Morning Meeting

The Morning Meeting Speaker addresses the Conference Saturday and Monday through Thursday, from 11:00am-12:00 noon as the whole conference gathers for intergenerational worship.  

  • Shane Bennett

    Shane Bennett is no stranger to the New Wilmington Mission Conference, having addressed the Conference in an evening meeting in 2017 and serving as the Morning Meeting Speaker in 2011.  

    Shane has served in missions mobilization since 1987, much of his energy going to  recruiting, training, and sending short-term teams. He’s been on research teams in Bangkok, Bombay and Turkey. He coauthored Exploring the Land, a guide to researching unreached peoples, and has written numerous articles.

    “I’m an ordinary guy. I began school planning to be a pastor, but through a number of people and events, God focused my calling on missions, specifically catalyzing efforts for the world’s most under-evangelized peoples. After 20 years of barely venturing beyond the borders of Indiana, God began bouncing me around the world. In each place my objective has been, with a team of people, to discover how the church might be established where it hasn’t yet.”

    “I now work as a speaker and writer for Frontiers, a sharp organization focused on extending God’s blessing in the Muslim world. I live to help people who love Jesus connect with people who’ve never heard of him.”

    “I think the key message that God has given me to say is that missions is important because of who God is. It’s all about him. Missions certainly, but also the rest of life. His glory is paramount.”

Daily Speakers

Each evening at the New Wilmington Mission Conference, all participants gather for inter-generational worship from 7:45pm-9:00pm.  Each meeting features a different presenter telling how God is moving in ministries and missions around the world.  Additionally, the Sunday morning gathering invites a different person to present the Good News.

  • Chris Chakoian

    Sunday July 22 ~ Morning Worship 11:00am ~ Anderson Auditorium

    The Rev. Dr. Christine “Chris” Chakoian is vice president for seminary advancement at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Previously she served as pastor/head of staff at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, Ill., and Community Presbyterian Church of Clarendon Hills, Ill. In the past 35 years, she also held positions at Presbyterian churches in Oregon, Ohio, and New York. Chris is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A.), Yale University Divinity School (M.Div.), and McCormick Theological Seminary (D.Min.). In service to the church and community, she is a member of the Moveable Feast preaching colloquium, as well as a trustee at Presbyterian Publishing Corp. Additionally, she has served as a co-leader of the PCUSA Centenary Events honoring the Armenian genocide and was a member of the boards at McCormick Theological Seminary, Lebanese American University (Beirut, Lebanon), Presbyterian Homes, and the Dean’s Advisory Council at the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Her books include Common English Bible – Women’s Bible (editorial board member and writer), Cryptomnesia: How a Forgotten Memory Could Save the ChurchCovenant Bible Study (co-host/editorial board member), Feasting on the Gospels (editorial board member and writer), and For Worship, Fellowship, and the Work of the Kingdom. Chris has also written a number of articles for such publications as Christian Century and The Presbyterian Outlook and has contributed to Chicago Sunday Evening Club and Day One videos. She has served as the conference leader or preacher at more than a dozen events on such topics as the impact of globalization on the church and rekindling your call.

  • Nancy Alderson McDonnell

    Sunday July 22 ~ Evening Meeting -  7:45pm

    Nancy Alderson McDonnell is the President and CEO of Value of the Person, a consulting business bringing Christian principles to the work-world.  She is a graduate of Grove City College and the daughter of the late Wayne T. Alderson, world renowned Christian business leader who spent over 40 years impacting work place relations across America.  After completing her college degree, Nancy felt a calling to join her father and for over 35 years, she worked side by side with Wayne, until his passing in 2013. Together they built the Value of the Person-Theory R Consultants in to a vehicle for change, to inspire, teach and challenge others to see how people with vision and conviction, can bring transformation to the work place.  

