Chris Ammen is the founder of Kaleidoscope Kids Bibles and has been a Children’s Pastor in Tuscaloosa, AL for the past 10 years. He has a BA and M.Ed. in Elementary Education as well as an M.Div. from Covenant Seminary. Chris loves spending time with his wife, Sarah, and their four awesome kiddos!
Ashley Belknap is the Director of Engaging Disability With The Gospel, a ministry of the PCA’s Mission to North America. Ashley obtained her undergraduate degrees in Christian Education and Business Administration from Erskine College and her Master’s in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Ashley helps congregations realize their calling to love, commit to, disciple, and enfold individuals and families impacted by disability. As director, Ashley continually works to see disability ministry expand across the PCA, and accomplishes this through creative planning, teaching online and in-person trainings, conducting ministry consultations, writing timely resources, speaking at churches and conferences, managing a staff, and raising funds for the ministry.
Scott Barber and his wife, Leesa, are both from the beautiful town of Carrollton, Georgia. After practicing law for more than 10 years, Scott was called by God into full-time ministry, a call which led him to Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from seminary in 2008 and moved with his family to Florence to serve as Pastor of Redeemer Church. Because he spent much of his life as a church member and not a pastor, Scott knows first hand what it is like to sit in a service and listen to a pastor. He also knows what it is like to live your life as a Christian in a secular workplace. Scott is a gifted teacher, a faithful shepherd, and a loving husband and father.
Bethany Belue works for the PCA Committee on Discipleship Ministry as the Established and Certification Coordinator. Before coming to CDM, she worked in Children’s Ministry for 9 yearsat 2 large PCA churches as the Children’s Director, Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City and Oak Mountain Presbyterian in Birmingham. She currently lives in Mobile, AL with her husband Dustin, and their son, Patterson.
Mary Elizabeth Burton is over all operations at One Hundred Years. She grew up in Alabama and graduated from Auburn University in 2013 (WAR EAGLE!). After graduating, she served on staff with Reformed University Fellowship at TCU before moving to Chattanooga in the summer of 2016. Mary Elizabeth and her husband, Davis, love travel, tacos, good stories, and any and all Tom Hanks films.
Michael Craddock is a PCA Teaching Elder, who is passionate about the multi-generational mission of making disciples in the local church. Since 2009, Michael has served in a number of roles at North Cincinnati Community Church, including most recently as Lead Pastor. He currently serves as an Associate Staff member of Life-On-Life Ministries (www.lifeonlife.org), where he equips local churches to develop sustainable disciple-making movements. Michael also serves as an active board member of the CDM. Most notably, Michael is married to author and speaker, Rachel Craddock. Together, they have four children: Ezra, Asher, Caleb, and Lydia.
Rachel Craddock is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and a first-grade teacher at heart. She currently serves on the Committee on Discipleship Ministries (CDM) National Women’s Ministry team as a Regional Advisor. She is the author of Slowly Unraveled (CDM, January 2019) and a contributor to Hinged: Vitally Connected to Christ and His Church (CDM, January 2020). Rachel enjoys speaking and teaching—her heart is to encourage and equip leaders while weaving in the importance of the gospel in everyday life. Rachel is married to Michael (PCA Teaching Elder) and together they have four fun children: Ezra, Asher, Caleb, and Lydia Jane.
Stephen Estock is Coordinator for the PCA Committee on Discipleship Ministries (CDM). A former USAF officer, he has been in pastoral ministry for 20 years, serving churches in Montgomery, AL and St. Louis, MO. Stephen has also been an adjunct professor at Birmingham Theological and Covenant Theological Seminaries. His Ph.D. is in education, with an emphasis on competency-based learning and leadership training. He and his wife, Susan, have three children and live in Atlanta, GA.
Sue Jakes is mother of four, grandmother of 11, and lives in Atlanta, GA where she serves as Children’s Ministry Coordinator for the Presbyterian Church in America’s Committee on Discipleship Ministries. She has served as director of children’s ministry at Covenant PCA in Fayetteville, GA and is now serving as children’s director at Westminster PCA in Atlanta. She has been teaching children, youth, and women’s groups in the church for over thirty-five years. Sue is co‑author of “Heart of the Home,” a Bible Study ministry for moms and Teach Me To Worship, CDM’s children’s church online curriculum.
Sherry Kendrick has served as the Children’s Director of Covenant Church of Naples in Naples, FL for nine years. She has a degree in elementary education from East Tennessee State University and over 30 years of experience in children’s ministry as well as homeschool, private school and public school education. She loves children’s curriculums and tends to collect them. Sherry was married to her pastor husband, Mike, for 36 years serving in both small and large churches. As a widow, she continues to serve the church and has three grown children and one grandchild.
