Speakers

 

2020 Speakers Information

 

Bob Rogers

Bob Rogers

Main Speaker

I gave my life to Jesus at the age of nine at the Belgrave Heights CSSM in Easter 1965. Growing up in Methodist and Baptist churches, I was actively involved in Beach Missions, Youth for Christ and Campaigners for Christ. I completed an Apprenticeship as a Diesel Mechanic expecting to serve in missions. However, during studies at BCV I was introduced to Everyman’s Welfare Service. Following graduation Leanne and I spent 26 years ministering within the Australian Defence Force. This time was interspersed with three years as Youth Pastor at Stafford Heights Baptist (Qld) as I completed my BMin. Later, Stafford Heights again called me, this time as Senior Pastor. During the 10 years at the church we welcomed three ethnic (Karen, Chin and Sudanese) congregations. I also fulfilled roles as an Adjunct lecturer at Malyon College in Old Testament and Field Education and taught Cert IV in Old Testament and Baptist History & Principles. In 2016 we moved into new ministries – part-time with Global Interaction; as Director of Field Education at Brisbane School of Theology and Malyon College; and teaching TESOL. In our “Spare time” we visit and advocate for Asylum seekers. Hobbies include the gym, cycling, model trains and Australian football.

Steve Blyth

Steve Blyth

Youth Speaker

Since 2013 Steve has worked as the AFES Staff Team leader at Latrobe University in Bendigo. In that role he works with the Christian student club on campus (The Bendigo Christian Union) as an evangelist  and Bible teacher with the aim of helping university students see and understand the greatness of  Jesus as revealed to us in the Bible.

Steve is married to Laura and has 4 great kids – Josie (8), Harry (5) and Georgia (3) and Ali (1). On  his days off Steve loves making things out of wood, riding dirtbikes, merino sheep and good coffee.

Brenton and Melissa Kilby

Brenton and Melissa Kilby

Local Missionary Guest

We have spent the last two years working for Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES) as Ministry Trainees (MTS) with the uni students at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga.

Before uni, Brenton did an apprenticeship as an industrial blacksmith.

During our time at uni we greatly appreciated the AFES ministry on campus personally. Through the work of the AFES Christian group, we grew exponentially in our faith as young adults.

We graduated uni in 2015, & moved to Hamilton, Vic for a few years before starting work with AFES; Mel as a veterinarian and Brenton as an animal scientist. We have a passion to serve Jesus, a passion for His people, and a passion for His mission to share the gospel wherever we are. We are currently at Bible College preparing for a lifetime of mission.

David and Susie

David and Susie

Overseas Missionary Guests

David and Susie, along with their children are preparing to join a team ministry to the Yawo people. David and Susie both grew up in Africa and these childhood experiences have shaped their hearts’ response to God’s call to go and make disciples of all nations. Particularly, David’s parents were cross-cultural workers, and he has been influenced by their example in following the Lord’s calling.

There are a number of faith groups meeting amongst the Yawo people. There is a real need for theologically-trained people to get alongside those in these groups and together explore God’s Word in a deeper way. The goal is to help Yawo believers to grow in their relationship with Jesus within their cultural environment. David and Susie have gifts that can help in this.

Building their partnership support is integral to their commencing service. With their theological and preparation training well under way, they are seeking the Lord to bring together a team who will partner and journey with them through prayer, financial support and encouragement.

If you would like to partner with them in some way, please chat with them over this weekend.


 

Past Speakers

Mike Raiter

Mike Raiter is the Director of the Centre for Biblical Preaching, which equips preachers and churches around the world in expository preaching. He studied at Moore College in Sydney, and then served in Pakistan teaching at Zarephath Biblical Seminary. In 1997 he returned to Sydney to become Head of the Department of Mission at Moore College. From 2006-2011 he served as principal of Melbourne School of Theology. He is married to Sarah and they have four grown children. To relax Mike enjoys walking, eating out with his wife and crime fiction. He is the author of over 30 books and articles including the 2004 Australian Christian Book of the Year, Stirrings of the Soul and, most recently, Songs of the Saints and Shadows of the Cross.

Tim Walter

Born in February 1978 in Hamilton Victoria, Tim went to Willaura Primary School and Lake Bolac Secondary School. In 2002 Tim joined Scripture Union as Regional Coordinator.  Tim discovered a passion for working with children and in 2003 started at York St Church of Christ as the Youth Pastor and then as the Kid’s Director.

In 2008 Tim moved to Sydney to take up a position at the Epping Church of Christ as the Children’s and Family Pastor, where his task was to grow the ministry and he was very successful at this mission.  Tim began his teaching degree at Ballarat University in 2009 and graduated in 2015.  In 2016 Tim came to Ballarat and took up his current position at one2one Church of Christ as the Associate Pastor.

Tim is married to Evette and together they have four children.  Ellie who was born in 2004, but sadly died only 10 days later from a heart condition, Rylan 12, Miah 11 and Jordy 9.

