CCV Worship is a collective of worship leaders, songwriters, musicians, and creatives whose passion is to point people to a rich and full relationship with Jesus, though encounters of intentional and powerful worship. Based out of Philadelphia, CCV Worship is led by Eric Sumpter and showcases an array of worship leaders, of all different backgrounds and experiences. They are excited to lead worship at CIY this summer and see how God moves through this next generation of worshippers.
Eric MacDonald is a worship pastor based out of Northern Kentucky. His passion is calling students and adults towards expressive and genuine worship. Eric is also a songwriter that combines his faith and his love for 80's synths. Both of his projects, Forever and Wonder, are out now on all platforms!
Eric loves spending time with his wife (Jess) and daughter (Nellie) and is a self-proclaimed donut connoisseur, movie buff and ultimate frisbee fanatic. He is excited to see how God moves this year at CIY!
Ryan is a Worship Pastor and Songwriter out of Tulsa, OK -- by way of New Orleans, LA. Together, he and his wife Devin have served in ministry for their whole seven years of marriage (and counting). His desire is to show the truth and beauty of God through his music -- and connect with Him; all while equipping and encouraging others to do the same.
Worship Pastor and Singer Songwriter, Rob Jones was created to do music. He uses his authentic Folk/Soul vibe to help create an atmosphere for people to encounter the Lord and experience the goodness of His grace.
Louie and Brianne are worship leaders based out of Southern California. They both have a desire to see people changed by grace and respond, in adoration, to the God who redeemed them through Jesus Christ.
It wasn't until they were married in 2012 that they sensed the magnitude of their calling to lead worship together. Now, by God's grace, they seek to encourage and edify the body of Christ through music and worship.
Aaron Pelsue is a singer-songwriter, artist and worship leader based out of Indianapolis, IN. He founded the Aaron Pelsue Band in 2000 and has been recording and traveling with them ever since. He and his wife, Emily, have led worship all across the country and in local churches for the last 17 years. They have three adopted children- Posey (8), Glory (4), and Milo (18mo), all born in southern Mississippi. After spending 15 years in full time ministry on staff at two mega-churches, they have been traveling and leading worship as "musicianaries" since 2014. They have produced and released a dozen worship albums over the last 10 years and continue writing and recording today. The goal of their ministry and music has always been to bring hope, love and inspiration to all who hear them. They feel it's their calling to create music that makes a difference. You can read more about their ministry, and purchase or download their music at www.aaronpelsuemusic.com.
Erin Johnston is the Pastor of Coaching and Family at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas. She loves helping people see how Jesus fits into their very real and messy lives, and is passionate about bringing the Bible to life in a way that makes sense to anyone and everyone.
Erin is deeply passionate about the next generation and wants to help them see the stories God has already been writing in their lives. In addition to pastoring, speaking, volunteering, and being a dog mom, Erin loves being outside, preferably hiking or camping, watching the Dodgers win the World Series, or eating burritos. Erin’s heart desires people of all backgrounds to encounter a God who sees them, knows them, and calls them into a life that is better than anything they could have dreamed for themselves.
Born and raised in Tampa, Florida Frank Gil is cuban, bearded, and loves Jesus. He is an energetic and passionate speaker who has been serving in student ministry for over ten years. He loves the gospel, great food, and good hip hop. Frank is a campus pastor at epikos church in Milwaukee, WI. He is married, has no kids, and has a black lab named Grace.
Drake is married to his high school sweetheart, Andrea. They have one son, Willie Cruz. He is a student minister at Christ's Church of Oronogo in Southwest Missouri. Drake graduated with his B.A. in Student Ministry from Ozark Christian College and his M.A. in Theological Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Maggie has served as Community Impact Minister at Christ's Church of Oronogo for the past 10 years. She is passionate about seeing the local church engage the community in unique and creative ways for the sake of the Kingdom. Although she lives in Missouri now, she will always be a Texan at heart. She loves tacos, traveling, and hanging out with her three favorite people: her husband, Isaac, and their two kids, Pax and Poppy.
