Send City Misssionaries

Meet Your Send City Missionaries

Chad Vandiver

Chad Vandiver

Montreal

Chad, his wife Shelly and their four children live in Montreal, Canada. Chad grew up in Ivory Coast and France and then graduated from the University of North Texas. He served as the IMB team leader for the North Africa team in Madrid, Spain, and, most recently, as the Missions Strategies Associate at the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

After leading churches to embrace unreached people groups in Texas and beyond, he was called to serve as the Send City coordinator in Montreal among the Québécois, the most unreached people group in North America. In his spare time, Chad enjoys family outings in one of the most beautiful cities in North America.

Ray Woodard

Ray Woodard

Vancouver

Ray Woodard and his wife, Patsy, have been living happily in Vancouver for 28 years. They are the proud parents of two daughters and grandparents of seven grandchildren. When Ray and his family moved to Vancouver in 1988, he was the pastor of Towers Baptist Church, a small church that nine believers called home. After growing the congregation, Towers Baptist Church helped plant and support church plants for the diverse cultures of the city. In 2008, Ray began working as a local church planting coach. Since that time, Ray has seen a growth of over 60 new church plants. When the North American Mission Board began the Send City initiative, Ray accepted the Send City Missionary role. He continues to fulfill this role and provide guidance for church planters in Vancouver. 

Bob Shelton

Bob Shelton

Calgary/Edmonton

Bob and his wife of 40 years, Debbie, came to Canada in 1984 to start a church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Through 15 years of church planting and pastoring Garden Park Baptist Church, many life lessons were learned.

In 1998 the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists (now the Canadian National Baptist Convention) asked him to put those life lessons to work and serve as the evangelism team leader. Since beginning with the national team, he has served in several roles, primarily dealing with leadership development and delivering “Just on Time Training” through the Internet.

Bob and Debbie have four children and eight grandchildren, who are the delight of their lives. His passion is to see his family and other leaders enjoy the journey with Jesus, stay the course and finish well.

Brett Porter

Brett Porter

Toronto

Brett, his wife Kathryn and their children Ashton and Clayton, have called Toronto home since 2005. Brett grew up in Houston, Texas and Kathryn in Clinton, Miss. The Porter family is serving as NAMB church planters, planting The Sanctuary Church in Mississauga. In 2012, Brett was asked to join NAMB and serve as the Send Toronto city coordinator. Brett holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Both Brett and Kathryn are graduates of Mississippi State University, where Brett also ran cross-country and track for the Bulldogs. The Porters love sports, the outdoors and being a part of city life in the Greater Toronto Area.

Wayne Parker

Wayne Parker

Detroit

Wayne Parker grew up in metro Detroit. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in education and received his Master of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Parker now serves as the senior pastor for Merriman Road Baptist Church in Garden City, an inner-ring suburb of Detroit. 

Previously Parker has served as a church planter, a church planting catalyst and director of missions for the Woodland Baptist Association in Michigan. He also owned and operated a remodeling company and maintained his state of Michigan builders license.

Wayne and his wife Cindy have five children. Together they enjoy skiing, hiking, hunting and fishing.

Travis Smalley

Travis Smalley

Cincinnati

Travis Smalley, a native of the Cincinnati area, has been the lead pastor at Lakota Hills since 2006. He earned his bachelor's degree from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and his master's degree from Liberty University. Travis and his wife, Robin, have two children. He is a self-proclaimed geek who loves to read, study, listen to preaching, spend time with his family, work out, boxing and watch football.
Dean Fulks

Dean Fulks

Columbus

Dean Fulks lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and three children. He grew up in southern Ohio and graduated from Ohio State University and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.

He serves as lead pastor at LifePoint Church (an 8-year-old Southern Baptist church plant) and as the Send North America: Columbus city coordinator for the North American Mission Board. In his spare time, Dean enjoys following anything to do with Ohio State football and spending time with his family.