Chris Kynoch

Chris was born in Birchip in 1975, the son of a Methodist/Uniting Church minister and has been seeking to be a good friend to and follower of Jesus for as long as he can remember.  The last 21 years of that time has been shared with his wife, Sarah and daughters, Leah 14 and Isabel 11.  From 1999 to 2015 he worked at Waverley Christian College, Wantirna South, teaching senior secondary students and performing a variety of other roles.  From 2011 to 2015, he also worked for 2 days a week as a chaplain in a local government primary school.  He has had a long history with Scripture Union Victoria, as a participant in programs, a leader on mission teams and also spent time on the Board.  Since 2016, he has been a staff member, working at Scripture Union’s Camp Coolamatong in East Gippsland, where he has the opportunity to show God’s love to thousands of kids having a great time on camp, as well as working with a group of interns each year, helping them grow in leadership and to put their faith in action.

Warrick and Natalie Short

Warrick and Natalie have been working in West Africa since 2008 among the Fulani.  There are over 40 million Fulani in Africa, stretching from Senegal to Sudan.  The Fulani are cattle herders, shepherds and farmers who live in the bush on the fringes of societies.  The Fulani follow Islam.  Africa-wide, the Fulani are over 99% unreached!

In 2015, the Short family moved to the bush to live in community with the settled Fulani.  During this time, they led a team of new workers with the goal of making Christ known to the Fulani.  It was a thrill for them to be part of seeing a church birthed among this previously unreached community.  They hope to return to Niger to continue this ministry in 2019.

Mike Raiter

Mike Raiter is the Director of the Centre for Biblical Preaching, which equips preachers and churches around the world in expository preaching. He studied at Moore College in Sydney, and then served in Pakistan teaching at Zarephath Biblical Seminary. In 1997 he returned to Sydney to become Head of the Department of Mission at Moore College. From 2006-2011 he served as principal of Melbourne School of Theology. He is married to Sarah and they have four grown children. To relax Mike enjoys walking, eating out with his wife and crime fiction. He is the author of over 30 books and articles including the 2004 Australian Christian Book of the Year, Stirrings of the Soul and, most recently, Songs of the Saints and Shadows of the Cross.

 

Tim Walter

Born in February 1978 in Hamilton Victoria, Tim went to Willaura Primary School and Lake Bolac Secondary School. In 2002 Tim joined Scripture Union as Regional Coordinator.  Tim discovered a passion for working with children and in 2003 started at York St Church of Christ as the Youth Pastor and then as the Kid’s Director.

In 2008 Tim moved to Sydney to take up a position at the Epping Church of Christ as the Children’s and Family Pastor, where his task was to grow the ministry and he was very successful at this mission.  Tim began his teaching degree at Ballarat University in 2009 and graduated in 2015.  In 2016 Tim came to Ballarat and took up his current position at one2one Church of Christ as the Associate Pastor.

Tim is married to Evette and together they have four children.  Ellie who was born in 2004, but sadly died only 10 days later from a heart condition, Rylan 12, Miah 11 and Jordy 9.

 

Chris Kynoch

Chris was born in Birchip in 1975, the son of a Methodist/Uniting Church minister and has been seeking to be a good friend to and follower of Jesus for as long as he can remember.  The last 21 years of that time has been shared with his wife, Sarah and daughters, Leah 14 and Isabel 11.  From 1999 to 2015 he worked at Waverley Christian College, Wantirna South, teaching senior secondary students and performing a variety of other roles.  From 2011 to 2015, he also worked for 2 days a week as a chaplain in a local government primary school.  He has had a long history with Scripture Union Victoria, as a participant in programs, a leader on mission teams and also spent time on the Board.  Since 2016, he has been a staff member, working at Scripture Union’s Camp Coolamatong in East Gippsland, where he has the opportunity to show God’s love to thousands of kids having a great time on camp, as well as working with a group of interns each year, helping them grow in leadership and to put their faith in action.

 

Warrick and Natalie Short

Warrick and Natalie have been working in West Africa since 2008 among the Fulani.  There are over 40 million Fulani in Africa, stretching from Senegal to Sudan.  The Fulani are cattle herders, shepherds and farmers who live in the bush on the fringes of societies.  The Fulani follow Islam.  Africa-wide, the Fulani are over 99% unreached!

In 2015, the Short family moved to the bush to live in community with the settled Fulani.  During this time, they led a team of new workers with the goal of making Christ known to the Fulani.  It was a thrill for them to be part of seeing a church birthed among this previously unreached community.  They hope to return to Niger to continue this ministry in 2019.

Andrew Reid

Andrew was born to medical missionary parents in Vanuatu. After rejecting Christ in his teen years he was dramatically converted within six weeks of finishing school and two years later began theological training at Moore College. In the last year of College he married Heather and they have two adult sons and six grandchildren.