    Nancy continues to profoundly impact organizations by promoting the leadership principles of the Value of the Person-Theory R through innovative seminars, workshops and training.  Her specialty is working hands on with managers and employees within organizations interested in establishing a strong “culture of relationships” rooted in love, dignity and respect.  In 1994 Nancy co-authored the book, Theory R Management, with her father, that case studies the long term successes achieved by organizations who have chosen to follow the principles of the Value of the Person.  And, in 2014, she re-published her father’s book, Stronger Than Steel, writing a “final Chapter” revealing new and exciting details of commitment, sacrifice and courage.  

    She is the wife of Pat McDonnell and takes a leadership role in his company, Restaurant Holdings, which owns two restaurant concepts in the greater Pittsburgh area, Atrias and Juniper Grill. 

  • Yonas Yigezu

    Monday July 23 ~ Evening Meeting -  7:45pm

    In January of 2017 The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) elected Rev. Yonas Yigezu as the next president of the church.

    Yigezu, 55, was elected at the EECMY 20th General Assembly, held at the Mekane Yesus Seminary in the capital Addis Ababa.

    “God is calling me into a challenge but for enormous blessings ahead. I am a team builder and prayer warrior. I see my success in this,” Yigezu said following his election to a four-year term.

    Yigezu was ordained in 2006 and is currently EECMY director for Mission and Theology. He holds master’s degrees in church management and development policy management from Westhill College and Manchester University, England, and in divinity from the Union Theological Seminary, United States. He is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at the Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States.

    Yigezu and his wife Ayantu Dufera have four children.

  • Brian Newman

    Tuesday July 24 ~ Evening Meeting -  7:45pm

    Brian Newman is new to the New Wilmington Missions Conference. He grew up in a traditional Jewish family outside New York City (think Seinfeld) and now seeks to live at the intersection of Jews, Muslims, and Christians. For the past 7 years he has led The Isaac Ishmael Initiative which seeks to promote shalom in Jesus to Jews and Muslims.

    Brian has been married to Susy for 30 years (this year) and they spent most of 20 years living and serving in Europe: in France, Hungary, and finally for 10 years near Amsterdam in The Netherlands. In Europe Brian served as a youth pastor, church planter, senior pastor, and Europe Director for their mission agency, Christian Associates.

    Brian and Susy have lived in Denver for the past 13 years where he served as an executive pastor before launching The Isaac Ishmael Initiative. This month Brian and Susy made a big move to York, Pennsylvania where Brian is now serving as Pastor of Leadership Development at Living Word Community Church and Susy is serving as a therapist in the church’s counseling center.

    At the heart of Brian’s work is for people to seek and follow Jesus, regardless of their religious or faith background. Brian believes that Jesus is not the “exclusive possession” of Christians, but that he came to “seek and save the lost” whether they be Jew or Gentile. Brian is passionate to see followers of Christ become bridge builders to the children of Abraham - the Isaacs and Ishmaels of the world.

    Brian earned two Master of Arts degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary - one in theology and the other in leadership development. He is the co-author of Speaking Peace Together with his colleagues Ashraf A and Jeff Eagan.

    Brian and Susy have two children - Carly and Steven. Carly is married to Peter and they are about to have their first child (which coincidentally means Brian and Susy will become grandparents!)

  • Chauncey Crandall

    Saturday July 21 ~ Evening Meeting - 7:45pm

    Dr. Chauncey Crandall IV is a world renowned Cardiologist practicing medicine in Palm Beach Florida, including clinics at the Jupiter Medical CenterPalm Beach – Good Samaritan Medical Center, and Mount Sinai Heart New York – Palm Beach and has authored several books on faith, medicine and heart disease.   His combination of faith and medicine to cure those in need has inspired millions.

