- Dr. Leroy Ford
- Larry Alston
- Dr. James Charnel Anderson
- Ruth Bochte
- Dr. Trent Butler
- Dr. Lorin Cranford
- Dr. Art Criscoe
- Dr. Carmen Cruz
- Rev. Bobby and Maria Devine
- Vona Elkins
- Mary Lee Gossett
- Beth Henderson
- Dr. John Joslin
- Roger Kuykendall
- Cal and Joyce Robertson
- Ruth Scoggins
- Ruth Shelton
- Velma Darbo Stevens
- Writing Team from Puerto Rico
- Jennifer Slattery
- Freda Tell
- Tanya Eavenson
- Jessica Randall
- Kathy Eberly
- Dicky To
- Carole Towriss
- William Flowers
- Ann Knowles
- Diana Derringer
- Emily Filipi
- Dr. Nellie Torrado Perez
- Emily Ann Rickard
- Adrienne Durso
- Sheila Gail Landgraf
- John Sawyer
- Holland Webb
- Michaiah Samples
Dr. Leroy Ford: Senior Advisor
Dr. Ford serves as senior adviser to the president on all aspects of the ministry of CTTW.
A native of Oklahoma, Dr. Ford became a Christian at the age of 14. He received his B.A. degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. He taught business education in high school and then worked as a training specialist with the United States War Department.
Following a call to Christian ministry in 1947, Dr. Ford attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) in Fort Worth, Texas, receiving the MRE degree. He served as minister of education and music of churches in Oklahoma and Texas and as Minister of Education, First Baptist Church, Norman, Oklahoma. He returned to Southwestern Seminary and earned the EdD degree while teaching at Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth.
From the mid-50s to the mid-60s, Dr. Ford served at the Baptist Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He became an authority in the field of training and learning and played a key role in curriculum development for the Southern Baptist Convention.
Dr. Ford joined the faculty at SWBTS in 1966 as Professor of Programmed Instruction in Religious Education. Later he became Professor of Foundations of Religious Education. He was instrumental in the development of a course description book for the degree programs in the School of Religious Education. He led in the development of the seminary audiovisual learning center, the curriculum lab and the continuing education program.
A prolific writer, Dr. Ford has written over 15 books on learning theory and methods. He developed a cartooned-writing technique for a series of books on instruction methodology. His books are used in churches as well as in colleges and seminaries in the United States and abroad. Several of his books have been translated into many languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian and Japanese. His book, Design for Teaching and Training, is a classic in the field of interactive learning and instruction. He translated the theological aspects of the works of Netzahualcouyotl, a pre-Hispanic intellectual of Mexico, and compiled Noble Thoughts from the Aztec World.
Dr. Ford has led curriculum design and interactive writing workshops and conferences in many parts of the world, including Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia. He served as lecturer at the Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi and the Universidad Autonoma de Guanajuato. He has led workshops and conferences in seminaries, Bible schools, churches, and denominational and professional organizations throughout the United States.
In 1998 LifeWay Christian Resources of the SBC designated Dr. Ford "the father of interactive writing for Southern Baptists." His workshops and leadership resulted in the development of many interactive courses, including curricula like The Survival Kit for New Christians, MasterLife, Experiencing God, The Mind of Christ and the Beth Moore interactive courses.
Dr. Ford has been a major influence on the field of Christian education throughout the world. Campbell Wyckoff, Professor of Christian Education Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary, wrote: "No one has done so much as LeRoy Ford to put good learning theory to work in theological education or been so utterly consistent in theory and practice. LeRoy Ford is today's leading exemplar of rationale lesson planning and curriculum planning."
Larry Alston: President and Chief Executive Officer
Larry Alston serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Christ to the World Ministries, Inc.
A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Larry grew up in New Orleans. He now lives in Longview, Texas. He and his wife Kim have been married for 33 years and have 3 grown children, sons-in-law(s) and 2 grandchildren, Luke (3 years) and Sutton (1 year)
He made a public profession of trusting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at the age of 13.
He received a B.A. degree from the University of New Orleans in 1974 and attended American Management School in New York City, New York.
From the mid 1970’s to 1981, Larry worked for a multi-national corporation living in the United Kingdom and Europe.
In 1982, he founded and is the President and CEO of a privately held Investment company.
During a 2004 trip to Seoul, Korea, he met Dr. Billy Kim, a renowned Christian leader who was pastor a 16,000-member Baptist Church in Suwon, Korea. Dr. Kim was at the time President of Far East Broadcasting-Korea.
• Spurred by that meeting and led by the Holy Spirit, Larry committed his life to overtly share Jesus Christ throughout the world with people of every faith where they live and in ways which could be broadly understood.
• It was in 2004 that Christ to the World Ministries was founded.
• The Vision of Christ to the World Ministries is to lead people to know the one true God and come to understand the saving knowledge of Jesus; And to trust Jesus as Savior and Lord.
CTTW produces a combination of Resources centered upon the Word of God.
The resources are in the areas of pre-evangelism, evangelism, and discipleship. All of the resources use primarily the “storying” method through drama for conveying the truths of Scripture.
Christ to the World Ministries is working in countries across the world broadcasting the stories from the Bible in media related formats. (www.christtotheworld.com)
Dr. James Charnel Anderson: Writer
Professor of History (Catedrático) Inter American University, Metropolitan Campus
Ph.D. George Washington University, Latin American History, 1970
M.L.S., University of Puerto Rico, Library Science, 1978
M.A., George Washington University, Government, 1960
B.A., McNeese University, History and English, 1958
Professor of History, Inter American University, 1968-to present
Assistant Professor of History, McNeese University, 1967-1968
Visiting Professor of History, Faculdade de Filosofia, Crato, Ceara, Brazil, 1967
Peace Corps Volunteer, Ceara, Brazil, 1965-1967
Research Assistant, HUMRRO, George Washington U., 1962-1964
Selection Officer, Peace Corps, Washington, D.C., 1961-1962
The Spanish American War in the New York Time, Writers Circle Fetschrift , Plaza Mayor, San Juan, 2005
The American Presence in Puerto Rico (Chapter I Historical Background), Publicaciones Puertorriqueñas: San Juan, P.R., 1998
American Ships and Seamen in Puerto Rico During the Age of Sail, The Tropic Times: San Juan, P.R. (various issues), 1991-1992
1830: Analysis of a Year of Trade between San Juan and the United States, SER: Revista de Literatura, Inter American University: San Juan, P.R., no.1, 1984
An Analysis of Americans in Quien es Quien in Puerto Rico 1933-1949, Homines: Revista de Ciencias Sociales, San Juan, P.R., vol.8 no.1, enero-junio, 1984
Was the United States Interested in Puerto Rico Before 1898? An Inquiry Based on the New York Times, Homines: Revista de Ciencias Sociales, San Juan, P.R., vol. 6, no.1, Enero-Junio, 1982
Scholar in Residence, Hispanic Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Summer 1999
Pilar Barbosa Puerto Rico Congressional Internship, Summer 1999
Outstanding Teacher Award, English Trimester Program, Inter American University, 1998
Distinguished Teacher Award, Golden Key Society, Inter American U. Chapter, 1996
Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar, Tulane University, 1976
Using Primary Sources to Teach History; Baldwin School, March 2005
Pre-Columbian Civilizations of Puerto Rico; Baldwin School, November 2004
Humor in Brazilian Literatura de Cordel; Association for the Study of Humor in Hispanic Literature, San Juan, April 2003
The Foraker Act; Radio WOSO (series of news casts), April-June 2000
The Spanish American War in the New York Times; IAU Senate, Spring 1999
American Influence in Puerto Rico in the 19th Century; Spanish American War Centennial Celebration, San Juan, February 1998
Americans in Puerto Rico; WOSO Radio, April 1998
Spanish American War Day-by- Day; WOSO Radio (with news announcer Gary Taumenin), April- October 1998
Spanish American War in Puerto Rico; Retired Officers Club, Ft. Buchanan, 1998
Santiago de Cuba on the Eve of the Spanish American War; UPR , 1998
Research in Progress
U.S. - Puerto Rican Relations in the 19th Century
U.S. Consuls in Puerto Rico (1815-1898)
Puerto Rico in World War I
English Language Journalism in Puerto Rico 1898 to present
The American Community in Puerto Rico in the 20th Century.