Since graduating Andrew has worked in three States of Australia as a staffworker then national director of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students, lead pastor of two Anglican churches (one in Perth, one in Melbourne), a church planter in Perth, and a lecturer in Old Testament, Biblical Interpretation and Hebrew at Ridley College in Melbourne.

Andrew is now the Principal of the Evangelical Theological College of Asia (Singapore). He has written a variety of books on Old Testament and biblical interpretation. Andrew and Heather love living in Singapore but have two major regrets: (1) the distance from children and grandchildren; and (2) no longer being able to explore as much of Australia as possible!

Toby McIntosh

Toby lives in Warrnambool serving in the local Presbyterian church with his wife Michelle and their 4 daughters. Toby grew up in a loving and supportive atheistic family in Macedon. Whilst at Uni studying Ag Science Toby met a Christian bloke called Mark from Huntly. After many discussions about why he didn’t believe in God, Toby became a Christian. Toby worked as a fertiliser agronomist in the West Wimmera for 4 years, spending his days drinking coffee with farmers. During this time he realised the need for country churches for pastors, so trained to become a minister. During his training Toby and Michelle met and married and they have been part of the Warrnambool Presy church since 2010. Toby and Michelle served as leaders in the teen and young adult camps of the Wimmera Easter Convention over 10 years ago and they are so excited to spend this Easter in Warracknabeal. Toby’s passions including telling people about Jesus, making his girls laugh and driving his 1965 Valiant.

Prue and Peter Smith

Prue and Peter have worked with Interserve for 20 years in the Middle East and Australia. In the Middle East, Prue’s nursing experience equipped her to work in health, education and community development projects among those living in poverty, suffering discrimination or displaced by war and social unrest. Peter established a project to train and employ people who are hearing impaired and he managed aspects of a media organisation there, while in Australia he spent 5 years as a state missions mobiliser and another 5 years as Interserve’s National Director. Prue and Peter are passionate about the hope that Jesus brings to people’s lives and love to share how God is moving in the Middle East in new and unprecedented ways.

Ian Whitehill

Prison Fellowship’s Ian Whitehill has a heart to reach out to prisoners at what is often the hardest part of their lives. The difficulties that prisoner’s face in their enclosed and complex world are many but when kindness is shown, there is an openness to the Gospel message. Ian is a very passionate and proven presenter in the huge cause of rehabilitation of many inmates, helping them on the inside and in getting out for good. Ian will challenge you to expand your vision and gain a greater understanding and compassion for many of life’s 7,100+ prisoners in Victoria. He has training in teaching, theology, chaplaincy and counselling and is a member of an ex-prisoners church in Melbourne. Ian is married to Wendy and has 3 children and 4 grandchildren. He is currently involved in chaplaincy at a Retirement Village and in his spare time enjoys movies, theatre, reading, gardening and dancing.

Andrew Reid

Andrew was born to medical missionary parents in Vanuatu. After rejecting Christ in his teen years he was dramatically converted within six weeks of finishing school and two years later began theological training at Moore College. In the last year of College he married Heather and they have two adult sons and six grandchildren.

Since graduating Andrew has worked in three States of Australia as a staffworker then national director of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students, lead pastor of two Anglican churches (one in Perth, one in Melbourne), a church planter in Perth, and a lecturer in Old Testament, Biblical Interpretation and Hebrew at Ridley College in Melbourne.

Andrew is now the Principal of the Evangelical Theological College of Asia (Singapore). He has written a variety of books on Old Testament and biblical interpretation. Andrew and Heather love living in Singapore but have two major regrets: (1) the distance from children and grandchildren; and (2) no longer being able to explore as much of Australia as possible!

Toby McIntosh

Toby lives in Warrnambool serving in the local Presbyterian church with his wife Michelle and their 4 daughters. Toby grew up in a loving and supportive atheistic family in Macedon. Whilst at Uni studying Ag Science Toby met a Christian bloke called Mark from Huntly. After many discussions about why he didn’t believe in God, Toby became a Christian. Toby worked as a fertiliser agronomist in the West Wimmera for 4 years, spending his days drinking coffee with farmers. During this time he realised the need for country churches for pastors, so trained to become a minister. During his training Toby and Michelle met and married and they have been part of the Warrnambool Presy church since 2010. Toby and Michelle served as leaders in the teen and young adult camps of the Wimmera Easter Convention over 10 years ago and they are so excited to spend this Easter in Warracknabeal. Toby’s passions including telling people about Jesus, making his girls laugh and driving his 1965 Valiant.

Prue and Peter Smith

Prue and Peter have worked with Interserve for 20 years in the Middle East and Australia. In the Middle East, Prue’s nursing experience equipped her to work in health, education and community development projects among those living in poverty, suffering discrimination or displaced by war and social unrest. Peter established a project to train and employ people who are hearing impaired and he managed aspects of a media organisation there, while in Australia he spent 5 years as a state missions mobiliser and another 5 years as Interserve’s National Director. Prue and Peter are passionate about the hope that Jesus brings to people’s lives and love to share how God is moving in the Middle East in new and unprecedented ways.