    Dr. Crandall is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai Heart New York and also the Director of Preventive Medicine and Complex Cardiology at the Mount Sinai Heart New York–Palm Beach site in Palm Beach Florida practicing interventional, vascular, and transplant cardiology.  He received his post-doctoral training in Internal Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine where he also completed three years of research in the Cardiovascular Surgery Division.  Dr. Crandall completed his Cardiology Fellowship training at Beth Israel Hospital and Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City and also completed advanced Interventional Cardiology Fellowship training at the Medical College of Virginia.   Following his Interventional Fellowship training, Dr. Crandall remained at the Medical College of Virginia for six years as Assistant Professor of Medicine and as Chief of the Heart Transplant Program, Director of Medical Education and Director of Cardiac Critical Care.

    In 1993, Dr. Crandall accepted a Faculty Professor appointment at the Duke University School of Medicine Cardiovascular Division and relocated to Palm Beach, Florida where he established the Duke University Interventional Cardiology Program – Palm Beach.  Dr. Crandall has continued his private and academic practice in the Palm Beach area, and is currently on staff at the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center,  Jupiter Medical Center, and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

    Dr. Crandall has lectured both nationally and internationally on topics to include:  heart transplantation, interventional cardiology, preventive cardiology, cardiology health care of the elderly and also medical care to the poor in third world nations. Dr. Crandall is also Chairman of the non-profit Chadwick Foundation and devotes extensive time to missionary based medicine and education in the Caribbean, Africa, South America, Europe, and Haiti.

  • Summer Service Team

    Thursday July 26 ~  Evening Meeting -  7:45pm

    Each year the New Wilmington Mission Conference sends a team of young adults on a short-term mission assignment.  They return to the Conference just in time to interpret what God is doing in their country of service. This year's team is serving in the Sicily, Italy.

  • Saleem Ghubril

    Friday July 20 ~ Evening Meeting - 7:45pm

    Saleem Ghubril is a committed and passionate advocate for children and for the City of Pittsburgh. An ordained Presbyterian minister, he has devoted his life to serving the people of his community through outreach and education programs.

In 1985, Saleem founded The Pittsburgh Project, a community development organization that annually provides free home renovations to hundreds of vulnerable seniors, and mentors, educates, and deploys thousands of volunteer youth in meaningful community service initiatives. Saleem led The Pittsburgh Project until 2008, when he assumed the leadership of The Pittsburgh Promise.

The Pittsburgh Promise is a regional economic and workforce development entity that focuses on transforming the quality of education and life in the City of Pittsburgh, and making higher education a reality for all of Pittsburgh’s urban youth.

He is currently the volunteer pastor of the Mosaic Community Church in Pittsburgh. He also serves on the boards of The Buhl Foundation, Vibrant Pittsburgh, and the World Affairs Co

    uncil of Pittsburgh.

  • Peter Fry

    Wednesday July 25 ~ Evening Meeting -  7:45pm

    Peter Fry is a man with a personal and professional mission to eradicate poverty on a global scale.  As the Executive Director of End Poverty, a major international faith-based microenterprise development organization, he leads the charge in transforming the enterprising poor, holistically, and spiritually.

    A native Irishman, Peter developed a passion for helping others at a young age and sought opportunities to serve through mission work and other faith-based endeavors.  Having traveled all over the world, he has come to the belief that the best way to make long-lasting positive change is to help people help themselves.  In other words, he believes that we need to give the poor the power to end poverty in their own communities and outward.  His most recent work prior to this position was in Hong Kong and the Philippines with another faith-based nonprofit serving the ultra-poor.

    Peter’s heart is in promoting entrepreneurial solutions to poverty, so End Poverty is a natural fit for his drive and experience, and he is thankful to be at the helm of an organization that is truly doing a good work.  He has dedicated his life to this cause, and now lives in Reston, VA to work with the organization which is based in Washington DC. 

    His wife Erin joins him in his mission, and they hope their son Liam will grow up to a world where poverty is no longer a great concern, through their efforts and the efforts of the wonderful organizations that partner with End Poverty.  

