Coaches & Specialists

Brad Bennett 01052014

Brad Bennett

Brad is a United Methodist elder and has coached SLI projects at the conference and local church level.  As a local pastor for 20 years, he infuses SLI processes into leadership and discipleship development.  He is passionate about God directed, Christ empowered transformation.  He has provided community leadership through The Boy Scouts of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and various expressions of the Walk to Emmaus.

Brad has a Master’s degree from West Virginia University in Computer Science and a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary.  He is married to Stephanie who is also a United Methodist elder and serves with her as co-pastor.  They are blessed with a beautiful daughter Rachel.

Bryan SIms

Bryan Sims

Bryan has worked since 2001 as a Leadership and Organizational Change Coach with Spiritual Leadership, Inc. (SLI) where he has trained and coached leaders, teams, churches, and organizations over extended periods of time to bring spiritual awakening and missional effectiveness. He has worked in several United Methodist Conferences including Northwest Texas, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Alabama-West Florida.

He is currently Associate Professor of Leadership and Lay Equipping at Asbury Theological Seminary and the Director of the Center for Lay Mobilization within the Beeson International Center at the seminary. Bryan is a graduate of West Texas A&M University (1998) and Asbury Theological Seminary (M.Div., 2003) and has a Ph. D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University (2009). He and his wife MyLinda have been happily married since 1997 and have four children: Isaiah, Luke, Silas, and Lydia.

Catherine Self

Cathy Self

Cathy joined Spiritual Leadership, Inc. in 2006, serving since then as Coach for a variety of projects including the first Hispanic/Latino team and the National Emmaus/Chrysalis Leadership team. Cathy concurrently serves as President and CEO for Baptist Healing Trust, a private grant-making foundation for health related nonprofits in Middle Tennessee. With thirty-five years’ experience in the health care field, Cathy has provided direct care as a physical therapist and as an organizational leader through a number of roles including previous service as Vice President for Organizational Learning with Saint Thomas Health Services in Nashville, TN. Cathy was awarded a Masters in Leadership from Trinity Western University with an emphasis on servant leadership in 2003 and a PhD in Organizational Learning from Regent University in 2009. A lifelong Southern Baptist, Cathy grew up as a deacon’s kid, pastor’s kid, missionary kid, and now minister’s wife. She has served in many roles within the Church including Sunday School teacher, choir member, retreat and Bible study leader. Cathy is married to Barney and they have two children Aimee and Matthew. Being “Nana” to the grands is Cathy’s crowning joy.

Chuck Lord

As one of the original Board members, Chuck has been actively involved with SLI since its inception in 2000. He has been a full time SLI coach since 2008, when he retired from nearly 30 years as teacher of music theory and music technology at the University of Kentucky. Chuck has led teams from a variety of organizations – churches, non-profits, denominational associations – in several states including Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida, Kansas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Alabama. He and his wife Sue make their home in Lexington, KY; they have three grown daughters and four grandchildren.

Craig Robertson

Craig W. Robertson is founding member and Development Partner of Spiritual Leadership, Inc.  Besides the work of developing relationships and discovering areas where SLI’s particular ministry might serve best, Craig’s project focus is on: large regional areas, or judicatories, containing 800 – 1200 churches; European coach development and projects; and serving on SLI’s lead team providing strategic direction to the organization.
Craig’s business experience includes founding and serving as President of Lightpath, Inc., an engineering systems integration firm. This company was purchased by one time fortune 500 company Ogden, Inc. an environmental engineering firm where Craig became National Technical Director. He was then hired by Ogeta Services a Geographic Information Services firm to serve as the Chairman of the Board and CEO.  Craig has served in many roles within the Church including lay leader, District lay leader, Director of New Church Development and Delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conference. Craig has now been serving within SLI since 2000. Craig is married to Jill and they have two children Amy and Jacob.
Donna Gaither

Donna Gaither

Donna Gaither recently retired from the General Board of Discipleship (UMC) where she served as the Executive Director of Strategic Systems.    She brought to this position almost twenty-five years of experience on the staff of local churches in both Tennessee and Western North Carolina. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College and a Masters of Arts in Religion from Florida State University.  She is a certified Director of Christian Education and a Deacon in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Donna and her husband Mike live in Nashville, Tennessee and their adult daughter lives nearby.   She has been involved with SLI since 2003, and has facilitated leadership incubators in both Tennessee and Nebraska.  She is passionate about helping congregations build intentional discipleship formation processes.

Greg Survant

Greg Survant is founding member and Managing Partner of Spiritual Leadership, Inc.  Besides the work of creating systems, tools and processes to help manage and support SLI’s growing team and presence, Greg’s project focus is on: large regional areas/judicatories containing 800 – 1200 churches; speciality ministry areas within these judicatories; and serving on SLI’s lead team providing strategic direction to the organization.  Greg is also providing leadership to SLI’s emerging Hispanic ministry.
With 32 years experience at IBM and Lexmark International, Inc, Greg continually delivered high performance results in partnership with his staff in challenging and complex situations, producing breakthrough results in multiple areas of the business. As vice president of Lexmark’s Business Products business area, Greg and his teams had a track record of delivering world class results and effecting large-scale transformation on a global basis.  Greg also championed Lexmark’s Operational Excellence and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
For over 30 years, God’s call on Greg’s life appears to revolve around developing in both large organizational leadership and in church leadership to the mutual benefit of the two. Greg and his wife Glenda have two adult sons.
Ideal pic

Ideal Curtis

Ideal has been a member of the SLI team since 2010. She is currently a coach, having been involved with projects at the local church, district, and cabinet level. She brings 30 years of Administrative and Leadership experience having held Administrative positions in both Public and Christian education.

