Speakers

Featured Seminar Speakers

Rachel Held Evans is a New York Times best-selling author and popular blogger who writes about faith, doubt, and life in the Bible Belt. Her books include Faith Unraveled (2010), A Year of Biblical Womanhood (2012), and Searching for Sunday (2015). Rachel has been featured on The View, The Today Show, NPR, Slate, The BBC, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, and Oprah.com. She also serves on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Rachel lives with her husband, Dan, in Dayton Tennessee–home of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1025. Dan and Rachel were thrilled to welcome their first child, Henry, in Februrary 2016. They worship at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Crystal Washington is the owner of CWM Enterprises in Houston and co-founder of Socialtunities, a social media instructional brand aimed at training everyone in strategically using social media. She hosts a weekly technology segment on Houston’s Fox television affiliate and has appeared in Black Enterprise Magazine, Essence and CareerBuilder.com. She has been interviewed by ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, Associated Press, and many radio stations and magazines. Author of The Social Media Why: A Busy Professional’s Practice Guide to Using Social Media Including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Blogs for Business, she is an international keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who describes herself as a fun-loving and eclectic nerd. You may find her reading the newest book on social media, meditating with Buddhist monks, attending a West African dance class or parasailing.
Mark DeVries has served as a youth pastor for 36 years, 28 of those at First Presbyterian Church Nashville (Tennessee), where he has recently stepped into a volunteer role. Mark is the president of Ministry Architects, a consulting team that moves churches “beyond stuck” and strategically forward. He is a graduate of Baylor University and Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of several books, including Family-Based Youth Ministry, Sustainable Youth Ministry, and most recently, Building Your Volunteer Team, which he co-authored with Nate Stratman and Youth Leader Training On the Go with Jeff Dunn-Rankin. Mark and his wife, Susan, live in Nashville. They have three grown children and three grandchildren who bring delight to their lives on a daily basis.
Wesley Furlong is the founder and director of City of Refuge (refuge.life), a network for community transformation and the director of Church Development for the EVANA Network, an evangelical Anabaptist network of churches across North America. He served as the lead pastor of Cape Christian Fellowship in Cape Coral, FL from 2008-2015 and teaching pastor from 2004-2008. In 2012, Wesley started a city initiative called Not In My City (notinmycity.org) that grew into City of Refuge. He holds an M.A. in biblical studies, an M.T.S. from Emory University in theology and is presently working toward a Ph.D. in Social Work. He and his wife Bonnie have three kids and ever -changing number of foster children.
Josh Packard is a sociologist, professor and researcher at the University of Northern Colorado, where he is also the Executive Director of the Social Research Lab. Josh is also the Director of The Dechurched Project (www.dechurched.net).He studies institutional participation in America and focuses on professional, religious and voluntary associations. Josh is a sought after speaker and trainer for corporate, religious and non-profit organizations. His research has appeared in numerous academic and trade publications, and he is the author, with Ashleigh Hope, of Church Refugees. Josh earned his B.A. in English from Texas Lutheran University and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University. If you’re interested in learning more about Josh, you can check out his website: www.joshpackard.com.

Youth Worship Speakers

Remilyn Mondez, from the Philippines, was one of the Young Anabaptist speakers at the 2015 Mennonite World Conference Assembly in Pennsylvania. She spoke about Walking in Conflict Reconciliation, sharing about her personal childhood experiences on church conflict. She was an International Visitors’ Exchange Program (IVEP) participant of Mennonite Central Committee in 2004 and was the Philippine delegate to the Global Youth Summit in Asuncion, Paraguay in 2009. She works as an assistant professor in English and Communication and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Communication Studies. She is a writer of academic books and journal articles and loves traveling.
Kim Litwiller is a follower of Jesus fully committed to marriage, motherhood and ministry. She’s a wife, mother and pastor. She and her husband, Marc, are blessed with three amazing kids. In 12 years of ministry she has served as a youth pastor, retreat speaker, Bible study leader, worship planner/leader, and pastoral mentor in addition to her current role of serving Illinois Mennonite Conference as associate conference minister and East Peoria Mennonite Church as pastor. Kim’s deepest passion is walking alongside the misunderstood, forgotten and hopeless and introducing them to the most misunderstood king in all of history–JESUS–who offers hope, peace, love and the life-altering promist to never leave nor forsake all who receive him.
Lisa Cameron serves on the senoir management team at the YWCA Lancaster in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She has also been involved with various theatre projects, including direction of the fall shows at Lancaster Mennonite School. She has a Master of Arts degree in counseling from Western Michigan University and undergraduate degrees in theatre and psychology from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Married to a United Methodist deacon, Lisa and her husband, Eddie, have a son, Janes, who loves to smile and make spit bubbles. She is a member of Blossom Hill Mennonite Church, loves her nieces and nephews, and is a life-long Chicago Cubs fan.
Melody M. Pannell has served in the field of social work, higher education and Christian ministry for more than 25 years and has worked extensively in leadership development for adolescents and young adults. Born and raised in Harlem, New York City, she grew up attending Seventh Avenue Mennonite Church in Harlem. She graduated from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in social work and youth ministry. She also holds a Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University in New York and recently obtained a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Education degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, where she had worked as university counselor. She is now assistant professor of social work in the Department of Applied Social Sciences back at her undergraduate alma mater, EMU.
Scott Roth hails from Red Hill, Pennsylvania. He is director of East Coast Operations of Common Good / Project Haven, acting executive director of Upper Perk Community Thrift Shop, acting conference minister of Eastern District Conference, associate pastor of Perkiomenville Mennonite Church, founder of Love Upper Perk, and director of Bike and Sol (a community bicycle shop). He has a wife, Heather; two children, Rowan and Ashlyn; two basset hound puppies, Clover and Daisy; and an assortment of fish. He spends time disc golfing, fishing, board gaming, and playing video games online. His passion is to see the next generation do greater things in God than has been seen before.

Adult Worship Speakers

Drew G. I Hart is a professor at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, with 10 years of pastoral experience. He has been regularly dialoguing with both Black and/or Anabaptist communities on matters of faith, community, and ethics. Through both personal experience and academic research, he has explored the intersections of Black faith and Anabaptism. His recent book published by Herald Press, Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism, utilizes compelling everyday stories, Jesus-shaped theological ethics, and anti-racism frameworks to transform the church’s witness in society. Drew’s blog Taking Jesus Seriously is hosted at The Christian century, and he speaks regularly in churches, colleges and conferences. Drew and his family live in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Maribel Ramírez Hinojosa is a clinical psychologist in College Station, Texas. She was born in Nuevo León, México and immigrated to central California in the 1980s where she and her family joined a Mennonite church. Her Anabaptist upbringing and her training as a marriage and family therapist and clinical psychologist were instrumental in developing her passion for peace and justice. Maribel works with children, couples, and families with varying mental health issues. Her goal is to help patients achieve a better state of being in order to arrive at an improved state of functioning. Maribel enjoys volunteering with Mennonite organizations and with organizations that promote music and the arts. She and her husband Felipe have two children, Samuel and Ariana, who keep them very busy. They enjoy traveling, dancing, and laughing together.
Phil Kniss has served as senior pastor at Park View Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia, since 1996. This is his third pastorate, following Community Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg (1991-1996), and Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Gainesville, Florida (1983-1990), where he was founding pastor. H e holds a Master of Divinity from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg and a Doctor of Ministry from Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. Married to Irene Hershberger Kniss, a legal nurse consultant and clinic director, the couple has three daughters, two sons-in-law and two grandchildren.