Joshua Whetstine

Joshua Whetstine

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Joshua Whetstine spent 17 years in the business world, 10 years with Walmart, Inc. and seven years with LifeWay Christian Bookstores in both regional and general store manager roles. Whetstine left his last assignment with LifeWay as the manager of their Southern Seminary Bookstore in 2013 to begin service with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the Send Network church planting efforts in the Twin Cities. Whetsine and his wife, Rebekah, have been married for 17 years and have four children ranging from 16 years to 7 months. He majored in Biblical studies and holds a Master’s in Special Education and Cultural Church Planting. He and Rebekah have played roles is several church plants and are currently involved with a church plant in the Twin Cities. Whetstine is also serving as the Minneapolis-St. Paul City Missionary for NAMB.

Noah Oldham

Noah Oldham

St. Louis

Noah Oldham lives in St. Louis, Mo., with his wife and two children. He grew up in southern Illinois and graduated from McKendree College and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

He now serves as the Send North America: St. Louis city coordinator for the North American Mission Board. He is also the lead pastor of August Gate Church, a church plant in the Tower Grove East neighborhood of downtown St. Louis, which he planted in 2009.

In his spare time, Noah enjoys date nights with his wife, cuddling with his kids and following the St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Gators.

Chris Kellermeyer

Chris Kellermeyer

Indianapolis

Chris Kellermeyer and his wife of 29 years, Paula, are born-and-bred Hoosiers who live in Pendleton, Ind. Chris has planted two churches, the last one back in his hometown of Pendleton in 2001. He has four children and two grandchildren.

He has served the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana on the executive board for the last four years and held various positions in his local association. He will be serving as the new Send North America: Indianapolis city coordinator. He is a Colts fan and enjoys theater, music and the arts.

Matt Marrs

Matt Marrs

Kansas City

Matt Marrs is a native of Kansas City. He attended Southwest Baptist University (SBU) where he received a bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry. During his time at SBU he served as youth pastor at Glendale Baptist Church in Springfield, Mo., where he met his wife Kerry. He returned to Kansas City in 1996 to attend Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) and to join the staff of Northland Baptist Church. He graduated from MBTS with a Master of Divinity degree in 2000.

Matt served at Northland Baptist Church for more than 15 years, leading the church to be involved in a variety of church planting efforts. In 2011, Matt became the director of the Clay Platte Baptist Association. As the city coordinator for Kansas City, Matt is expanding his impact to the entire Kansas City metro area.

Matt and Kerry have three children, 16-year-old twin sons Mason and Micah and 12-year-old daughter Kalynn.

Jeff Calloway

Jeff Calloway

Cleveland

Jeff Calloway attended Carson-Newman College and is a graduate of Roane State Community College, Trinity Bible College and Trinity Theological Seminary. Before ministry, Jeff was a corporate management accountant with Navistar International and Rubbermaid Office Products.

He has served as a pastor in Tennessee and Ohio. He has been involved in restarting, planting and sponsoring new church plants. He also launched PlantOhio, a church planting center in the Cleveland area. Jeff currently serves as a church planting catalyst and the Send North America: Cleveland city coordinator.

Jeff is married to Julie, and they have two daughters, Sarah and Emily. Jeff and Julie are proud grandparents to Caleb and Ellie. Jeff enjoys building things with his hands and following the Tennessee Volunteers.

Chris Wright

Chris Wright

Chicago

Chris Wright, an Illinois native, has served in Chicagoland for the past six years as both a church planting catalyst and, most recently, a church planter. Chris comes to the role of send city missionary with 24 years of experience in student ministry, pastoral ministry and church planting. 

Chris, his wife, Lori, and her three children planted their first church 15 years ago in Peoria Illinois. Chris's desire for Chicago is to see indigenous leaders raised up out of the harvest, discipled and developed in our local churches and then sent out to reach the millions in Chicago that don't know Christ.

Steve Canter

Steve Canter

New York City

Steve Canter and his wife Jennifer have been married since 1997 and have three daughters. Although they relocated to Brooklyn, New York in December 2013, they felt they were “home” since their first time in the city. They love the density of people and diversity of  cultures that only an urban context like NYC can provide.

Steve is a graduate of Cumberland College and, before coming to NAMB in 2006, served as a student pastor, church planter and in associational missions primarily in Cincinnati, Ohio. Steve most recently was the Missionary Development Coordinator for NAMB, helping to establish the NAMB missionary Farm System.

