He is status Cree from Swan River Band, Treaty 8. Born in Northern Alberta, he now resides with his wife in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Ray is the director of the Indigenous Studies Program at the Vancouver School of Theology whose mission is to partner with the Indigenous Church around theological education. Formerly Ray served as the Assistant Professor of Theology at Ambrose Seminary in Calgary, Alberta. He is former Director for the First Nations Alliance Churches of Canada, now a committee member, where he works to encourage Indigenous churches. He is the chairperson of Indigenous Pathways. Ray also has had the privilege of addressing several college conferences and meetings. Ray’s passion is to help as many as possible hear the gospel in their heart language.
Ray and his wife, Elaine are also involved in ministry to help train people to facilitate support groups for people who have suffered abuse. Also, Elaine and Ray have coordinated Marriage Encounter. Ray and Elaine have four children, Jenny, who has graduated from the University of Regina and the Alliance University College, a school teach is married and lives in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada; Raymond, who is pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at McGill University; Catherine, has earned an MA in Religions Studies at McGill University; and Rueben who works in the Oil Field in Northern Alberta.
Vince Bantu is the president of the Meachum Theological Institute, a biblical institution of theological education providing theological education in the African-American community. Vince holds a Ph.D. in Semitic and Egyptian languages from The Catholic University of America, a Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary and an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Vince is developing a book project with InterVarsity Press exploring the cultural diversity of early Christianity and a project with the Jude 3 Project on African-American theology. Vince, his wife Diana and their two daughters live in West St. Louis.
Rev. Jonathan E.L. Brooks
Jonathan Brooks serves as Senior Pastor of Canaan Community Church in the West Englewood neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. As a firm believer in investing in the community you grew up in, Jonathan has a deep desire to impress this virtue on his congregation and community. Canaan provides youth development, holistic health options, college scholarships, art and music training and re-entry programming.
Pastah J, as he is affectionately called, is a sought after speaker, writer and artist. He has contributed to numerous blogs, articles and books and in November 2018, Jonathan released his first book titled “Church Forsaken: Practicing Presence in Neglected Neighborhoods.”
Jonathan and his wife, Micheal, have two beautiful girls, Jasmine and Jade, and reside in West Englewood just a few steps away from the church campus.
You can learn more at www.pastahj.com
Monica A. Coleman is Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions at Claremont School of Theology in southern California. There she also serves as a Co-Director the Center for Process Studies and Director of Process and Faith. Coleman has earned degrees from Harvard University, Vanderbilt University and Claremont Graduate University. She has received funding from leading foundations in the United States, including the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation, among others.
Answering her call to ministry at 19 years of age, Coleman is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She brings her experiences in evangelical Christianity, black church traditions, global ecumenical work, and indigenous spirituality to her discussions of theology and religion.
Coleman is the author or editor of six books, and several articles and book chapters that focus on the role of faith in addressing critical social and philosophical issues. Her memoir Bipolar Faith shares her life-long dance with trauma and depression, and how she discovers a new and liberating vision of God. Her book Making a Way Out of No Way is required reading at leading theological schools around the country, and listed on the popular #BlackWomenSyllabus and #LemonadeSyllabus recommended reading projects.
Elizabeth Conde-Frazier is in charge of the creation and development of a network of Hispanic Bible Institutes with the Association of Hispanic Theological Education. Before coming to AETH, she served as Vice-President of Education and Dean of Esperanza College. With three decades of experience in education, Dr. Conde-Frazier set the vision and strategic direction for Esperanza College, and provides leadership and management for the faculty and staff. Previously, she was a professor of religious education at the Claremont School of Theology and taught Hispanic theology at the Latin American Bible Institute in California.
Rev. Dr. Ken Fong
Raised in the second oldest Chinese Baptist church west of the Mississippi (FCBC, Sacramento), Ken Fong grew up believing that “true Christians” were an extremely small subset of all those who claimed to know and follow Jesus. Later, like many others, he gladly embraced the term “evangelical” to differentiate his chosen ‘tribe’ from the liberals on the left and the fundamentalists on the right. He earned his MDiv and DMin degrees at Fuller Theological Seminary and served as a trustee for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and then Westmont College. He was also selected
to be the primary Bible expositor at the 2000 Urbana Student Missions Conference. Naturally curious, he began to explore the emerging Christian Post Modern movement, as well as the validation of science and faith, and Asian American history and theology. In 2007, he felt called to lead Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles—where he had served since 1978—to become a safe and just community to ‘spiritually homeless’ AAPI Christians who identified as sexual minorities. As a Fuller affiliate associate professor of Asian American church studies, Ken has definitely had to wrestle with what being an evangelical means today—personally, but also professionally, academically, and relationally. As the host and co-producer of Asian America: The Ken Fong Podcast (www.aapodcast.com), he has already publicly come out as a Progressive Christian to his guests and listeners around the world. Ken retired from pastoring in July 2017 and his wife Sharon joined him two months later. They live in Sierra Madre, CA, and their daughter Janessa attends Seattle Pacific University.