Ian Whitehill

Prison Fellowship’s Ian Whitehill has a heart to reach out to prisoners at what is often the hardest part of their lives. The difficulties that prisoner’s face in their enclosed and complex world are many but when kindness is shown, there is an openness to the Gospel message. Ian is a very passionate and proven presenter in the huge cause of rehabilitation of many inmates, helping them on the inside and in getting out for good. Ian will challenge you to expand your vision and gain a greater understanding and compassion for many of life’s 7,100+ prisoners in Victoria. He has training in teaching, theology, chaplaincy and counselling and is a member of an ex-prisoners church in Melbourne. Ian is married to Wendy and has 3 children and 4 grandchildren. He is currently involved in chaplaincy at a Retirement Village and in his spare time enjoys movies, theatre, reading, gardening and dancing.

David Cook

Maxine and I have been married 45 years, we have 5 adult children and 13 grandchildren. After 10 years in Presbyterian Parish’s I was Principal of Sydney Missionary & Bible College (SMBC) for 26 years. Our first parish was cotton growing country at Wee Waa in North NSW, then inner city parish at Ashfield in Sydney.My hobbies are watching cricket and rugby league and we enjoy our large family. Happy to be joining you this coming Easter.

Steaven Cheung

Born in Hong Kong in 1991 to an atheist family, it was only after I came to Australia in 2001 that I came to faith in Christ. I came to faith during a youth camp in which I firstly experienced the love of a Christian community and then later on the love of Christ through journeying with the scriptures. It’s been an incredible journey filled with joys and pains so far, but God has been faithful and by His grace, I felt the call to be a minister and started my Bible College degree at MST in 2013. By His blessing, the church in which I met Christ accepted me as a pastoral trainee and I have been serving at New Life Evangelical Church ever since.

Paul & Gerrah Kulikovsky

Paul grew up in a family that loved the Lord and both mum and dad were committed to the local church. At age eight after a near drowning incident he trusted the Lord out of fear of what might have been but at age 15 he understood more of God’s love and committed to follow Him. That led Paul to training at GLO discipleship course in Tasmania (1983) and a 3 week Mission trip to the Philippines. A year later Paul committed to a three year church planting team and saw two churches commenced in the Manila area. He returned to Australia to do a teaching degree and taught for a year and a half. With a desire to be involved in a new church plant in central Philippines Paul returned to Manila for six months (1993). He had first met Gerrah in 1987 and during those six months the Lord brought them together. They married at the end of 1993 and by 1994 began serving in their current location, Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

Paul & Gerrah have pioneered a church plant here which has about 90 members, a Christian School currently being established, and a new church plant in a neighbouring village. Currently they are based in Adelaide while their youngest, Ivan, is completing High School but Paul spends 2 months at a time between Australia and Philippines.

Peter & Dianne Stevens

Pastor Peter Stevens has served full-time with FamilyVoice Australia as State Director in Victoria since 2006. He worships with Torquay Christian Fellowship.

Peter and his wife, Diane, have four children, three of whom are married, and six grandchildren.
Peter’s background is in the timber industry of South Australia, where he worked as head-sawyer, supervisor and Accident Prevention Officer. He has also successfully owned and operated small businesses, including a milk round, bookshop and sub-contract plastering team.

On committing his life to Jesus Christ, he served as treasurer and elder in his local church, later studying to become an ordained minister, pastoring churches in Werribee and Geelong.
In 1997, Peter and Diane founded the River of Life School of Ministries in Hoppers Crossing – a Bible college that grew to train over 100 students, with Peter as principal, Diane as registrar, two administrative staff and 12 lecturers.

Peter is an experienced and dynamic speaker, with a vision of righteousness for Victoria and Australia. He is committed to families, the church and the work of FamilyVoice Australia in ministry to our nation.

Tom Kimber

Dr. Tom Kimber, along with his wife, Sue, has ministered in the church in a variety of ways for more than 30 years through teaching, preaching, writing and mentoring. He is currently on the faculty of Melbourne School of Theology as lecturer in Missional and Pastoral Theology. Previously, Tom and Sue served as missionaries in Asia for nearly nine years, before returning to the States where Tom taught at Biola University in mission and pastoral theology. They have been married for more than 30 years and have one son, Thomas. Tom holds both M. Div. and PhD degrees from Talbot School of Theology. Tom’s areas of research interest include the integration of spiritual formation in missiology and pastoral theology.

Ben Dainton

Hey, my name is Ben and I’m 24 years old! I’m the Youth Pastor at York Street Church of Christ which is in the cold city of Ballarat and have been there for 5 years. Some of the things I love to do are around sport, I play indoor soccer, touch football, netball and love staying fit. My biggest passion (outside of Jesus of course) is reading, one of my wild dreams is to have a room that’s walls are just bookcases full of books! My favourite writers at the moment are C.S Lewis, Tim Keller and Ronald Rohlheiser.