Program Area Speakers

Each program area features a speaker who is uniquely equipped to address a specific age group.  The presentation times of these age-specific speakers is dependent on each program area's schedule.

  • Adult Bible Study Track 1 ~ Troy Cady

    Troy Cady serves as the president of PlayFull, a ministry whose mission is “to help people and organizations play from the inside out.” He is convinced play is one of the most under-utilized resources when it comes to nurturing personal, relational, and systemic vitality. To this end, PlayFull hosts PlayGroups and PlayDates—gathering folks together to learn and grow on any given subject through play. They also offer services such as children’s ministry training and coaching church leaders. This year they published the book 200 Ways to Play. See for more info. Previously, he served with Christian Associates as a church planter in Europe for 12 years. Troy and his wife Heather and their two children live in Chicago. 

  • Adult Mission Study Track 1  ~ Yenenesh Wolteji

    Yenenesh Wolteji was a teacher at the Mekane Yesus Seminary (Ethiopia) in the leadership department. She taught in the areas of holistic development and leadership. She was also involved in teaching, preaching, and training in other African countries, and she continues to be engaged in preaching and teaching activities in Ethiopian communities. ​She has earned a Doctor of Ministry concentrated on leadership and holistic development and a MA in Social development, with a certificate in pastoral studies. 

    Yenenesh is very interested in helping the needy in the USA, as well as in Ethiopia. In the USA, she works with people in abusive situations and those struggling with homelessness. In Ethiopia, she is involved in helping economically needy children and families. Yenenesh is married with three young adult sons. 

  • Adult Mission and Bible Study Track 2 - Laurie Kraus

    Laurie Kraus is the Director of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.  She manages the staff and programs of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, overseeing domestic and international response initiatives.  She appreciates the opportunity to serve as the "face" of PDA, interpreting our mission in churches, presbyteries and synods; and teaching, developing curriculum, and writing for various publications. She leads and supports collaborative efforts with neighboring ministry areas within the PC(USA) and among our ecumenical and interfaith partners in disaster response.

    Laurie is a certified Compassion Fatigue Professional and has additional certification and expertise with the International Critical Stress Foundation and in training response to Public Violence events.  Her 30 years of pastoral experience includes doctoral work and graduate level teaching, both in the theology and practice of ministry in disaster, and in multicultural ministry practice.  

  • Adult Mission and Bible Study Track 2 ~ Susan Krehbiel

    Susan Krehbiel is presenting on behalf of Catalyst for Refugees and Asylum.  Susan works part-time  to coordinate PC(USA) humanitarian response and advocacy on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers and other forced migrants.  She coordinates PDA assistance and technical support to mid-councils and local task forces to equip congregations in their respective ministries.  She also works with other PC(USA) ministries and with ecumenical and interfaith partners to expand our capacity to serve refugees and other vulnerable migrants.  

  • Young Adult ~ Justin Teitt  (Saturday and Sunday)

    Justin Teitt serves as the Chief Executive Officer of AlSentis and a member of its Board of Managers.  A serial entrepreneur, Justin has started, led, angel-invested in, grew and sold prior start-up companies.  Before joining AlSentis, he was the Managing Partner of a product development company that he and his partners sold to a private equity group in California. 

    Justin has previously held leadership roles in Global Channel Development with Sterling Commerce (now IBM) and National Retail Development with SBC Communications (now AT&T).  While at SBC, Justin also held roles in line management operations, corporate marketing, and global sales.  With equal passion, Justin has served on the boards of several start-up companies and as well as non-profit organizations focused on community development and fighting poverty through business development.

  • Young Adult ~ Jin Kim  (Monday - Thursday)

    Jin S. Kim is founding pastor of Church of All Nations and founder of Underground Seminary. He grew up in the deep South after emigrating from Korea with his family at age 7. He went to Georgia Tech, Princeton Seminary, has a DMin from Columbia Seminary, and has loved serving the local church as a pastor since 1993. He's also a 1001 New Worshiping Communities coach (PCUSA), an adjunct faculty at Dubuque Seminary, and speaks widely. Jin is passionate about justice, ecumenical unity, and living into a post-imperial church. He & Soon Pac raise two teenagers and tend many sheep.

