MEET THE SPEAKERS
International Speakers, Bible Teacher, Mental Health Advocate ,Co-Founder - Saddleback Church
Kay Warren co-founded Saddleback Church with her husband, Rick Warren, in Lake Forest, California in 1980. After the death of her son, Matthew, who lived with serious mental illness for most of his life, she founded Saddleback’s Hope for Mental Health Initiative as a way to support individuals and family members of loved ones with mental illness and suicidal ideation. The Initiative also trains others in the faith community how to launch or expand existing mental health ministries. Kay is a board member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and is active in mental health/suicide prevention efforts in Orange County, CA. Kay is the author of Sacred Privilege: Your Life and Ministry as a Pastor's Wife, Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough, Say Yes to God: A Call to Courageous Surrender, and coauthor of Foundations, a popular systematic theology course used by churches worldwide. Her children are Amy and Josh, and Matthew (who is in heaven), and she has five grandchildren.
Author -Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission
Amy Simpson is passionate about serving the church and its people through leadership, communication, and resources. She currently serves as acquisitions editor at Moody Publishing. A gifted speaker and leadership coach, Amy’s career in Christian publishing spans nearly 20 years. Amy is the author of numerous resources for Christian ministry, including Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission, Blessed are the Unsatisfied: Finding Spiritual Freedom in an Imperfect World and Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry (all InterVarsity Press). Amy holds an English degree from Trinity International University and an MBA from the University of Colorado-Denver. She is married to Trevor and is mom to two fantastic kids.
Dr. Michael Lyles
Diplomate- The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Dr. Lyles is a graduate of the University of Michigan Six Year Premedical Medical Program. He completed his psychiatric residency and APA/NIMH Minority Fellowship at Duke University Medical Center where he was the recipient of the North Carolina Neuropsychiatric Association Resident of the Year Award. He was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director of Outpatient Services at The University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He moved to Atlanta in 1986 to enter private practice and has served as the medical director of a partial hospitalization program, outpatient chemical dependency program and inpatient psychiatric units at three different facilities. He has worked in the private sector in a community mental health center, state psychiatric hospital and county, state and federal prisons. He is committed to raising the standard of care in the community by teaching gatekeepers such as clergy and primary care doctors, along with lay groups. He is a consultant to a variety of community organizations ranging from religious organizations to internet sites to professional athletics such as The Atlanta Hawks. He is board certified in Adult Psychiatry by The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. His major areas of clinical activity are mood disorders, anxiety disorders and ADHD. He has published over 60 publications and videos and serves on the speaking and advisory boards for several pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Matthew Stanford
CEO- Hope and Healing Institute
Matthew S. Stanford, PhD is CEO of the Hope and Healing Center & Institute (HHCI) in Houston, TX and adjunct professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and Houston Methodist Hospital Institute for Academic Medicine. Dr. Stanford’s research on the interplay between psychology and issues of faith has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Christianity Today, and U.S. News & World Report. Dr. Stanford earned his doctoral degree in behavioral neuroscience at Baylor University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Professionally he has worked with a variety of mentally ill clients, including those with aggression, personality disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance dependence, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. As director of HHCI he writes, conducts training seminars, and serves individuals living with mental illness and their families. He is the author of three books, Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness, Revised and Expanded, The Biology of Sin: Grace, Hope, and Healing for Those Who Feel Trapped, and Grace for the Children: Finding Hope in the Midst of Child and Adolescent Mental Illness.
Pastor Brad Hoefs
Founder- Fresh Hope
Brad Hoefs is the founder of Fresh Hope, a national network of faith-based peer support groups for those who have mental health challenges and also for their loved ones, with resources such as his podcast, "Fresh Hope for Mental Health." He is a certified Intentional Peer Specialist, and also serves on the State of Nebraska Advisory Committee on Mental Health. Brad was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder in 1995. One of Brad’s passions is to empower peers to live a full and rich life in spite of a mental health challenge. Brad’s blog is “Living Well!” He is the author of Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis. He has a BA in communications and a master of divinity degree. Brad has been married to his wife, Donna, since 1979. They have two adult married children and love being grandparents to the grandkids! He is the pastor of Community of Grace in Elkhorn, Nebraska. He also helped start a website called What I Did to Recover that encourages and empowers those who have a mental health diagnosis to live well in spite of their mental health struggles.
