2019 International Conference in Review
The 2019 ECA International Conference, with the theme, “Leading Effectually in Ministry” (Psalm 78:70-72), and held July 23-25 at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, hosted first-class entertainment, dynamic speakers, wonderful times of praise and worship, impactful devotions, the sharing of ministry reports, edifying ministry to youth, a reflective military-chaplaincy presentation, instructive breakout sessions, evening receptions, and, of course, a sacred service of ordination. Should you desire to revisit the conference if having attended, or to get a taste of what you missed, please note the associated speaker and instructor photographs and biographies below. To view the entire conference program directory, click here. -Dr. Turrill
Speakers and Instructors
Emmy nominated, Marty Goetz, has been called a ‘Modern Day Psalmist.’ His songs are scriptures, beautifully set to music and leaving listeners spiritually moved, inspired and edified. He has partnered in ministry with many others, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Greg Laurie’s Harvest Christian Fellowship, Jewish Voice Ministries International, and numerous Christian and Messianic organizations throughout the world. Marty became a 'Jew born anew' when provoked by the increasing number of 'born agains' in his life. He began reading the Bible, “looking for loopholes." A few short weeks later while sitting alone one night on a friend's balcony, he realized with certainty that “the Jesus of the New Testament was the Messiah his Jewish people had been longing for.” Marty has been recording music steadily since 1985, and today lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Jennifer, who also is a Jewish believer in Jesus. Their daughter, Misha, a worship leader, and recording artist resides in Nashville as well, along with her husband, Joshua, and their son, Caleb Vincent Hoyt.
Dr. Sam Goebel, after following a successful business career, was called to ministry. After serving as an evangelist, he received a call to become Senior Pastor at Family of Jesus Fellowship in Ravenna, Ohio, where he served for 20 years. In 2003, Dr. Goebel re-signed to accept the position of President/CEO of the Evangelical Church Alliance, which he held for almost nine years. Sam was elected ECA Chairman of the Board in 2016, faithfully fulfilling those duties until resigning the office in 2018. He continues to serve on the ECA board and is currently Pastor of Congregational Care at River Valley Christian Fellowship. Sam lives in Kankakee, Illinois, with his wife, Anita, and son, Christopher.
Mike McCormick's entrepreneurial and development skills have taken him through several adventures in life. His company, "BenchMark", has worked with individuals and organizations in various industries in both profit and non-profit sectors. Mike has put his gifts to work to help organizations add value to their clients and their employees. His leadership has been valuable to several professional business associations, local chambers of commerce, and churches. Along with a lifetime of leadership experiences, Mike is a Certified Independent Coach, Speaker, and Trainer for The John Maxwell Team and was the host of LIVE2LEAD simulcast at The Golf Club of Dublin on October 12, 2018, and will host again in 2019. Mike's current client list includes Central Ohio Youth for Christ, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Chloe's Foundation, Pickaway Arts and Life Center, the Wheeling Nailors, 104.9 FM Radio Station, and Three Twelve Staffing and Consulting. Mike led the finance team for the Franklin Graham Festival of Hope in 2014 and provided personal coaching for The Billy Graham Evangelical Association donor development team.
Ken Barun serves as the Executive Vice President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, responsible for Government and Partner Relations. His expertise in several areas lends to the fact that he is a trusted counselor, advisor and friend to CEO Franklin Graham. Prior to joining the ministry, Ken spent more than 20 years with the McDonald’s Corporation and served as Corporate Senior Vice President. He also held the position of President/CEO and board member of Ronald McDonald House Charities Worldwide. In 1983, Ken was asked by President Ronald Reagan to join the Reagan Bush, ‘84 campaign team. In early 1984 he was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Shortly after relocating to Washington D.C., he was asked by Mrs. Reagan to come and work for her at the White House. He served her for three years as Director of Projects and Policy. Ken also served in both Bush administrations on the President’s Commission for Mental Retardation and The President’s Committee for Drug-Free Communities, respectively. Ken holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Houston. He married his wife, Sethea, in 2000. Together, they have seven children, the oldest of whom, Gabrielle, passed away from a drug overdose in 2009.
Rev. Lori Coleman has been an ordained member with the Evangelical Church Alliance since 1994. She is a writer, pastor, and teacher in northeast Ohio, where she currently resides with her husband, Bob, who is also ordained with the Evangelical Church Alliance. Together they have pastored The First Congregational Church of Wayne in Williamsfield, Ohio, for 27 years. Rev. Coleman is a graduate of Lane Bible College of S.M.E.A., Inc. (Transfer, Pennsylvania) and is currently teaching there. As a pastor, she preaches, teaches, plans and administers special services each week. Lori has also served as a pastor with the United Methodist Church, specializing in the revitalization of small church congregations that are struggling and placed on the circuit. She also holds a BA in Education from Hiram College. As an educator, Lori has worked with ABLE (Adult Basic Literacy Education) in teaching adults. One of her specific callings in ministry is to women. This includes pastors’ wives and all women who seek to show the hallmark of Christ in their daily lives. Lori specializes in leading, teaching and encouraging women to rise up and trust God with the calling He has given them.
