New Faces in the Movement!
Fresh Expressions is excited to announce new team members and roles to support the growth of the ministry here in the United States. In addition to several new mission strategists and trainers that will be working with churches and denominational families across the country, current team members are moving into newly-created positions to widen and deepen the work here in the US.
Michael Beck, current trainer, is stepping into a new role as Director of Re-Missioning. Over the last few years we have worked with several congregations finding a new course to revitalization through the Re-Missioning path. Michael will be leading up a new means of support to help churches find new life through the work of fresh expressions.
Sarah Keasler has moved into a new role working as Director of Innovation & Ministry Effectiveness. She will be using her expertise in user experience design to further the integration of design thinking into all our resources and trainings.
Chris Morton is moving into a newly created role as Director of Strategic Initiatives, working to strengthen and expand many of our focused support systems for congregations and leaders such as Local Church Workshops, 7 Practices for Mission, the Dinner Church Collective, and more.
With these new positions, Fresh Expressions is excited to welcome Jill Beck, Bob Hyatt, and Jeanette Staats to our Core Team. They look forward to working with you in the coming days.
Director of Remissioning
Rev. Michael Beck is Director of Remissioning for Fresh Expressions US, South Atlantic Coordinator Fresh Expressions US, Cultivator of Fresh Expressions for the North Central District, and a Cultivator of Fresh Expressions for the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. Michael serves as co-pastor of Wildwood UMC with his wife Jill, where they direct addiction recovery programs, a jail ministry, a food pantry, and a network of thirteen fresh expressions that gather in tattoo parlors, dog parks, salons, running tracks, community centers, and burrito joints. Michael earned a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and is concluding a Doctorate in Semiotics and Future Studies at Portland Seminary with his mentor Dr. Leonard Sweet. Jill and Michael currently live in Wildwood with their blended family of eight children, three grandchildren, and a pug named Vader.
Director of Innovation & Ministry Effectiveness
Sarah Keasler serves as Director of Innovation and Ministry Effectiveness with Fresh Expressions. Keasler is a leader in non-profit management and user experience design, and received her undergraduate degree from University of Miami and her MBA from Friends University.
She is married to Keas Keasler and they live in Wichita, KS
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Chris Morton, who has helped shape our content and media, is now transitioning to the role of ‘Director of Strategic Initiatives’. In this role, Chris will help shepherd new ideas into functioning initiatives. Fresh expressions of Church can include many different models and approaches. Chris’ work will help us engage with more pioneering leaders and provide the with more approaches to forming new faith communities.
Coordinator of Operations
Jeanette has been in full-time collegiate ministry since 2000. Some of her responsibilities include general oversight, coaching and development of staff, and discipleship. She also ministers to international students through an English Conversation Group. Jeanette holds a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Professional Writing from Virginia Tech as well as a Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies from John Leland Center for Theological Studies. She also serves on the board for The Ecclesia Network. Jeanette is an avid Hokie fan and rarely misses an opportunity to watch a collegiate sporting event.
Coordinator of Operations – Dinner Church
Jill Beck is a Pastor at Wildwood United Methodist Church in Wildwood, FL. She serves as co-pastor with her husband Michael. Jill has pioneered multiple fresh expressions. Jill coordinates and directs several Celebrate Recovery programs. Jill coordinates all of the Dinner Church trainings for Fresh Expressions US while lovingly managing a blended family of eight children, three grandchildren and a pug named Vader.
Mitch Marcello is the Director of the Acts Network, a collection of fresh expressions of faith connected with the local church. He works with leaders to explore faith expressions, create meaningful communities and grow personal understanding about what it means to be a disciple in a rapidly changing culture. After spending five years working with the CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach) doing college ministry and community outreach, Mitchell sees the importance of contextualizing ministry, and knows connecting pioneering ministries with the traditional church is vital to the Gospel being spread. It is not about being the newest form of ministry, but about doing what is needed to make the Gospel “news” again. Mitchell works at First United Methodist Church in Williamsport, PA, has helped start eleven faith communities and is in the process of launching fresh expressions of worship throughout Williamsport. Mitchell holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts and an Artist Diploma from Carnegie Mellon University.