The Prohibition Era in Puerto Rico.
American Teachers in Puerto Rico, 1898-1920
Recent Committee Participation
AVANCE committee (spring 2005- present).
Distance Learning Committee (2004)
Middle States Self-Study Committee; Missions and Goals Sub-Committee (2003-2004).
Faculty Writers Circle (1990- present)
History Graduate Planning Committee (2000-present)
Centennial Committee for the Celebration of the Spanish-American War (1997-1998).
Ruth Bochte: Artist & Graphic Designer
Ms. Bochte does all of the art work and design for the study guides. Ms. Bochte is a native of North Dakota, the daughter of Rev. J. Richard Jones, a Presbyterian minister. She accepted Christ as her Savior at age eleven. She graduated as salutatorian from Mount Hope High School, Mount Hope, Alabama, and attended John C. Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama. She earned the Associate in Applied Science degree in graphic design at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Ms. Bochte is married to Jim Bochte, and they have one daughter, Tessa, born December 27, 1990. They are members of the St. Andrew Presbyterian Church USA in Decatur, Alabama. Her hobbies include horseback riding, art, and writing.
Ms. Bochte serves on the staff of the Phil Waldrep Ministries, Decatur, Alabama, as graphic artist and designer.
Dr. Trent Butler
Dr. Lorin Cranford: Bible and Theology Editor / Writer
Dr. Cranford makes sure all of the study guides are biblically correct and theologically sound. He also is a writer for the ministry.
"After pastoring two churches over a ten-year period (one in a ranching community [First Baptist Church, Graford, Texas] and the second one, a multi-staff church in Fort Worth, Texas [Springdale Baptist Church]), I accepted an invitation to join the faculty of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth in 1974. I served as Professor of New Testament and Greek from 1974-1997 in the School of Theology. During that time I also helped develop the Modern Languages Study Program and served as its Director from 1983 to 1994. This responsibility involved directing four semester programs of study in German, French, Latin, Spanish and Arabic as a part of the preparatory work for seminary students entering the PhD program in the School of Theology. I also taught the advanced Theological German courses in that program. Also during this period I served as interim pastor, Bible conference teacher and revival preacher at a large number of churches in the north Texas region.
"During the time spent at Southwestern Seminary I had the opportunity to spend two year-long sabbatic leaves from my seminary responsibilities. The first sabbatical was spent as a guest research professor at the University of Bonn, Germany. During that year I gave some lectures (in German) at the German Baptist Seminary, then located in Hamburg. The second leave was spent at the University of Heidelberg where I served as guest research professor. During that year I received invitations to deliver lectures in German at the universities in Bonn, Gottingen and Heidelberg. Additionally, I preached (in German) in a number of German Baptist churches. During the summer before the beginning of the academic year at Heidelberg in October, I studied French at the Alliance Francaise in Paris, France. During the summer I was invited to preach in several French Baptist congregations.
"As a developing New Testament scholar I felt the need to become conversant in a number of foreign languages, both ancient and modern, in order to explore the interpretation of the Greek text of the New Testament more thoroughly. This involved gaining at least a reading ability in Hebrew, Koine and Classical Greek, some Coptic, Latin, German and French. From 1982 through 1997 I was asked to teach a year-long PhD seminar in New Testament Critical Methodology, and then, beginning in 1992, I began also teaching the year-long New Testament History PhD seminar. These languages, and more, were heavily used in the teaching of these two doctoral seminars.
"In December, 1997 I took retirement from Southwestern Seminary and accepted the invitation to join the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, where I continue to teach presently. Most of my teaching at GWU has been different levels of Koine Greek to both undergraduate and divinity school students. Beginning in the fall, I will begin offering seminars in the new GWU Master of Arts in Biblical Studies program.
"During the period from 1974 to the present I have had the opportunity to have a number of books and articles published both in the United States and in Germany. The full listing of these can be found at my web site, Cranford.com:http://cranfordville.com/Cranford/resumelc.htm. Some of these include an article in Billy Graham's Decision Magazine and a couple of articles in the German Baptist Die Gemeinde magazine. Presently I am working on a commentary on Colossians in the Smyth-Helwys Bible Commentary Series."
Dr. Art Criscoe: Writer and Editor
Art serves as a writer of the study guides. A native of Alabama, Art became a Christian at the age of nine. He received the B.A. degree from Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama, and the MAE degree from Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee. He received the MDiv, MA(RE) and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He has done additional study at several schools, including the Instituto de Lengua Espanola in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Art has served as pastor of churches in Texas, South Carolina and Tennessee. He served as professor of Bible and Christian Education at Columbia Bible College, Columbia, South Carolina, 1972-76. He was academic dean at the college, 1974-76. He served for 25 years in the area of discipleship at LifeWay Christian Resources (SBC), Nashville, Tennessee. He currently serves as adjunct professor in the graduate program at Cumberland University. He is author of several books and numerous teaching resources and articles.
Art has conducted workshops and conferences on teaching and interactive writing in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, the Caribbean, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India and Myanmar. He has served as guest professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.
Dr. Carmen Cruz
Dr. Cruz serves as writer and translator for CTTW. A native of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, she has been a follower of Jesus for many years. A former SBC missionary, she brings a rich international and cross-cultural perspective to CTTW.
Dr. Cruz has a wide and varied background in Christian work. She holds the Master in Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Puerto Rico, the Associate Degree in Theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the Master of Professional Studies, Christian Ministry (MCM) degree from Nyack College, New York, Puerto Rico Division – Theological Seminary of Puerto Rico, and the Ph.D. degree in theological studies from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.
