Missio Alliance is guided by the partnered effort of a Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and a Staff Team. Combined, these groups represent involvement from across the Wesleyan, Baptist, Reformed, Holiness, Anglican, Charismatic, Anabaptist, and other traditions.
The Staff Team is responsible for catalyzing the initiative, providing overall vision and direction, and cultivating partnerships with like-minded groups on national and regional levels.
Lisa Rodriguez-Watson, for nearly two decades, has served as an urban church planter, collegiate minister, seminary professor, international missionary and community development practitioner. Her heart to see people reconciled to God and to one another has led her to invest her life, family and ministry in places and people that have often been looked over by the world.
Lisa served as co-founder of a grassroots organization in Memphis, TN that was committed to mobilizing Christians to love their undocumented neighbors, and consider an appropriate Christian response to our nation’s immigration crisis. In addition to her role as National Director of Missio Alliance, she serves as Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Equipping at Christ City Church.
Educated at Florida International University and Golden Gate Seminary, she now lives in Washington, DC where she is a mom to 3 fantastic children, Nathan, Elias, and Annelies, and a wife to her best friend Matthew, who serves as Pastor of Teaching and Outreach at Christ City Church.
Justin partners with the National Director in honing the overall vision and strategy with a specific focus on leading innovation and growth within the content & resource development dimensions of our ministry; he’s passionate about helping provide creative strategy and direction for all Missio’s platforms, channels, and gatherings.
Justin also runs an Independent Creative Agency, justinpheap.co, leading teams, organizations, and entrepreneurs to connect all the branding dots focusing on ideation, art, and design. As the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Pax Coworking Studio, he enjoys helping shape the future of new and remote work. Justin is a passionate and lifelong learner, with degrees and certifications in psychology, photography, systems thinking, and the enneagram. His writing has been featured with Relevant Magazine, Fatherly, Church Leadership Center, Sunday U, and is the author of a book of poetry, By & By & Never. Justin loves all the adventures of family life and currently lives in Holland, MI.
Sarah loves to create spaces where people can connect, grow and learn about the world and themselves. She is a third-culture individual who was raised overseas, which also instilled a deep love for the study of people and culture. A graduate of Alliance Theological Seminary with a MA in Intercultural Studies, she has traveled to over 30 countries, and has lived on four continents, calling France, the Middle East, Ecuador and Thailand her home for different amounts of time. Sarah is a certified Cultural Intelligence and Unconscious Bias Trainer from the Cultural Intelligence Center. She currently lives in the beautiful state of Colorado directing the extension site for Asbury Theological Seminary, and enjoying all the hiking opportunities the state has to offer.
Mrs. Antoinette H. Mosley, also known as “Miss Toni” to her students, is a native of Jennings, Louisiana, and has over twenty years of youth ministry and professional writing experience. She is the daughter and grand-daughter of youth ministry leaders and has led youth ministries in Louisiana, Maryland, and Kentucky. She is a graduate of McNeese State University with a B.A. in English Education, and Southern University and A&M College with a M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision. She also holds a Master of Divinity in Christian Education and Youth Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Chris facilitates space for Missio’s Writing Collectives to thrive, shaping both words and ideas to help our writers find and use their unique voice within the global Church.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Chris has lived in South Africa since 2009, happily married to Maxie, an Afrikaans woman. Together, they are committed to the restoration and development of all Africans in a just manner. Presently, they are rooting deeply in Jeffreys Bay with their two girls, Mia and Clara, and their Scottish terrier, Wally.
Chris’s work and calling lies at the intersection of the holistic spiritual formation and leadership development of Christian leaders, particularly under-resourced leaders from the global south. As a Gallup certified strengths coach, spiritual director, and habitual developer of resources, the ideation and creation of initiatives that mature a leader’s formation is a thrilling part of his work.
Formational theological education remains a significant area of interest for Chris, who holds a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Portland Seminary.
Gaby hails from a desert-like city in northern Mexico called Torreón. She graduated from college in the city of Puebla, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Business (Universidad de las Americas). In 2011, she moved to the United States to pursue a master’s degree in Biblical Studies (Regent University), though her plan was to go back to Mexico (and the business world) shortly after graduation. Twelve years later, she still lives in the United States where she’s been serving the Church in multiple roles ever since.
