Rev. Lisa Yebuah is the Pastor of Inviting Ministries at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh, NC where her passion is cultivating a beautiful marriage between the church and the world – making God famous – catching glimpses of resurrection. She says, "I wouldn’t want to spend my life doing anything else." Lisa was born in Nashville, TN and grew up in the low country of South Carolina where she was actively involved in ministry leadership from a young age. Lisa is a sought after preacher and leader of events for all ages and spent her summers in college at Lake Junaluska leading the SEJ Youth Ministry Team. She has an undergraduate degree from Wofford College and her M.Div. from Duke Divinity School.
Rev. Grace Imathiu is the lead pastor of Community United Methodist Church in Naperville, IL. She was born and raised in Kenya and has one brother and three sisters. Her father is a retired Bishop of the Methodist Church in Kenya and received the 2005 World Methodist Council Peace Award for confronting Idi Amin’s regime and South Africa’s apartheid system. Her mother, a retired teacher, is a Local Preacher and has served in many leadership roles in the church.
Grace was educated in Kenya, the USA (Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee), the University of Cambridge, and spent a year at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She was ordained in the Methodist Church in Kenya in 1988 and served six years in Kenya, and has since served in Washington, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
Grace is married to writer and science photographer David Hay Jones. They have one son, Erik, and a dog named Jack. David and Erik are devoted skiers. Grace and Jack do not ski.
The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe has been the Chief Executive of the General Board of Church and Society for the United Methodist Church since February of 2014. Prior to this appointment, she was dean of the Chapel and Religious Life at Emory University in Atlanta.
Church and Society is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. The agency’s prime responsibility is to seek implementation of the United Methodist Social Principles and other policy statements on Christian social concerns of the General Conference, the denomination’s highest policy-making body.
Bishop Robert Hoshibata, the board's president said “I respect and appreciate her many contributions to the Church and her ministry at Emory University. Her strong insistence on building bridges that connect people of diverse backgrounds, cultures and theological perspectives will serve us well as we now address the ministry of GBCS in its global context, widening and strengthening our efforts to embrace and address the social concerns of both Central Conferences and United States conferences.”
Rev. Henry-Crowe and the GBCS are strong supporters and partners in the Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, November 12-15, 2015. Registration now open.
Lauren F. Winner is the author of numerous books, including Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath. Her recent memoir Still: Notes on a Mid-faith Crisis has been named a “Best Book of 2012″ in the religion category by Publishers Weekly and a 2013 Book Award winner in the spirituality category by Christianity Today. Her book on overlooked biblical images of God, Wearing God, will be published by HarperOne in the spring of 2015. She has appeared on PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, Publishers Weekly, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today. Winner has degrees from Duke, Columbia, and Cambridge universities, and holds a Ph.D. in history. The former book editor for Beliefnet, Lauren teaches at Duke Divinity School, and lives in Durham, North Carolina. Lauren travels extensively to lecture and teach. During the academic year of 2007-2008, she was a visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University, and during the academic year of 2010-2011, she was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. When she’s home, you can usually find her curled up, on her couch or screen porch, with a good novel.
Lauren will be returning to Lake Junaluska, September 17-19, 2015 for the Women's Retreat with Dr. Lauren Winner, part of the Lake Junaluska Signature Series. All women welcome. Registration now open.
Bishop Richard Looney, the Foundation for Evangelism’s 2015 Distinguished Evangelist, was born in the Methodist parsonage at Hillsville, Virginia. He graduated from Emory and Henry College and Candler School of Theology, with additional study in the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia.
A member of the Holston Conference, Richard was ordained deacon and elder by Bishop Roy H. Short. Appointments included: the Rising Fawn Circuit, Rising Fawn, Georgia; Baker's Chapel - Wyndale, Abingdon, Virginia; Pleasant View (formerly Baker's Chapel), Abingdon, Virginia; White Oak, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Broad Street, Cleveland, Tennessee; The Chattanooga District; Munsey Memorial, Johnson City, Tennessee and Church Street, Knoxville.
General Church responsibilities included the General Council on Finance and Administration; the General Board of Church and Society and the General Council on Ministry. Pulpit exchanges have been enjoyed in England and Australia and work missions shared in Peru, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. He has served as Episcopal Director of the Foundation on Evangelism, Lake Junaluska, N.C.
The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference elected Richard Carl Looney to the episcopacy in 1988. He was assigned to the newly-created South Georgia Area, where he served until his retirement in 2000.
Dr. Derrick-Lewis Noble is an award winning preacher/pastor and motivational speaker, having recently been cited as one of the top 20 young preachers in America (“The African American Pulpit” Magazine).He is highly sought after as a revivalist, keynote speaker, seminar leader, and motivator, and is a past member of the National Speakers Association.Among other honors, he is a past Conference Preacher for The Symposium on Worship - an annual, international, ecumenical event sponsored by The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and The Center for Excellence in Preaching, and has served as the Bible Study Leader for the national gathering of Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR).Derrick was recently selected by Abingdon Press and the United Methodist Publishing House to write both the adult and teen curriculum for Vacation Bible School for the year 2013.In the corporate world, he has presented on topics as diverse as peak performance, customer service, educational excellence, and leadership in the workplace.
Dr. Noble will be the Conference Preacher for the Festival of Wisdom and Grace Conference, July 27-30, 2015. Registration Now Open.
Bishop Thomas Bickerton was elected bishop and assigned to the Pittsburgh Area where he is currently serving. He is married to Sally Forbes Bickerton and they have four adult children: Elizabeth, T.J., Ian and Nick.
Originally from West Virginia, Bishop holds a B.A. in Sociology/Psychology from West Virginia Wesleyan College, a M.Div. from Duke Divinity School, and a D.Min. from United Theological School. He is activitely involved in the United Methodist Global Health Initiative's Imagine No Malaria Campaign and serves on a number of other boards and agencies.
Jody Seymour's roots go back to Biloxi, Mississippi, and he moved with his family to North Carolina during the elementary school days.
Jody graduated from Greensboro College and Duke Divinity School and did his Doctoral work in Spiritual Formation through the Graduate Theological Foundation. He studied one year at Candler School of Theology at Emory on a Lily Foundation program in Congregational Analysis.
He is the author of four books, Looking for God in All the Wrong Places, Finding God Between the Lines, A Time for Healing: Overcoming the Perils of Ministry, Lost but Making Excellent Time: Transforming the Rat Race into a Pilgrimage, and Marking the Gospel: A Devotional Commentary on the Gospel of Mark. Jody is also a certified Enneagram instructor. The Enneagram is a personality system that is often used in spiritual direction.
Jody says, “My passion is to take the old story and make it come alive. I love to help people formulate questions of faith before we ever get to the answers. The spiritual pilgrimage is not only about ‘having arrived,’ but about experiencing the journey and seeking to understand the challenges that come with such a journey.”
He has served as the Senior Pastor of Davidson United Methodist church for the past 11 years.