She has served as director of the Department of Missionary Mobilization and Missions, Southern Baptist Convention for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands (1992-2013). She has also served as a social work specialist in Puerto Rico. She has led workshops and conferences for church leaders in the United States and Puerto Rico. She has also taught at the Baptist Theological Seminary of Puerto Rico and the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. She is a writer for the magazine Nuestra Tarea, Women’s Missionary Union, SBC.
Dr. Cruz has done volunteer work with the American Red Cross and the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief, Women’s Missionary Union, and World Changers (construction ministry projects). She has served as a board member for the Puerto Rico Deaf Ministry Board.
Dr. Cruz and her husband, Rafael, are the parents of two adult children. She writes, “My activities are around my family, church, and community work. I enjoy the cultivation of orchids.”
Rev. Bobby and Maria Devine
Bobby and Maria serve as writers of Bible dramas and leaflets. They are currently writing on the series of The Life and Ministry of Simon Peter. Maria is also an illustrator. Most recently, she has completed the illustrations for the Early Church series.
Bobby and Maria were born and raised in Alabama. They have been Christians since their teens. They met while attending Oxford High School, Oxford, Alabama. They were married in May, 1963 following Maria’s graduation. Bobby served in the Air Force at Clinton-Sherman AFB, Oklahoma until his discharge in December 1966, when they returned to their hometown along with their son, Michael. In 1968, Bobby answered the call to preach at Coldwater Baptist Church near Oxford. Bobby received a BS Degree in Business at Jacksonville State University in 1970. He and Maria are retired federal employees.
Bobby has served four churches as bi-vocational pastor in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Between pastorates, he taught Sunday School, served as Deacon, held other offices and preached as needed in local churches and nursing homes, as well as the Nashville Rescue Mission. He currently serves as Interim Pastor of Baker’s Grove Baptist Church, Mt. Juliet, TN. He also serves as a volunteer Chaplain two nights a week for Truckstop Ministries, Inc., at the Truckstop of America in downtown Nashville and is employed as a part-time Chaplain with Marketplace Chaplains USA. He has continued his education through the years and received the MDiv (2001) and DMin (2005) degrees from Covington Theological Seminary, Rossville, Georgia.
Maria graduated from the University of Louisville in 1980 with a BS Degree in Business. She has also been active in the church assisting, encouraging Bobby, and teaching Children’s Sunday School, and Girls’ Auxilliary. Maria has been drawing and painting for most of her life. During her career, she worked several years as an illustrator with the U. S. Department of Army at Ft. McClellan, Alabama. She has worked with oils, acrylics, water colors, pen and ink, charcoal and pastels. She serves other local churches decorating bulletin boards and providing themed artwork and decorations for children’s programs.
Their son Michael is an active deacon at Mt. View Baptist Church. He and Windi have three children.
Bobby and Maria feel blessed to be a part of Christ to the World Ministries and to utilize the gifts they have been given by God to help spread the gospel to other parts of the world.
Vona serves as a writer for the study guides and the oral Bible studies.
“I was born into the family of Buford and Earline Brackin in Alabama. My father was a Baptist pastor and evangelist so I had many opportunities to “Hear the Word” from the pulpit and often heard the scriptures discussed, and sometimes debated, in my home. From this early training I was grounded in the truth of God’s Word. I trusted Christ as my Lord and Savior as a teenager.
“After graduating from high school, I married Billy Clark Elkins. We have one son (Andy) and two daughters (Beth and Penny), and eight grandchildren. While raising our family we were active in a Presbyterian church where I taught Sunday School at every level, facilitated Women’s Ministry, and helped with the music program.
“God placed a desire in my heart to write when I was a young person. While raising my family, I was editor of the community newsletter and wrote plays and skits for youth programs, including devotionals and several pieces of music.
“After my husband’s early death, I began to pursue my writing in a serious manner. I attended writing classes at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama and writing workshops and seminars in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Cleveland, Tennessee. I studied psychology at Shoals College, Tuscumbia, Alabama, and completed computer classes at a technology center. I received special training as a facilitator of grief support groups from Hospice.
“I am now actively involved in Women’s Ministry in a Baptist church where I am also a soloist and choir member. I am a conference speaker for ladies’ groups, and write devotionals and ‘life experience’ articles.
“I am engaged in community activities, including The American Cancer Society, Hospice, and ‘Friends of the Library.’ I work part time for Auburn University Extension. I have been a substitute teacher for gifted education classes, a discharge planner in a Baptist hospital, and served on the county Board of Registrars.
“I enjoy music, reading, hiking, traveling, grandchildren, and Auburn football!
“Recognizing who Christ is, and who I am in Christ, has made me passionate about helping to get the message of salvation out through my writing ministry with Christ to the World.”
Mary Lee Gossett
A native of Cleveland, Tennessee, Beth received a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in English and Communication. During her career she has worked as journalist for her local newspaper, public relations/marketing director for a couple of different companies in her area, and she most recently publishes three local real estate magazines.
In addition to her career, Beth has taught for ladies Sunday school classes, spoken to ladies groups at various churches, and has written several small dramas for local churches, as well. She especially enjoys being able to participate in the work of the great commission.
“I became a Christian when I was six years old. My relationship with Christ has always been a backdrop to everything else in my life,” she said. “There has never been a doubt that the Holy Spirit was present -- ready to help, protect, correct, and even scold when necessary. I have chosen a career in communication, but it is my true joy to communicate the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, to others.”
Beth still lives in Cleveland with her husband and two young daughters. They attend Waterville Baptist Church.
Dr. John Joslin
John Joslin and his wife Kathy were reared in the Wears Valley community of Sevier County, East Tennessee. They attended Valley View Baptist Church with their parents, accepted Christ while they were both teenagers and were baptized in Little River, located in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. They attended Wearwood Elementary School, Sevier County High School, and both received Bachelor degrees from Belmont College, Nashville, Tennessee. Also, John holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from International Seminary. His doctoral dissertation was on the ancestral religion of Okinawa, Japan and the impact it has had on missionary efforts, as well as on other religions.
He retired from the United States Air Force in 1978, after having served 20 years. During that period he was ordained as a deacon in 1966, by Glencarlyn Road Baptist Church, Arlington, Virginia. He answered the call to ministry in 1978, and was licensed by Smith Springs Baptist Church, Nashville, Tennessee. Later, he was elected to serve as the pastor of that church and was ordained by that congregation on July 23, 1978. He served as pastor of Smith Springs Baptist Church until 1990 when they were appointed by the Foreign Mission Board, SBC (now International Mission Board), to serve in Japan.