Gaby has worked in full-time ministry in Israel, Mexico and the Pacific Northwest. She is passionate about building bridges between the Church and Academia, preaching and writing, and mobilizing congregations to fully participate in the life of the church. Some of her previous roles include Director of Masters Programs at Portland Seminary, Campus Pastor at George Fox University, and various pastoral roles in the Pacific Northwest. She currently serves as a chair of the Evangelical Studies Unit at the American Academy of Religion.
Julease is a skilled Marketing & Communications Specialist who is passionate about promoting social change and helping organizations achieve their goals. She is currently a key member of uAspire, where she supports the marketing of the organization’s programs and initiatives, manages uAspire’s social media channels, and works with program staff to develop collateral and reports for their key initiatives. In addition to her work with uAspire, Julease also provides communication and social media management support to local small businesses, foundations, and non-profit organizations. Her experience in the non-profit and communications sector has given her valuable insights into effective communication strategies that drive change. Julease holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast/Multiplatform Mass Communication and Journalism from California State University, Fresno. She is passionate about creating positive change in the world and is always striving to make a difference through her work.
The Board of Trustees is comprised of individuals who represent varying perspectives and interests from across a range of theological traditions, ministry contexts, and backgrounds.
In our early stages of development, these leaders are serving Missio Alliance as both consultants and advocates. As an initiative seeking to foster connection and collaboration amongst diverse groups within the broad spectrum of the evangelical tradition, these leaders, along with the communities and constituencies they represent, are helping us to develop an ever-deepening awareness and sensitivity to God’s work in and among the Body of Christ as we engage in mission together.
Rev. Dr. Dennis Edwards
Dr. Edwards has long been inspired with a hunger to understand scripture. Growing up in New York City, Edwards attended a storefront church whose pastor was an earnest, faithful, and dedicated spiritual leader. This example continued to inspire Edwards throughout college and his time spent teaching high school math and chemistry. Even after attending seminary, his desire to better understand scripture continued. Edwards says, “I pursued my PhD largely in an effort to quench my thirst for enlightenment and understanding of God’s Word.”
Ordained through the Evangelical Covenant Church, Edwards brings a deep understanding of spiritual leadership to North Park. He also shares his diverse experiences as a church planter and pastor in Brooklyn, Minneapolis, and Washington D.C. with his students.
Juliet has served as a pastor at Life on the Vine since 2014. She is a 2nd generation Vietnamese Chinese American, and married to Sheldon; they have two sons who are now able to reach things on high shelves for Juliet. Juliet is a current Doctor of Ministry student at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary on Northwestern’s campus, a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.Div, 2005) and an alumna of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (B.A., 2001). Prior to coming to Life on the Vine in 2010, she ministered as a college campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the Director of Worship at Northshore Chinese Christian Church (2005-2007), and Director of Chapel at Trinity International University (2007-2009). She also taught periodically at Trinity International University as an adjunct faculty member of the Christian Ministries Department. Juliet currently serves as Chair of the Board for Missio Alliance, offers spiritual direction, and enjoys speaking and writing about spirituality that is both contemplative and justice-centered, the joy of men and women fully partnering together for the kingdom, and the gospel and racial justice.
Sean Palmer is the Teaching Pastor at Ecclesia Houston, one of America’s most innovative and vibrant multi-site churches, serving a predominance of Millennials and young adults. Previously profiled in Christian Standard Magazine as one of “40 Leaders Under 40,” and with 21-years of ministry experience, Sean is a sought-after national keynote speaker, teacher, writer, and workshop facilitator. His writing has been featured on Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed, Sojourners, FOXNews.com, The Lookout Magazine and Christian Standard Magazine.
Sean is also a featured writer for Missio Alliance, co-host of Not So Black and White with Sean Palmer and John Alan Turner podcast, a contributing writer to The Voice Bible, and author of Unarmed Empire: In Search of Beloved Community, which has been called “the best book about the church.” Sean is also a frequent guest on a range of podcasts and has been featured on National Public Radio.
Sean studied Youth and Family Ministry at Abilene Christian University and Homiletics at the Austin Presbyterian Seminary, The Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University, and Fuller Seminary.
