Morning MeetinG Speaker

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.  

  • Dr. Florence Muindi  

    Founding President/CEO of Life in Abundance, International

    Dr. Muindi is considered a thought leader in the ministry of community development. A native to Kenya, Dr. Muindi is a medical doctor by training and has pioneered Life In Abundance's transformational development model. Since the beginning, Dr. Muindi has played an integral role in not only establishing a proven model and track record for LIA, but also in laying the foundation for implementation throughout Africa and the majority world.

    She is a graduate of University Of Nairobi Medical School (1989). Additionally, Dr. Muindi received training in Switzerland and Belgium in specialized public health interventions and holds a diploma in Urban Poor Theology from Fuller Seminary. She regularly speaks publicly about community development through the local church, empowerment of the vulnerable and transformational transformation.

    She is married to Festus with two grown sons. Above all, Dr. Muindi is a servant and follower of Christ.

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.

  • Shadi Fatehi ~ Friday, July 19

    Pars Theological Center, 

    Shadi is the Associate Director at Pars Theological Centre and a Visiting Fellow at the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics in Cambridge. She was raised in the South-East of England by her Iranian mother, a third-generation believer from a Jewish background, and her Iranian father, a second-generation believer from a Muslim background. Shadi lived in Scotland from 2010-2014, where she completed an MA in Theology and Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews. Shadi has been serving at Pars for 4 years. She is also a member of the Pars Teaching Faculty.

  • Gracia Burnham ~ Saturday, July 20

    The Martin & Gracia Burnham Foundation

    Gracia grew up in a home that put the Lord and his Word at the center of their lives. She could sing hymns from memory even before she could read! When she was seven or eight, a caring Sunday school teacher explained to her the importance of committing her life to Christ. Not long after that she begged for the opportunity to be baptized.

    Upon graduation from high school, Gracia chose to attend Calvary Bible College in Kansas City because of their music program. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree majoring in Christian education.

    While she was at Calvary, a friendship flourished with a fellow student by the name of Martin Burnham. Gracia learned that Martin was the son of missionaries, Paul and Oreta Burnham, who were serving in the Philippines. Martin’s primary interest was aviation....and Gracia!

    She and Martin were married in Kansas City in 1983. After several years of training with New Tribes Mission, they headed for the Philippines in 1986. For seventeen years, Martin was a jungle pilot delivering mail, supplies, and encouragement to other missionaries. He also transported sick and injured patients to medical facilities. Gracia supported him whenever he was in the air by maintaining radio contact.

    The Burnhams’ three children, Jeffrey Paul, Melinda Joy, and Zachary Scott were born in the Philippines and home-schooled by their mother.

    On May 27, 2001, while celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary at Dos Palmas Resort off Palawan Island, rebels from the Abu Sayyaf Group seized the Burnhams and several other guests of the resort, and took them as hostages to Basilan Island. In the ensuing 376 days of captivity they endured incredible hardship and emotional fatigue. On June 7, 2002, Martin was killed in a firefight between the Philippine military and the Abu Sayyaf Group. Gracia was wounded in the leg but was freed.

    Gracia now resides in Rose Hill, Kansas. She is the author of the book In the Presence of My Enemies, which gives a gripping account of their year of terror in the Philippine jungle. In her second book, To Fly Again, Gracia reflects on the lessons and spiritual truths learned while in the jungle. She is a popular and engaging speaker in high demand at churches, colleges, and conferences across the United States. She is also the Founder and Director of The Martin & Gracia Burnham Foundation.

  • J. Herbert Nelson ~ Sunday, July 21, 11:00am

    Stated Clerk of the PC(USA)

    The Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II serves as Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the largest Reformed denomination in the United States. He was elected at the 222nd General Assembly (2016) in Portland, Oregon.

    The son, grandson, and nephew of Presbyterian pastors, Nelson is the first African American to lead the denomination, which has a 300-year history in the U.S. As Stated Clerk his duties include interpreting assembly actions, representing the church on various denominational and ecumenical councils, witnessing on behalf of the church to social justice issues, and making statements as directed by an assembly.

    Prior to becoming Stated Clerk, Nelson served as director of the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. His service to the denomination also includes calls as pastor of St. James Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, and organizing pastor of Liberation Community Church in Memphis, Tennessee.