Throughout his ministry experience, he has focused on developing missionary leaders to provide laborers for the harvest field with a particular burden for indigenous minority leaders. Steve has played an integral part in establishing the Rebuild Network, a network of churches focused on developing multiethnic leaders for the urban context, and is currently the Northeast director. Steve is also an elder at The Bridge Church in Brooklyn, NY.

In his free time Steve loves exploring the city with his family. He enjoys eating chicken wings and drinking coffee (not at the same time). His favorite Scripture verses are Isaiah 55:8-9.

David Butler

David Butler

Boston

David Butler is husband to Gayle and father to three adult children. He has eight grandchildren ranging in age from 18 years to 1. David earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Murray State University, a master of divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and his doctorate from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. 

 David has 44 years of ministry leadership experience, most of it serving three Kentucky churches. He has served as a youth pastor, assistant pastor, conference leader and senior pastor. He was the senior and founding pastor of Springdale Community Church in Louisville, Ky. Most recently he served as lead pastor of CenterPoint Church in Concord, N.H., and as a North American Mission Board trustee. Presently he is serving as NAMB’s Send City missionary to Boston. 

 His love for Boston actually began 30 years ago when a good friend serving the campuses of Boston as part of a national student ministry invited David and Gayle to spend a weekend exploring a city they had never visited before. The experience of that weekend has been pulling them out of their comfort zone ever since. No matter where they served, they continually looked for open-door opportunities to do ministry in Boston out of a love for the city. What God began in their hearts 30 years ago is now happening at a time and in a way they would never have figured out on their own.

Clint Clifton

Clint Clifton

Baltimore / Washington, D.C.

Clint and his wife Jennifer have been married since 2000 and have six children. Clint holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, Florida, and a Master of Arts from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Clint is the founding pastor of Pillar Church in Dumfries, Virginia. Pillar Church was founded in 2005 just one mile north of Quantico. Clint served as a church planter and associate pastor at several churches in the Southeast before planting Pillar Church. Since it’s inception, Pillar Church has started at least one new church each year, including churches in Reykjavik, Iceland, Bali, Indonesia, Norfolk, Virginia, and Fredericksburg, Virginia, among others.

In 2011 Pillar Church launched its most ambitious effort, the Praetorian Project, an effort to plant a network of new churches at military installations around the world. Clint is the author of several books, articles and courses including Church Planting Thresholds: A Gospel Centered Guide.

Clint serves as the Send City Missionary for Baltimore and Washington, D.C. with the North American Mission Board.
Barry Whitworth

Barry Whitworth

Philadelphia

Barry Whitworth and his wife of 35 years, Beth, live in Lebanon, Pa. Barry has served in ministry in the Northeast for 25 years, 15 of those years in church planting. Barry and Beth have been personally involved in the planting of five churches throughout the Northeast.

Barry has most recently served as the church planter and lead pastor of The Forge Church in Pittsburgh. Currently he serves as a church planting catalyst and the Send North America: Philadelphia city coordinator.

Barry enjoys spending time outdoors—especially camping, hunting and fishing. He loves Penn State football, and his favorite place to relax in Pa., is Raystown Lake.

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Jim Haskell

Jim Haskell

Atlanta

Jim and Linda Haskell love living in Midtown Atlanta, just four blocks from Jim’s beloved alma mater, Georgia Tech, where he received an industrial engineering degree in 1975. Jim and Linda met and married while students at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where Jim earned master’s of divinity and doctorate of ministry degrees.

He has served as a youth minister in a megachurch in Texas, a church planter in suburban Dallas and a senior pastor for 31 years in churches in Kentucky, Texas and Alabama. Before assuming the responsibilities of the Send North America: Atlanta city coordinator in September 2012, he served for three years as the executive director and lead strategist for Urban Atlanta Church Planting.

In his spare time Jim loves traveling, movies, ESPN and all sports especially all things Georgia Tech, Baylor, Braves, Rangers, Spurs, Falcons and Cowboys.

George Ross

George Ross

New Orleans

In 2005 George planted Lifepoint Church in Senatobia, Miss. He has served as Lifepoint’s pastor for the past eight years during which time the Lord used Lifepoint to reach its community and to plant churches locally and globally. 