John and Kathy were appointed as Missionaries during an appointment service held in San Diego, California on April 3, 1990. Following missionary orientation, they arrived in Japan on August 21, 1990, where they served at Central Baptist Church on the Island of Okinawa. They returned from the field April 15, 2005, and retired as Emeritus Missionaries on July 17, 2005. Following their retirement from the IMB, John was called to serve as pastor of their home church, Valley View Baptist Church, Sevier County.
John has written articles for the Deacon and Home Life magazines. He has also written two books on church history: Smith Springs Baptist Church and Valley View Baptist Church. They have two sons, Jeffery and Christopher, and five granddaughters.
Roger leads our prayer ministry. He felt a calling to start a prayer team to assist Christ to the World Ministries as it continues to grow and reach the world for Christ. At this time, 11 couples serve with Roger and his wife, Debbie. The prayer team prays regularly for each member of the ministry and for the various countries where Christ to the World ministers. Roger considers it a true blessing to pray for everyone who is involved with this ministry.
Roger was reared on a farm in East Texas. He was blessed to have been born into a Christian home. At the age of seven, he came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and has continued to grow in his faith. Roger has served the Lord through his home church, Mobberly Baptist, in Longview, Texas, for the last 40 years: being on many committees, teaching Sunday School, serving as a deacon, and participating in the music ministry. He is a firm believer in the power of prayer and that God has told us that we have not, because we ask not.
Roger anticipates that many prayer teams will be formed to pray for Christ to the World Ministries. He will be glad to share with any person or church wishing to begin prayer teams for the ministry ideas and suggested schedules for a prayer team, along with specific prayer requests on a regular basis.
Cal and Joyce Robertson: Drama Writers
Cal and Joyce are the drama writing team for “Christ to the World Ministries.” Each drama is the result of their joint creative talents, and the inspiration they derive from the Master of all creation. They were both raised in Christian homes, and accepted Christ during their early childhood years. God has called them to use their collaborative talents in music, drama and writing to further the cause of Christ across America and around the world as He opens doors of opportunity.
Cal was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and attended Seattle Pacific College and Northwest College earning a Bachelors Degree of Divinity, with honors. He had a teaching fellowship during his senior year in Northwest.
He started acting and singing in churches and on the secular stage in plays, dramas and musicals from a very early age. He later served as Music Minister in various churches in the Northwest and Southern California, was a recording artist with Sacred Records, and toured throughout the west giving sacred concerts.
He spent nine years in the Hawaiian Islands where he worked as an entertainer on stage, television and radio.
His broad spectrum of experience in the field of music and drama includes many years of writing, directing and performing musical productions, both sacred and secular. From the many performances in which he has been featured, some of his favorites were playing the lead role in:
Man of Lamacha
The Sound of Music
I Do, I Do
The Memphis Passion Play at Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN
The Dallas Christmas Festival at Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, TX
He also writes and performs “One Man Dramas” (with musical inserts) in various venues around the country, however, Cal’s interests have not been single-minded. He has also been successful in his secular pursuits as an architectural designer and general contractor, both designing and building custom homes, apartment complexes, and churches. He has also donated this talent to assist in the design and building of orphanages in Brazil.
Joyce was born in Mississippi where her father was a pastor in The Church of the Nazarene. She sang her first solo in church at five years of age, and along with her two younger sisters, started singing three-part harmony when she was still a pre-teen. From childhood through their young adult years, they sang on stage and recorded sacred music. During high school, she was writing dramas for church youth groups to perform, and received encouragement to pursue a writing career from the adults who attended those performances.
She graduated from high school at the age of sixteen, ranking #10 in a class of 200 students, and entered Trevecca Nazarene College in Nashville, TN as the youngest freshman in her class. Because of her youthful dream to become a writer, she majored in her favorite subject, English grammar and composition. Circumstances intervened that prevented her graduating from college, but her spirit of determination refused to allow this misfortune to discontinue her intellectual growth.
Her career in business began at the entry level, but her multiple talents and intellectual capabilities were soon discovered. She was rapidly promoted to office manager, then up through the ranks to the executive branch. Over a span of years and relocations to various parts of the country, she served as Executive Assistant to Vice Presidents, then Presidents of five major corporations. During the last several years of her business life, she was Manager of Human Resources for a large pharmaceutical company from which she retired in 2000. All these years in the business world provided her with continuing education, national and international travel (Hong Kong, London and Scotland), and unending opportunities to use her writing and creative skills. She communicated extensively through the use of the written word in letters and e-mails, wrote business manuals and reports, created and taught employee training classes, etc.
She is a self-taught musician and has continued, from youth, to use this God-given key board talent both professionally and in the work of the Lord. She accompanies her husband in his solo concerts and dramatic performances.
Drama—does Ruth Scoggins write dramas? Certainty not! She has not the skill, training, nor knowledge. She is only an older lady who reflected upon her past and found the stones of a foundation God laid long ago. The first stone was an active imagination used to entertain and teach children for many years. The second stone was a burning desire to see people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Perhaps another was the many sermons, lectures and studies she has sat under.
Over the years she listened to many trials of friends and co-workers; some of these made deep impressions and God is using them to place another rock in the foundation He is laying. Later He placed more stones in the form of men sent to push her beyond her comfort zone.
The first was the Minister of Music, Sammy Parris. He asked her to direct the Christmas play for a mid-sized church. Ruth did not have the training; she only possessed knowledge of organization and had the capability of bullying people into submission. This same man requested she change a weak play that went along with music he wanted to use in another program. Please remember this woman had not even been in a play, and now he wanted her to re-write a weak one.
Joe Brooks, the associate pastor, saw her work and like a dog with a bone he persisted with the idea that Christ to The World Ministries could use her abilities. Again what abilities? She had none. Under the gentle correction and guidance of editor, Dr. Art Criscoe, along with heaped praise, he lifted her up to the point she tried. God blessed her willing hands and used her mouth to spill stories that will be used to lead many more people than she could ever reach by any other method. She has been humbled to the point of embarrassment by the vastness to which God has raised her foundation.
A native of Washington, D.C., Ruth is a gifted artist, poet and author. Raised in the Episcopal denomination, she later started attending a Baptist church and trusted Christ as Savior there. She says, “I surrendered my life to Him and serve Him now as my Lord and Master.” She earned the B.S. degree in Special Education. Ruth has been painting and drawing for many years. Her work includes large murals done for churches. She is the author of Until . . . An Illustrated History of Faithfulness, Obedience, and God’s Passionate Love for Us.
Ruth and her husband Gene live in Decatur, Alabama, and have five children, twelve grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Velma Darbo Stevens: Writer
Velma writes many of the Bible study guides in The Life of Jesus Christ series. At present, she is finishing an entire series of Bible study guides on Encounters with Jesus, a series dealing with encounters with Jesus by various persons from throughout His ministry. These studies focus on the mighty power of Jesus to save and transform a person’s life.
A master writer with deep biblical knowledge and theological insight, Velma possesses the ability to write in a manner that brings God’s truth to the reader in a way that can be easily understood. She writes from a background of many years as a writer and editor.
