional church planting, coaching, development, and recruiting. Ted is the recipient of a Doctor of Ministry degree from Covenant Theological Seminary. He graduated in 2000, presenting a dissertation topic on church planting apprenticeships. The model he devised for that program is currently in use in a variety of settings in the PCA and elsewhere. Ted’s Master of Divinity degree is from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, and his undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan. Ted served as an Associate Pastor in West Hopewell Presbyterian Church in Hopewell, VA, where he was ordained in 1980. He left that pastorate to pursue church planting in Chicago in 1986. Ted and his wife, Ann, were married in 1978. They reside in suburban Chicago. They have one daughter, Elizabeth, a music teacher.
Glen and Tracy live in Lexington NC and attend Meadowview Reformed PCA where Glen serves as a deacon. He is a trained EMT and firefighter, currently holding the position of Fire Marshall. In 2005 while serving as the Disaster Response Coordinator for Meadowview he coordinated the delivery of critically needed resources from the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast. Glen currently serves with MNA Disaster Response as a regional specialist for the Piedmont Triad, Eastern Carolina, Palmetto and Savannah River Presbyteries.
Since 1991, Tami and her husband Steve have co-labored in three church plants and currently serve Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio. As associate director and co-founder of Parakaleo, she shares a life of gospel joy, hugs, and hope in Christ with church planting spouses and women in her community. Tami loves opening her home and mentoring women (chocolate is usually involved in both). She loves giving things away, which kept her from a career in sales, but led to the discovery of a passion for giving away hope in Christ. As crazy as it may sound, she enjoys attending her denomination’s General Assembly, going to church planting conferences, and serving at assessment centers. The daughter and sister of professional football coaches, Tami has become one herself, coaching women through life and ministry. She is a Creative Results Management Graduate Coach. Tami is a member of Steeler Nation and additional fanaticisms include organizing closets, drawers, homes, and churches. She is a retired nurse, a retired home school mom, and the sometimes tired but never retired mother of three.
Joel received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Samford University, where he met his wife, Holly. They have been members of Briarwood Presbyterian for over 30 years, serving 18 of those years on the staff of the original Campus Outreach ministry. Joel’s roles included Administrator, Missionary Team Leader in Japan and Director of the Campus Outreach International Network. In 2006, Joel became the first full-time director of Special Connections, Briarwood’s special needs ministry. In 2011, Joel accepted a call to join the staff of MNA Special Needs Ministries (now Engaging Disability) as Associate Director. Joel, Holly and their two grown children reside in Hoover, AL.
Raised in a Christian home, I made a personal commitment to Christ at a youth rally at age 13, after realizing that “God has no grandchildren; only children!” During two years teaching at a mission school in South Korea, the Lord taught me what it was like to be the odd person out in another culture. When I returned stateside, it was with a new empathy for immigrants to the US. I began to volunteer tutoring immigrant children at the school my own children attended, and soon afterward started volunteering with others from my church in resettling refugees from Viet Nam. A few years later, the Lord led me to start a non-profit organization to serve immigrants, which I directed for 16 years. Next He then provided me with the opportunity to manage programs through the state refugee office, at that time known as the Maryland Office for New Americans (now the Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees) until my retirement in 2011. A few months before retirement, I began praying that the Lord would show me how He could still use the knowledge and skills He had taught me, and I received the clearest answer I had ever received to any prayer: the Lord told me that I was to work with churches to assist them in understanding immigration and reaching out to immigrants. During the 2 years following my retirement I actively pursued opportunities to speak at churches and conferences, but the Lord’s plan came into clear focus when I was contacted by Mission to North America and offered the opportunity to become the new Refugee and Immigrant Ministry Director, a position I took on in July 2014. I am excited to have a “front row seat” to see what the Lord will do!
Arklie and his wife Katherine live in Elizabethton TN and worship at Memorial PCA where he currently serves as a Ruling Elder. He has been leading the ministry of MNA Disaster Response since 2005, overseeing the growth and development of staffing, volunteer training and mobilization, a DR warehouse, and the Sheds of Hope project.
Sherry and her husband Steve live in Jackson MS, where Steve serves on the pastoral staff of Redeemer PCA, and she is involved in women’s ministries both on a local and national level with the PCA. Sherry attended Bellhaven College and RTS, and has been serving with MNA Disaster Response since 2005, starting as a volunteer before coming onto full-time staff. She oversees all volunteer mobilization, communications and administrative support.