She also utilizes her Leadership skills in the position of Western Regional Leader representing the Upper Room to the 12 Western states with the Walk to Emmaus movement.

Ideal has a passion for sharing God’s special love for women, and has a speaking ministry where she has been the keynote speaker at retreats, conferences, and other Women’s Ministry events. That passion produced a book, I Am My Father’s Daughter, published in 2011, offering hope and inspiration to the many women who are stuck in the pain and disappointment of their relationship with their earthly father, pointing them to the incredible love and relationship waiting for them with their Heavenly Father.

Ideal has been married to Les for 35 years. Recently retired, they are full timers in their 5th wheel “mobile mansion”. They have one son, Kurt, a beautiful daughter (in-law), Heidi, and their new granddaughter, Haddie.

 KevinParido

Kevin Parido

Kevin has served in churches for 15 years in multiple areas of ministry.  In each of those church settings, his passion has been leadership development, discipleship, organizational structure, and strategy.  He has authored, facilitated and trained other leaders in a year long discipleship experience called The Fallow Ground Project, which creates space for people to encounter and embrace Jesus’ freeing and activating love through Bible study, discussion, accountability, and gift discovery. He came into contact with SLI in in 2011 and he instantly knew that SLI was doing the work he had always dreamed of doing.  With SLI, he has worked with conferences, districts and local churches.

He is currently working at Winchester First United Methodist Church in Kentucky as Pastor of Formation and Equipping.   Kevin is a graduate of Kentucky Christian University (1999) and Asbury Theological Seminary (M.Div., 2013).  He and his wife Sarabeth live on his father’s farm with their three boys:  Lukas, Liam, and Landon.

 Marc Nussbaumer

Marc Nussbaumer

Marc Nussbaumer is 57 years old and married to Annarös since 1982. They have three adult children and two grandchildren.
As an SLI Coach he brings together the aspects of his calling to preach, teach, coach and train.

He first was a teacher in the public school in Switzerland, then in 1990 he became a pastor in the United Methodist Church in Switzerland. Besides being a pastor in a local church, he trains and coaches people in churchplanting processes and churchrenewing processes.in the UMC and beyond in Switzerland, Germany and France. Today he leads the SLI Europe Coordination team and several team-incubators in Switzerland and Germany.

Mike McFarren

Mike McFarren

Mike McFarren was a teacher and coach for eight years in Titusville, Pennsylvania and Plymouth, Ohio before becoming involved as a layperson in planting Living Water Community Church in Dalton, Ohio.  Four years later he became its pastor, and for twenty years led it through various stages of growth.  Currently he is the Superintendent for the Ohio Conference of the Free Methodist Church and served prior to this appointment as Conference Coach of Pastoral Support for two years.  Mike has a great heart for healthy, vital congregations, and, building on five years with SLI, is looking forward to continued and growing roles with SLI. He and his wife Robin have three sons and seven grandchildren.

 Ron Ball pic

Ron Ball

Ron Ball has served churches in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Oklahoma over the 40 years of tenure as a United Methodist pastor. many years in the Alabama-West Florida Conference UMC. He was appointed as District Superintendent of the Montgomery-Opelika District in 2007 and served until June of 2013 when he took a retired status.  Presently, he is working as a Coach with SLI, as well as serving as Director of Congregational Excellence in Alabama-West Florida.

Because he loves people, evangelism has always been an important part of Ron’s ministry. Four times he has received District Harry Denman Awards for evangelism, he is a certified trainer for Evangelism Explosion, a Growth Plus Consultant, a preacher for Camp Meetings and revivals, and has been active in both the Big Bend and Blue Lake Walk to Emmaus movements. One of his great loves is Missions. He has helped lead Mission trips to Haiti, Mexico, Central and South America, as well as trips within the U.S. The “watchword” for Ron’s ministry is based on John 5:19, where Jesus said, “The things I do I do not do on my own initiative. I only do what I see the Father doing, and in like manner.”

He and his wife, Charlotte, have been married since 1965. They have 3 married daughters and 10 grandchildren.

 

Ron Crandall

Ron is an ordained United Methodist elder and retired Dean of the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary. After missionary work in Vietnam and serving pastorates in California and Arizona he worked for the GBOD in Nashville for six years.  His current ministry focus is twofold: smaller membership churches and effective Christian witness. This dual passion led to the development of ABIDE for SLI. His book Turnaround and Beyond—A Hopeful Future for Smaller Membership Churches captures half of this story, and his widely used small group study WITNESS: Learning to Share Your Christian Faith the other half.  Ron is married to Bonnie and they have two sons and two grandchildren.

 

Other coaches

Currently, SLI has 35 certified coaches, specialists and staff. Other than the coaches highlighted above, the list of coaches includes: Roland Affolter, Iosmar Alvarez, Andreas Benz, Fred Blackwell, Laurel Blackwell, Wayne Davis, Renee Easter, Michael Girgis, Claudia Haslebacher, Missy Johnson, Brandon McGinnis, Pete Nehnevajsa, Christin Nevins, Annaros Nussbaumer, Marc Nussbaumer, Wes Olds, Kathy Rohrs and Vona Wilson.

 

SLI Association

Today, SLI’s Association consists of some 75 people. These include the people identified above plus others involved in coaching projects along side certified coaches.

 

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