    As an extension to his ministry in the PC(USA), Nelson served as associate director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. As a consultant, he provided staff development training for teacher specialists, curriculum specialists, and principal leaders who provide assistance for low-performing schools.

    Nelson holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary; a Master of Divinity degree from Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science/Urban Studies from Johnson C. Smith University.

    He is a featured conference preacher and writer, and serves on various boards and professional organizations. His international travel includes trips to South Africa, Geneva, Switzerland, Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Havana, Cuba, on behalf of the PC(USA).

    Nelson is married to the Reverend Gail Porter Nelson, and they have one adult daughter, Alycia Yvette Nelson.

  • A Representative from Youth For Christ - Central Asia

    Sunday, July 21, 7:00pm

    Youth for Christ is a worldwide Christian movement working with young people around the globe. Motivated by our own faith we give young people everywhere the opportunity to be followers of Jesus Christ.



  • José Louis Casal ~ Monday, July 22

    Director of Presbyterian World Mission

    Jose Luis Casal was born in pre-revolutionary Cuba. He finished his theological studies during the revolution and was ordained in 1971, serving as pastor in different cities across the island. In 1989, he joined the Latin Council of Churches in Quito, Ecuador, also working with the World Student Christian Federation in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1991, he served in ministry at the United Evangelical Church in Quito, a PC(U.S.A.) partner church. He moved to Florida in 1994 to co-pastor a Hispanic congregation in Miami, Iglesia Presbiteriana El Cordero. In 1995, he accepted the role of organizing pastor of Iglesia Presbiteriana Canto de Esperanza in the Chicago area, where he grew the congregation from 0 to 144 members in record time. Before accepting the role as director of Presbyterian World Mission in April of 2017, Casal served for 15 years as the General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Tres Rios in West Texas.

    Casal, the first person of color to serve full-time as director of World Mission in the Presbyterian Church USA. He has participated in ministry in many countries around the world, serving in different capacities, and has led dozens of mission trips across several continents. His work within the church includes service on dozens of key committees. Casal has received several awards of distinction. He served as founder and moderator of Hispanic Presbyterian Men. He served as secretary and vice president of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S. At General Assembly 221st General Assembly (2014) in Detroit, he received the Ecumenical Service Recognition Award. He is also the author of two books of poems and the composer of more than 80 hymns and other songs in Spanish and English that have been published in hymnals in Cuba, Latin America and the U.S.

    Casal has bachelor’s degrees in theology from the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Matanzas, Cuba (1971) and French language and literature from the Institute for Higher Education in Foreign Languages at Bayamo, Cuba (1978). He did post-graduate studies in Christian arts at the International Seminary for Theological Studies in Mexico City in 1978 and earned a master’s degrees in Philology from the University of Havana (1988) and theology from the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Matanzas (1989). 

     

    He resides in Louisville, KY with his wife, Cecilia Casal.

  • Robert Brock ~ Tuesday, July 23

    Voice of the Martyrs

    Robert Brock has been with The Voice of the Martyrs since 1993. As one of their speakers, he has shared in hundreds of churches and venues reaching thousands every year with the message of the persecuted church. He is an excellent communicator bringing to life the faith and courage of our persecuted brethren. His multi- media presentation has informed, challenged, and inspired many to renew their walk with the Lord.

    Before joining VOM, Robert and his family lived in Europe working with refugees from Communist and Islamic countries. Now he travels throughout the United States and the world sharing the message of today's persecuted church and VOM’s work on their behalf. 

    Robert has ministered in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East, including Pakistan, Vietnam, Sudan, China, India, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Columbia, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Nepal. On his overseas travels, he meets with families of martyrs and delivers aid, relief, and spiritual encouragement.  Robert is able to assure our brothers and sisters that as part of God’s family, they are not forgotten.

    Robert has a unique ability to connect the overcoming faith of our persecuted brothers and sisters with churches, colleges, seminaries, Christian schools, home-schools, and Bible studies throughout the country.