Melissa (or Mel, as most people call her) is a High School Pastor at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She has worked with students in the local church since the year that Shrek, Monsters Inc. and Legally Blonde were released. At age three she lost her sense of smell but if you're wondering, yes she can still taste!
Izu was born in Atlanta but grew up in his parents home country, Nigeria. He attended Evangel University and has gone on to build and develop multiple youth and young adult communities in the Midwest, Florida and Southern California.
Cedric Hardimon is a Youth Pastor at Life.Church and is currently serving at the Norman campus based out of Oklahoma. In addition to that, he also serves as a Team Chaplain for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He loves God, his family, and when he finds extra time, writing Hip-Hop music. Secretly, he wants to be a DJ that travels the world.
Vanessa is serving as the Director of Student Ministries at Revive Church located in Long Beach and El Monte, California. She graduated with her Masters in Social Work at California State University of Long Beach, has her B.A. from Biola University, and she is a Certified Urban Youth Worker through UYWI 90 degrees program. Her experience consists of working with foster and at-risk youth through various organizations. She is passionate about empowering young people and young adults to achieve and obtain ALL that God has for them. In her free time, she loves traveling and eating good food with close friends and her husband.
Susie is Canadian by birth, Korean by heritage and Mexican by birth and American by immigration. She is passionate about matters surrounding reconciliation, justice and the Gospel. Susie and her husband met at Fuller Theological Seminary while getting their MA in Intercultural Studies and now have 4 beautiful LatAsian babies. After serving as a missionary in South Central Los Angeles for 14 years, they now live in Long Beach, CA where Susie serves on staff with Light and Life Christian Fellowship.
Caleb Kaltenbach is a pastor and the author of Messy Grace: How a Pastor With Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Conviction and God of Tomorrow: How to Overcome the Fears of Today and Renew Your Hope for the Future. He enjoys telling people about God's grace and how to reflect God's grace in their life. Caleb graduated from Ozark Christian College, Talbot School of Theology (Biola University), and Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his family reside in Southern California where they love the beach, practically live at Disneyland, and root for the Kansas City Chiefs!
Hannah Geraci is a Pastor at Fellowship, a Gospel-centered, multi-ethnic, intergenerational church near Los Angeles. When she's not at church, you can find Hannah outside with an adventure on her mind, on a couch with a good book in her hand, or surrounded by friends with a smile on her face. Yes, Hannah is aware that that was the cheesiest bio line you could ever read.
Jeff has the privilege of leading the online campus at Sandals Church where each week more than 25 thousand people cross the U.S. and the globe click on for their church experience! Jeff spent 10 years in the entertainment industry involved in production, acting, voice overs, sketch, improv and stand-up comedy. He spent 8 years on staff at 3 different universities including, Azusa Pacific, GCU and Arizona Christian within student life and as an adjunct professor. His pastoral ministry is made up of 10 years as a youth pastor, teaching pastor and campus pastor. Jeff is certified in 2 different personality assessments including Strengths Finders and has held workshops for university students and church/college staffs. He has been a part of vision trips and leading ministry teams to Thailand, Israel, Palestine, Salt Lake City, UT, Zimbabwe and Mexico. His undergraduate degree is from Anderson University in IN and he gained his Master’s degree, as well as his wife ;o) from Fuller Theological Seminary in CA. Jeff speaks at churches, conferences, universities and chapels across the nation. His passions are topics of unity in the church, racial reconciliation, the plus side of differences in marriage and discovering your strengths. Jeff is married to his hot nerd of a wife Nicky and together they have 4 beautiful kids and reside in southern California!
Taylor Walling serves as a Teaching Minister at the Hills Church in Forth Worth. He and his wife Courtney have been married for over a decade. They live in Fort Worth with their son Finn and daughter Imogen.