A native of Kentucky, Velma’s parents were Carl Darbo, a first-generation immigrant from Oslo, Norway and Abbie Keithley, descendant of a Revolutionary War soldier. She received her AB degree in English from Milligan College, Milligan College, Tennessee and her Master of Religious Education degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. She did additional graduate study in pastoral counseling at Southern Seminary.
For almost 20 years Velma was an editor with the Baptist Sunday School Board (now LifeWay Christian Resources) in Nashville, Tennessee. She worked on many books, periodicals and teaching resources for youth and adults. For a number of years she was editor of Upward, a periodical for youth. She was one of a large group of recognized leaders of her denomination that produced the two-volume Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists.
In 1967 Velma married Dr. H. C. Brown, professor of preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. In the years following Dr. Brown’s death in 1973, she wrote extensively for Sunday School quarterlies and also authored three books. One of these books, After Weeping a Song, is about her widowhood experiences.
In 1980 Velma married Vance L. Stevens, a retired civilian employee of the U.S. Air Force, Department of Defense. She has a stepdaughter, Sherry Baugh and husband Bob, and step grandchildren Chad and Heather Hughes. Following Vance’s death in 1986, Velma continued her writing ministry, publishing two books. One of these, Until Christ Is Formed in You, is a book on Christian growth for women. For many years Velma wrote Bible study notes for teachers at her home church, Broadway Baptist, in Fort Worth.
In addition to her heavy writing responsibilities for Christ to the World Ministries, Velma is currently working on a book regarding living daily in the presence of God. Her present church membership is with Agape Baptist Church, Fort Worth.
Velma receives great fulfillment from her ministry with Christ to the World, knowing that her work is being used in many countries around the world, and that many persons will come to trust Christ as Savior and Lord through reading her Bible study guides.
Pray for Velma and her writing ministry. Pray that God will continue to bless her with good health and that He will direct her thoughts as she writes the Bible study guides. Pray that God will open the minds and hearts of those who read her work.
Writing Team from Puerto Rico
Maria Providencia (Viden) Rodriquez Aponte
Viden was born in Barceloneta, a small town on the northern coast of Puerto Rico. She studied at the University of Puerto Rico, graduating with a B.A. in Home Economics and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. She worked for the government of Puerto Rico, first in the Department of the Family, and then in the Office of the Governor. She worked with grants for the Federal Head Start program in Puerto Rico.
Raised in a traditional church, Viden was always searching for something deeper. In the early 1990s she began attending Calvary Baptist Church in San Juan. She trusted Christ as her Savior and was baptized in April 2001. She serves her church faithfully in several important leadership positions and sings in the church choir.
Ken was born and raised in Fort Madison, Iowa in a Christian family. After graduating from high school, he attended college in Florida, where he became fascinated with computer programming. He worked for Burroughs Corporation (now Unisys) in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, Detroit, Michigan, and Atlanta, Georgia. He was then assigned to Manila, Philippines, from where he worked in Australia, China, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, and Venezuela. While in the Philippines he met his wife, Juliana, and they lived in Manila for seven years. He transferred to Puerto Rico in 1986, from where he has also worked in Venezuela and Brazil.
Ken accepted Christ and was baptized in his early teens. In late high school, he began to question and doubt Christian doctrines and the Bible. This progressed for many years until he almost became an atheist. His mother, sister, and brother earnestly prayed for him during these years of searching. While assigned in Manila, he brought a Bible on one of his trips to Beijing, China. Having nothing to do after work, he read the entire Bible with an open mind. This experience, along with a special message heard in Australia, and the ministry of a pastor in Manila, finally resulted in everything coming together, and his faith was restored.
After coming to Puerto Rico, he and Julie became active in Calvary Baptist Church. Ken is presently Chairman of the Deacons, Music Director, Choir Director, and Treasurer. Julie serves as Sunday School Director, Church Clerk, and leads a very active children’s ministry.
Carlos Felix Hernandez Mattei
Carlos was born in Jayuya, a small town in the mountains in the middle of Puerto Rico. After graduating from high school, he moved to New York City to work and study. He attended City College of New York, and in the daytime worked in international trade. His family was not particularly religious, and he searched for an answer to life. He trusted Christ as Savior in April 1958.
Carlos served as a youth leader in the New York Crusade of Bruce Wilkerson where Nicky Cruz was saved. In 1962 he met his wife, Iris, and they were married in Calvary Baptist Church, New York City. He served in several leadership capacities in the church for about eight years, including the “Shepherd’s Plan,” a spiritual follow-up program. He returned to Puerto Rico and joined Calvary Baptist Church in San Juan, where he teaches Sunday School and Discipleship, sings in the choir, and also serves in several other capacities.
Pansy Adora Walters
Pansy was born in Charlestown, Nevis, a small Caribbean Island. Coming to Puerto Rico in 1968, she worked for a time at the Bible Correspondence School of the Caribbean, a ministry of Calvary Evangelistic Mission that also runs several radio stations that broadcast to Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles.
Pansy learned Bible stories and Bible songs from her mother at a young age. She learned much about the Bible while reading it to her blind mother. She was deeply involved in the Methodist Church and sang in the choir. After coming to Puerto Rico and attending Calvary Baptist Church, the Bible became more personal to her. She made a profession of faith in Christ and was baptized in 1975. She teaches a ladies’ Sunday School class, composed mostly of women from the Lesser Antilles, and sings in the choir. She has served the church in many different leadership positions. She is known as “the Bible lady” for her extensive knowledge and understanding of the Bible.
Jennifer Slattery accepted Christ at a young age at a neighborhood Good News Bible Club. She went through a period of rebellion during her teen years, but returned to God in total surrender in her twenties. Her primary passion is seeing others experience God's transforming love firsthand. She has been involved in children and youth ministries for over a decade and originally began writing upon the request of local church leaders. Over time, this grew into a love of writing and seeng God touch lives through the creative use of language. Over the years, she has watched God use dramas, Bible studies, novels, devotions and articles to reveal and expand on His life-saving truths, leading others into an intimate relationship with Him.
In 2009 she won first place in the HACWN writing contest in the book category for her women's fiction novel, The Jagged Edge of Broken Glass, and her latest manuscript, Breaking Free, (previously known as Impossible Choices), recently placed second in the Dixie Kane contest. It is also currently a Golden Pen finalist. She has written for Granola Bar Devotions, Afictionado, Bloom, and the Breakthrough Intercessor, has a short piece appearing in Bethany House's Love Is a Flame, forwarded by Gary Chapman (under a pen name), and another piece scheduled to appear in Cathy Messecar's A Still and Quiet Soul. Her personal blog, Jenslatterysblog, challenges Christians to keep their eyes on God in full surrender, and her weekly marriage column on the Reflections in Hindsight website encourages couples to draw closer to one another as they fulfill their biblical commitments as husband and wife.
