Meet the EP

“Meet the EP” is an occasional column in our newsletter that introduces endorsing individuals, couples, families and congregations. Those introductions are being collected here, and represent the amazing catholicity of the hundreds of EP endorsers. Given the origin of these pieces over many years, the information may not be current.

Nancy Johnston Varden

Nancy grew up on the coast of North Carolina – an ideal place for someone that spent years learning and teaching sailing in her youth. Nancy moved inland for college and pursued a degree in Recreation at North Carolina State […]

Susan Adams

Susan writes:  “I am a member of Englewood Christian Church on the near East  Side of Indianapolis. I became a member in 1987 and have raised  my three kids (all now in college) in the midst of this amazing  community of believers. Originally […]

Vince Amlin

Vince Amlin is a member of the United Church of Christ and a Masters of Divinity student at the University of Chicago- two things that perhaps make him an unusual candidate for the EP. He came to this summer’s gathering […]

Joey and Jolynne Aszterbaum

Joey: I live in Hemet, CA with my wife Jolynne, our four children, and our many animals. I work in Public Social Services, helping the unemployed and underemployed to find satisfying work. I discovered the Ekklesia Project through the works […]

Matthew Bösiger

Well, my name is Matthieu and I have a lovely wife whose name is Marie Eve. I was an engineer working in an intellectual property office and my wife was a dietician. For one year, we are both involved in […]

Mary Bowling

Mary Bowling is a full-time member at Englewood Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mary has very little formal education, and none at all related to anything theological or philosophical. She does however, have more than three decades of experience in […]

Mike Bowling

Michael Bowling is the figurehead treasurer for EP (all the real work is done by Melissa Benton, a fellow member at Englewood Christian Church). Mike has served as pastor at Englewood, an inner-city congregation on the near-eastside of Indianapolis, for […]

Mark Lau Branson

Mark Lau Branson is the Homer L. Goddard Professor of the Ministry of the Laity and chair of the Ministry Curricular Area. He teaches courses in practical theology, congregational leadership, and community engagement. He was ordained at San Francisco Christian […]

Mike Budde

Michael L. Budde is Chair of the Department of Political Science at DePaul faculty where he has taught since 1993. He teaches courses in international politics, political theory, political economy, and religion and politics. He teaches regularly in DePaul’s Program […]

Nancy Bullock

In Memoriam   We give thanks for the life and witness of our dear friend and sister in Christ, Nancy Bullock (1958 – 2012), and  we grieve her loss with her husband, Jeff, and children, Eddie and Adrienne. Nancy’s lively presence […]

Heather Bunce

Heather Bunce

Heather and Ryan are happily married with two children. Their daughter, Shelby, is 11 and son, Riley, is 9. They live in Lansing, Michigan where they are members of their house-church, Delta Community Christian Church. Heather teaches part-time at Great […]

Heather Carlson

Heather and Jason Carlson, along with their two children, traveled from their Canadian home to attend Gathering ’09.  They have recently relocated a good deal further north.  Heather, who is joining the editorial team of the EP Newsletter, introduces herself […]

William Cavanaugh

William Cavanaugh is an EP endorser and coeditor of our Christian Practices of Everyday Life book series – was recently interviewed by Cavanaugh is introduced with these words: “We’re sure some people would be surprised to learn that there […]

Chi-Ming & Juliette Chien

Chi-Ming and Juliette Chien are members of Redeemer Community Church in San Francisco, where they live with their daughters Joelle, Evangeline and Micayah. They serve in various aspects of the life of their small and vibrant Cumberland Presbyterian congregation. Chi-Ming […]

Kyle Childress

Kyle Childress has been the pastor of the Austin Heights Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, Texas for twenty-one years.  He is married to Jane, who teaches English at the nearby university and they have two daughters Emily, 20, and Callie, 17.  A […]

Lindsay Cleveland

Lindsay Cleveland is a new endorser of EP.  She recently completed a Masters Degree at Yale Divinity School, and will begin a PhD in Religion, Politics, and Society at Baylor University in the fall. She is currently participating in a […]

Delta Community Christian Church

Delta Community Christian Church, a community committed to being the Church in Lansing, Michigan, was born in the summer of 2001 as part of a house church called Solomon’s Porch.  By autumn of that year, the original group had divided […]

Julia and Ian DiOrio

Gathering 2009 included many first-time attendees, including Julia and Ian DiOrio and t heir daughter, Semeia, from Fullerton, Ca.   Other first-time participants included seminarians and graduate students, as well as young pastors.  Children, babies in particular, were very much in […]

Danny Fong and Redeemer Community Church

Danny introduces himself and his congregation in these words: “My wife and I have been regulars at the EP Summer Gathering since 2005 when we first learned of EP through our friends at Grace Fellowship Community Church.  I remember resonating […]

Mark Gast

I live in Portland, Oregon and am familiar with the EP because of Church of the Servant King (COSK). My wife, Carol, is a member and I take part in almost all COSK activities. However, I am a practicing Catholic and […]