Being a Pastor’s kid the Church has always been a huge part of my life. It all became a bit much in my later teens years and I began to explore what faith meant for me, not just going along with what my parents believed. It was during this search that I met Jesus for myself and truly began to understand his love for me and the relationship I am able to have with him. I want to see the youth of Australia be able to see, know and experience that same love and be able to have a deep life giving relationship with God. I’m really looking forward to being able to hear what God is doing in the lives of the young people of the Wimmera and encourage them to go deeper with him and be transformed by his Holy Spirit.

Rob & Tianne Varicak

I gave my life to Christ in 2001 and first served cross-culturally in Africa (Malawi and Mozambique) in 2005. This was just an introduction to missions in Africa and when I came back to Australia God continued to use me in cross-cultural missions. Firstly in Muslim outreach for a few years, then serving the refugee community in Geelong for a further three years. It wasn’t until 2013 with a diploma of Christian Ministry (cross-cultural) that I headed back to Africa to serve God in South Sudan. My wife Tianne is a midwife in South Sudan and first headed there to do full time ministry in 2008 after a few short term missionary trips to Mexico, Haiti, Zambia and Honduras. We were in America for six months raising support and are now in Australia for a further 6 months raising support here. We will head back to an unreached people group high in the hill of Southern South Sudan in May 2016 with AIM (Africa Inland Missions).

Wes and Emily Follent

Wes studied electrical engineering at Central Queensland University from 2008-2012. During that time God challenged him to become involved in sharing the Gospel with his fellow university students. He got involved with Student Life during this time where he learned more about how to build God’s kingdom through evangelism and discipleship. He developed a passion to see young men and women choose to get serious about their relationship with God and investing their lives by sharing the Gospel with those around them. In 2013 two major events happened, he joined Student Life as a full time missionary and married Emily.

Emily was introduced to Jesus in 2009 by a friend involved in Student Life while she studied her Japanese teaching degree. Her new relationship with God enabled her to move forward with a new purpose in life to love God and share him with others. Through ongoing discipleship she has grown in her faith and developed as a leader, seeing many lives impacted. As they continue in their 3rd year of ministry they look forward to connecting with many young people and challenging them to consider God’s call for their life.

 

Simon Longden

Simon serves as the Director of Pioneers of Australia. He is very appreciatively married to Joy and has two daughters, Sarah (19) and Gabrielle (15). His passion includes helping God’s people to think and act globally because there are so many people in so many places who are yet to hear about Jesus. Pioneers, committed to making disciples and church planting among unreached peoples of the world, currently has 220 long term workers, many of whom serve in some of the hardest places in the world… for God’s greater glory.

Cam Sawyer

Hi, my name is Cam Sawyer, I am a young 41 years old. I am not married, and have no children, though I think my family are the greatest, especially my niece and nephew. I really really love my sport, particularly basketball, though I feel old when I play, it hurts! I enjoy movies, and can easily spend the afternoon watching the latest block buster. I am not ashamed of it, my favourite movie is Notting Hill.

I grew up in a Christian home, so Jesus has always been part of my world. I believe that all people matter to God, and God wants them to know it. For 10 years I was a pastor in Adelaide, where I enjoyed seeing people grow to love Jesus and discover more and more what God is actually like. Its awesome to see Jesus become more relevant and meaningful to people. I deeply enjoy seeing people discover Jesus to be a God of grace and kindness. I now reside in Melbourne where I have great fun being a volunteer at Crossway baptist church.

Tim & Kristen Stewart

Tim and Kristen and their baby Mikayla are a missionary family serving with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Townsville.  Their ministry focus is discipling young people from around the world and to see them reach the full potential of what God has for them in their lives. The Medical Ship ministry to Papua New Guinea is another key area that Tim and Kristen are involved in.

Tim grew up with a love for adventure and at a young age was ruined for an ordinary life through his involvement in cross cultural missions and teaching. Faced with almost dying through a battle with cancer in his 20s, he is very passionate about people not missing out on what God has for them. Kristen grew up in Papua New Guinea with her parents as missionaries with MAF. She worked in nursing before joining YWAM through the Medical Ship arm of the ministry. Together they are involved in staffing Discipleship Training Schools, which are a basic introduction course to cross cultural missions that focus on knowing God and making Him known.

Margaret Papov

I was born with a small birth mark on my thigh in the shape of the continent of Africa so is it any wonder that from an early age I knew that I was meant to be a missionary to Africa? And I suppose it’s not so hard to deduce from my childhood play of wrapping my teddies and dolls in bandages that I was also interested in becoming a nurse…and so both have come to pass.