Sean and his wife, Rochelle, have been married for over 20-years and live near downtown Houston with their teenaged and pre-teen daughters. In his free time, Sean enjoys sports, fitness training, reading, playing board games and sharing life with his family, and cheering on the San Antonio Spurs and Manchester United Football Club.
Dr. Wayne Faison
Dr. Faison was called as the 12th Pastor of The East End Baptist Church in November 2014. He has 22 years of ministerial experience including 6 years in the pastoral ministry and 14 years in the denominational vocation with the Baptist General Association of Virginia. He also spent 15 years in the banking profession.
Dr. Faison was Called to the Ministry in 1992; Licensed in 1993; and Ordained in 1997 at New St. John Baptist Church in Ocala, Florida. Previously, he served as Senior Pastor of Canaan Missionary Baptist Church in Flemington, Florida from 1997 – 2001.
Dr. Faison received a Doctor of Ministry degree in Black Church Leadership from the School of Theology in 2001 and a Master of Divinity degree in Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth from the Billy Graham School in 1996 at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1984 from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.
Dr. Faison’s secular experience includes serving as Vice President of Commercial Banker at Am South Bank of Florida from 1996-2001 and as Assistant Vice- President and Investment Officer, as well as in other capacities, at Mid- State Federal Savings Bank from 1984-1993 in Ocala, Florida.
Dr. Faison is married to Carmen Clark Faison and has two adult children Andrea and Chasity. He loves spending time with his family, playing golf, running marathons, reading and writing.
Deb Hirsch is a speaker, church leader, and writer. She has led churches in both Australia and Los Angeles. She is one of the founders of Forge Mission Training Network and a current member of the Forge America national team. She was part of the leadership team of Christian Associates (a church planting movement in Europe, North & South America). She co-authored (with Alan Hirsch) Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship. Her new book Redeeming Sex reflects something of her own journey and attempts to bring new conversations around sexuality into the context of the church. Deb has been involved in social work, community development and as a trained counselor has worked in the field of sexuality for over twenty five years. She and her husband live in community with others in Los Angeles.
Tara Beth Leach
Tara Beth Leach is a pastor, preacher of the Word, and a writer. She speaks widely at conferences, retreats, and universities across America on Women in Ministry, Church Leadership, and the call to be a Radiant Witness. She is a pastor at Christ Church of Oak Brook in the western suburbs of Chicago. She previously served as senior pastor of First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena (“PazNaz”) in Southern California. She is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University and Northern Theological Seminary. She is the author of Emboldened, Radiant Church, and Forty Days on Being a Six. She has two beautiful and rambunctious sons, and has been married to the love of her life, Jeff, since 2006.
J.R. Woodward, PhD (University of Manchester UK) awakens people to join God in the renewal of all things. He has been passionately planting discipleship-fueled, movement-oriented, neighborhood-grounded churches seeking to be a foretaste of God’s coming kingdom for over 25 years. He has helped start and multiply dozens of missional-incarnational communities from Blacksburg, VA to Los Angeles, CA. He loves to experiment, take risks and would rather “fail” living out God’s calling, than “succeed” doing something else.
J.R. co-founded and currently serves on the board of the Missio Alliance, He is an active board member with Reliant Mission, which serves over 500 missionaries in North America and around the world. He also serves on the Fuller Global Mission Advisory Council, the Fuller Church Initiatives Board, as well as the KINEO board.
He currently serves as the National Director for the V3 Church Planting Movement, helping to train church planters across North America and the world in a way that values a grounded spirituality, missions theology and movement ecclesiology.
J.R. is the author of Creating a Missional Culture (IVP, 2012) and a regular contributor to newchurches.com and theV3movement.org. His upcoming book: The Scandal of Leadership: Unmasking the Powers of Domination in the Church is due out the Fall of 2022. You can find him speaking at conferences and gatherings across the country.
He loves to surf, travel, read, skateboard and meet new people. He enjoys photography and film and attends the Sundance Film Festival whenever he can.
The Board of Advisors consists of those who have provided strategic input, feedback, and wisdom to help guide and shape the Missio Alliance in its initial stages.
Cherith Fee Nordling
Dr. Jo Anne Lyon
Sara Jane Roxburgh Walker
James Bryan Smith
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