I'm originally from San Diego, CA. I've been in full time ministry since 2002. Today, I’m a Campus & Teaching Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, IL. I have a gorgeous wife, Janelle. We were married in 2006 and have five beautiful children. I love to spend time with my family, workout, shout when I watch football (Go Chargers!), watch movies, and traveling to speak & share the love of Jesus with all who will hear.
Justin Knowles is the Director of Kids & Youth at Sandals Church in Riverside, CA. He oversees the kids and youth ministry teams across all 13 Sandals Church campuses. He hosts Youth Ministry Hacks Podcast with Matthew Ferrer, loves to write about his ministry journey on the DYM Blog and he teaches at all sorts of camps, retreats or training. He and his wife Kristin have 2 sons (Graham & Wade).
Beth DeFazio teaches Public Speaking and Biblical Communication at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO. She has been speaking at women’s and youth events for nearly fifteen years and enjoys engaging with others in worship, study and community.
Beth and her husband Michael married in 2003 and have two children, Claire and Carson. Their family of four enjoys family movie nights, board games, road trips and Sonic Happy Hour.
Student Minister at Prairie Grove Christian Church in Northwest Arkansas Since '06 | 105 Years Old in Youth-Ministry-Dog-Years | Husband to His BFF Kelsey Noel | Dad to Mackenzie Faith and Aubrey Grace | Had a Rat Tail in 4th + 5th grades | Addicted to Bowhunting | Acts 10:13 | Coaching Archery + Tuning Bows Are His #KingdomWork | Part-Time Farmer, Full-Time Redneck | Avid Poop Story Enthusiast | Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books Are His Guilty Pleasure | Accepted Christ at CIY Summer Conference Back in '97 | Wishes He Could Grow a Mullet | Boomer Sooner
Damian is a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, passionate communicator, visionary leader, and pastor. For more than 25 years, he has reached and developed youth, young adults, and singles locally and nationally through conferences, high impact events, leadership gatherings, and everyday ministry. He is a well known speaker and has develop people with the principles, tools, and resources to live significant lives for the Glory of God.
Damian committed his life to Christ at the age of 16 after a personal encounter with Jesus. Even with a turbulent childhood of poverty, homelessness, and an absentee father, he realized his amazing potential in Christ and allowed his challenging experiences to be testament to God’s love, power, and redemption. He became a revolutionary for Christ and challenged those around him to life passionately for the Lord. His life scripture continues to be the theme of his life and ministry. “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world…” (Matthew 5:13-15).
In 2009, Damian published his first book, College Impact. The goal of the book is for collegiate Christians to awaken to the full life in Christ and touch the lives of others for the Glory of God. The philosophy is to move our students from "prevent defense" to offense, for we carry the treasure of creation on the inside of us.
In 2011, Damian and his family started a new portion of their journey by launching Vertical Church, a family of Jesus followers “on mission” in the urban, college community of Historic West End/Vine City of Atlanta Georgia. Damian serves as the Lead Pastor. With a mission to grow followers of Jesus Christ and equip them for their life mission, this Bible-based church seeks to have an indispensable presence and voice in both the campus and community. Damian and Zarat celebrate nearly 20 years of marriage and over fourteen years of raising their son, Damian Jr., a gifted, musical child with complex medical needs. He loves his family deeply.
Chris Simning is a remarkable storyteller. His hope in Jesus has ignited a passion to speak about the experience of finding purpose in the midst of a life filled with challenges. Chris shares about the reality of brokenness, the provision of God in the midst of it, and the resiliency of the Gospel message in what may be deemed tragic. His personal story provides hope in a world that seems bleak, and encourages people who need to be inspired by the faithfulness of the Lord, Who is with us even when His presence is not felt. Chris speaks to churches, retreats, and youth conferences nationally as well as internationally.
Anne is a leader, youth pastor, writer, and Bible teacher with a passion to see this generation know and follow Jesus. She currently serves as the lead youth pastor at Traders Point Christian Church in Indianapolis, IN, and has served as at churches in North Carolina, Ohio, and Indiana, both in church communications and youth ministry. She and her husband, Kyle, have two kids: Keegan and Eliza. Anne holds a degree in biblical studies and general ministry from Cincinnati Christian University.