Delonte Gholston is lead pastor at Peace Fellowship Church, a multicultural, multi-socioeconomic community in the Deanwood neighborhood of Washington, D.C.Delonte Gholston was born and raised in Washington DC, and was educated in DC public schools, Swarthmore College, Georgetown University, and Fuller Theological Seminary. He returns to his hometown after seven years away to pastor Peace Fellowship. Raised in the National Baptist Church as a teacher, preacher and musician, his passion for advocacy and development has always been deeply rooted in his faith. It has led him to serve as part of church renewal and planting movements in DC and LA. Delonte is committed to using his passion for art, theology, and social change to bring life and flourishing both to cities and to rural areas. This passion fueled his work with the Downtown LA Clergy Council where he served as the Director of the Trust Talks, a community transformation initiative between the LAPD and key stakeholders in Downtown LA.
Dominique DuBois Gilliard is the Director of Racial Righteousness and Reconciliation for the Love Mercy Do Justice (LMDJ) initiative of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). He is the author of Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice that Restores. He also serves on the board of directors for the Christian Community Development Association and Evangelicals for Justice. In 2015, he was selected as one of the ECC’s “40 Under 40” leaders to watch, and the Huffington Post named him one of the “Black Christian Leaders Changing the World.”
An ordained minister, Gilliard has served in pastoral ministry in Atlanta, Chicago, and Oakland. He earned a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies and History from Georgia State University and a master’s degree in History from East Tennessee State University, with an emphasis on race, gender, and class in the United States. Dominique earned a Master of Divinity degree from North Park Seminary, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor.
Erna Kim Hackett
Erna Kim Hackett was on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for about 15 years. Previously, she was the Assistant Director of the Los Angeles Urban Project and also helped oversee Black Campus Ministries in Los Angeles. She spent two years as Director of Worship for the Urbana 15 Missions Conference. She is currently Executive Pastor at The Way Christian Center.
Lisa Sharon Harper
From Ferguson to New York to Germany and South Africa, Lisa Sharon Harper leads trainings and helps mobilize clergy and community leaders around shared values for the common good. A prolific speaker, writer and activist, Ms. Harper is the founder and president of FreedomRoad.us (launching online Fall 2017), a consulting group dedicated to shrinking the narrative gap in our nation by convening forums and experiences that bring common understanding, common commitment, and common action toward a just world. Ms. Harper is the author of several books, including: Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican...or Democrat (The New Press, 2008), Left Right and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics (Elevate, 2011), Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith (Zondervan, 2014), and the critically acclaimed, The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong can be Made Right (Waterbrook, a division of Penguin Random House, 2016). The Very Good Gospel, recognized as the "2016 Book of the Year" by Englewood Review of Books, explores God’s intent for the wholeness of all relationships in light of today’s headlines.
Michelle Higgins is Director of Faith for Justice. She serves as an organizer and administrator with Action Saint Louis and the Electoral Justice Project of the Movement for Black Lives. Michelle can also be heard on the podcast Truth's Table. She earned an M.Div at Covenant Theological Seminary and currently works for campaigns centering Black radicalism in prison abolition and building political power. She lives with her children in Saint Louis city, their hometown. Follow Michelle on twitter @AfroRising
Evelmyn Ivens graduated from North Park Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Theological Studies and
concentrating in Cross-Cultural Ministry. Adjunct professor at North Park Theological Seminary. Serves
as Manager of Ministry Services for Make and Deepen Disciples at the Evangelical Covenant Church.
Evelmyn is a member of Grace Evangelical Covenant Church in Chicago and serves as board member for
Evangelicals 4 Justice. Teaching and research interests: intercultural development, contextual theology, religions and cultures, faith and civic engagement, and Latinx theology.
Ganosono of the Turtle Clan, Cayuga Nation of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee Confederacy at Grand River Territory, ON. He is the father of five and grandfather of two. He lives as guest on Anishnabe Treaty One territory as Keeper of the Circle (Principal) of Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, national Aboriginal ministry training school of The United Church of Canada.