George is a graduate of Crichton College in Memphis, Tenn., and received his Master of Divinity in evangelism and church planting from Liberty Theological Seminary. He is passionate about testifying to God’s grace as God continues to use him in kingdom ministry as a husband, father, pastor, church planter, gospel coach, conference preacher and now as the Send North America: New Orleans City Coordinator. 

George has been leading educational trips to Israel and other parts of the Middle East since 1999. He and his wife, Joy, have four children: Isaac, Hannah Ruth, Abigail and Jeremiah. They are devoted to family and to rearing their children in the nurture and instruction of the Lord. George and Joy speak and lead conferences on parenting, marriage and living a gospel-centered life. Contact George Ross at 504-343-1697.

Travis Kerns

Travis Kerns

Salt Lake City

Travis, his wife, Staci, and their son, Jeremiah, moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, during the summer of 2013. Born in Greenville, S.C., and raised at Taylors First Baptist Church, Kerns spent the majority of his life in the buckle of the Bible belt, but has felt a calling to move to Utah since January 1996. Although their time along the Wasatch Front has been short, Send North America: Salt Lake City is beginning to see extremely positive signs of God’s movement, but it is a very difficult place to serve, with the impact of spiritual warfare being felt everyday.

“Here, in Salt Lake City, believe it or not, is an unreached people group,” Kerns said of the people living along the Wasatch Mountains. “Our planters interact with members of The Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints, who make up 70% of the state of Utah, and with persons who are secular non-religious, who make up 28% of the state of Utah.” Evangelical Christians believe the state of Utah to be only 2% Christian, making it an unreached people group.

Before moving to Salt Lake City, Kerns was a professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., for nearly a decade and taught in the areas of philosophy, apologetics, and world religions. His doctoral work focused on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints theology and philosophy, a tool he uses on a daily basis. He is actively recruiting church planters, partner churches, and partner families to help reach the city with the gospel. “Partners here are huge and function as a positive shot in the arm,” said Kerns. “They are huge for our church planters. We can never have enough help.”

Many exciting things are happening within the boundaries of Send Salt Lake City. Bright spots range from the first Christian church plants in Morgan, Utah and Herriman, Utah, to active and vibrant church plants in Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo-Orem and St. George, Utah.

When potential planters and partners ask about working in the Salt Lake City area, Kerns responds simply: “The question is not, ‘Why Salt Lake?’ the better question is, ‘Why not?’”

Kerns’s passion in ministry is seeing unbelievers come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and seeing believers come to a love for evangelism and discipleship through the local church. His passions alongside vocational ministry revolve around his family, reading, studying history and competitive cycling.

Rich Johnstone

Rich Johnstone

San Francisco

Rich Johnstone has lived in Chicagoland, small town Texas and now in California for the past 30 years. He served churches in California as pastor and then as associational director of missions where he worked to strengthen churches and develop church planting partnerships.

He now serves as the city coordinator for Send North America: San Francisco to significantly impact unreached communities in the Bay Area through local evangelistic church planting strategies. Johnstone also serves on the faculty of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, teaching in the area of leadership formation.

He has been married to Rhonda for 30 years, and they have three children. He enjoys cycling and long-distance inline skating for fitness and fast fun.

Robby Pitt

Robby Pitt

Los Angeles

Robby Pitt, a Virginia native, has worked his way across the country in ministry. For the past six years he has provided leadership as a church planting strategist with the California Southern Baptist Convention. He also worked with the Gold Coast, Kern County and San Fernando Valley Baptist associations. 

Robby helped replant Fellowship Church of Burbank, which has in turn birthed six congregations using six different languages. He established the L.A. Church Planting Training Center and specializes in mentoring church planters. He has worked with the New England and Colorado Baptist conventions to plant churches in Denver, northern Virginia, Vermont and California. 

He and his wife, Kim, have two daughters, Brecke and Cassie. Musically inclined, he played in bands while in college and before seminary including the bluegrass and acoustic “Cornerstone Band” and the blues band “Street Level.” He likes to run, read and backpack and is an avid Green Bay Packers, New York Yankees and the Boston Celtics fan.