  • Veda Javaid Gill ~ Wednesday, July 24

    Executive Director of the Presbyterian Education Board (PEB) Pakistan

    Since February 1998, Veda Gill has served as Executive Director of Presbyterian Education Board in Pakistan (PEB). A 2-year commitment has turned into a long-term effort to reestablish the PEB schools to the superior level of education that they had enjoyed prior to government nationalization in 1972 and to fulfill PEB’s mission of providing quality

    educational opportunity to the poor masses, without regard for caste, color, or creed. Veda oversees all the activities of the PEB office in Lahore and 22 schools throughout the Punjab province of Pakistan. Additionally, she supervises the SHE (Struggle-Hope-Empowerment) project for at-risk women and girls, and community development programs of literacy, vocational training, and personal improvement.

    Veda’s connection with PEB began many years ago. Her maternal grandfather died, leaving a large family with no means of support. Her grandmother was trying to figure out how to support her children. Poor villages like theirs found hope when Presbyterian missionaries came and offered to test children who might qualify for their boarding schools. In these schools, children would be fed, clothed, housed, and educated. Families of those who were accepted were very grateful and proud. Mohanda Bibi, Veda’s mother, was one of those bright students. She was enrolled in the boarding school in Sangla Hill. Mohanda’s schooling and boarding were paid by scholarships from American donors. Later the missionaries realized how bright Mohanda was, and she was given a college scholarship. After graduation, she became a teacher at Rang Mahal School in Lahore. She married the comptroller of the school, and they had two daughters (Veda was the younger daughter). Veda and her sister attended mission schools and then graduated from Kinnaird College in Lahore. Both women became teachers and earned Master’s degrees. Veda’s story is a true testament to the power of a scholarship to change a life and to give hope through the generations that follow.

    A former teacher of high school math and physics, Veda holds a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry, Biology & Mathematics, and Master’s degrees in Educational Administration and Business Administration. She is a member of the Board of Governors of Forman Christian College (A Chartered University), Chairperson of the Education Promotion Society (promoting education in rural areas), and Vice Chairperson of Pakistan Bible Correspondence Institute, Faisalabad.

    Veda regularly travels to the United States to spread the good news about the PEB schools and to seek support for continued growth of the schools. As she makes new contacts and returns to visit long-time donors, we often hear her say, “Good God is at work.” She is constantly amazed at the desire of churches and organizations to join in partnership with PEB and make a commitment to educating the children of Pakistan.

    Veda and her late husband Javaid are the parents of four adult sons and 2 beautiful granddaughters. Veda became a US citizen in January 2015.

  • Summer Service Team ~ Thursday, July 25

    Ethiopia

    Stephanie Cercone, Marie Dykstra, Rachel Gronemeyer, Claire Kim, Sarah McCord, and Joella Miller will share about their experience serving for the summer in Ethiopia. 

Age Group 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.

  • Don Ballard ~ Adult I Mission

    City Service Mission

    Don Ballard is President and CEO of City Service Mission. Since 1996, Don has served in Christian leadership positions with congregations, non profits, hospital systems, and universities/seminaries. His passion is to not only lead well, but to help others learn to lead more effectively by leaning into their calling and vocational ambitions. Don married Jamie in 1996, and they have three kids - Davis, Drew, and Julia. They are beloved teenagers edging quickly into adulthood who keep them moving and motivated. Don and his family also have a Great Dane puppy that has taken over their household and stolen their hearts. God has led Don in ministry from TN to MS to TX and now to OH. Don is not sure where God will lead him and his family next, but knows that God will be leading. Don also will blog occasionally at preachingtome.wordpress.com.

  • Rob Weingartner ~ Adult II Bible

    The Outreach Foundation

    Rob Weingartner has served as executive director of The Outreach Foundation since 2002, ministry that takes him across the country and around the world. 

    A graduate of Pittsburgh (M.Div,) and Princeton (D.Min.) seminaries, Rob did further work in Missiology at United Theological Seminary. He pastored congregations in Indiana and Ohio for twenty years prior to joining The Outreach Foundation.  Rob served on the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s General Assembly Council, the Worldwide Ministries Division committee, and on the boards of New Wilmington Mission Conference, Presbyterians for Renewal, The Outreach Foundation, Presbyterian Global Fellowship and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is a founding board member of The Antioch Partners. He preaches and consults with congregations regularly and has also taught in the Perspectives program.

    Rob and his wife, Terry, live in Brentwood, Tennessee, and have three grown children, each of whom is married, and four grandchildren.