  • High School ~ Scott Ness

    Pastor Scott Ness is a newbie to the New Wilmington Mission Conference—so he will be depending on you to help show him the ropes. He loves telling stories and finding ways to use ordinary, everyday life to point to our amazing God. He strives to see with eyes of faith. He fails constantly. Through it all, God remains faithful and full of grace.

    Scott is a Lutheran pastor who received his Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 2005. He also earned his Doctor of Ministry from George Fox Seminary in 2014 where he studied Semiotics and Future Studies. It is here that Scott honed his skills and ability at reading culture. He is adept at taking the changeless and matchless Word of God and translating it into the ever changing culture as it ebbs and flows. Most recently, Scott had plans to move to Ethiopia with his family to help with leadership development and discipleship with the largest and fastest growing Lutheran denomination in the world, the Mekane Yesus. These plans fell through at the last minute and Scott continues to wait on the Lord for where he is called to serve next.

    Scott is passionate about discipleship and following after Jesus in daily life—both in the big and the small decisions. He also enjoys exploring ways to leverage the digital landscape and technology for the sake of discipleship and growing mature followers of Jesus. He combines a deep understanding and reliance on the Word of God with a teachers heart. You will learn new insights into scripture with Scott, but his deeper mission is that you apply the Truth of Christ into daily living and relationships.  He is a gifted speaker who has taught at conferences in Europe and Africa as well as here in the United States.The greatest compliment he has received is that he is real. He desperately loves Jesus and follows after the Lord. But he isn’t weird about it either. Well, maybe a little. 

    Scott and his wife, Deanna, are celebrating 18 years of marriage during the conference this year. Together they strive after the Lord with their 6 children. One of his hopes for the mission conference is to help equip the high school crowd with a resilient faith that can better withstand the onslaught of the challenges of high school.    

  • Middle School ~ Ed Sutter

    Ed is the Director of Middle School Ministry and Family Counseling at Westminster Presbyterian in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and has served the communities of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania in ministry and therapy for more than 10 years. Ed has a passion for the healthy growth of teenagers and loves to see them find their confidence, strength and value in Christ. If you can’t find him with his wife, three daughters, or a group of teenagers, Ed is probably in the woods! 

  • Juniors ~ Mike Haddox

    Pastor Mike, a.k.a. “Bear” by family and friends, is the Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Jerome. Married to Jen, the couple have two active boys who love the hiking, camping and fishing. 

    With close to 20 years of youth ministry and tutoring experience, Pastor Mike has a passion for discipleship and Christian formation for all ages, along with a desire to see our faith passed on to future generations.

    When he’s not busy changing diapers, playing hide and seek with his boys or working, can be found perfecting his yo-yo and balloon animal techniques, as well as polishing his ukulele skills.

Worship LeaderS

Praise and worship is a large part of what we do at NWMC.  Featuring a variety of styles, new songs, and old, it is our pleasure to join our voices together in song. 

  • Aaron Howard ~ Anderson Auditorium Worship Leader

    Aaron Howard has actively served the church in music ministry for over twenty years. He has led worship at churches, conferences, and conventions of various denominational backgrounds, including PCUSA, PCA, Assemblies of God, Church of God in Christ, Missionary Baptist, Southern Baptist, United Methodist, and non-denominational churches.  His passion is to see the body of Christ passionately worshiping God in spirit and truth through music that honors and reflects a diversity of cultural and ecclesial expressions.  He is the founder of As One Worship Consulting which exists to assist churches who desire to revitalize or enhance their worship. Aaron completed his PhD in Religion from Vanderbilt University and his MA in Biblical Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is ordained as a Preaching Elder in the Church of God in Christ and lives in Nashville with his wife Mimi and two children Yosef and Blaine and his English Setter named Palmer.