John, an ordained PCA pastor and member of North Texas Presbytery, and his wife, Betsy, live in Carrollton TX. When John began volunteering with MNA during the Katrina response, his passion for carpentry was rekindled. John oversees the Sheds of Hope ministry and is charged with further development of what has become an important component of our responses.
Mike and his wife Trisha live in Henagar, Alabama. Mike, who is a licensed paramedic, serves as an administrator at a local community college and Trisha is a jewelry artist and volunteers with animal rescue. Mike has been a PCA ruling elder since 2006 and he and Trisha have been involved in disaster response since 2005, when their family served in Biloxi and Bay Saint Louis after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. They organized and managed disaster response efforts for sixteen months after deadly tornadoes ripped through their area in April 2011. Mike and Trisha attend Grace Community, a PCA church plant in Trenton, Georgia. They have three grown sons.
Mark and his wife, Yvonne, reside in Hopewell VA and ar members of the West Hopewell PCA, where Mark is a deacon. He works with the VA State Police and is an EMT. Mark serves as the regional specialist for Chesapeake, Heritage, James River and Potomac Presbyteries and is available to assist member churches in pre-disaster planning and training and development of traveling disaster response teams.
Born in Bayshore, NY was educated at Florida Southern College and Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando campus). He served as an Army officer from 1986-1995 and then as an Army Chaplain from 1996-2015, and then joined Ministry to State in 2015. He has also served as the assistant pastor (part time) for Harvester PCA since 2013. His work focuses primarily on coordinating and developing ministry in each state capitol. Thomas is married to Lorelei and they have one daughter, five sons, five granddaughters and one grandson.
While serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood, Texas, I came to know the Lord in a saving way on the night of November 18, 1986 at a Petra concert in Austin. Since that point, I cannot deny that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has walked with me in amazing ways! While at Fort Hood, I befriended another soldier who led me into a personal understanding of Reformed Theology that has structured and informed my Faith to this day. After being honorably discharged from the military and returning home to New Jersey, I began attending a Church in Brooklyn, New York. Through that congregation, I grew to understand that Christianity held the only consistent worldview possible, and that the Word of God held the only way by which a person might know truth in the first place. Through that church, I attended Mid-America Reformed Seminary, and from there, traveled to Monroe, Louisiana where I met my wife and began teaching at a small public school in Farmerville. When my wife wanted to complete her doctoral work, we moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where she attended the University of Mississippi and I taught at Oxford High School. I also preached regularly at Koinonia Baptist Church in Clinton, and later was called as an Assistant to the Pastor at Lawndale Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in Tupelo. After receiving her Doctoral degree, my wife accepted a position at Covenant College, and I was called into full-time ministry as the Christian Education Director at New City Fellowship PCA in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After serving there for 6 years, God led me to finish what I had started at Mid-America Reformed Seminary, and I also discovered and transferred my membership to Grace PCA in Dalton, Georgia. At Grace PCA, I was a called as Assistant Pastor of Outreach and Assimilation and encouraged to pursue ordination in the PCA. In July of 2014, I was ordained as a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, and I served as Pastor in the Interim at Grace from February to December of 2015. While serving in Dalton, I taught High School Bible courses part time at Christian Heritage School and became active at Walker State Prison mentoring several inmates and preaching at Grace’s Friday evening worship service in the prison. It was then that Mark Casson approached me concerning an opportunity to serve in prisons expanding the Mentoring Ministry of Metanoia Prison Ministries. The Lord has walked with me and led me in amazing ways, and I believe that He is not finished with me yet; as the psalmist sang in Psalm 71,
“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”
Paul Hahn, a native of Lakeland FL, began serving in 2016 as the Coordinator of Mission to North America (MNA), the Presbyterian Church in America's (PCA) agency giving leadership and direction to church planting, church renewal, and missional partnerships in the United States and Canada. Paul has planted churches in Austin TX (1994-2003) and Knoxville TN (2003-2015), and has coached numerous church planters as a founding partner in Flourish Coaching. Paul was formerly the RUF Campus Minister at Auburn University (1990-1994). Paul is a graduate of Yale University (BA, 1984) and Reformed Theological Seminary (MDiv, 1990); between college and seminary, Paul spent two years on staff with Cru/Athletes in Action and launchee the AIA chapter at the University of Florida. Paul has been married to his amazing wife, Fran, since 1986! The Hahns live in Athens, GA and have four grown children, and one beautiful new baby granddaughter!