  • Marilyn Borst ~ Adult II Mission

    The Outreach Foundation

    Marilyn Borst is Associate Director for Partnership Development of The Outreach Foundation, a Presbyterian mission agency which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. She works with churches around the United States to help them discern God’s call to global engagement while connecting them to that work alongside the Global Church in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East---a particular area of specialty for her. She travels extensively, nurturing relationships with church leaders, assessing ministry initiatives and leading short-term vision teams especially to Cuba, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Israel/Palestine. Her heart for the Church in difficult places has also brought her to Iran, Pakistan and North Korea. Prior to joining The Outreach Foundation staff, Marilyn served for over 6 years as Director of Global Ministry at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta where she oversaw the international partnerships of this 8,000-member congregation in over 33 countries. Marilyn holds a B.A. in Classical Studies from Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI), an M.A. in Art History from Michigan State University, and an M.A. in Theology from St. Thomas University (Houston). She has participated in four archeological digs in Jordan and Egypt and taught as adjunct faculty at the University of Houston for 20 years. She is ordained as an elder and has been married to Mark Borst for 40 years. The Borsts reside in Atlanta where they are endlessly entertained by the antics of their precocious cats, Anthony and Cleopatra.

  • Uugunaa Chuluunbaatar ~ Young Adult

    Campus Crusade Mongolia

    Uuganbaatar Chuluunbaatar has served on full-time staff of Mongolia Campus Crusade for Christ since 2006. He is married to Undarmaa, who also serves full-time with the Mongolia Campus Crusade for Christ. They’ve been married for ten years and have two children. Uuganaa has great passion and heart for both youth and world mission. He has a bachelor’s degree in software engineering and a master’s in intercultural studies from the East Asia School of Theology in Singapore.

  • Colleen Wong ~ High School

    Barnabas International

    Colleen was a former high school biology teacher before she went into full time ministry.  Her experience includes working with the inner city poor, serving on a church staff team, overseas church planting team (Middle East) and providing pastoral care to long term workers.  She is currently on staff with Barnabas International, an organization that focuses on pastoral care for overseas workers.  In partnership with Barnabas and Trans World Radio, she also does brief member care international broadcasts that serve the ex-pat community through international radio.  She has been a speaker for the Perspectives class for many years and has served on their curriculum development team.  Recently she co-authored the book, Tender Care, a primer designed to provide spiritual insight for those serving in the member care field.


  • Chip Stapleton ~ Middle School

    After spending 15 years in full-time youth ministry (serving churches is PA, CT and IL), Chip was ordained as a minister of Word and Sacrament to serve as the associate pastor for youth and families. Prior to rejoining Highland as senior minister, he spent 8 years leading a multicultural church outside of Boston, MA. Chip is joined in life and ministry by his wife Traci, who both hail from Western PA. with their four boys: Charlie, Jack, Ian, and Henry. When they aren't at church they are most likely to be found on or near a soccer field or 'researching' the area's best ice cream and other treats. Chip received his undergraduate degree (History) from Westminster College, and completed seminary at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary after beginning his studies at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He also has a certificate in Youth and Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently completing his doctoral work in the Leadership and Global Perspectives program at Portland Seminary. He is passionate about sharing the Good News of God's adoptive love and saving grace with all through the words, deeds and lives of the people of God. Along with his family he loves to travel, watch and play soccer and cheer on (more loudly than he should) the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arsenal Football Club, and the New England Revolution. 

  • Rachel and Michael Ludwig ~ Juniors

    PC(USA) Mission Co-workers - Niger

    Rachel and Michael have lived in the West African country of Niger since 2014, serving as mission co-workers with the PC(USA).  They work with church partners, the Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger, focused on theological education and training leaders in Community Health Evangelism.  A big part of Rachel's ministry is building relationships in their Muslim majority community and homeschooling their four children.  They live in the middle of this desert nation, in a city which has a population of around 400,000, but is still lacking a lot of basic development.  They enjoy eating fried grasshoppers, catching frogs in their local swimming hole, and experimenting with building all sorts of things from sand forts to recycled hand-washing stations.  Rachel and Michael are originally from the Pittsburgh area and Holland, MI, respectively.