ROOTED 2020  


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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.

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.

Michael LeBlanc (he, him, his)

Director of Student Ministry: FUMC Winter Park, FL

Michael LeBlanc has been the Director of Student Minsitries for First United Methodist Church of Winter Park since 2015. He is a graduate of Iliff School of Theology and a certified candidate for ordained ministry as an elder. He hates mayo, loves his wife and daughter is and passionately indifferent towards tea.

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.

Mikiala Tennie

Discipleship and Student Director: FUMC Stuart, FL

Mikiala grew up in South Florida. She started volunteering in student ministry while still a student herself and hasn’t stopped serving students since. Mikiala works in ministry because of her desire for people to truly know Christ. For six years, she has served at First United Methodist Church of Stuart and currently has the role of Director of Discipleship and Student Ministries. She lives with her little Yorkie, KiKi Okoye Tennie.

Molly McEntire

Missional Trainer and Volunteer Coordinator: FLUMC

Molly McEntire is currently serving at the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Center as the Missional Trainer and Volunteer Coordinator. A coordinator for the Fill the table initiative. Extremely active in local and global ministries.

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.

Rev. Melissa Pisco

Pastor: Celebration UMC Gainesville, FL

Rev. Pisco has been serving as a United Methodist pastor for over 20 years. When her son was born 11 years ago with complex medical issues, she began to see how the church was not set up to help him grow as a disciple of Christ. This set her on a new path to learn more about how churches can adapt, making their spaces and ministries safe and welcoming for all. With still so much to learn, she is eager to engage the journey with the disability community to build the beloved community.

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!