Bri Johns is a pastor, speaker, writer, and leader with over 20 years' ministry experience in multisite church ministry, leadership development, and creative teaching. She began her career as a producer for ABC’s Radio Disney, hoping to become a famous radio dj, but later realized that God was calling her to use her gifts in communication to help others discover and live out their unique purpose.
Bri has led successful ministries serving teenagers, young ministry leaders, women, musicians, and creatives. She now leans fully into her passion of writing, speaking, and leadership coaching.
Bri is a key member of the Women Speakers Collective, an organization that liberates and develops female speakers around the globe. She’s also a regular speaker for Christ in Youth, a national youth conference that inspires teens to follow Jesus and engage in the call of Kingdom Work. When she’s not coaching or storytelling to groups across the country, she spends her time making memories with husband Jake, and two boys, Brody and Deacan.
Steve Carter is the teaching pastor for Willow Creek Community Church and a well-received speaker to both adults and students on issues of faith, reconciliation, and the way of Jesus. Steve is also a founding member of both Rock Harbor Church in Fullerton, CA, and Solidarity—an organization that helps churches transform the areas of suffering in their cities. He lives outside Chicago with his wife, Sarah, their children, Emerson and Mercy June, and their dog, Biscuit.
Matt Reagan is the Associate Pastor Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. A visionary leader with a passion to unleash the Jesus potential in next generation leaders, activating and inspiring a pursuit of Jesus and His Kingdom.
Brad Tate is an Authentic, Relevant, and Engaging conference speaker! He has had the privilege of being a part of both small and large conferences, camps, and events across the country and internationally. Brad's style of teaching stays true to the text while compelling students to listen, engage, and act on God’s word. Students say they find Brad easy to understand because of his authenticity, and willingness to be on the same page.
When Brad is not traveling, he serves as the Teaching Pastor for 2|42 Community Church, a fast growing, multi-site church in southeast Michigan.
Scott Nickell is currently the teaching pastor at Southland Christian Church, a church with multiple locations in Kentucky. Scott has been in ministry since 1998. He and his wife Alison have four children, Landrie, Elijah, Silas and Boaz. Scott is passionate about teaching real truth in real ways to real people.
Rachel Grindle is a Mama of three boys age three and under and is married to Stephen. Together they serve in church and neighborhood ministry in Joplin, MO. She is a professor at Ozark Christian College and is pursuing in PhD in Leadership Studies. This year marks her 20th year in ministry and she has done everything from youth ministry, missions, and teaching ministry. She loves to eat good food, travel around the world, and spend time with her family. Raising her boys in the way of Jesus is her greatest Kingdom Work to date!
Eric Epperson is the Vice President of Story. For over 15 years, he has helped CIY create moments that call young people to Kingdom work. Eric holds a BA from Ozark Christian College and a Master of Arts from the University of Oklahoma. He has studied writing and improvisational comedy at the Second City in Chicago and is the co-founder and owner of Siblings Improv, where he performs regularly and leads corporate trainings on collaboration and teamwork. He currently lives on Route 66 with his wife and two daughters.
Jayson is CIY’s President. He’s been with CIY since 2002, when he started as the associate director of conferences before being promoted to director of conferences and then to his current role as President. Jayson has a bachelor’s degree in Biblical literature from Ozark Christian College and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from the Hargrove School and Adult and Graduate Studies at Lincoln Christian College. Prior to joining CIY, Jayson was a youth minister at Christian Church of Carl Junction (MO); Eastside Christian Church in Fullerton, CA; East Tulsa Christian Church; and Paramount Terrace Church (now Hillside Christian Church) in Amarillo, Texas. He and his wife Janice have four children – Justin, Levi, Sydney and Cylis. Their family attends Christ’s Church of Oronogo near Joplin, MO.