ECFA Board of Reference

Nancy Alcorn, a native Tennessean, spent eight years working for the state of Tennessee at a correctional facility for juvenile delinquent girls and investigating child abuse cases. Nancy saw many of the girls pass the age of eighteen and end up in the women’s prison system because they never got the real help they needed. Through her experiences, she began to realize that only Jesus could bring restoration into the lives of girls who were desperately hurting and searching for something to fill the void they felt in their hearts. Nancy knew God was unfolding a plan prompting her to step out in faith to help hurting young women. In January 1983, determined to establish a program in which lives would truly be transformed, Nancy started Mercy Ministries of America.

Several years and many changed lives later, Mercy Ministries has established locations in Monroe, Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; and Sacramento, California. The organization has grown beyond the borders of the United States, including locations in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada.

According to Nancy, “It is our belief that if we provide places at no charge where girls can come and receive new life through Jesus Christ, as well as professional training in other areas, their lives will never be the same!”

 

Luis Cortés, Jr. is the founder of Esperanza, Philadelphia, one of the largest Hispanic evangelical networks in the nation. Esperanza has provided technical assistance and training to over 450 Hispanic nonprofits with funding of nearly $10 million. Luis is a national leader of Hispanic concerns and community development. He is board member and founder of United Bank, the first African American owned bank in Pennsylvania, and he serves on the board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (an SEC corporation and a GSE), for which he also previously served as vice chairman.

 

Mart De Haan, senior ministry advisor of Our Daily Bread Ministries, is the grandson of ODB founder, Dr. M. R. De Haan, and the son of former president Richard W. De Haan. Mart has served at Our Daily Bread Ministries for over 40 years and is heard regularly on the Discover the Word radio program and seen on Day of Discovery television. The weekday radio program Discover the Word has been called “a mixture of friendship, laughter, and the life-changing message of the Bible.” Here Mart joins co-hosts Haddon Robinson and Alice Mathews for lively conversations on applying biblical truth to everyday life. On Day of Discovery television, which is aired weekly on stations across the country, Mart explores the Bible lands. The program leads viewers through the places where Jesus walked and brings the stories and message of the Bible to life. Over the years Mart has been a contributing writer for the Our Daily Bread devotional, the Discovery Series Bible study booklets, and a monthly column and blog on timely issues called “Been Thinking About” found at beenthinking.org.

He and his wife, Diane, have two grown children. Like his grandfather, Mart enjoys spending time outdoors.

 

Steve Douglass leads Campus Crusade for Christ - Cru with a passion for ministry built over nearly four decades of service. Founded in 1951 by Bill and Vonette Bright, Campus Crusade is a worldwide interdenominational Christian evangelism and discipleship organization.

Douglass came to Campus Crusade with a resume that included a Bachelor of Science degree from M.I.T. and an MBA from Harvard Business School. During the next 32 years he held a variety of positions with Campus Crusade, including Executive Vice President and Director of U.S. Ministries. In July 2001, founder Bill Bright personally selected Douglass to be his successor.

Douglass is the author or co-author of several books, including Managing Yourself, How to Achieve Your Potential and Enjoy Life, and Enjoying Your Walk with God.

Along with his wife Judy, Steve Douglass resides in Orlando, Fla. They have three married children and four grandchildren.

 

Franklin Graham serves as president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the international relief and evangelism organization, Samaritan’s Purse—respected organizations with combined annual budgets of more than $775 million. He has met privately with six U.S. Presidents as well as world leaders from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Using traditional and social media and speaking opportunities, Franklin regularly addresses current moral, social, and cultural issues—challenging Christians to take a bold stand for Jesus Christ and Biblical truth. Through the organizations he leads, he has proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ at evangelistic events across the globe and has been instrumental in helping people impacted by crises including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, conflict in Iraq and South Sudan, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and natural disasters ranging from catastrophic hurricanes in the U.S. to massive earthquakes in Ecuador, Nepal, Japan, and Haiti.

Franklin and his wife, Jane Austin, have four children—Will, Roy, Edward, and Cissie, and 12 grandchildren.

 

Robert Lonac is the president and CEO of CRISTA Ministries and brings years of top-level leadership and a marvelous heart for ministry to his position. CRISTA is a worldwide Christian service ministry that works in four distinct areas of service: Education (Kings School, Crosspoint Academy, Seattle Urban Academy, Miracle Ranch and Island Lake camps); Media (Four Radio Stations in Washington and Texas); Senior Living Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Washington; and International Relief and Development (World Concern and Christian Veterinary Mission).

Prior to joining CRISTA in 2006, Bob served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of International Justice Mission headquartered in Washington D.C. He oversaw all operations and administration of this rapidly expanding and compelling ministry that rescued victims of oppression around the world.

Bob and his wife Kathleen have four grown sons and among their families have eight grandchildren.

 

Wess Stafford is president emeritus of Compassion International and is an internationally recognized advocate for children in poverty. His daily radio feature, “Speak Up With Compassion,” is heard on over 800 radio stations in the United States. Founded in 1952, Compassion International is one of the world’s largest Christian child development agencies, partnering with more than 60 denominations and thousands of local churches to serve more than one million children in 26 countries.

As a young man, Wess represented a consortium of relief and development agencies in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. During his four years in Haiti, Wess experienced the most devastating message that poverty speaks to a child: “You don’t matter.” He also learned that the most strategic way to break the cycle of poverty is by investing holistically in children, meeting their physical, spiritual, socioeconomic, and vocational needs to give them a hope and a future.

Wess joined the staff of Compassion International in 1977 and has worked with the ministry, both overseas and at headquarters, for 34 years. He has served as president since 1993.

Wess and his wife, Donna, have two daughters.