A gifted communicator with a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary, Ashley has the ability to tackle challenging issues with creative and practical ministry applications. She served for four years as Director of Women’s Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson MS, where she led a wide variety of ministry initiatives. As the mother of a son with autism, Ashley has a personal passion to see families touched by disability reached with the good news of the gospel. Ashley and her husband, John, have three children and reside in Brandon, MS. They are members of Brandon Presbyterian Church.
Kristen received a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Medical College of Georgia (now Georgia Regents University). After moving to Philadelphia, she worked as an occupational therapist at Children's Hospital and in early intervention. Kristen’s interest in disability ministry began as she served families with young children in the nursery of Tenth Presbyterian. In 2007, she began Tenth’s special needs ministry and served there for nine years. In 2012, Kristen joined Engaging Disability’s team of volunteer Ministry Facilitators. Drawing on her experience there and at the congregational level, Kristen joined the staff of Engaging Disability in 2016 as Associate Director for Congregational Ministry. Kristen and her husband, Keith, have two children and live in Havertown, a suburb of Philadelphia. They worship at nearby Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr. Kristen’s family enjoys music, playing games and beach trips together. Their lives are affected by several hidden disabilities.
Bob and his wife Betty are faithful members of Covenant Presbyterian Church, PCA in Auburn, AL. Bob has a working knowledge of MNA SecondCareer RV Outreach, having participated in and organized some of our RV Outreach events since 2014. In addition to organizing and participating in RV Outreach, Bob serves as a Ruling Elder at Covenant Presbyterian and he and his wife Betty are also active in their community.
Lisa and her husband, Jim, live in Flowood MS where Jim works with Potlatch Corporation and Lisa serves with the PCA national women's ministry team as a trainer. They are members at Redeemer PCA in Jackson MS and have three sons--Nate is a freshman at Mississippi State; Matthew is serving in the United States Marine Corps; and Samuel is a high school freshman. Lisa joined the MNA Disaster Response Ministry Team as the administrative assistant in August 2016.
For nearly 29 years, Rev. Tim McCracken served as Pastor of First Reformed Presbyterian Church in Fresno, CA, before coming on staff with Metanoia Ministries as Regional Director San Joaquin Valley March 1, 2017. In 2006 Pastor Tim received a letter from an inmate on the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (SATF) side of Corcoran State Prison, which asked, “Do you ever write to prisoners?” Through fellowship with that man, and through the bible study that formed as a result, Pastor Tim began to realize the vastness of the prison population near Fresno and the uniqueness of both the need and opportunity there. Fresno is located within an hour and a half’s drive of about 34,000 incarcerated persons! Over time, opportunities arose for a teaching relationship with about 100 men on 5 yards at 3 different facilities, and in each case the men asked that the studies be started. The uplifting fellowship and eagerness of the brothers began to make Tim wonder if there could be a way to eventually serve as a full-time missionary chaplain to these men, but reflection on the Metanoia model of ministry convinced him that helping to cultivate a mission mind and sense of joint endeavor in our area churches was more important than seeking to personally minister in as many places as possible. In the broader San Joaquin Valley, our like-minded churches have so much to offer the 18 prisons within reach! Dozens can be recruited. Hundreds! Maintaining the existing long-term relationships at the three facilities mentioned as a foundation, Tim eagerly anticipates the multiplication of relationship that will develop through partnering with and serving Valley churches. Tim and his wife Lori are the parents of three grown children, and they both have a great love for music. Lori has served for many years as accompanist for both Fresno’s wonderful Inspire-1 youth choirs and the Sierra Chamber Opera, and Tim enjoys a cappella singing and leading the young men’s High School Ensemble from Inspire-1.