Co-Founder - Grace Alliance
Joe Padilla is a Baylor University graduate and a licensed and ordained minister with over 20 years of experience working in overseas missions, stateside church leadership, and non-profit and small business development. Joe's wife had long-standing mental health challenges, which led him to study and discover a unique scientific and faith approach which helped his wife have remarkable mental health recovery to this day. With this new insight and personal experience Joe and Dr. Matthew Stanford co-founded the Grace Alliance in 2011 to provide simple, innovative, and grace-filled resources and tools to empower the body of Christ.
News Reporter - The Christian Broadcasting Network
Heather Sells covers a variety of issues for CBN News ranging from religious liberty to Latino politics. She also serves as a news anchor and regularly moderates #CBNNewsNow, a new Facebook Live show on the CBN News Facebook page. In the last year she’s reported on stories across the country including ministries working in the midst of Chicago’s homicide crisis, the emerging debate over transgender rights and religious freedom and the Hispanic vote in Florida. She has also reported on the border crisis in McAllen, Texas, human trafficking in Brazil and backyard chicken farming in Brooklyn, New York. Heather joined CBN News in 2005 after working in local television news markets across the country. She graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in political science and from the University of Illinois-Springfield with an M.A. In Public Affairs Reporting.Heather lived in Honduras from 2001-2002, volunteering with a church and several non-profit organizations. She currently serves on the Young Life Committee in Chesapeake, Virginia. Heather lives in Chesapeake with her husband and three children.
Pastor Lyndon Wall
Author & CEO- Refresh Ministries
Lyndon served in the pastorate at Grace Bible Fellowship Church (Evangelical Free Church) for 14 years and has also served as Pastor to Missionaries in Jos, Nigeria in 2007-2008. Lyndon earned his Bachelor of Religious Education degree from Peace River Bible Institute, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Prairie Graduate School at Three Hills, Alberta as well as his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois. Pastor Lyndon Wall and wife Marlene Wall have been married since 1987.
Founder- Emotionally Healthy Discipleship
Pete Scazzero, after leading New Life Fellowship Church for 26 years, co-founded Emotionally Healthy Discipleship, a groundbreaking ministry that moves the church forward by slowing the church down in order to multiply deeply changed leaders and disciples. Pete hosts the top-ranked Emotionally Healthy Leader podcast and is the author of a number of bestselling books, including The Emotionally Healthy Leader and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. Pete and his wife Geri also developed The Emotionally Healthy Discipleship Course (Part 1 and 2), a powerful resource that moves people from a shallow to a deep relationship with Jesus.
Pastor Greg Surratt
Founding Pastor- Seacoast Church
Greg Surratt is the founding pastor of Seacoast Church, which was planted with the goal of reaching unchurched people in the Charleston area. Greg led Seacoast as it grew from one campus to many, as Seacoast became one of the first churches to pioneer the multi-site approach to the weekend experience. Greg is the president and co-founder of the Association of Related Churches (ARC), which is a global church-planting initiative that has established over 800 churches worldwide since its founding in 2000. He is the author of the book IR-REV-REND, as well as a contributor for Outreach Magazine, Ministry Today Magazine, and Charisma Magazine. Greg is married to his childhood sweetheart, Debbie, and together they have 4 children and 14 grandchildren. He enjoys photography, fishing, golfing, and rooting for the Cubs, Broncos and Gamecocks.
