Awakenings features a cross-section of leaders, thinkers and practitioners who consider the Holy Spirit to be the driving force that empowers the Church to participate in the Mission of God. Presenters are listed in alphabetical order -- check back as more will be added. .
Jorge Acevedo, a native of Puerto Rico, had his life changed by Jesus Christ at age seventeen. Rescued from a life of addictions, his greatest delight is connecting people to Jesus and the Church. A graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary, Jorge held ministerial roles in several churches throughout Florida before settling in as the Lead Pastor at Grace Church, a multi-site, United Methodist congregation in Southwest Florida. Grace Church is recognized as having one of the largest and most effective recovery ministries in America. Jorge authored Vital: Churches Changing Communities and the world and co-authored Sent: Giving the Gift of Hope at Christmas and The Heart of Youth Ministry.
Jorge and his wife Cheryl have two adult sons, Daniel and Nathan, and four grandchildren.
Greg Boyd is an internationally recognized theologian, preacher, teacher, apologist and author. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, his M.Div. from Yale Divinity School and his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. He was a professor of theology for 16 years at Bethel University (St. Paul, MN). Greg is the co-founder of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota where he serves as Senior Pastor, speaking to thousands each week. He has authored or co-authored 20 books and numerous academic articles, including his best-selling and award-winning Letters From a Skeptic and his recent books Repenting of Religion and The Myth of a Christian Nation.
Greg and his wife Shelley have been married for 36 years. They have three children and five grandchildren and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. One more thing: in his spare time, Greg plays drums for Not Dead Yet, a Twin Cities cover rock band that donates all of its proceeds to a non-profit organization called Kòt a Kòt (Haitian Creole for “side by side”), a home in Haiti for at-risk girls.
Ruth Padilla Deborst has been involved in leadership traning, church and community development and strengthening of a Network for Holistic Mission in El Salvador, under the auspices of Christian Reformed World Missions. Having spoken and ministered to students and leaders through the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) for many years, she is currently presiding over the Latin American Theological Fraternity, servicing on the Board of the International Justice Mission, and directing Ediciones Certeza Unida, the publishing house of the Spanish speaking movements linked to IFES.
Tammy Dunahoo, general supervisor, has served the Foursquare Church as district supervisor of Arkansas, vice president of Women in Ministry Leadership and director of Foursquare Women International. During her pastoral ministry, she also served as a member of the Church Health team, National Church Council and Foursquare cabinet. As part of her current role, she serves on the Foursquare board of directors, cabinet, numerous committees and the board of trustees for Life Pacific College (also known as Life Bible College).
Tammy has been married to her best friend and ministry partner, Gary, for more than 35 years. The Dunahoos have enjoyed ministry assignments as lead pastors, church-planters, life and marriage coaches and conference speakers. They have two adult children and one grandson and enjoy life with their family, playing golf and watching sunsets at the beach.
Todd Hunter is the founding bishop of The Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others and founding pastor of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Costa Mesa, CA. He is past President of Alpha USA, former National Director for the Association of Vineyard Churches and author of Christianity Beyond Belief: Following Jesus for the Sake of Others, Giving Church Another Chance, The Outsider Interviews, The Accidental Anglican and Our Favorite Sins.
Todd holds a Doctor of Ministry degree and serves as an adjunct professor of evangelism, leadership in contemporary culture and spiritual formation at George Fox University, Fuller Seminary, Western Seminary, Vanguard University, Azusa Pacific University and Wheaton College. He has written articles for study Bibles, dictionaries and encyclopedias as well as for key publications such as Christianity Today, Charisma, Outreach and Ministries Today.
Todd and his wife Debbie, with two adult children, live in Costa Mesa, California.
Dr. Charles A. Montgomery, Jr. serves as a Teaching Pastor and Pastor To Men at Vineyard Church of Columbus. A Spirit-filled, gifted preacher and lecturer, he is nationally and globally recognized as a critical thinker and advocate for racial reconciliation. In 2012, Charles took on the additional responsibility of becoming the Campus Pastor of Vineyard Columbus East Campus, which houses a multiethnic, multi-cultural and multi-generation congregation of hundreds of parishioners. He also is an Affiliated Professor of Leadership Studies at Ohio Christian University. Charles earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Morehouse College; a Master of Divinity from Emory University with certificates in Black Church studies and Christian Education; and a PhD in Ethical and Creative Leadership from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has also written several articles on Leadership and Spirituality, and is the author of the forthcoming book, In Search of Race Transcending Prophets: A Post-modern Model of Ministry for Black Men.
Charles believes his greatest accomplishment is being married to the love of his life, the former Kimberly Pryor. He considers her the consummate “help-meet” who helps him to model servant-leadership, which focuses on not acclaiming or amassing honors, but doing justice, loving mercy, and to walking humbly with God. (Micah 6:8)
Cherith Nordling grew up in Pentecostal circles with her father and grandfathers as Assembly of God pastors. For the past 30 years Cherith and her husband Robert have been involved in the Spirit’s renewal of the mainline Presbyterian, Anglican and Christian Reformed communities of which they’ve been a part, either on staff or as laypersons.
In the past few years Cherith has been a sessional lecturer at Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Kuyper College and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI, and Fuller Seminary’s Young Life Masters Program in Colorado. She taught for five years at Calvin College and Seminary while serving as Co-Director of Christian Formation with her husband, and filled a one-year appointment at Wheaton College in theology. She is now Associate Professor of Theology at Northern Seminary. She speaks and teaches in various contexts, and has authored and contributed to many publications. Most recently, Cherith has been working on a book on theological anthropology and the resurrection, and a condensed version of Paul’s Christology with her father, Gordon Fee.
Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley is the pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church, a native of the south side of Chicago. He is the proud father of two beautiful sons, Howard-John, II and Cooper Reece.
Dr. Wesley is a 1994 magna cum laude graduate of Duke University where he doubled majored in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering. After his first year in medical school, he yielded to God’s call once again and walked away from a medical career to attend seminary in preparation for serving God’s people. He attended the Boston University School of Theology where he was a Martin L. King, Jr. Scholar and a 1997 summa cum laude graduate concentrating on Biblical Studies and African-American religious history. His passion for preaching and learning led him to the Associated Chicago Theological School’s Doctor of Ministry in Preaching Program where he graduated from the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary with his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2003. Rev. Wesley has also completed post-doctoral studies at Oxford University in Oxford, England and has served as an adjunct professor of homiletics at Boston University and an adjunct professor of church administration at Hartford Seminary.
N. T. Wright, one of the world’s leading Bible scholars, is the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews, an Anglican bishop, and bestselling author. Featured on ABC News, The Colbert Report, Dateline, and Fresh Air, Wright is the award-winning author of Simply Good News, Simply Jesus, Simply Christian, Surprised by Hope, How God Became King, Scripture and the Authority of God, Surprised by Scripture, and The Case for the Psalms, as well as the recent translation of the New Testament The Kingdom New Testament and the much heralded series Christian Origins and the Question of God.