Alliance Council 2021—Day 4

June 4, 2021, 5:01 PM

“I love singing the old hymns—hymns that talk about the greatness of our God, His immutable nature, His unchanging high ways. The promises we sing about are true, forever, and irrevocable.”  -Aaron Shust

“We envision a future where every language spoken in the U.S. Alliance has an expression for leadership development in their heart language.” -Steve Grusendorf

“I pray that at Council one day down the road we’ll be sitting here telling stories of how God is bringing up springs of water in the hearts of people throughout this desert land.” -Creative access worker in North Africa

“The long term success of resilient disciples of Jesus depends largely on the opportunities for children to grow and develop their faith.” -Leah Broach

“When we surrender to God and invite Him into the pain and disappointment, He redeems it and changes us to be more like Jesus. His Word helps us to honestly identify the ways in which our thinking has been deformed; His Spirit gives us light and strength to be aware of what is happening within. He redeems our brokenness, making space for a different narrative.” -Céline Bower



Alliance Council 2021—Day 3

June 3, 2021, 1:02 AM

“Seasons of unprecedented time take an unprecedented yes.” Jelani Pinnock

“We need His Sacred power running through us.” Kelvin Walker

“We abide. He abounds.” Spencer Sweeting

“I cannot alone bear much fruit . . . but I can, in Him, burrow down deep roots.” Sarah Bourns

“The Spirit of God works, and He guides our way moment by moment.” Evelyn Mangham



2021 Ballot Election Results

June 2, 2021, 6:07 PM


Term: Four Years (2021–2025)
(2,240 ballots cast— 1,121 necessary for election—declared election by majority)

Dr. John P. Stumbo* —1,676
Dr. Dennis Episcopo — 564


Term: Four Years (2021–2025)
(2,252 ballots cast—declared election by plurality)

NA/P/OW Dr. Jonathan G. Schaeffer* 1,578
OA/IW/OW Mrs. Celine Nguyen Bower, CWM* 1,248
NA/P/OW Rev. Charles O. Galbreath* 1,222
OA/IW/OW Mrs. Kristine E. Maxey* 1,160
NA/E/OW Dr. Wanda F. Walborn* 1,111
NA/OW Dr. Cathy D. Sigmund, CWM* 1,082
NA/P/OW Dr. David K. Smith* 1,079
NA/E/L Dr. Pang Foua Y. Rhodes* 1,073
NA/P/E/OW Dr. Julio A. Orozco* 1,062
NA/P/OW Rev. Paul W. Smith* 1,056
NA/R/OW Dr. Stephen V. Elliott* 1,005
NA/P/OW Rev. Thomas O. Myers* 967
NA/E/L Dr. Brenna K. Vickers* 966

Term: Two Years (2021–2023)
NA/P/OW Mr. Hazael L. Morell* 954


Not elected:

NA/OW Mrs. Laura L. Scharer, CWM* 922
NA/E/L Dr. Aly G. Xiong* 906
OA/IW/OW Rev. Christopher S. O’Dell* 892
NA/L Mr. Keith R. Crownover* 792
OA/DS/OW Rev. Jeffrey A. Miller 737
NA/OW Mr. James R. Blake* 654
OA/DS/OW Dr. Lantzia C. Thao 634
NA/P/OW Rev. Kok C. Wong 606
NA/OW Rev. Craig S. Smith 594
NA/P/OW Dr. Marc D. Trujillo 540
NA/E/OW Rev. John Nhuan Bui 503
NA/P/OW Dr. Boyd A. Hannold 490
NA/OW Rev. Christopher D. Tweedy 474
NA/P/OW Rev. Lorenzo M. Collado Jr. 458
NA/L Mr. Andres Valenzuela 451
NA/L Mrs. Amy J. Willson 446
NA/OW Mr. Daniel R. Allen 410
NA/P/OW Dr. Stan L. Sniezek 372
NA/L Mr. Jalu Ger Xiong 370


DS = District Superintendent
OA = On Allowance
E = Educator
OW = Official Worker
IW = International Worker
P = Pastor
L = Layperson
R = Retired
NA = Not on Allowance
*Committee on Nominations Nominee