Monty Patton

Monty Patton

Phoenix

Monty, his wife Nancy of 28 years and two children moved to Phoenix, Ariz., in May of 1996 to begin Mountain Ridge Baptist Church. During the past 17 years, Mountain Ridge has been part of planting more than 16 churches in Arizona and several more around the world.

Monty received his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University, master’s degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and doctorate from Trinity Theological Seminary. Monty currently serves as lead teaching pastor of Mountain Ridge Church and also serves as the Send North America: Phoenix city coordinator for the North American Mission Board.

Though Arizona is considered home, he remains an ardent fan of Sooner football. He enjoys bike riding (rode across America in 2010) and hanging out with family and friends.

Dave Howeth

Dave Howeth

Denver

Dave Howeth and his wife Debbie live in Arvada, Colo. They have three children and four grandchildren scattered in Georgia, Oregon and Montana. Dave and Debbie planted two churches in Montana and the Bay Area and pastored two churches that planted several other churches.

He served 10 years as a church planter strategist/director of missions in southwest Montana and then several years as church planter strategist in Denver. He served as state missions director/church planter team leader for the Montana Convention before returning to Denver to serve as the city coordinator.

Dave and Debbie love to explore the culture of Denver, seeking theaters and to eat and drink coffee in non-franchise places. They love to spend time with and invest in the lives of their children and grandchildren. Dave also likes to play golf, fly-fish, hike and climb 14ers. He is a now a Nuggets (basketball) and Avalanche (hockey) fan.

Ben Barfield

Ben Barfield

Las Vegas

Ben Barfield, the dynamic church planting catalyst for Tucson, and founding church planter of Common Ground Church, has accepted the role of city coordinator for Send North America: Las Vegas.

“I really had no reason to do it, other than I could not say no,” said Barfield. “I knew it was what God wanted me to do. Things are going great in Tucson. The church is growing, but I believe this is the next thing God has in store for us.” Barfield planted Common Ground in 2006. The church has grown steadily under his leadership.

This past year Ben was recognized as one of the leading CPCs in the North American Mission Board’s West Region. In 2013 Barfield catalyzed six churches in the Tucson area and is working with several plants preparing to launch this year. In the past few years he has also helped bring 10 national partners to Arizona.

Barfield and his wife also have two sons, Brandon, 21, a student at Grand Canyon University and Zack, a seventh grader. Barfield says his primary role is as a husband and father.

Clay Holcomb

Clay Holcomb

Portland

Clay and LeAnn Holcomb and their four children live in Portland, Ore., where Clay serves as NAMB’s Send City coordinator for Portland, church planter and on the staff of the Northwest Baptist Convention. The Holcombs have planted churches in Houston and Baton Rouge. Prior to that they spent 12 years in student ministry.

Keeping up with four kids keeps them plenty busy, and they love camping, outdoor activities, enjoying the city of Portland and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. The Holcombs moved to Portland with a burden to see the lost reached and to catalyze a church planting movement.

Ron Shepard

Ron Shepard

Seattle

Ron Shepard is a west coast urbanite from the Los Angeles area. He pastored churches in greater San Francisco and San Diego before moving to Seattle in 2004.

Ron has a love for people groups and enjoys cross cultural and inner city ministry from his condominium in downtown Seattle. He and his wife Patty prayerwalk the city in a way that leads to sitting down and sharing the gospel.

Both are graduates of California Baptist University. Ron received a master’s and doctorate of Divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Ron’s love for interchurch and church planting ministry led the Shepards to the Puget Sound Baptist Association (PSBA). He still works with the PSBA while also serving as the Northwest Baptist Convention regional team leader and as the city coordinator for Seattle.

Ron and Patty have two sons. Matthew is a navy chaplain currently with the U.S.M.C., and Timothy is the English ministry youth pastor for Chinese Southern Baptist Church in Seattle.

Jeremy Aylett

Jeremy Aylett

San Diego

Jeremy Aylett is a church planter in San Diego. He planted Mission Valley Church in 2012, and desires it to be a multiplying church that reaches the various neighborhoods and diverse people groups of their area. Jeremy believes San Diego is a gateway city for the nations and a strategic location because of its worldwide cultural influence and global popularity. Jeremy and his wife Natalia have two children, Ian and Logan.