Rev. David Richardson, Jr. is the President of Assumptions Institute and author of the ground-breaking book, Transparent: How to See Through the Powerful Assumptions That Control You. Dave has been featured by CBN.com, Today’s Christian Living Magazine, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, The Eric Metaxas Show, Point of View with Kerby Anderson, Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, and Truth Matters on NRBTV. He holds three degrees including a Master of Theology in Applied Theology from the University of Oxford. Dave has been in vocational ministry for more than three decades. He served with Campus Crusade for Christ for 30 years before founding Assumptions Institute in 2015. Dave has been an ordained ECA member since 1994. He is a highly sought after cultural and intellectual strategist for leaders and future leaders. Dave is famous for using the power of assumptions to help executives, educators, students, and parents develop real-world discernment without being argumentative or needing an advanced degree.
Rev. Thomas Gilson is senior editor with The Stream, and author of A Christian Mind: Thoughts on Life and Truth in Jesus Christ and Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents' Guide to Discussing Homosexuality With Teens. He was the chief editor of the anthology, True Reason: Christian Responses to the Challenge of Atheism, and the author/host of the Thinking Christian blog. Tom, ordained with the ECA in 2002, lives near Dayton, Ohio, with his wife, Sara. They have two grown children and are the proud grandparents of two grand-dogs, a grand-cat, and a grand-bunny. He received a Bachelors in Music Education with a specialty in performance from Michigan State University, an M.S. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida, and certification from the Institute of Biblical Studies of Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru). When Tom is not writing, he loves drinking coffee, canoeing, walking in the woods, and playing his trombones.
LCDR Gale White is a native of Ludington, Michigan. She enlisted in the Navy in West Bloomfield, MI in 1993. After boot camp in Orlando, FL, she attended Aviation Structural Mechanic (Structures) “A” school in Memphis, TN. She then served with Patrol Squadron Forty from May 1994 to July 1999 and was honorably discharged. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Cross-Cultural Communications in May 2003 from Bethany College of Missions in Minneapolis, MN. In November 2007 she was selected into the Chaplain Candidate Program and accepted an appointment in the Naval Reserve. She was ordained by the Evangelical Church Alliance in 2008 and continued her education in Columbia, SC, completing a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in Pastoral Counseling from Columbia International University in May 2009. LCDR White upon graduation from Officer Development School and the Basic Navy Chaplain Course in Newport, RI, superseded onto active duty in August 2009. After her reappointment, she reported to Naval Base Guam as a Staff Chaplain from August 2009 to June 2011. She was then assigned to 9th Communications Battalion, I Marine Headquarters Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton, CA, until December 2013. After a successful tour, LCDR White reported to the USS FORT MCHENRY (LSD-43) as the Command Chaplain in January 2014, where she completed a deployment to 5th Fleet and partaking in Operation Cold Response. Chaplain White was selected for the Navy Pastoral Care Residency Program and reported to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in 2016 as a Chaplain Resident. Upon graduation in 2017, she reported to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, VA, and is currently serving there as the Deputy Chief of Pastoral Care.
Dr. John Plastow, a member of the Evangelical Church Alliance since 1994, serves in the executive pastor role of strategic ministries for Academy Christian Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado . Prior to that, he served as a worship pastor for 25 years in Sacramento, California, and Northern Colorado. Dr. Plastow holds a doctorate in strategic leadership and a master’s degree in organizational management. He is a published writer, adjunct online professor for multiple Christian universities, workshop leader, and consultant to pastors and church leaders. In conjunction with his final project for his doctorate of strategic leadership degree, he published the book, The Humility Factor: Healthy Churches are Led by Humble Pastors, in which he challenges church leaders to reevaluate how they hire their pastors. He and Karen were married right after college and now live in Colorado Springs. They have three millennial children!
Revs. Randy and Marli Brown have been married for 31 years and have served in music ministry for just as long. They graduated from William Tyndale Bible College and are ordained with the Evangelical Church Alliance. Randy and Marli Ministries, their concert and speaking ministry, takes them all over the nation ministering to churches in all evangelical denominations. Randy, an accomplished pianist, and songwriter grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and Composition. He also serves on the ECA Board of Directors and is Chairman of its Standards and Credentials Committee. Marli grew up in Brighton, Michigan, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She is the author of Ridin’ Shotgun, which recounts their family’s journey of living on the road in an RV for eight years. Marli is also a sought after women’s speaker. Randy and Marli make their home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with their daughter, Kennedie, a recent graduate of Moody Bible Institute, and Kadison, a student at North Point Bible College. Together the Brown family desires to encourage the church to repent and remain faithful to the Lord while waiting for His return.
Rev. John Teller has been involved in youth ministry since 1986 and was ordained with the ECA in 1994. He and his wife Melissa will again be hosting the youth at this year’s conference. Beginning his music career at age five, John graduated from the acclaimed School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio. He helped to produce the Junior High Game Nights series from Youth Specialties and has written and recorded many contemporary worship songs for youth and adults. John has experience as a youth, children’s and music pastor and has mentored and raised up leaders in each. His wife, Melissa, has been a children’s pastor and worked with students for many years. She and John have worked together with the ECA youth for the last five years. The youth gatherings during the conference’s evening sessions will be combined with fun-filled contests and interactive “PK” oriented teachings, which will leave your youth encouraged and challenged to “fight the good fight” and emerge in victory. Your youth will also connect with other ECA teens from around the world. Having a “whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it” attitude for years, we are anticipating John’s impact as the youth leader at our conference.