My childhood was spent in the outer suburbs of Melbourne in a Christian family and I gave my life to the Lord at a very young age. After finishing nursing school I began to ask the Lord where exactly he wanted to use me and was led to go to Kenya with Africa Inland Mission. I spent 3 years as a nurse in Kenya and then went back to school to learn how to teach mother tongue literacy. I then spent 2 years in Mozambique teaching vernacular literacy to the Mwani people along the coast while I shared with them the truths about Jesus. Since then the Lord has redirected me to work in Tanzania as a nurse/midwife in a village clinic among the Sandawe people. I am still there and enjoy both delivering babies and encouraging the use of the Scriptures in Sandawe homes. Though I do not have the gift of evangelism my greatest joy is to watch people come to know Jesus.

Neil Bernard

Neil Bernard is a New Testament lecturer and Registrar at Malyon College, the Baptist College of Queensland. Neil became a Christian at the age of 15 and after High School began a career in commercial Radio and Television in Brisbane as an announcer and producer. In 1987 the Lord led him to Capernwray Bible School as a student and there he knew the call to be a Pastor, but that he would also return to Capernwray one day as Principal. Neil studied at the Baptist College of Queensland and graduated with a Grad. Theol. and B. Th. During his studies he was appointed part-time Youth Pastor at the City Tabernacle Baptist Church. He then went to Ashgrove Baptist Church as their Youth & Young Adults Pastor with a Youth Group of 300, and then to The Gap Baptist as Senior Pastor. In 2001 Neil commenced at Capernwray Bible School as Vice-Principal and then was appointed Principal in 2002, a position he held until 2012. In 2011 Neil graduated from Malyon with an M.A. Theol. In 2012 Neil accepted a lecturing role at Malyon College. Neil has preached and taught in churches and Bible Schools in Australia and overseas. He is single and loves to travel, read, swim and climb mountains.

Rev. Richard Bruce

Richard is married to Danielle and they have three wonderful children: Isabella, Dougal and Edward. Richard is the Chief Executive Officer of ESA Country Ministries (www.esa.org.au), has over 20 years vocational ministry experience and is an ordained Anglican Priest.

Richard’s roles have included Youth Ministry with Junior and Senior Secondary Students, Schools Outreach, Evangelistic Outreach Services, Teaching Conferences, Adventure Camps, Leading Leaders, Oversight of youth ministry for the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne and being Senior Minister at St James Anglican Church, Ivanhoe.

Richard is passionate about investing in people to bear great Gospel fruit, evangelism, leadership development and of course camping.

Bruce Hordern and SU Team

Every year, Scripture Union Victoria (SU) supports around 1000 volunteers, mostly from local churches who commit to lead on camps, holiday programs and in schools in order to build up young people and families to live more resilient and hope filled lives.

SU is vibrantly committed to seeing young people and families come to life, with schools being a natural environment within which we operate.

Bruce Hordern and the team in Northern Victoria Region seek to support the local Churches to mission in their local environment and create opportunities to serve schools, students, staff and their families in ways that enable them to share the good news of Christ.

With 14 years of Chaplaincy experience, Bruce started as Operations and Program Manager of the Northern Region of Scripture Union and SOAR Adventures in 2013. SOAR Adventures is an adventure based learning program mentoring students for 6 months and providing them with life changing experiences in challenging outdoor learning environments.

Bruce and his team are passionate about seeing young people come to life and supporting local Churches in their local community mission field.

Pioneers

Paul and Heather with their two daughters have been privileged to serve as missionaries for the past eight years in a communist country in Asia. Paul has helped grow a few business as mission enterprises. He trained pastors and leaders in the underground church and expat community. Heather developed and worked on health and nutrition programs. She ministered to the physical and spiritual needs in poor communities, especially among tribal people.

Tim Meyers

Tim Meyers is the Principal of Melbourne School of Theology.

He joined MST at the end of 2011 following 12 years in senior leadership roles with mission agency Pioneers and almost a decade in pastoral ministry with Baptist churches in Queensland. Tim also trained and worked as a professional musician and secondary school teacher and also trained as a commercial pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship, prior to moving into ministry.

Tim completed his Masters of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary (Texas, USA) in 1991, with majors in Systematic Theology and Bible Exposition.

He has great skills in leadership and administration, and strong gifts in teaching and preaching, cultural and organisational change, as well as entrepreneurial abilities.

In his time with Pioneers Australia and Pioneers International, Tim became known as a strong leader and innovator as well as a church preacher, teacher and conference speaker in Australia and overseas. While in leadership at Pioneers, he oversaw strong growth in the public profile of Pioneers as well as healthy numerical growth in the number of mission workers sent, support raised and countries served by Australia.

Tim grew up in a missionary family in Papua and New Guinea before moving to Melbourne during high school, where he later met and married Kathryn. They have five children.

Nello Barbieri

Nello is married to Narelle and they have three children. He has been a Christian since 1983 and a minister since 1998, most recently serving at Riverwood Presbyterian Church in NSW. His current role is as the Presbyterian Church of Victoria’s Training Officer, where he helps the Presbyterian Church of Victoria develop their evangelism and discipleship skills. Apart from enjoying good food, good blues and good coffee, Nello is passionate about expository preaching and seeing churches become intentional about disciple-making.