Jim Carter accepted the call to serve as the next PRCC Executive Director and began his ministry on September 1st, 2017. He returned to the PRCC Commission after serving in a local pastorate for the past six years. He served as the Founding and Senior Pastor of the New Presbyterian Church (NPC) in South Florida. In addition to regular pastoral duties, he led the church through relocation, a capital campaign and a debt free renovation. Jim retired from a very successful military ministry career in the Army Chaplaincy after reaching the rank of Colonel and serving in that rank for sixteen months. Yielding to God’s call Jim retired from active duty to plant NPC. It is encouraging to have a gifted Chaplain and spiritual leader of Jim's unique background following our previous godly Executive Directors. Jim Carter understands both the rigors and challenges of military ministry life as well as the civilian ministry and brings a Shepherd’s heart to the daily ministry of the PRCC. He is passionate to serve the military and civilian Chaplains and military personnel as well as their family members. Here is a little more information about Chaplain Jim Carter. Chaplain James R. “Jim” Carter was born October 30, 1960 and is a native of Monroeville, Alabama. After attending Belhaven College and Reformed Theological Seminary and receiving his ordination as a Presbyterian Minister (PCA), Jim entered the Army Chaplain Corps in 1988. He previously served in the Army Reserves as a Second Lieutenant Chaplain Candidate from 1986-1988. Chaplain Carter degrees include a Bachelors of Art from Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi; a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi and a Doctor of Ministry from Erskine Theological Seminary, Due West, South Carolina. Chaplain Carter’s military education includes the U.S. Army Chaplain Basic Course and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms Service Staff School (CAS3), the Command and General Staff College, and the Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel Course. Chaplain Carter served over 23 years within the Army Chaplaincy. He held numerous military ministry leadership positions and has served in two combat tours. His assignments include: 24th Infantry Division, 3rd Engineer Battalion (Combat), Fort Stewart, Georgia; 2-7 Infantry Battalion, Fort Stewart, Georgia with a combat tour in Saudi Arabia-Iraq (Operation Desert Shield and Storm); 59th Ordnance Brigade, Sogel, Germany; 409th Base Support Battalion, Grafenwoehr, Germany; 4-5 Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas and 4-1 Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas, and 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Riley, Kansas; Area III Installation Chaplain, Camp Humphrey’s, Korea; Brigade Combat Training Religious Support Observer Controller (BCTP), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; 3rd Regiment and Senior Pastor of the West Point Cadet Chapel, United States Corps of Cadets, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York; Deputy Installation Chaplain and Chief of Religious Support Operations, Fort Bliss, Texas; 4th Infantry Division Chaplain, Fort Hood, Texas and Multi-National Division Baghdad Command Chaplain, (MND-B) Baghdad, Iraq (Operational Iraqi Freedom (OIF 07-09); Senior Pastor of the Protestant Congregation and Deputy Installation Chaplain, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Chaplain Carter’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with two Stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon. Chaplain Carter is married to the former Terri Ganey of Mullins, South Carolina and they have two children, Sarah (24) and David (21). He enjoys sports, tennis, traveling, reading and serving his local community.
John’s life calling is to literally “go in search of the one who went astray” and he faithfully tries to do all the little things that God asks him to do with a great amount of love and compassion, especially for the “least of these”. Prior to working in full-time vocational ministry, John spent more than 10 years as a financial strategist, specializing in the development and implementation of investment program distribution strategies from concept to execution. Having been a partner at his most recent firm, and believing that he had accomplished all that he set out to do professionally, John woke up one day feeling completely empty. He couldn’t believe that he had “everything” he thought he wanted, but still somehow felt an indescribable emptiness. John knew then that God was preparing him for much more. So, back in 2012, with much encouragement from his wife, coupled with the call he knew God had placed on his life, John walked away from his company to focus on graduating seminary and pursuing full-time vocational ministry. Since becoming an ordained minister, John’s entire focus has been on cross-cultural missions and community outreach ministries. Most recently serving as a missionary to Tanzania, John focused on building outreach ministries designed to disciple, coach, and empower local at-risk street youth. Then, back in 2015, John was invited by a friend to teach at a local county jail in Georgia. John immediately felt a tremendous love for the prisoners and started a weekly life-on-life discipleship group that he eventually took into a local prison as well. As our Director of Strategy and Development, John now hopes to use all of his experience and equipping to encourage churches to “remember the prisoner” and to help build sustainable and scalable reintegration ministries that will empower and equip the least of our brothers and sisters with the life-skills and knowledge they need for a successful return to society. At the same time, John desires to help encourage a culture of personal growth and development among our team and use his teaching, coaching and mentoring gifts to help others thrive in their unique ministry contexts. John lives in Suwanee, Georgia and has been married to his hero and best friend, Carla, since 2005.
Andrea and her husband, Alex, live in Baton Rouge LA, where Alex is a Senior Project Architect at Grace Hebert Architects, and Andrea serves as the Business Administrator for Grace Presbyterian Church. They are members at South Baton Rouge PCA and have one young son, Shaw, who loves anything to do with construction. Andrea joined the MNA Disaster Response Ministry Team in 2017, after seeing the ministry at work firsthand during the 2016 Louisiana Flood. She assists with scheduling volunteer teams at MNA sites.