Term: Four Years (2021–2025)
(2,252 ballots cast—1,127 necessary for election—declared election by majority)

Dr. Michael C. Gerhardt—1,956
Rev. Timothy D. Keller—1,952
Rev. Mark A. Blake—1,926

Two Years (2021–2023)
Dr. Paul W. Marshall—1,914


Term: Six Years (2021–2027)
(2,252 ballots cast—1,501 necessary for election—declared election by two-thirds majority)

Dr. Lantzia C. Thao—1,942
Dr. Dean M. Erickson—1,941
Dr. Patrick A. Blewett—1,859

Four Years (2021–2025)
Ms. Jennifer K. Ashby, CWM—1,694


Term: Two Years (2021–2023)
(2,252 ballots cast—declared election by plurality but must include one IW and 2 laypersons)

Rev. Stephen M. Westergren (IW)—1,660
Rev. L. Keith Neigenfind, Jr. (IW)—1,385
Mrs. Sandra C. Kang, CWM (OW)—1,345
Rev. Erin D. Bell (OW)—1,263
Mrs. Johanna G. Gonzalez Rodriguez (L)—1,114
Mrs. Marcia A. Nagel (L)—1,003

Not Elected:
Rev. Kirk L. Lithander (OW)—1,184
Mr. Pacifico M. Mapano, Jr. (OW)—981
Mrs. Arlene Edd (L)—833


Term: Four Years (2021–2025)
(2,252 ballots cast—declared election by affirmation)

Yes No
Rev. Richard D. Jueckstock 1,913 50
Rev. Douglas G. Conley 1,902 73
Mr. Christopher D. Tweedy 1,898 62
Mr. Gary R. Reese 1,883 50
Mrs. Karen L. Davie 1,866 91
Mrs. Julie C. Heath 1,858 81

C&MA Benefit Board: Term 2021–2022

Mrs. Lora J. Brake (international worker appointed by Board of Directors)


Committee Relating to the President’s Report

Rev. Omar D. Niebles, chairperson
Rev. Michael B. DeLong, alternate

Rev. Marko R. Requena, vice chairperson
Rev. Robert W. Storey, alternate

Rev. Timothy S. Lewis, secretary
Mrs. Erika N. Thornton, CWM, alternate

Committee on Nominations

Rev. Jonathan A. Wiggins, chairperson
Rev. Kent J. Sovine, alternate

Mrs. Kimberly R. Thomas, vice chairperson
Rev. Robert E. Zimmermann, alternate

Rev. C. Randy Vinson, secretary
Rev. Bryan D. Loewen, alternate

Committee Relating to Special Reports and General Legislation

Rev. F. Dean Lancaster, chairperson
Rev. Ronald M. Lotz, alternate

Mrs. Jennifer M. Bliss-Criswell, vice chair
Rev. Lamech A. Marsh, alternate

Rev. Marvin E. Nelson, secretary
Mrs. Andrea L. Scarrow, CWM, alternate

Committee Relating to Church Ministries

Mrs. Lisa M. Plunket, chairperson
Rev. J. Wayne Spriggs, alternate

Mr. Daniel R. Allen, vice chairperson
Dr. Sally V. Fry, CWM, alternate

Rev. Kyle W. Kershner, secretary
Rev. Justin J. Thornton, alternate

Committee Relating to Alliance Missions

Rev. Xeng Yang (17727), chairperson
Rev. Adriaan C. Overbeeke, alternate

Rev. Eliat Aponte, vice chairperson
Rev. Matthew Peyton, alternate

Rev. Mark S. Reyes, secretary
Mrs. Diana C. Harner, CWM, alternate

Committee Relating to Ministry Support and Development

Rev. Joseph M. Gerhart, chairperson
Dr. Mark R. Searing, alternate

Mrs. Leeann M. Strecker, CWM, vice chair
Dr. Aly G. Xiong, alternate

Rev. Matthew A. Merendino, secretary
Mr. Nicholas R. Ristow, alternate


Alliance Council 2021—Day 2

June 2, 2021, 12:16 AM

“The real reward is that He is with us. He makes His dwelling with us. Together we are the dwelling place of God and we are to live that way. It’s basic.” Jen Ashby

