ROOTED 2021  

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Kirsten Knox

Senior Director of Ministry Partnerships: Youth Ministry Institute

Kirsten served 20 years as a youth minister. She served at her last church for ten years and has been with YMI for the past ten years. She has experience working in small and large churches, including on a full-time and part-time basis. In addition, Kirsten has served students and families as a social worker. Kirsten holds a Bachelor\'s of Arts degree from Asbury University in Christian Ministries and is a graduate of YMI.


Heather Pancoast

Co-Director of the Gator Wesley Foundation

Heather graduated from UF, USF, and UCF. She has her Masters in Social Work, and has worked in ministry for over 20 years. Heather is a proud mom of 2 amazing young ladies, Elliot 14 and Norah 13. Heather serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Antiracism Task Force for the Florida Annual Conference of the UMC. Oh yeah...she is married to Joel Pancoast, almost forgot that.


Rev. Jad Denmark

Minister of Community Life: St. Lukes UMC, Orlando, FL

Pastor Jad, the Minister of Care, was appointed to St. Luke’s in 2012 after graduating – along with his wife of 11 years, Shelly – from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.

Jad and Shelly are passionate about justice for and acceptance of all of God’s creation. They have three children Lleyton, Hayden and Lillian who keep them laughing and enjoying life.


Rev. Joel Pancoast

Co-Director: Gator Wesley Foundation, Gainesville, FL

Conference Youth Ministry Coordinator: Florida Annual Conference

Joel is a Licensed Local Pastor in the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Joel married his best friend Heather in 2001. They have two daughters, Elliot and Norah. Joel grew up in Ocala, FL and graduated from UF in 1999. Joel’s call into full time ministry has taken him through Youth Ministry, Camping Ministry, and now serving alongside college students in Gainesville, FL.


Brian Lawson

Director of Student Development: Youth Ministry Institute

Brian is a 16+ year youth ministry veteran, host of the Making Sense of Ministry Podcast, and works to see youth and children\'s ministers succeed. He holds a Master of Ministry with a focus on organizational culture, team-based leadership, change, conflict, and peace-making from Warner University. In addition to his degrees from Warner, he studied Christian Education at Asbury Theological Seminary.


Kali Grenus

Programming Coordinator: Warren Willis United Methodist Camp and Conference Center

Kali has been working in local United Methodist churches for 10 years. She grew up attending First UMC of Kissimmee and graduated from Florida Southern College with a BA in Religion. Kali spent a couple of years as the Youth Director at First UMC of LaGrange, Georgia, before returning to Florida in 2016 to serve as the Children and Youth Director at First UMC of High Springs.
In the summer of  2021, Kali joined the Warren Willis Staff and is excited to be a part of the program team supporting church leaders by providing quality programming, retreats and summer camps for the Florida Annual Conference.
Kali and her furchild Onyx, enjoy traveling and hiking as often as they can, as well as spending time with family in Kissimmee. 


Kelly Minter

Mental Health Counselor: St. John's County Schools

CCYM Coordinator: Florida Annual Conference of the UMC

Kelly is a 20 year veteran of youth ministry, on a local church and conference level. She is also a Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern, working in private practice for Anchored Counseling in North East Florida. Kelly\'s counseling focus is teens, families, and those who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. She publishes "Ask a Therapist" Videos, available on YouTube and Instagram.


Vicki Mackey

Student and Family Ministry Director: Grace UMC, Venice, FL

I’m Vicki Mackey and I am the director of student and family ministries at Grace venice. I have been in preschool for 22 years and at my current position for six. I married with four children, three almost grown and one surprise! I love children and youth they are the future!


Tyler Karges

Director of Freshmen Connect at Gator Wesley, Gainesville, FL

Tyler in graduating with a degree in Family and Youth Sciencs at the University of Florida. He grew in his youth group at Riviera UMC in St. Pete. Tyler is engaged to Allison Badgely. Tyler was a counselor at the Warren Willis Camp, has served as a leader in Young Life, and is currently working with freshmen at Gator Wesley. Can't not mention Tyler's furbaby, Hadi, who is a 2 year old Golden Retriever.


Juan Flores

Director of Youth Ministry: Pasadena UMC, St. Petersburg, FL

Juan is a veteran to youth ministries serving churches here in Florida and in Alabama. Juan has been an active member of the Youth Ministry Table and has served and helped with the ministry at the Warren Willis Camp. Juan is married to Dina and has three children.


Maresi Brown

Director of Family Ministries and Contemporary Worship: St. Lukes UMC St. Petersburg, FL

Maresi grew up in Connecticut and attended Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. She has taught middle and high school music and preschool classes. Maresi volunteered with the St. Luke's Youth group for one year prior to becoming the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries in 2004. She also is the contemporary worship leader and sings in the SpiritWalk praise band. Maresi enjoys being able to serve the St. Luke's community in so many different ways. She and her husband Timon share the joy and hilarity of being parents to 14 year old Henry, 10 year old Maria, and 3 year old William.


Rev. Ryan Frack, MDiv, MSW

Director of Church Relations at the Florida United Methodist Children's Home

Ryan is the liaison between the local church and the organization. Ryan is passionate about the mission of the Children’s Home, and loves helping to strengthen the Children’s Home’s connection with both the local church and other ministries.


Dennis Harper, MA

Agency Trainer for the Florida United Methodist Children's Home

He started as a direct care worker and moved into management, leading to his current role in training.  He has been working with at risk youth in the child welfare system for over 19 years.  He received his BS in Christian Ministries from Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL and his MA in Human Services from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.