 

Joseph M. Stowell serves as the president of Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He loves students and desires to provide an educational experience in which they are intellectually and spiritually stimulated to engage their world with the love of Christ.

With a distinguished career in higher education and church leadership, Joe is an internationally recognized conference speaker and author. He has written numerous devotionals for Our Daily Bread and several books including Simply Jesus and You, The Upside of Down, and Redefining Leadership: Character-Driven Habits of Effective Leaders.

Joe’s life is marked by a deep love for Jesus, reflected in a desire to value people from all walks of life, to aid the poor and marginalized, and to lead people with grace and integrity.

Joe and his wife, Martie, are the parents of three adult children and ten grandchildren.

 

Joni Eareckson Tada, founder and chief executive officer of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, is an international advocate for people with disabilities. A diving accident in 1967 left Joni, then 17, a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, unable to use her hands. After two years of rehabilitation, she emerged with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations. She shared her story in the best-selling autobiography and feature film, “Joni,” which has inspired countless individuals – with or without disabilities – around the world.

Joni and Friends International Disability Center was founded in 1979 to equip Christ-honoring churches worldwide to evangelize and disciple people affected by disability. The ministry expanded to include Wheels for the World, Family Retreats, Joni’s radio and television programs, and now the issues-oriented Christian Institute on Disability. Joni has written more than 45 books and has received numerous awards and honors, including serving on the National Council on Disability and the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department.

 

Raleigh Washington serves Promise Keepers as its president and CEO, and the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. The mission of PK is to issue a catalytic clarion call to the Body of Christ, to hear and obey the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. He formerly served PK as VP of Reconciliation and EVP of Global Ministries.

Dr. Washington is the founder and Pastor Emeritus of Rock Of Our Salvation Evangelical Free Church in Chicago, Illinois, (an urban church reaching across racial barriers in the inner city of Chicago).

He co-authored Breaking Down Walls: A Model of Reconciliation in an Age of Racial Strife with Glen Kehrein, the 1994 Gold Medallion winner from the Christian Booksellers Association.

Dr. Washington attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, earning the Bronze Star for meritorious service in Vietnam. He entered Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1980 (now known as Trinity International University), where he earned his Master of Divinity and received numerous awards. The Doctor of Peacemaking awarded by Westminister College was the third such award, first was to Mother Teresa and the second was to Bishop Desmond Tutu.

At Trinity, Raleigh developed the Master of Arts in Urban Ministries program, which he directed for six years. He holds honorary doctorates from Trinity International University, Westminster College, and Azusa Pacific University. Dr. Washington has been a featured speaker for Promise Keepers, Moody Founders Week and many other ministries.

He and his wife Paulette live in Denver and attend Church In The City, a thriving multi-cultural, inner city church.

 

Dolphus Weary left Mississippi in 1969, and became one of the first black students ever to graduate from the all-white Los Angeles Baptist College with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biology. In 1971, he received a Masters of Religious Education Degree (M.R.E.) from Los Angeles Baptist Seminary and a Masters in Educational Administration (M. Ed) from the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1973, Dolphus was ordained to the ministry, and in 1997, he received a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS. He returned to Mississippi to work with Mendenhall Ministries, a multi-faceted Christian Community Development ministry, where he served from 1971 through 1997.

For over twenty-five years, Dolphus has spoken on college campuses, in churches, seminaries, and conferences around the country. “I believe that God has given me two passions, a passion for racial unity in the Body of Christ and to minister to those who are poor in America and around the world.”

Currently Dolphus serves part time as the President of Rural Education and Leadership (R.E.A.L.) Christian Foundation (A foundation connecting Economic and Technical Resources with Rural Christian Ministries) and part time as the major fundraiser for Mission Mississippi (a racial reconciliation ministry that encourages unity within the Body of Christ) Dolphus has received four honorary Doctoral Degrees including one from Belhaven College in Jackson and Waynesburg College in Waynesburg, PA. In 2004, he received the distinguished Meritorious Leadership Award from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, MS. Recently, Dolphus was selected and featured in the National Publication of Who’s Who in Black Mississippi and inducted into Alumni Hall of Fame at the University of Southern Mississippi. Dolphus additionally serves as a member of several national and local board of directors, advisory boards and committee.

Dolphus and his wife Rosie are the parents of three children: Danita, a pediatrician who lives in Natchez, MS; Ryan, a Communications Graduate of Belhaven College; and Reggie, who went home to be with the Lord in June of 2004 and one grandson, Reginald Malik Weary.

 

When former skeptic and seventeen-year-old Ravi Zacharias heard the words of Jesus in John 14:19, “Because I live, you also will live,” the trajectory of his life changed forever. In a time of helplessness and unbelief—when he was on a bed of suicide—the truth of Scripture brought hope to Zacharias, and he committed his life to Christ. Earlier in John 14, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” This verse has become the cornerstone of Zacharias’s ultimate mission as a Christian apologist and evangelist: to present and defend the truth of Jesus Christ that others may find life in Him. At age 71 he remains committed to his calling to represent the gospel of Jesus Christ through historical, philosophical, and moral foundations and to defend it against objectors with grace, clarity, and coherency. He has laid the framework of the truth of the gospel to millions of people in more than 70 countries, including on the campuses of some of the world’s most prestigious universities.

Zacharias is Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, which seeks to reach and challenge those who shape culture with the credibility of the gospel of Jesus Christ. RZIM has fifteen offices throughout the world, including an apologetics training center, the Zacharias Institute, at its headquarters in Atlanta. Zacharias has authored or edited over 25 books in the fields of theology, apologetics, comparative religion, and philosophy. He and his wife, Margie, have three grown children. They reside in Atlanta.

 

 

 

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