“He is here and He is worthy of all of it.” Tim Meier

“He pursues me. Since the very beginning, He has been running towards me…even when I’ve run away.” Sarah Bourns

“The Church matters to Him. That’s why He died for it.” Paul Alford

“We are the chords of enterprise by which the gospel is carried to the ends of the earth.” Evelyn Mangham



Alliance Council 2021—Day 1

June 1, 2021, 12:43 AM

“When we get a chance to come together we should be hungry and thirsty for a work of God.” CeCe Winans

“To encounter God in a sacred moment is to step into eternity.” Walter Kim

“Sacred: when the divine encounters the human and the human encounters the divine.” John Stumbo

“A sacred moment for a sanctified church. We are saved to bring the sacred message of salvation to the world.” – Woodler Alezy

“There is no excuse not to use every tool at our disposal to make disciples and disciplemakers.” – Holly Farmer



Nyack/ATS Announces New President

May 28, 2021, 4:43 PM


New York, NY—Rev. Scott Slocum, Chairman of the Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary Board of Trustees, announced that Mr. Rajan S. Mathews has been named the institution’s 13th president after a seven-month search.

Rajan Mathews has a remarkable leadership background. He served as Director General of Cellular Operators Association of India, the Telecom Communications Industry Association in India from 2010-2020. In this role, he led a $36 billion advocacy group representing the communications industry in India and globally. Prior to that, he held various senior executive positions including Chief Executive Officer, President, Chief Financial Officer, Vice President-Controller of companies such as AT&T, Telargo Inc., Call Sciences Inc., Afghan Wireless Communications, Beatrice Foods International and Columbia Tri-Star Pictures.

While at AT&T, Mr. Mathews was named President & CEO of Birla AT&T, then AT&T’s largest international investment, where he introduced digital mobile telephony services in India, building out and operating one of India’s largest Global System for Mobile Communications networks. His professional career began with Price-Waterhouse Coopers where he audited and consulted with Fortune 100 Companies such as Phelps-Dodge, IBM, Exxon, and Colboro. He has considerable expertise in international operations having managed and operated companies in England, France, Germany, Hong-Kong, Netherlands, Afghanistan and India. He has helped raise over $1 billion in public and private equity, debt, private placements and new venture funding.

Responding to his unanimous election, President Mathews commented, “The founder of Nyack College, Dr. A.B. Simpson, was intentional about attracting and training those for whom education was often a distant dream. These were the disenfranchised, the marginalized and the “huddled masses” arriving in New York City, known as “the gateway city to the world.” His singular vision and commitment forged the essential DNA of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary. For nearly 140 years, this vision has been carried on by men and women serving as members of the institution’s Board of Trustees, institutional leadership, faculty and staff. It is an honor and privilege to have an opportunity to embrace this mission and serve an institution of higher education that continues to transform the lives of its students who go on to impact communities, churches, and corporations in our nation and around the globe. It is this vision and commitment and resultant transformational influence that has excited, attracted and encouraged me to become a part of the great cause of Christian higher education.”

President Mathews earned a Master of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. At Rutgers University, he received an MA in economics, and an MBA in finance and professional accounting.

He and his wife, Grace reside in Mercer County, New Jersey. They are the parents of two daughters—Kavita and Nithya, who is married to Jeffy Joseph.

About Nyack College

Nyack College currently serves more than 2,000 students in its undergraduate, graduate, doctoral degrees programs offered on site and online. In addition to its main campus in New York City, an extension site is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nyack is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. Nyack’s Alliance Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.

Deborah Walker
Director of Publications & Media Relations


Today is National Great Commission Day

May 11, 2021, 2:50 PM

Over the last year, new opportunities have emerged to establish a gospel presence where no presence yet exists. These opportunities can be seized only as more men and women receive and accept the call to GO!