I am a native New Yorker, born and raised in a small town in the beautiful Catskill Mountains, NW of New York City. I was one of six siblings, including a twin brother. In high school I attended a Presbyterian church sporadically but did not come to a saving faith in Jesus.
In 1966 I was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and was confined to a hospital for nine months. I believe, and my doctor agreed, that I had been exposed to this disease during a trip to N. Africa.
In 1967 I married Dr. Robert Tell, a physician in a small upstate NY village. His startling death in 1980 left a void for our daughter, Emily and myself. We both presently reside in Nashville, TN.
I am a retired federal employee having worked for various agencies: the US Air Force <War Plans> in the Pentagon; US Naval Attaché in the American Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden; administrative officer for US Dept of Agriculture in Wildlife Services and Veterinary Services in Nashville, TN. I retired in 2000 from the federal government. I also have held administrative positions in school administration, high-tech manufacturing, a detective agency and medical office. I now do part time work at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee and the Nashville Convention Bureau. I have traveled in Europe, Scandinavia and N. Africa..
Reading the bios of most of the other writers here, I notice that they were saved as children or teenagers. Not so with me. The Lord had to physically move me across the street from a Baptist church where we built a new home/office. < Acts 3:1-10> I met my precious Savior in 1974. Subsequently I took many courses at Practical Bible Training School in Johnson City, NY. Have held many positions in church work but I most enjoy telling others about Christ. I claimed Acts 16:31 daily in my prayer life and over the years every member of my family came to know the Lord!! My husband <Jewish> was saved six months before he died.
The Lord is so dear to me. I cannot claim any writing experience other than the usual correspondence. I have always loved to write. Now I have this awesome opportunity to do something for Him that I love. I tell you this; sometimes I write and later I read it and wonder, did I write that? It’s the Holy Spirit! In me!! Now is that not a miracle? Phil 1:6
Tanya grew up in a non-Christian home, catching a bus to attend church as a child. She accepted Christ at the age of five after walking down the reddest carpet she’d ever seen. At sixteen, she received her first Bible for Christmas. Never in her wildest dreams did she think God would use her to reach others for Him.
After marrying her husband, Charles, the Lord called them into the ministry. It was a life-changing experience, leaving everything behind to attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, but that is where God deepened her faith. Three states, three children, and fifteen years later, Tanya and Charles now reside in Northport, Alabama, where her husband is a youth pastor. Tanya has served in a variety of ministries through the years, including teaching Bible studies for adults, youth and children, counseling families and children. She’s also had the privilege of starting and leading a Woman’s Missionary Union group for ages 30-40, a Women’s Ministry, outreach programs, and has taught Youth Sunday School for twelve years.
Tanya’s passion is helping others to know Christ, and live out their faith, not only in words, but through their actions. One way she does this is by writing for Christ to the World Ministries, which she considers an honor and a calling.
This Air Force wife and mother of two has a God-given passion for helping troubled youth. While stationed overseas, Jesseca completed her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice with a focus on youth at risk. Once she and her husband returned to the United States, she worked for the State of Oklahoma investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and as a Foster Care Specialist. After the birth of their first child, Jesseca became an independent contractor, certifying homes for foster care and adoption. Wanting to work in a more therapeutic role, Jesseca is now working on her Masters Degree in Social work and has recently completed her practicum at a child advocacy center where law enforcement, medical professionals and child protection workers come together to help children who are dealing with sexual or physical abuse.
In addition to her passion for children who are at risk, she also has a deep passion for God. Jesseca accepted Christ as a young child but then fell away during her teenage and young adult years. She is not proud of her rebellious years but knows now that God is using that part of her life, enabling her to relate to youth who have gone astray. While overseas, Jesseca and her husband were re-baptized and have been actively pursuing a life for Christ ever since. Jesseca and her family recently moved to Maryland and have become involved in a very community active church.
Kathy Eberly was raised in a home that valued Christ and my parents made sure that she went to church every time the doors were open. At an early age, she went "forward" at a church service to "receive" Christ but never had the assurance that she really was His child until she was 16 during an evangelistic service in my church.
She graduated from high school and attended a Bible college in Minnesota for three years, however she did not feel real peace there as to where the Lord wanted me to go. She subsequently graduated from Secretarial school and was married. She wishes she could say that things went happily ever after at that point but they didn't. She ran from God and tried to rush His work in her life. She hadn't sought His will and because of this she suffered a lot of heartache during her twenties, thirties and early forties. What she did learn is that God is a God of many chances and that He is waiting for us to let Him guide.
In the past several years, her desire has been to serve Him no matter what the cost. She has a heart for women and teens. She has worked on the women's ministry team at jer current church as well as my previous church. She has helped to write dramatic presentations in her churches for many years.
Her prayer is that the Lord uses the words that He gives me to bless others.
Dicky To was born in Hong Kong and was raised in a wealthy family. Following his family’s traditions, he worshipped Buddha and ancestors. Burning incense to the Buddhist gods was a routine in his daily life. He believed these gods would always give him whatever he asked for and that they would protect him and keep him safe and sound.
Dicky and his family resided in an upscale condominium and enjoyed fine food, name-brand clothes and expensive jewelry. In other words, he had everything he ever wanted. However, he was a very unhappy boy because he did not feel loved by his parents even though they said they loved him. His parents always brawled and fought each other. Oftentimes, his father beat up his mother for no reason. What Dicky did was to hide in his bedroom. Didn’t they know that he was hurt emotionally? Didn’t they know that he didn’t want material things but their love? All this happened throughout his childhood.
Deep down within his heart, Dicky silently longed for love. But where would he find the love he had been yearning for? And what kind of love would it be? He did not know. He desired to gain fame, power and wealth as a way to dull his longing.
When he was seventeen, Dicky’s parents sent him to Chicago for college education. He did very well at school and gained a good reputation. But the happiness he felt only lasted a short moment. His heart then became empty again.
One day, Dicky discovered that Buddha was just an idol, a man-made idol which could never listen to his prayers and understand his real heart’s desire. He decided to forsake his belief.
During his sophomore year in 1986, Dicky met a Chinese Christian girl in a class. She also came from Hong Kong. As their friendship grew, she invited him to her church. He also attended their fellowship and activities. Day after day, he sensed love within the congregation. Was it the love he had been looking for? He was uncertain. But there was always a question in his mind: why were they so happy? Did Jesus really make a difference in their lives?
The girl gave Dicky a Bible. He read it from time to time. On a very quiet Saturday night, as he was alone reading the Bible in his apartment, he heard a soft voice calling his name. “Dicky, go to the church and accept me to be your personal Savior.” He prayed but ignored the voice because he did not believe that God would talk to him in person.
The following Saturday night, Dicky was again alone in his apartment reading the Bible. The same soft voice called him once more. This time, the message was more specific. “Dicky, go to the church tomorrow and accept me to be your personal Savior.” He prayed and asked Jesus to lead him if He really wanted him to become a Christian. The next day, which was Sunday, Dicky surrendered his life to Christ. Dicky found the True Love who set him free.