Julie Dotterweich Gunby

Julie put her Master of Theological Studies to uncommon use by becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife. Since 2011, she has been delivering babies and providing prenatal care for uninsured women at a regional hospital in Atlanta. Julie lives in beautiful […]

Pamela Hanson

Pamela Hanson, relatively new to the EP, introduces herself in these words: “I am single and have been a Christian since 1981. I was raised in the Evangelical Covenant Church but have been a member of a PCUSA church for […]

Barry Harvey

A native of Denver, Colorado, Barry Harvey is Professor of Theology in the Honors College at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he teaches in the Great Texts program and the Graduate Program in Religion. Barry served on the EP […]

Victor Hinojosa

Victor Hinojosa was a plenary speaker and on the planning team for Gathering 2008, “Race, Racism and the Body of Christ.”  He is on the EP Board, and chairs our Finance Committee. Victor teaches political science in the Honors College at […]

Clark and Miriam Hock

Clark and Miriam Hock have been in pastoral work for nearly 50 years. Presently Clark is serving a United Church of Christ congregation in Mercersburg (Franklin County) Pennsylvania. They have been working within the UCC since 1965. Before beginning pastoral […]

Michael Iafrate

Michael J. Iafrate, 34, is a West Virginia native working on a doctorate in theology at the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. Michael developed a personal and academic interest in the relationship of faith and […]

Phil Kenneson

Phil Kenneson lives in East Tennessee with his wife Kim and their five children. Since 1992 his day job has been to teach theology and philosophy at Milligan College. In addition to teaching, he enjoys cooking for his family, running […]

Andy Ross & Kristin Kerkvliet

Andy Ross and Kristin Kerkvliet first got to know each other at the Ekklesia Project in 2006. Through a series of curious coincidences, mutual friends, and mis-communications, they arrived at DePaul from Tennessee and Florida respectively.  It was love at […]

Chris McMahon and Jason King

“Consuming Jesus: Saving Soteriology in a Market Driven Culture.” This title, from an essay by EP member, Chris McMahon, nicely captures interests that he and fellow EP member, Jason King, share. Chris and Jason are recipients of a Louisville Grant […]

Brent Laytham

Brent Laytham is a United Methodist elder who is Dean of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology of St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore (the oldest Roman Catholic seminary in the US). Brent pastored for 8 years in North Carolina, […]

Doug Lee

 Doug Lee serves as one of the pastors of Grace Fellowship Community Church in San Francisco. A former Silicon Valley engineer and high school math teacher, Doug is learning to be a Christian from his wife Amy, his children Sonya and Josiah, his […]

Ted Lewis

Ted writes:  For the past 9 years I have been a beneficiary of EP activities through vicarious means.  From 2000 to 2009 I participated in the Church of the Servant King community in Eugene, and every time folks came back […]

Steve Long

Steve Long is professor of Systematic Theology at Marquette University. Previously he worked at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, St. Joseph’s University and Duke Divinity School. He is an ordained United Methodist Minister and served churches in Honduras and North Carolina. He […]

Janice Love

Janice Love lives in the sunny (except in the winter) Okanagan Valley in the interior of the province of British Columbia in Canada with her husband, James and son, Jameson (who was baptized in a United Church, has been attending […]

Therese Lysaught

Therese Lysaught is Associate Dean and Professor of Catholic moral theology and health care ethics at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago, with a secondary appointment in the Neiswanger Institute of Bioethics at Loyola’s Stritch School of […]

Jim McCoy

I first heard about The Ekklesia Project from old friend Barry Harvey, and began to notice that a number of theology books that engaged my thinking as a pastor were by authors connected in some way to EP.  I became […]

Kent McDougal and Christ Community Church

Our friends at Christ Community Church in Des Moines, Iowa, tell their story in their own words: “Christ Community Church of Des Moines, Iowa has enjoyed the peculiar friendship of the Ekklesia Project since the initial “Declaration & Invitation” of […]

John McFadden

Heather Carlson, who coordinates the “Meet the EP” section of our newsletter, suggested that it was high time that the editor introduce himself here. I live in Appleton, Wisconsin, am married to Susan, an academic gerontologist, and together we are […]

Scott Sharman & Alexandra Meek

Scott Sharman and Alexandra Meek live in Edmonton, Canada. They have been married for four years, and were just blessed with their first child, Elliot Nicholas, in May of 2010. They attend St. Timothy’s Anglican Church.Scott, 31, is a Ph.D. […]

Debra Dean Murphy

Debra Dean Murphy

Debra Dean Murphy is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She also directs the newly formed Center for Restorative Justice on campus. She is the author of  Happiness, Health, and Beauty: […]

Beth Newman

Beth Newman has enjoyed the support and challenge of The Ekklesia Project since its beginnings.  She is particularly drawn to EP’s focus on radical discipleship and the unity of the Body of Christ. She was a member of the EP […]