Program Specialist- Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
Ben O’Dell is the Program Specialist at the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ben is a recognized expert on facilitating partnerships between faith-based, philanthropic, and community organizations and government at all levels. Ben’s interest in strengthening local faith-based and community leaders and community engagement principles to religious, community, and government interest has led him to develop deep relationships, knowledge, and expertise on a broad range of issues from strengthening fathers and families to strategies for bringing groups together in collaborative networks. Ben has served at the Partnership Center for over seventeen years making him one of the longest-standing employees of any faith office across the federal government. Ben received his Master’s Degree in Organizational Development and Knowledge Management in 2007 from the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. Ben resides outside of Washington, D.C. with his wife, Kristin, and implements his own personal fatherhood initiatives with their two kids.
Executive Director - Pathways to Promise & National Trainer- Mental Health First Aid USA
Rev. Jermine Alberty has 25 years of experience serving in nonprofit, faith communities, mental health, and city government and has worked in the mental health field as an educator and trainer for 12 years. He is a national trainer of Mental Health First Aid USA; the Executive Director of Pathways to Promise and the former Senior Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church. He holds a bachelor's and Master of Divinity degrees. He has served for over 25 years in nonprofit, faith communities, mental health and government serving in the roles as a community organizer working with different faith traditions, training director for a community mental health center, neighborhood planning assessor for the City of Kansas City, Mo, National Trainer of Mental Health First Aid and Principal Investigator for Mental Health First Aid at University Missouri St. Louis, and a State-wide Cultural Competency Trainer through the Missouri Coalition for Behavioral Healthcare.
Executive Director- REBOOT Recovery
Evan is the Executive Director of REBOOT Recovery. a 501(c)3 non-profit that helps veterans, first responders and their loved ones heal from the moral and spiritual wounds associated with service-related trauma. Evan has authored several books, including the REBOOT trauma healing curriculum, and has been a keynote and panel presenter at numerous conferences in the trauma recovery space. Evan believes in empowering everyday people to help their friends and neighbors who are struggling in the wake of painful experiences. Evan Owens was formerly the CEO for Centresource Interactive Agency. Under his leadership, Centresource expanded to a national client base and was privileged to be named in the INC 5000 and the Inner City 100 Fastest Growing Companies in the US lists. He is married to Dr. Jenny Owens, co-founder of REBOOT and has three young children.
Program Officer- Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
Vicky Coffee, who has been with the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health since 2007, has committed more than 30 years to increasing awareness, offering services, and enhancing systems to support individuals, youth and families living with mental health conditions in Texas. In her role as Director of Programs, Vicky oversees a team that develops and implements grant initiatives to advance mental health, wellness and recovery in Texas. Most recently, her work has supported the mental health of youth and families in Houston, as well as faith-based communities throughout Texas. Vicky has served as an executive board member and secretary for the National Leadership Council on African American Behavioral Health, and is a founding member and coordinator of the Austin Area African American Behavioral Health Network. A certified licensed professional counselor supervisor and Mental Health First Aid instructor, she holds a Bachelor of Science in child and family development and a Master of Education from Texas State University.
Dr. Jack Graham
Pastor - Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, TX
Dr. Jack Graham is the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the nation’s largest, most dynamic congregations. When Dr. Graham came to Prestonwood in 1989, the 8,000-member congregation responded enthusiastically to his straightforward message and powerful preaching style. Now thriving with more than 45,000 members, Prestonwood continues to grow. In 2006, the church began a second location, the North Campus, in a burgeoning area 20 miles north of Plano. The church also has a flourishing Spanish ministry, Prestonwood en Español. Dr. Graham is a noted author of numerous books, including Man of God, Unseen and a new book, Angels: Who They Are, What They Do and Why It Matters. His passionate, biblical teaching is also seen and heard across the country and throughout the world on PowerPoint Ministries. Through broadcasts, online sermons and e-mail messages, Dr. Graham addresses relevant, everyday issues that are prevalent in our culture and that strike a chord with audiences worldwide. He recently served as Honorary Chairman of the 2015 National Day of Prayer and he has served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the country with 16 million members. He and his wife, Deb, have three married children and eight grandchildren.