Peter & Raewyn Brook – SoulRest

Peter & Raewyn Brook with their three boys Ryan, Samuel and Eric have been ministering in Papua New Guinea with Wycliffe since 2001. Peter’s ministry has been in vernacular literacy, scripture teaching, church relations and this past year with indigenous arts. Raewyn initiated a multi grade, multi-mission school cooperative which she has been coordinating and teaching. With the return of all the students to their respective countries in July 2012 Raewyn’s focus had more recently been on homeschooling and homemaking. They returned to Australia in November 2012, and plan to be here until late July 2013.

Ian Powell

Ian grew up near Bondi and became a Christian at age 19. He was surprised to discover that Christianity is not only true but great fun, deeply exciting and stretching. Amongst other things Ian has worked as a youth worker, Chaplain at Shore School and Rector at St Barnabas Broadway and he loves working in the city. Ian is considered by many to be one of Australia’s leading Christian communicators, but he says that if that’s true the quality mustn’t be all that good. He loves people, fishing, all sports except perhaps synchronised swimming, and high energy music, from the Gurus to Beethoven.

Rev. Dean Rerekura

Dean is Geelong born and bred. After training as a Civil Engineer and marrying Denise (an ex Granite/Donald girl), Dean and Denise moved to Sydney to study at Sydney Missionary and Bible College.

A few years and three children later, Dean is now Pastoral Team Leader at Campbelltown City Baptist Church (South West Sydney).

Still a keen Cats supporter, Dean loves all things AFL (that he can ‘glean’ in the Sydney press), loves spending time with his family and friends, and sharing with people the great news about Jesus.

Neil & Lisa with their three children, Bethany, Joshua and Hannah have been ministering in Benin, French-speaking West Africa since 2002, Neil in vocational training which led into project coordination, and Lisa heading up a hospitality ministry supervising the two SIM guest houses. In August this year they returned to Australia and are presently seeking the Lord’s direction as to future ministry and/or work.

Peter Stevens – FamilyVoice

Pastor Peter Stevens serves full-time with FamilyVoice Australia as State Officer in Victoria. He worships with the Apostolic Churches of Australia at Destiny Centre, Hoppers Crossing.

Peter and his wife, Diane, have four children, two of whom are married, and three grandchildren.

Peter’s background is in the timber industry of South Australia, where he worked as head-sawyer, supervisor and Accident Prevention Officer. He has also successfully owned and operated small businesses, including a milk round, bookshop and sub-contract plastering team.

On committing his life to Jesus Christ, he served as treasurer and elder in his local church, later studying to become an ordained minister, pastoring churches in Werribee and Geelong.

In 1997, Peter and Diane founded the River of Life School of Ministries in Hoppers Crossing – a Bible college that grew to train over 100 students, with Peter as principal, Diane as registrar, two administrative staff and 12 lecturers.

Peter is an experienced and dynamic speaker, with a vision of righteousness for Victoria and Australia. He is committed to families, the church and the work of FamilyVoice Australia in ministry to our nation

Michael Raiter

Born in Liverpool, England, Michael’s family migrated to Australia in the mid 1960s. After graduating from Wollongong University in 1976, he started a career as a high school teacher. In 1978 he went to teach at Murree Christian School in Pakistan with the Church Missionary Society, where he met his wife, Sarah, the daughter of American missionaries. After completing theological studies at Sydney’s Moore Theological College and a stint serving on its faculty in the late 1980s, Michael, Sarah and their young family returned to Pakistan to work in theological education with Interserve for seven and a half years. In 1997 Michael, Sarah and their four children returned to Moore Theological College, where Michael was head of the Department of Mission until the end of 2005. He became Principal of Bible College Victoria in 2006. He teaches Theology and Homiletics. Michael has written several books, including Stirrings of the Soul (Matthias Media 2003), which was awarded the 2004 Christian Book of the Year Award. Michael is in wide demand as a conference speaker. His hobbies include cryptic crosswords, crime novels and walks with his wife.

Jay Sawyer

Jay is married to Ange and has a daughter Sienna and a baby son Joshua. Jay has 20 years experience in youth ministry, is currently working as a Youth Director with the Churches of Christ Conference and as a chaplain in a government school in Keysborough. He has a background as a Youth Pastor in Ballarat and Melbourne.  Jay left school at 16, did a trade and never thought he would study again, but has now completed a Master of Arts in Church Practice at Tabor College, with a particular personal interest in how to link faith and life. Jay loves sport, particularly basketball, and sees this as a great way of connecting with young people.  He has a passion to hear people’s stories and see God move redemptively through the broken.