John Nugent

John C. Nugent is a member of Delta Community Christian Church—a network of house churches in Lansing, MI—which is part of the Stone-Campbell Tradition (aka Christian Churches/Churches of Christ). He is an ordained minister and has served as Professor of […]

Jeff Reed

Jeff Reed is an aquatic research ecologist and part-time theologian living in Alexandria, Minnesota (just up the road from Lake Wobegon).  He finds living on the edge of the Great Plains to be a blessing and considers the prairie to be […]

Hillary Roper

Hillary Roper is preparing to start her junior year as an undergraduate student at Butler University. She was born and raised at Englewood Christian Church located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and continues to call it home. She studies Elementary Education, and is […]

Mark and Jaimee Ryan

 Mark and Jaimee Ryan live in Lakewood, New Jersey. They have been married for three years and have two daughters, Chloe (2) and Meredith (4 months). Mark and Jaimee met in Charlottesville, VA, where Mark completed his PhD in Religious […]

Phillip Saieg

Phillip Saieg, a native of Detroit, currently lives in Denver. He is a twenty-three year-old graduate of Colorado Christian University, where he studied theology and human communication. After graduation, he spent a half-year in Kenya as a schoolteacher before returning […]

Aaron and Grete Scott

Aaron and Grete first discovered EP through Phil Kenneson while students at Milligan College and members of Hopwood Christian Church. They have been EP endorsers since 2004, when Grete, then a graduate student at DePaul, suddenly found herself in the […]

Joel Shuman

Joel Shuman has been with the EP from the beginning, wearing a variety of hats. Currently, in addition to his work with the board, he is co-editor (with Kelly Johnson) of the EP pamphlet series. Those who attended the gathering […]

Julia Smucker

I grew up a Mennonite nomad, living first on the east coast (Virginia and Maryland), then three years in Jamaica (where my parents did voluntary service with Mennonite Central Committee), then a year in Ohio and then back to Indiana […]

Justin and Miriam Snider

Justin and Miriam Snider are a husband and wife team facing the daunting challenge of serving as parish ministers to four congregations in rural Illinois. The pair met at Greenville College, were married in 2002, and attended Duke Divinity School […]

Kristin Söderberg

Kristin Söderberg, from Sundsvall, Sweden, recently joined the EP after discovering our website and reading it “with great interest.” Before discovering EP, Kristin had read a lot of both Hauerwas and Yoder. She currently studies theology in Umeå University where […]

Steve and Emmy Stanley

Steve and Emmy Stanley live in Rogers Park, a north-side neighborhood of Chicago.  Steve serves as a co-pastor of the “Church without Walls” which worships on Sunday mornings at the Lawrence House in the Uptown neighborhood (near the famous Aragon […]

Ragan Sutterfield

Ragan Sutterfield is a writer and farmer in Arkansas, a Christian who is committed to sustainable farming as a form of discipleship. Ragan is the author of our twelfth pamphlet, God’s Grandeur: The Church in the Economy of Creation and of […]

Matt Tennant

Matt introduces himself in these words: “My name is Matthew Tennant, and I am a doctoral candidate in theology at the University of Oxford, UK.  I first heard about the Ekklesia Project from Beth Newman when she taught my theology […]

Roy Terry

Roy writes:  I am currently in my fourteenth year serving as the pastor of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Naples, Florida. In 1996 I graduated from Duke Divinity School and my wife Leslie, daughter Emily, two dogs, two cats, two […]

Brian Volck

Brian Volck  is a pediatrician living in Cincinnati, who has studiously avoided formal training in theology while reading as much theology as he can get his hands on. His medical interests include international adoption, international medicine and cross-cultural medicine. He […]

Aaron Weldon

I grew up in Lubbock, TX, and my family lives in the West Texas/Panhandle area. I graduated from Texas A&M with a BS, married my wife Lindsay, and moved to Pasadena, CA. We lived there for three years while I […]

Jenny Williams

Jenny Williams is currently the pastor of Avery United Methodist Church in Morgantown, West Virginia.  A native of southern California, she spent seven years in North Carolina and then moved to WV through a little recruitment program they like to call […]

Jake Wilson

Jake Wilson is an Elder in the Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.  He currently serves two churches in the Jackson area.  A graduate of Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Jake has been an EP endorser since 2006.  In […]

Stan Wilson

Stan Wilson

Stan Wilson is the pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Clinton, MS. He was coordinator for the planning committee for Gathering 2008, “Crossing the Divide: Race, Racism and the Body of Christ,” and Northside was one of the pilot congregations […]

Tobias (Toby) Winright

Tobias (Toby) Winright lives in the city of St. Louis with his wife, Liz, and two daughters (Clare Niamh, 5 years, and Lydia Maeve, 2 months). They are members of St. Margaret of Scotland Roman Catholic Church. He is associate professor […]

Craig Wong

Craig share these words about himself and his community: As a member of Grace Fellowship Community Church (GFCC) and the director of our partner nonprofit, Grace Urban Ministries (see, it has been deeply soul-satisfying to commune with the strange […]