Nearly 50 new worker appointees have answered that call over the past year—but their journeys remain unfinished. Goers need senders! This Great Commission Day, will we move these new workers forward in their unfinished “GO” journeys? Will we do our part to make sure they are sent, supported, and equipped to proclaim Jesus in the last remaining “hard places?”

On June 3—National Great Commission Day—during the the evening Missions Rally at Alliance Council in Nashville, these workers will be commissioned to GO to some of the remaining least-reached corners of the world. If you’re planning to attend Council in person or online, you will have the opportunity to give during the rally.

In addition, thanks to several generous donors, gifts made to the 2021 GC Day Offering online on June 3 will be doubled up to $150,000! Simply visit on June 3 and make your gift!

If you are unable to attend Council in person, you can still participate in the rally live online through Facebook Live or the Alliance website!

The Alliance is “a maverick movement into whose soul the Head of the Church breathed ‘GO!’ from the very start.”

—L. L. King, Former President


Multiply Your Impact – Update on COVID-19 Relief in Asia

April 30, 2021, 1:46 PM

As you have likely seen in the national media, Asia is facing very challenging days due to a resurgence of COVID-19. In one of Asia’s largest countries, a number of Alliance members have been ill or have passed away due to COVID. In another country, parts of the capital city have been declared “red zones” where no one can go in or out—at times even to buy food. In a third country, internal political conflicts have added incredible challenges to an already stretching situation when just several months ago it was only the pandemic to worry about.

Many have lost their livelihoods as factories have been shuttered or day laborers no longer have an income. Even in the best of times pre-pandemic, the marginalized lived from day to day. Church members have used their savings for medical bills, and some are being evicted from their simple homes because they are unable to pay rent. Many pastors have not received their salary due to churches being unable to meet and congregants becoming unemployed.

With this severe outbreak, CAMA partners on the ground are doing all they can to care for the sick, hungry, and grieving. As one partner notes, “The struggle, pain, and the helplessness of ordinary people are beyond description.”

CAMA has sent in initial $80,000 to advance the relief work of local believers who are serving in three ways:

  1. Running temporary medical care centers
  2. Feeding the marginalized
  3. Providing relief for Alliance church families

It’s a crucial time. Families are in urgent need of more food and medical supplies. Your gifts are needed to extend relief. A gift of $20 can feed a family for ten days.

How you can help:


As mentioned above, CAMA has already sent $80K from CAMA Disaster Relief funds. But the needs far outweigh what this initial amount will provide. Because of these realities, a caring and generous donor has offered to match CAMA gifts for South Asia COVID relief until June 4—doubling your impact up to $100,000. Will you please consider giving to the Asia COVID-19 Outbreak Relief Fund in time for the June 4 match deadline?


  • For government authorities to handle the situation wisely so that the spread of the Coronavirus will be brought under control.
  • For Alliance churches to be sensitive to the needs of small church pastors and evangelists who are already struggling during this pandemic.
  • For the families of those Alliance pastors, leaders, and evangelists who are infected by the virus and unable to afford proper treatment either due to lack of finances or inaccessibility to proper medical facilities.
  • For the urgent need for financial support during this time of crisis.
  • For the needed system or avenue to assist Alliance leaders who are experiencing a crisis situation. Most are struggling without adequate resources to sustain themselves and their families. Alliance leaders need wisdom and grace to prayerfully plan to assist such needy families that have been affected by COVID.
  • For seven Alliance evangelists who are serving in remote villages where their overall struggle is immense. During these past months, they have been restricted in their movements and are thus facing a huge financial struggle for their sustainability. One of the evangelists was evicted from his village, his house was destroyed, and he is in urgent need of shelter.
  • For the widows of husbands who had been serving the Lord within The Alliance, who need immediate assistance to provide for their families during this crisis.
  • For the situation at a Bible college in Asia, an Alliance initiative that is managed by a collaborative board. Both the board chairman and the principal have died of COVID. Some of the college staff are also reportedly infected and in need of medical treatment. In addition, the need to sustain the college administration and staff, as well as maintain the infrastructure, is urgent. Pray especially pray for the interim administrator of the college.