Dicky’s friendship with the girl deepened and they fell in love with each other. His parents persecuted both of them and insulted her. They even told him to leave her. How would he do such a thing to the girl he loved? They stood firm in their faith, trusting that God would deliver them from the evil one. Eventually, the Lord helped them win the battle that his parents no longer attempted to break their relationship and that they no longer forced him to leave Christianity.
After dating each other eight years, Dicky and the girl joined hands in marriage in the Lord in 1994.
Currently, Dicky and his wife live with their two boys in a northwest suburb of Illinois, USA. They serve in a local church about nine miles from where they live.
Over the years, the Lord has transformed Dicky from a person who sought after worldly success into a new person who seeks His will. The Lord will continue to guide him and discipline him.
During his writing journey, Dicky has come to know that he writes for God’s glory and honor, not for himself. He prays that the Lord will inspire him to write his novel and his CTTW drama assignment.
An author and playwright with two books and over a dozen plays under his
belt, William has long been involved in theater and live drama. He and his older
brother developed a love for the stage while in high school together, where the
two recognized it’s potential for spreading the Christian message. As a result,
the brothers found their way to The Living Word Outdoor Drama, a passion play
in Cambridge, Ohio that was in the early stages of development; for several
summers the Flowers brothers built sets, designed costumes, and performed
onstage during high their high school and college years.
Meanwhile, William began to pursue training in technical theater at West Virginia
University and the University of South Carolina during the late Seventies
and early Eighties, but in order to provide for his young family (he found that
theater didn’t pay the bills very well), he switched fields. As a result, William has
enjoyed a long career managing a small civil engineering firm, where he designs
roadways, school sites, shopping centers and residential neighborhoods.
However, as the years passed and William’s children began to grow up (four of
the best children to walk the face of the earth), his interests eventually returned
to the theater – not so much to the technical end – but to writing. Drawn by his
original dream to use the theater for God’s glory, he discovered a love for words
– especially in the form of creating dialogue. Over the past fifteen years, William
has authored thirteen scripts for three different churches, directing many of these
A long time follower of Jesus, William was drawn as a teen to respond to His
offer of salvation at a youth camp in West Virginia. In college, he became
involved with a campus ministry, where he met his future wife Nancy, also from
Bill and Nancy reside in Irmo, South Carolina, where he teaches Sunday school,
mentors fifth-grade boys from difficult backgrounds, and writes in his spare time.
Diana Derringer became a Christian at the age of eight. She received a BA in sociology with a religious education minor from Campbellsville College (now University) in Campbellsville, Kentucky. She completed her MPS in counseling at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Diana spent twenty-seven years as a social worker for Kentucky’s Department for Community Based Services. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Campbellsville University. She now writes for Lifeway, Standard Publishing, Judson Press, The Upper Room, Smyth and Helwys, Cook Communications Ministries, and several others.
She has written and performed dramatic monologues for local churches and associations as well as mission trips, both domestic and international. She wrote the script for her church’s walk- through drama, Journey to Easter.
Diana is a member of Campbellsville Baptist Church. She has helped with children and youth mission groups, children’s choir, and backyard Bible clubs. She continues to serve as a 7th and 8th grade girls Sunday school teacher, VBS registration coordinator, choir member, and Baptist Women member. She and her husband serve as a friendship family to international university students.
Emily Filipi is a native of Louisiana. She graduated from Louisiana College, Pineville, La, with a major in Religious Education and and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a major in General Religious Education.
As a teenager Emily turned her life over to the Lord, but never imagined what that would involve.. When she told the Lord she would do whatever He called her to do. Her idea was to work in the Baptist Book Store in her home town of Alexandria.
She served in churches in South Carolina, Florida and Alabama as Administrative Secretary, Education and Youth, Children's Minister and Minister of Education. While in each state she worked as a Special Worker (now called Equipping Ministry Team) in General Education, Special Ministries, Home Bound Ministry, Youth, Children and Preschool). The area of Discipleship has been one of her passions.
Loving missions has led her to Nigeria, Korea, Bahamas, and Guatemala on short term missions. Missions in our homeland have included: Arizona, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. At home Emily started an association mission project called Mission Involvement Projects, where ladies from the area meet once a month and use their skills to sew, crochet, knit and various miscellaneous projects.
After a unique Valentine Banquet, someone suggested that she write a description of the event and send it to CHURCH RECREATION. It was published and she was hooked on writing. Over three hundred articles have been published by Christian publishers along with seven Bible quiz books, two Youth Sunday School books, and two Advent books are accredited to her.
A British sense of humor has gotten her into trouble on numerous occasions.
Dr. Nellie Torrado Perez
Dr. Torrado serves as translator for CTTW.
A committed follower of Jesus, she works with her husband, Pastor Roberto Barreto Velez, in the Iglesia Bautista Cristo La Roca in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a leading church in Puerto Rico in baptisms and missions giving. The church is also one of the top churches in the entire Southern Baptist Convention in per capita missions giving.
Dr. Torrado is a professor at the University of Puerto Rico. She holds the Associate in Science degree, Bachelor of Science, Master’s in education, and doctorate in education, all from the University of Puerto Rico. She has done additional study at the Inter American University Law School and the University of Florida.
She is Executive Director of the Women’s Missionary Union for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, Southern Baptist Convention. She is also a member of the Puerto Rico Higher Education Council Accreditation Board for the Universidad de Barcelona, PR Centre. She has served on the Higher Education Council Accreditation Board for the Inter American University and the University of New Orleans (San Juan Centre). She is a member of the Puerto Rican Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and the American Family and Consumer Sciences Association.
Dr. Torrado is the author of numerous academic publications and is a writer for Nuestra Tarea, a journal of the Women’s the Southern Baptist Convention.
Emily Ann Rickard
Emily Ann serves as editor and a writer for CTTW.
She was born and raised in the scientific community of Oak Ridge, TN. Her father was an analytical chemist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the author of numerous science-related articles and books.
At age 18, Emily surrendered her life to Christ. Through the years, she has taught children’s Sunday School, discipleship training, and worked with Acteens in her church.
Emily attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville for three years and graduated with a B.S. degree in English-Journalism from Tennessee Tech University. She was an editor for the TTU annual and active in Baptist student ministries. She served as editor of the BSM newspaper, sang with the touring choir, participated in a mission trip to Chicago, and tutored at-risk children.
The week after college graduation, Emily moved to Nashville and began employment at the Baptist Sunday School Board (now LifeWay Christian Resources). Emily worked at LifeWay in several departments and as manager of the Nashville South Baptist Book Store. In 1989 she relocated to Savannah, GA from Nashville to manage the LifeWay Christian Store (formerly Baptist Book Store). Emily retired in 2005 from LifeWay after serving 32 years to return “home” to caregive for her beloved parents.