Kathy Khang is an author, speaker, freelance writer, activist, and yoga teacher. She is the author of Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent & How to Speak Up (IVP, 2018), a columnist for Sojourners magazine, and a coauthor of More Than Serving Tea (IVP, 2006) and brings more than 21 years of ministry experience with expertise in issues of gender, race, ethnicity, justice, and leadership development. She blogs at www.kathykhang.com, tweets and Instagrams as @mskathykhang, and posts at www.facebook.com/kathykhangauthor.
Rev. Tony Lee
Rev. Tony Lee is the founder and Senior Pastor of the Community of Hope A.M.E. Church in Hillcrest Heights, MD. Community of Hope is recognized throughout the region for its innovative ministry, social engagement and community outreach. Community Of Hope has gained national recognition for its work around HIV/AIDS, violence prevention, community/police partnerships and educational advocacy. The church’s work is also highlighted in the documentary “The Gospel Of Healing” and Rev Lee is a contributor in the books “Being A Black Man: At The Corner Of Progress And Peril” and “Reach: 40 Black Men Speak On Living, Loving & Succeeding”. Rev Lee serves as the Board Chair for the non profit Community Builders, convener for the National Coalition Of Black Civic Participation’s Black Male Initiative, member of the Board Of Visitors for the Howard University School Of Divinity and is also an HIV Ambassador for the NAACP. He is also an on air radio personality and can be heard in the DC area on CBS Radio’s WPGC 95.5 FM.
Myles Markham grew up in Destin, Florida, and is a graduate of Columbia International University in Columbia, S.C., where they earned their B.S. in intercultural studies and Bible. Although coming out prevented them from launching right into local church ministry, Myles went on to work in international relief and LGBTQ advocacy as the director of outreach for the non-profit Planting Peace in Topeka, Kansas. Myles joined The Reformation Project, an organization devoted to Bible-based LGBTQ inclusion, in 2015 and resides in Atlanta, Georgia where they are pursuing an MDiv at Columbia Theological Seminary and working to grow the grassroots network of other LGBTQ Christians and allies who hope to reimagine the church as a safer and more inclusive place for all people. Myles identifies as a theology nerd and feels passionate about determining what it means to be a trans person of faith with mixed-Asian American/Native Hawai'ian ancestry and a "for better or for worse" kind of love for the Southeast.
Michael A. Mata, for over 30 years, has been engaged in developing and implementing community and faith-based programs concerned with social and economic inequities, often related to racial and ethnic issues. Mata is the Community Transformation Specialist with Compassion Creates Change, Inc. and most recently directed the Transformational Urban Leadership Program at Azusa Pacific Seminary. Prior to these assignments he was the Tools for Transformation Director for World Vision U.S. Program. Mata was also the Mildred M. Hutchinson Assistant Professor of Urban Ministry and Director of the Urban Leadership Institute at the Claremont School of Theology. As an ordained minister, he serves as part of the pastoral team at Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene (a multi-ethnic/multi-congregation church). He was heavily involved in the rebuilding efforts after the 1992 Los Angeles civil unrest, helping to organize the African-American, Latino and Korean evangelical leadership. Among the various organizations with which he is affiliated: National Latino Evangelical Coalition, Matthew 25 So Cal, Christian Community Development Association, Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity (ISAAC), Los Angeles Mayor’s Interfaith Collective, Public Media Group of SoCal, Imagen Awards
Teresa P. Mateus
Rev. Dr. Angela N. Parker has a Ph.D. in Bible, Culture, and Hermeneutics (New Testament focus) from Chicago Theological Seminary. Dr. Parker’s book entitled Bodies, Violence, and Emotions: A Womanist Study of the Gospel of Mark is currently under contract with Wipf & Stock. Reading through the lens of womanist and postcolonial thought, Dr. Parker’s work addresses the issue of bodies falling as a result of imperial violence in the Gospel of Mark. The issue of fallen bodies is especially important for contemporary Christian communities who witness police violence against black and brown bodies.
Prior to receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Parker earned the Master of Theological Studies degree from Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Shaw University, a historically black institution in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ordained as a Baptist minister and well-versed as a teacher in the church, Dr. Parker seeks to bridge the gap between academy, church, and society in her identity as a scholar-activist.
Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah is Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL and the author of The Next Evangelicalism (IVP Books, 2009); Many Colors (Moody, 2010); Prophetic Lament (IVP Books, 2015); co-author of Forgive Us (Zondervan, 2014); and Return to Justice (Brazos, 2016).
Rah is formerly the founding Senior Pastor of Cambridge Community Fellowship Church (CCFC), a multi-ethnic church living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context. He currently serves on the board of World Vision and Evangelicals 4 Justice. He has previously served on the board of Sojourners and the Christian Community Development Association.
He has extensive experience in cross-cultural preaching as well as on numerous college campuses. Soong-Chan has been a main stage speaker at the Urbana Student Missions Conference, the Congress on Urban Ministry, the Urban Youth Workers Institute Conference, the CCDA National Conference, the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary National Preaching Conference, the Fuller Missiology Conference, the Justice Conference, and Verge, Catalyst, and Calvin Worship Conferences.
Soong-Chan received his B.A. from Columbia University; his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; his Th.M. from Harvard University; his D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and his Th.D. from Duke University.
Shari Russell is Saulteaux registered with Yellow Quill First Nation in Saskatchewan. She is a survivor of the 60’s scoop, a government policy for assimilation of Indigenous children through adoption. Since being reunited with her biological family in 2002 she has integrated her Indigenous traditions and culture into her faith as a follower of Jesus.
Shari has been married to Robert for 25 years and they have three boys: Charles, Gavin, and Brannon. Shari was commissioned as a Salvation Army Officer in 1999 and her appointments have included: pastoral appointments in Toronto, Winnipeg and Sudbury and instructor at the Salvation Army College for Officer Training in St. John’s, Nfld and Winnipeg, MB. Through the years, Shari has been adjunct instructor at Booth University College, Tyndale University, and George Fox University. Currently, she is on the Board of Trustees for Booth University Board and Treasurer for the Indigenous Pathways board.
Shari is currently the Territorial Indigenous Ministries Consultant for The Salvation Army teaching cultural awareness and empowering Indigenous leaders. She loves to travel and speak about Indigenous culture in various faith communities including Universities and local churches.
Rev. Alexia Salvatierra is the author with Dr. Peter Heltzel of “Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World” (Intervarsity Press) and the founder of the Faith-Rooted Organizing UnNetwork.. She is a Lutheran Pastor with over 35 years of experience in community ministry, including church-based service and community development programs, congregational and community organizing, and legislative advocacy. In addition to coordinating the Welcoming Congregations/Guardian Angels Network for the Southwest California Synod of the ELCA, she currently serves as a consultant (training, facilitating, organizing and leading strategic planning) for a variety of national/international organizations, including World Vision USA/World Vision International/Women of Vision, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and the Christian Community Development Association. She has been a national leader in the areas of working poverty and immigration for over 20 years, including the co-founding of the national Evangelical Immigration Table (a very broad coalition of evangelical leaders and institutions advocating for immigration reform.).
Sandra Van Opstal
Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a second-generation Latina, is co-founder and Executive Director of Chasing Justice and lives on the west-side of Chicago with her husband and two boys. She is a preacher, liturgist and activist reimagining the intersection of worship and justice. Sandra served with Urbana Missions Conference, Chicago Urban Program, and Latino National Leadership Team (LaFe) of InterVarsity. Sandra’s influence has also reached many others through preaching globally on topics such as worship and formation, justice, racial identity and reconciliation. Sandra is currently serves as Contact Director for the Justice Conference, is a board member for CCDA and holds a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her most recent books include Still Evangelical and The Next Worship.
Born in Venezuela, AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez is an IndoLatinx mujerista working to create and agitate her way through the Latin diaspora. With a decade of faith-based community organizing experience, she now works independently—pursuing justice in an intersectional and holistic way. She works as a consultant, educator, writer, and visual artist in both sacred and secular spaces. Her column, Brown Eyed Amazon, can be found at Patheos’ Progressive Christian channel and she is the co-host for the Mystic Soul podcast with Teresa P. Mateus. AnaYelsi is the founder of En Conjunto—a collective providing support, community, resources, and collaborative opportunities to people of color working independently at the intersection of justice and spirituality.
AnaYelsi loves disappearing for hours in an art museum, feeding people a homemade flan of which she is unabashedly proud, reading everything she can get her hands on, and watching an absurd number of problematic made-for-tv holiday romcoms. She lives in Washington, D.C. You can follow her on twitter at @brwneyedamzn and on Facebook (/browneyedamazon). Pronouns: she/her/hers.