Dr. Steve Grcevich
Founder and President - Key Ministry
Dr. Stephen Grcevich (MD, Northeast Ohio Medical University) serves as the founder and President of Key Ministry. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who combines over 25 years of knowledge gained through clinical practice and teaching with extensive research experience evaluating medications prescribed to children and teens for ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Grcevich has been a presenter at over 35 national and international medical conferences and is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
In his role as President of Key Ministry, Steve serves the primary vision caster and spokesperson for Key and plays an important role in Key’s efforts to develop collaborations with church leaders, professionals and organizations both within and outside the disability ministry movement. He is responsible for strategy and oversees the implementation of Key’s ministry plan. He blogs at Church4EveryChild, is a regular contributor for Moody Radio Cleveland and frequently speaks at national and international ministry conferences on mental health and spiritual development. His first book, Mental Health and the Church, was published by Zondervan in February 2018.
Steve and his wife Denise live in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. They have two daughters - Leah and her husband (Max) are students at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Mira is attending Belmont University and is majoring in psychology. Steve’s work serves as a distraction from the abysmal performance of Cleveland’s professional sports teams.
Disabilities Ministries Director - Seventh Day Adventist South Atlantic Conference
Rosemary Graham, BS, is a native of South Bend, Indiana currently living in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Oakwood University in 1974. Rosemary serves as a member of the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church Disability Advisory Committee, Disability Ministry Director for the SDA South Atlantic Conference, and Coordinator for Southern Union Disability Ministry. She is a former Chair of the National Council of Churches in Christ Committee on Disabilities. She has also served as an active volunteer, board member, advocate, facilitator, and community coordinator with the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc., GA and has also served as Board member of the National Black Women’s Health Initiative. Rosemary was a Committee member of the Black Women’s Health Study (Boston & Howard Universities) and has received several awards, including the NAD Disabilities Ministries Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
Minister of Life Recovery - Prestonwood Church
As a former addict, now sober 21 years, Michael brings a unique perspective to the process of recovery and wholeness. Over the past 20 years Michael has dedicated himself to developing comprehensive programs, integrating the clinical and spiritual realms, that aid people in getting back to wholeness. He is a certified biblical counselor and is currently working with the Health and Human Services Department in Washington, to create a framework that helps faith-based organizations create awareness, remove stigma, and advocate for people in the midst of the chaos surrounding substance misuse/abuse and mental health issues. He is the Pastor of Life Recovery at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, TX. Michael and his wife Christina have been married for 21 years – they have three children; Grayson, Bella, and Michaela.
Strategy Consultant - Bible Registry
DJ Chuang is a strategy consultant, currently working with the .BIBLE Registry, a new top-level domain for all things Bible, and with Visually Linked Bible. He’s worked with organizations like American Bible Society, Worship Leader Magazine, Leadership Network and with L2 Foundation developing leadership & legacy for Asian Americans.
He is co-host of the Erasing Shame podcast, authored a book, MultiAsian.Church: A Future for Asian Americans in a Multiethnic World, and graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary and Virginia Tech. He has blogged at djchuang.com since 1999, curating many links to resources pertaining to churches that are multiethnic and/or Asian American. He resides in Orange County, California, with his artistic wife Rachelle, and their son Jeremiah. DJ is often spotted wearing orange at conferences.
Director of Ministries - Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas
Craig Johnson is Director of Ministries at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, under the leadership of Pastor Joel Osteen. He is also the founder of Champions Club developmental centers, and Executive Director of Champions Foundation, which provides educational and spiritual support and services to individuals and families with special and developmental needs.
Author - NEXT and Culture Wins
William has been able to combine over 15 years of ministry experience as a Senior Pastor with the best practices of Executive Search to provide churches with a unique offering: a deep understanding of local church work with the very best knowledge and practices of professional executive search. William holds degrees from Wake Forest University and Princeton Theological Seminary. He also has experience as a Manager in Human Resources in a Fortune 200 company, where he focused on integration of corporate culture and succession planning. Prior to executive search, William led growth and innovation in churches in North Carolina, Alabama, and Houston. During his time in Alabama, William had the chance to help rebuild and relocate an ailing congregation, and lead them to new levels of growth. At 31, he was elected Senior Pastor for the First Presbyterian Church of Houston, a church of about 5,000 adults and 1,500 children strong. It is Houston’s oldest congregation.