Emily enjoys flower gardening, reading, writing, and college football. She is an avid bird watcher and enjoys feeding her feathered friends in her yard. She has a passion for travel and is always planning her next adventure. She has been on numerous trips to Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. She is currently writing a series of children’s books with her sister, Kay.
Emily Ann writes: “It is an honor and privilege to work as editor and a writer for Christ to the World Ministries. I love the ministry and its vision to reach the world for Christ.”
Adrienne serves as translator for CTTW. She was born in Oakland, California and came to Puerto Rico when she was three years old. She studied at the University of Puerto Rico, graduating with a B.A. in Finance. After working many years for an insurance company, she followed her heart and became a preschool teacher.
Adrienne turned her life over to the Lord in 2002, and is currently an active member at Iglesia Bautista Cristo la Roca in San Juan. She is presently Secretary of Finance, Sunday School teacher, and Director of the church’s prayer ministry. She has served as Secretary for Women’s Missionary Union for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands and is currently their Language Director.
Adrienne brings great strength to the CTTW team. She says, “I am in awe of how the Lord has chosen to use me.”
Adrienne and her husband have two daughters, two grandchildren and another on the way.
Sheila Gail Landgraf: Writer
Gail, as she likes to be called, began her professional career as an Administrative Assistant. She obtained a business degree from Alverson Draughon Business College. She also obtained a degree in Computer Science from Hertzing Institute. She has taken courses at UAB, Jefferson State Community College and Bessemer Technical College. Gail feels her many years of work in the business world have helped to expand and fine-tune her writing skills.
After several years of staying home with four children, Gail went to work for Eternal Word Catholic Television Network (EWTN.) Gail watched this television and radio station grow worldwide during her years of employment. There she worked directly with the Vice President and Executive Producer as well as ten other producers, and several editors and writers. In this position Gail got to greet, meet and make travel arrangements for many amazing people as they traveled to the network to tell their stories about what God was doing in their lives.
Gail felt the presence of God in her life even as a toddler. As a small child she attended Sunday school at a local Baptist church where she learned that “God is love.” That verse has become more and more significant to her over the years as she has watched it play out in her own life. At the age of twelve Gail asked Jesus Christ to be her Savior and committed herself to following Him forever. Now a wife, mother and grandmother; Gail lives with her husband, Tom, in Birmingham, Alabama. They have four grown children, two son-in-laws, and two grand children.
While their children were still teens Gail and Tom lived on a farm and taught classes together for a very active local youth group in a small Baptist church. When they lost their home in a tornado, the family moved closer to Tom and Gail’s work. After moving, they joined a local Episcopal congregation where Gail worked in Children’s Church. She established the first Godly Play Room in the parish, writing many of the lessons they taught. Tom became a deacon, and began training for the priesthood. He was eventually ordained and started a small nondenominational home church congregation. Gail served along with him in this bi-vocational ministry for many happy years.
Finally, a day came when Gail felt God telling her to slow down the pace of her employment a bit and find a job with a more “normal” schedule. She transitioned back into the business world, where she is still employed as an Administrative Assistant for a successful architectural firm. This more “normal” schedule allows Gail time to pursue freelance writing, which is what she has decided is her gift from God and her true purpose in life. Gail has written short stories and poems since she was a child, and just recently finished the first draft of a fictional novel about a favorite bible character called Nehemiah. She blogs in her personal blog called “In Season.” There she writes a weekly bible study called “Come As A Child.”
Gail is thrilled to be able to write for Christ To The World Ministries, and is excited that they are reaching people for The Kingdom of God in all corners of the earth!
John Sawyer, a native of Alabama, writes Bible study leaflets for Christ to the World. He has been following Jesus for many years. After his growing up years in Alabama, John received his B.A. degree in religion from Baylor University in Texas. He then received his Master of Theology degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and earned an M.S.Ed. degree in adult education from Indiana University, one of the premier schools of education in America.
John served as pastor of Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Vincennes, Indiana for 10 years. He then returned to Alabama to serve as consultant in Adult Sunday School work for the Alabama Baptist State Convention (ABSC). He then became Director of Discipleship Training and Church Library for ABSC and served in that position for over 25 years.
Alabama was a leading state in the area of discipleship under John’s leadership. He knew every Baptist church in Alabama and related well to all of them, both small and large. Churches and associations loved to have him as a teacher and preacher on their programs.
Since John’s retirement, he has served in a number of ministries, including part-time consultant for ABSC, volunteer chaplain at a local hospital, interim pastor, and adjunct religion instructor at Central Alabama Community College. John and his wife Eloise, retired book store manager for ABSC, live in Talladega, Alabama.
John is an excellent theologian with a “down to earth” writing style that captures a person’s attention and interest immediately. He has a warm style of writing that causes the reader to feel that the author is seated beside him/her and talking in a conversational manner.
John is writing full-time for Christ to the World Ministries. He is presently writing a series of 80 Bible studies on The Story of Jesus, following Dr. A. T. Robertson’s chronology of the life of Jesus. These Bible study leaflets will accompany the dramas for that series presently being written by Emily Filipi. Persons around the world will be challenged and blessed by these studies.
Holland earned a BA in Christian ministry from Lee University in Cleveland, TN and an MA in international public policy at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. After leaving school, he spent seven years working for CBM US (formerly, Christian Blind Mission International- USA), primarily as a global programs officer. While there, he racked up his frequent flyer points by visiting projects for people with disabilities in Ecuador, Haiti, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Cameroon, and other amazing places. Eventually, he moved to Guatemala where he taught English and Bible.
Today, Holland is a full-time freelance writer, primarily researching, writing, and editing content for marketing agencies, e-commerce brands, and educational technology companies. He also contributes devotional material to Keys for Kids and Devozine, and his regular copywriting column appears on Almost an Author.
Holland attends GFN Church, a Church of the Nazarene in Greenville, SC. He is an active volunteer with the Greenville Little Theatre, Prison Fellowship, and Kairos Prison Ministries.
Michaiah Samples is a student at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where she plans to pursue her B.A. in English with a writing emphasis. She fulfilled some of her college credits early by enrolling in the university while in high school. She was valedictorian of her senior class. Michaiah enjoys learning foreign languages and is currently studying French, with plans to learn Mandarin and biblical Hebrew. She won first place in a poetry contest offered by the college; her poem was published in the college’s literary review.
Michaiah has always enjoyed reading and writing stories, to the delight of her English teachers and parents. She enjoys writing in the fantasy genre. She also wishes to use her writing abilities to honor the Lord, which is one reason why she has chosen to write dramas for CTTW.
Her parents have taught her most of what she knows about the Bible, teaching her to see Biblical stories and principles hidden in books and movies and to explore Christianity’s Jewish roots. She also enjoys volunteering with projects in her church, which include assisting her youth leader with VBS.