“Thank you so much for all the efforts you’re taking to help the people in my country,” an Alliance leader said. “We know that the Lord is in control and with the help of the global Alliance family we can overcome.”

from an Alliance worker in Asia


From Dream to Reality: Youth Ministry Celebrates Milestone

April 20, 2021, 6:42 PM

kids learning in school This year marks the 15th anniversary of Inca Link—a dream that became a reality in March 2006. Alliance international workers Rich and Elisa Brown had a vision born in the heart of God—to reach Latin America’s 300 million youth with the irresistible love of Christ. To that end, they began Inca Link International, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that resources, equips, and empowers national Inca Link organizations to evangelize young people throughout Latin America—80 percent of whom remain unreached.

kids talkingCurrently, Inca Link hosts Alliance Envision sites in five countries. Through outreaches such as children’s homes, garbage dump ministries, a crisis pregnancy center, and so much more, Inca Link workers and teams have shared the gospel with 2.2 million people—and over 150,000 have come to faith in Christ. National Inca Link organizations are involved in evangelism and discipleship, leadership training, and compassion ministries. “We are devoted to helping the needy in Latin America,” Rich and Elisa say.

In a blog post commemorating Inca Link’s anniversary, the couple wrote, “Will you celebrate with us as we thank God for 15 years of serving in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras, and Costa Rica? We have so much to thank God for.”

The Browns believe that the Holy Spirit is calling them to expand Inca Link’s mission by launching in 10 new countries over the next 10 years. Pray for them as they follow God’s leading in this new vision.



April 19, 2021, 4:45 PM

By Joel Malick and Alex Lippert

Let’s examine the word retire.

If we delve into a thesaurus, we will find synonyms such as recede … withdraw … retreat … recall … cease … stop. The word retire carries an underlying connotation of something that’s old, tired, worn out, not as useful as it used to be, even obsolete.  Don’t be surprised when you arrive at this major life transition and after a few short months find yourself rudderless afterwork.

In our daily work as financial advisors we noticed that a surprising number of folks retire and end up feeling less useful than they once were. This is not exclusive to non-believers.  Granted, having an active faith gives you an important differentiator, but how you live out your faith life is going to look very different than it used to.

We noticed that one critical mistake being made is that retirees are finding all of this out too late.  This is something that deserves deep reflection and action well in advance of leaving your work. After observing this time and time again, we felt called to write afterwork so that we could address the root cause of this potential emptiness.

To us, it’s a travesty that one could serve tirelessly throughout their careers (in their vocation or at home raising children and managing a household) and step away from that role to find some level of emptiness where there had been an expectation of glorious “freedom.” The retiree encompasses a lifetime of experience, the most wisdom, time, and presumably, financial resources that they have ever had. This isn’t a time to withdraw.  It’s a time to unleash all of these earned resources, leveraging them to make this your greatest season yet and find greater fulfillment in the process.

Set your life in motion by seeking true meaning and fulfillment. Stones from the mountain roll downhill because it’s easy; they let gravity take them where it may. In life’s busyness it’s easy to be the “stone.” Instead, be the mountain. The mountain rises upwards in direct opposition to gravity, pushed by some remarkable force beneath the mountain at its core.

The pursuits of faith, purpose, of deepening your connection with others, a hunger for learning, experiencing the new, rekindling a sense of awe in your life, practicing generosity in its many forms, refocusing your awareness, managing your time as the important commodity that it is, being committed to journaling and personal reflection, and maintaining an active lifestyle—all of these in their own unique way combat the strong societal gravities and unfulfilling humanly distractions that we all face.

These are some of the major disciplines that afterwork examines.

The retirement mirage is there, waving at all of us in the fog of our futures, tempting us to sit in a cushy armchair, disengaged and not forging ahead as God intended us to. Wherever you are in life (even if retirement is in the distant future) there is real hope that this next season can be your most purpose-filled and impactful yet.  Who will you be afterwork?

Joel and Alex, Partners at Steadfast Wealth Co. in Colorado Springs, recently released their book:  afterwork: An honest discussion about the retirement lie and how to live a future worthy of dreams. For more information on the book visit: or Amazon.