Peter & Sally Cunningham

Peter & Sally Cunningham with Aaron (13) and Steven (8) have been working in Niger, West Africa with Serving in Mission (SIM) working on the Sowing Seeds of Change in the Sahel (SSCS) rural development program since 2000. They both have backgrounds in Agricultural Research and Landcare in Victoria as well as training at the Bible College of Victoria.

The SSCS program works with motivated individuals and social groups within the poor rural communities of the Maradi area to facilitate the transformation of physical, social and spiritual life. Peter and the team have developed and promote integrated Agro forestry farming systems (Including Aussie wattle trees) to improve food security & nutrition while restoring degraded farm land. Sally has been helping with treasury and home schooling the boys.

Teen Challenge

Teen Challenge offers a faith-based alternative for transformation through discipleship.  The residential program for males and females, Live Free, is based upon Christian principles for living. Our aim is to provide youth, adults and families with an effective and comprehensive faith-based solution to life-controlling issues including drug and alcohol problems in order to become productive members of society. By applying biblical principles, Teen Challenge endeavours to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive. The program is fully structured and supervised. The transformation program involves the individual breaking with their life-controlling problem, reactivating the maturing process and developing a new lifestyle. This enables the person to become an acceptable and functional member of society, fortifying them to live free from old habits. This is achieved through Personal Studies, Group Studies, Work Duties, Recreation and Physical Exercise. They receive life coaching and guidance with a Personal Mentor with whom they meet with on a regular basis.

Mark Watkins recovered from decades of addiction on the streets of St. Kilda. He has had miraculous restoration of body and soul. His relationships with family and friends has been restored.

Heath Austin has recovered from decades of addiction. He has found new purpose for his amazing talents singing and playing guitar. He brings a message of hope in Christ through his music.

Dr. Douglas Milne

Douglas is Principal of the Presbyterian Theological College, Melbourne where he teaches in theology and ethics. He was born in Scotland and grew up there for the first half his adult life. He was a pastor/preacher there for seven years before accepting a call to teach in the College in Melbourne. For the first eighteen years he was also resident preacher for a congregation near the heart of Melbourne.

He has authored a number of books, mainly commentaries, as well as writing many articles for Christian journals. He has spoken at many conferences and camps over the years. This is his second visit to the Wimmera Convention. He is married to Joan. They have two adult children and four grand-children. Douglas has had a lifelong interest in birds.

Rev. Chris Danes

Rev. Chris Danes is an ordained minister with the Baptist Union of Victoria. Before his life as a miniser Chris spent the first six and a half years of his working life in Structural Steel and Metallurgy within the State Electricity Commission of Victoria. It is Chris’s firm belief that this first 6 years was as significant as his theological training in preparing him for ministry. In 1991 Chris began his ministry life as an intern with Youth Dimension. In the same year, he shifted to Melbourne from the Latrobe Valley, married Jo-anne, and began full time work as a Youth Pastor with Templestowe Baptist church.

After almost 2 decades of ministry, both within and outside, his local church, Chris has never been more convinced of the transformative power of the Gospel.

Chris and Jo-anne have three children: Laughlan, Emily and Indigo-Rose. Chris currently heads up Baptist Youth Ministries for the State of Victoria. In his spare time he loves to surf, hang out with his family, and if time permits, chase a small white ball round a group of paddocks known as Ringwood golf course.

Mal & Jenny Watts

Question: What are an accountant and a lab scientist doing in West Africa?

Answer: Working as Jesus servants in mission support services and health care!

As young adults God laid on our hearts individually the desire to put our professional skills to use in an overseas mission context. Mal, from Gippsland, is a CPA and after hearing a missionary doctor speak about the need for good finance people in mission knew God’s leading as he worked and studied toward that goal. Jenny grew up on a Mallee wheat farm and heard about missions from childhood, where she felt God’s call upon her life in service for Him. So this led us both to Bible college, where we met, and then with SIM to Burkina Faso, in central west Africa. Mal is the area finance manager for SIM and Jenny has set up the lab in a small health clinic among other things. We have two daughters, Erinn 7 and Alicia 5, who have spent all their lives in Burkina and don’t yet call Australia home!. As members of a local French speaking church we seek to be encouragers to our Burkinabé brothers and sisters in living lives for Christ each day. Our biggest discovery, God can use anyone for His glory in overseas mission!

Ewen & Elizabeth Cummings

Ewen & Elizabeth both heard God’s call to missions when young. They are both MKs (Missionary Kids). When they were praying about which country they would serve in, they felt that they should go to a group of people that might not be reached otherwise. Although life and the climate in Chad are challenging, and the response from many years of ministry by others has been small, they have no doubt that’s where the Lord wants them to serve. In their most recent term they have been concentrating on facilitating a literacy program among Sudanese refugees from the Darfur who speak the language they are called to work in, and this has been encouraging. Ewen & Elizabeth have five children – Jemima, Ruth, Anna, Jed and Keziah – all of whom love to be in their little home in the far east of Chad when the political situation allows that.