William is regularly invited to speak across the country in both church services and as a resource to churches and conferences on leadership. His latest book is Culture Wins: The Roadmap To An Irresistible Workplace and is released through Savio Republic. Besides helping connect churches with key staff and preaching, William spends a whole lot of time with family and connecting with people.
William, his wife Adrienne, their seven children, and their poodles Moses and Pearl live in Houston. In his free time, William enjoys running, working out, and caddying for his kids, who are now better golfers than he is.
Dr. Cheryl Simmons
CEO/Chaplain- Exhale Chaplaincy Service
Dr. Simmons is a Board-Certified Chaplain with dual accrediting agencies. She is the owner and CEO of Exhale Chaplaincy Services, which offers an array of pastoral services to pastors and laypersons alike. She is also the founder of Yes2God Ministries, promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever possible.
Her Education and Training:
Dr. Simmons attained a bachelor’s degree in theology and Religion and a master’s degree in Clinical Ministry, from Atlantic Union College, in South Lancaster, MA and a Master of Divinity Degree from Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, MS. She then completed a two-year Chaplain Residency at Palmetto Health Baptist and Richland Hospitals, as their trauma and critical care chaplain. Simmons has also completed training in Palliative Care Chaplaincy. Later, she earned her Doctor of Ministry degree at Andrews Theological Seminary, Berrien Springs, Michigan.
Dr. Simmons Serves:
On the Association of Adventist Women Board of Directors She is the Immediate-Past President of The South Carolina Society of Chaplains She is a member of the United Way’s African American Leadership Council, South Carolina Alliance for Women, Adventist Chaplain Ministry, and the Association of Professional Chaplains Executive Member of the South Atlantic Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Dr. Simmons attained Commissioning to the gospel ministry, January 2009 and has also attained Ecclesiastical Endorsement from The Adventist Chaplain Ministry of the North American Division. As a Board-Certified Chaplain, she frequently serves on interviewing committees and helps to prepare other chaplains for board certification. Before her ministerial training, Dr. Simmons worked as a Registered Respiratory Therapist for better than twenty-three years.
Dr. Simmons is married to John Simmons and has three adult children, Xavier, Karla, and Robert, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild, Jaydon.
Her motto: Things could always be worse, but never with God.
Dr. James Sells
Professor - School of Psychology & Counseling
The Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair - Christian Thought in Mental Health Practice
Dr. James Sells is a professor for the School of Psychology & Counseling at Regent University, and the Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair of Christian Thought in Mental Health Practice. He received his B.A. in Social Science and Secondary Education from Biola University, his M.A. in Educational Ministries from Wheaton College, his M.S.Ed. in Counseling from Northern Illinois University, and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern California. Dr. Sells is a licensed psychologist. His major areas of interest are marital and family therapy, supervision/professional identity formation, international applications of counseling and forgiveness/reconciliation. Sells' work as a counselor and psychologist has specifically focused on individual, couple and family efforts to reconcile conflicts. He has trained and worked in both public and Christian secondary and higher education, community mental health, and private practice psychotherapy. In his work of teaching, research, therapy and administration, Dr. Sells strives to consider the great influences of culture and individual need as he attends to the grand theme of reconciliation and redemption.
Pastor of Counseling - The Summit Church
Brad serves as the Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church in Durham, NC. He also serves as Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a council member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, has authored several books including God’s Attributes: Rest for Life’s Struggles, and served as general editor for the Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused (churchcares.com) project.
Lead Pastor - New City Church
Dylan is the lead pastor of New City Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, as well as the cofounder of Practical Church Planting which helps pastors plant churches that thrive. He's a big college basketball fan (go Duke!), likes cats, and hates speed bumps. Dylan lives in Raleigh with his wife Christina and their two kids Finley and Roman.
Founder - Hope Made Strong
Founder & Chief Shepherd - Delight in Disorder Ministries
Assistant Pastor of Care
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