Known as a program builder who utilizes her apostolic gift to repurpose organizations, Dr. Dee Stokes ministers in a variety of settings, but her passion is preaching, teaching, and empowering others to win! She is in the middle of a repurposing adventure at unity united methodist church where god is giving her a blueprint to do church unusual! This concept is moving from a traditional model of Sunday meetings to a model of community engagement with witty ideas and ways of reaching the lost for christ. It is not a re-missioning, as God’s church has one mission, and that is to make disciples, but it is a re-branding, re-purposing, and re-visioning how to accomplish the great commission and bring the kingdom of God to life in our community. It is a fresh expression of church as well as a missional community. This is the new thing the Lord is doing in the earth! Dr. Stokes is also an author, educator, and president/CEO of Dee Stokes Ministries, Inc., a non-profit speaking, writing, training, discipleship/life coaching, and missions ministry.
Eliseo Mejia Leiva
Eliseo A. Mejia is an ordained elder in the Kentucky Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church where he serves now as the lead pastor of Paris First UMC. As a fully bilingual pastor, he has served for 8 years at Mosaic UMC – a multicultural and multiethnic merged congregation in Louisville, KY. Furthermore, he serves as the Associate Director of Hispanic, multi-ethnic, and international ministries with the New Church Development office of the Kentucky Annual Conference. He has helped plant 12 churches in Kentucky and has coached 400+ new and seasoned leaders within the past 18 years in the USA and abroad. He has been able to implement new church planting models in Texas, where he planted three congregations. He has also used the Incubator model during the last 14 years to train and launch new church planters. He was the founder and director of H.I.L.T. (Hispanic International Leadership Training) in Dallas, TX. In Guatemala, under his guidance, Jeriel Evangelical Church became the first transcultural missionary-sending church. He holds two master’s degrees, one from Central American Theological Seminary in Guatemala (1992), and from Dallas Theological Seminary (1986). He graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with a Doctor of ministry degree with its focus on Leadership Multiplication and Communications May 19, 2017.
Reverend Jim Divine has a passion for seeing people on the fringe of the church become deeply committed followers of Christ. Jim began his ministry in 1992 serving with World Gospel Mission as a missionary in the city of Irapuato, Mexico, with a church planting team. In 1999, Jim and his family moved back to the states where he began serving with the Florida Conference in Tallahassee. While in Tallahassee, Jim started a new ministry out of Killearn UMC called The Coffee Pub, which was a nontraditional missional church plant geared primarily to reach college students and “mid-twenty-somethings.” Over the past three years, Jim has been serving Perrine-Peters UMC in South Miami, leading the congregation through a revisioning process.
The Rev. Jon Davis PhD, an Episcopal priest is a known and recognized leader in the Episcopal Church and beyond. He has expertise in youth ministry, worship and liturgy (PhD dissertation), church growth and planting, missions, conference leadership and more. He is now on staff with Fresh Expressions. He is a sought after, dynamic and engaging speaker, writer, worship leader and ministry trainer. He and his wife Beth live on a little farm in Oviedo, Florida with a couple of horses, a number of cats, chickens, English Bulldogs and other critters.
Married in 2002, to Amy, Bob is the co-author of two books from IVP, Ministry Mantras and Eldership and the Mission of God. His children include Jack, Jane and Josie. Bob helped plant a church community, The Evergreen Community (evergreenpdx.org), in 2004 in Portland Oregon. Beyond his family and pastoring, his passions revolve around coaching other ministry leaders towards Jesus-focused success in ministry- success being defined not by numbers but by clarity around and achievement of personal, spiritual and ministry goals. Bob currently lives in Boise, Idaho and serves as the Director of Equipping and Spiritual Formation for the Ecclesia Network (ecclesianet.org)
You can check out the rest of the Fresh ExpressionsUS team here