Dr. John C. Kwasny is the Director of Discipleship Ministries at Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Ridgeland, Mississippi. He is a Biblical counselor, an adjunct professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, and Director of One Story Ministries—authoring a complete discipleship curriculum for the church, home, and school (children and youth). John has written several books, including Established in the Faith, Suffering in 3-D, and Pursuing a Heart of Wisdom: Counseling Teenagers Biblically. He also does a weekly podcast called Biblical Counseling Today, dealing with individual, marriage, and parenting problems. John and his wife, Martie, have eight children, three sons-in-law, and one grandson.
Burress McCombe loves living in the Shenandoah Valley and has had the privilege of serving there at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Harrisonburg, VA as the Pastor of Worship. Burress also takes great joy in being a husband and a dad. He cares deeply for the church and desires to be a part of aiding the church in singing rich, biblically sound theology. He enjoys playing guitar, running, laughing and being bald.
Becky Sinclair is the former Children’s Director at Clemson Presbyterian Church in Clemson, SC. She has a passion for teaching children God’s Word and encouraging memorization of Scripture. She loves to encourage those involved in children’s ministry as well as parents in the discipleship of children. Her hobbies include spending time with her husband, David, and their adult children and grandchildren, reading, and knitting.
B.A. Snider has more than 20 years’ experience as a children’s director in PCA churches ranging in size from 200 to 4,000 but finds her passion is the same no matter how many children she’s serving or teaching about Jesus. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and taught college until the Lord called her to seminary and full-time ministry. She graduated with a master’s degree in Christian Education from Columbia International University. Speaking at conferences, consulting with leadership, and training teachers brought her to Great Commission Publications in 2014 as the Children’s Ministry Consultant and Marketing Director.
Joanna Thompson has been in Children’s Ministry over the last 15+ years. From being on staff at her local church, to serving on mission in Albany, Georgia all the way to Uganda, Africa Joanna has learned that all children need to be taught the same thing: God made you, takes care of you, and works out all things for your good and His Glory. She is passionate about preparing children to one day walk with Jesus and “rejoice in suffering” and she believes that it should be the pleasure and responsibility of all believers in your congregation to proclaim the God of hope and love to the next generation (Romans 5:3-5). Joanna has been married to her husband, Brett for 12 years and together they have 4 children: William, who God called home in December, 2012, Magdalene, Deacon, and Campbell Elizabeth. In fear that 3 kids wouldn’t keep her busy enough, Joanna started a ministry geared to the youngsters “in-between” children’s ministry and youth ministry. She is excited (and terrified) for the challenge to disciple a group of kids that will inevitably ask all the hard questions.
Lisa Updike is the Director of Children’s Ministries at Covenant in Harrisonburg, VA and doesn’t remember a day when she didn’t love Jesus. Her ministry experience includes teaching, special education, leading children’s choirs, and curriculum writing. She has also spearheaded children’s programs in several churches. She and her husband, Kevin, have been married since 1989 and are blessed with 4 adult children, 3 of whom joined their family through adoption. Lisa and Kevin stay busy with church activities, creating art, and best of all, doting on their two grandsons.
Whitney White has been the International Education Counselor for Lifeline Children’s Services since July 2011. In this role, she has developed training and curriculum for families in both the pre and post adoption phases, counseled adoptive parents of children of all ages who are struggling or find themselves in crisis, and trained caregivers around the world in international children’s home settings. Whitney studied psychology and leadership in college and then went on to obtain a Master of Education degree in Community Counseling. She is interested in everything international, has a deep love for people from around the world, has a heart for adoption, and is passionate about counseling. Whitney is honored to play a small role in what God is doing to equip His people to care for His children.
Tuesday, APRIL 20, 2021
2:00 pm: Check–In
3:00 pm: Opening Session: The Who, What, When and Where of LTR
3:30 pm: Unit Prayer Launch
4:45 pm: WORKSHOPS SESSION 1
6:00 pm: Dinner
7:00 pm: Plenary Session 1: BELONGING – Let the Little Children Come! Matthew 19:13-15
9:00 pm: Dessert Social
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
8:00 am: Breakfast
9:00 am: SSIM Conversation 1: BELONGING – How do we embrace tomorrow’s church today?
10:15 am: Plenary Session 2: BELIEVING – Indoctrination is not always a bad word – Deuteronomy 6
11:30 am: SSIM Conversation 2: BELIEVING – What are the truths our children are hearing in word and deed?
12:30 pm: Lunch
1:30: WORKSHOP SESSION 2
1:30-4:30 – 2021 Certification Class meets
Free Time Activities in the Afternoon
6:00 pm: Dinner
7:00 pm: Worship Service
8:15 pm: 2020 Certification Class Awards and Recognition
9:00 pm: Celebration Dessert
Thursday, April 22, 2021
8:00 am: Breakfast
9:30 am: Plenary Session 3: BECOMING – Going “off the grid” forever – Luke 2:41-52, Romans 12:1-2
10:45 am: SSIM Conversation 3: BECOMING – How do we lead them from childhood into a life of disciple-making?
12:00 pm: Closing Conversation and Lunch
1:00 pm: Departure