  • Bill McConnell ~ Adult Worship Leader

    Bill McConnell is the Presbyterian Church (USA) mission engagement advisor for the South region, which includes the synods of the Sun and Living Waters.

    “The church is called to various ministries close to home and around the world," Bill says. “I am excited to find connections that link individuals, congregations and mid councils with these ministries and that explore ways that we can more actively participate in God's mission."

    Before joining the Presbyterian Mission Agency staff in December 2016, Bill served for five years as executive director of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. Previously, Bill was an associate professor of music and associate dean for adult and extended programs at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, North Carolina.

    Bill holds an M.M. degree from East Carolina University and a D.M.A. from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has done additional study in arts administration at the University of Cincinnati and completed an executive certificate in religious fundraising from the Lake Institute of Faith and Giving at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis.

    A life-long Presbyterian, Bill is a member of Highland Presbyterian Church in Louisville, where he is a ruling elder and chairs the stewardship committee. He was an ex officio member of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song, which is the committee that developed Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal, and he was a member of the Book of Common WorshipRevision Committee.

    Bill lives in Louisville and is a patron of many of the city's cultural, educational and entertainment opportunities. He enjoys good books, good meals, and good conversation.

  • David Bruce Smith ~ Adult Worship Leader

    David Bruce Smith (his friends call him "Bruce”) is a pianist/singer/songwriter who has been performing professionally since the age of fourteen. He is the Director of Music at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople, PA, where he has served for 37 years (he was very young when he started there!). Bruce is also the Musical Director for theatrical concert productions at The Strand Theater (Zelienople, PA), where he conducts and accompanies visiting Broadway singers. Since 2001, Bruce has led the annual summer Music & Drama program at Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake (Roscommon, MI). In recent years he also serves occasionally as an instructor at Wooten Woods - an international music camp in Tennessee (with five-time Grammy Award-winning musician Victor Wooten). Bruce's newest album release is “American Tunes" - spontaneous piano solos based on ‘Americana’ hymn melodies, available at multiple sites including iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.

  • Hannah Brooks ~ Young Adult Worship Leader

    Hannah Brooks was born and raised in Delaware, Ohio and currently lives in Powell, Ohio with her sister Jessie, and housemate Sarah. She attended Otterbein University where she majored in Music with a focus in Vocal Performance. While in college she was involved in multiple musical ensembles with a range of styles from classical, jazz, acapella, to pop and rock. She also kept herself busy being involved in the Young Life ministry serving as a volunteer high school Young Life leader for three years. Currently she works at Gng Music Instruction teaching guitar, voice, and piano lessons as well as leading worship at Concord Community Church in Delaware, Ohio. “As long as I’ve been singing, which is before I can even remember, I’ve been singing about Jesus. At least that’s what my family tells me, so I’ll have to take their word for it. Music is one of the only ways I can express the loves, joys, and all the different emotions the Holy Spirit brings to us.” 

  • Jason Freyer ~ High School Worship Leader

    Jason Freyer is associate pastor for Youth, Contemporary Worship, and Media at Westminster Presbyterian Church in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. He absolutely loves to sing, jam, and otherwise rock out at our contemporary worship service The Bridge. This year he’s excited to bring some great friends to join him throughout the week. He struggles with writing about himself in the third person. 

  • Staci Leonard ~ Middle School Worship Leader

    Lifelong NWMC attendee and Akron, Ohio native, Staci is a worship leader and the creative marketing director at Lake Mead Christian Academy in Las Vegas, NV. She is a lover of art, hiking, eating great food with great friends, and being near any large body of water or mountain. She has always loved to express her love for Jesus through music and singing, as it stirs us wonder and joy in her heart. She is very much looking forward to another year as the middle school worship leader at NWMC!