ENGAGE Conference Presenters

 Keynote Speaker & Breakout Session Leader: 
 

Tom Bassford is Founder and President of Significant Matters and SATalks in Olathe, Kansas, a non-profit organization working with churches, faith-based groups, community stakeholders and philanthropic organizations to tackle complex societal issues in sustainable ways. Before founding Significant Matters, he pastored for over 30 years and has been involved in the work of church missions both locally and internationally for over 40 years. 

In 2014, under Tom’s leadership, Significant Matters launched SATtalks, a TED talk type of gathering and video website to explore and demonstrate ways to create sustainable transformation through church missions.  They also launched the Missions 3.0 Network for churches wanting to move their mission work beyond “helping that hurts.”  SATtalks and Missions 3.0 exist to accelerate the learning curve around sustainable approaches to missions and connect those early pioneers trying to make it happen.  


Breakout Sessions Leaders:

 (Listed Alphabetically)

Rev. Armando Alvarado
Armando is from South Texas deep in the Rio Grande Valley. He was born and raised in Edinburg, Texas, where he attended El Buen Pastor UMC. He grew up in a Spanish speaking church that belongs to the Rio Grande Conference (now Rio Texas Conference). The Worship services were completely in Spanish, but the Sunday school classes were given in English to the children & youth. Eventually, he witnessed how the second, third, and fourth generation Hispanics caused a change in the language of the worship service. What was once a worship service completely in Spanish changed to a Spanish/English worship service. Armando has a Masters of Divinity and a Certificate in Hispanic Ministries from Perkins School of Theology in 2008. He is a member of the Central Texas Conference since 2012.  Armando believes that the great thing about being part of God's ministry is being able to meet people and experience life together. Building relationships and creating innovative ways to help each other get through the hard times assuring us that the life-giving Spirit is with us. Through ESL and several outreach ministries, Armando and his team have been able to start a Spanish Worship Service that is now Bilingual. They have also been able to invite, empower and support the Hispanic Community as well as the English-speaking community of faith. One of our biggest roles has been to bridge and encourage leadership within the different ethnicities in the church and in the community.


Scott Atnip

Scott Atnip, Texas Impact Congregational Outreach Director
Scott Atnip rejoined the staff of Texas Impact in 2013 as the Congregational Outreach Director, working to connect the education and advocacy efforts of Texas Impact and the Texas Interfaith Center for Policy with people of faith throughout Texas. Scott is in his second tenure with Texas Impact, having served as an intern in 2002-2003 while completing his MPAff at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs. Scott is also active in various leadership positions in the United Methodist Church, being elected as an alternate delegate to General Conference 2012 and delegate to Jurisdictional Conference, having served as the Corporate Secretary for the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries and on GBGM’s Mission Programs and Finance Committees, the Texas Annual Conference West District Lay Leader, Texas Conference Board of Laity and has served on the Boards of the Heartspring Methodist Foundation and Junior High United Methodist Mission Project. Scott is also active in his local church, Wesley Memorial UMC having served as youth director with his wife Shannon, worship leader, Outreach Committee Chair and more. Scott is a Certified Lay Servant in the United Methodist Church.

 
Ben & Rev. Margret Fields
Ben and Margret Fields are co-founders of Project-44. Project-44 is a non-profit organization based on the Book of Acts, the 44th book of the Bible. Project-44 began as a car ministry that has grown to include a food ministry to address food insecurity. Project-44 has assisted in the development of four community gardens and currently operates a 7-acre farm in Granbury. All produce grown on the farm is donated to local food pantries and direct family-to-family distribution. Margret serves as Pastor of Outreach at Acton UMC and Executive Director of Project-44. Ben Fields is a mechanic in Fort Worth.  


Stanley Gitari

Stanley has worked at the Maua Methodist Hospital, in Maua, Kenya for 26 years.  He is a graduate of the Maua Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in 1985.  He traveled to Oklahoma for a Master’s Degree, then returned to Maua Methodist Hospital and quickly assumed the position of Director of Community Health.  He works with the Palliative Care Program, AIDS Orphan’s Program, and numerous outreach programs into the community plus working with the Volunteer in Mission teams from the United States.  He is dedicated to empowerment programs which bring wholeness to the communities.  His devotion to Community Health has given rise to a wide array of mission opportunities for all the teams over the years.  Through his guidance water wells have been rescued, schools have been built; medical clinics have been developed in various areas and so much more.

 
Julie Harding
Julie Harding is the Executive Director of Project Transformation Central Texas, and seeks to walk with others through transformational ministry.  She loves yoga, hiking, chai tea, and reading good books.   


Rev. Molly K. Simpson Hayes and Janna Elliott

Rev. Molly K. Simpson Hayes studied Global and Community Engagement as part of her M.Div. at Boston University. Molly served as Pastor of Serving Ministries at Keller UMC from 2013 to 2016 implementing relational mission ministry both locally and globally, and is currently serving at The Church of the Good Shepherd UMC.  She is passionate about connecting diverse people to meaningful experiences of Christ's love. 
Janna Elliot serves as Serving Ministries Coordinator at Keller UMC and has extensive non-profit experience in the Fort Worth area. She is the former board chair of United Community Centers and a lover of all things Disney. 
 

Rita Hotz
Rita has served on the Central Texas Conference Disaster Response Task force since 2009.  She came with an abundant of knowledge of working disasters, such as Hurricane Ike.  She has a love for helping folks who have been affected in a disaster as well as teaching others how to be prepared before a disaster occurs.  Besides working full time, she also serves as a licensed local pastor in Jonesboro Parish, which includes three small churches.

Rev. Clinton Jones
Clint Jones is currently serving as an Associate Pastor at FUMC Cleburne.  He has also served as Minister of Missions and Evangelism at FUMC Hurst from June 2013 to July 2017 and  Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church, Joshua and Pastor of Cloud’s Bend United Methodist Church in Kingsport, TN.  Clint is a graduate of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University where he received his Master of Divinity with a certificate in Hispanic Studies in 2014. Clint completed Perkins Cultural Sensitivity and Hispanic Ministry Training in 2016. Clint was ordained as an Elder in Full Connection of the Central Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church in 2016. He worked for 8 ½ years at Crutchfield Corporation in Spanish Language Sales and International Support prior to answering his call to full time ordained ministry. He considers his gift for speaking Spanish as great tool to connect with people and to understand cultures other than his own.   

 
Bryan Kelley and Pat Gotcher
Bryan Kelley is the Executive Relations Manager for the Prison Entrepreneurship Program. He is also a 2014 graduate of the program. Bryan has become a prison reform advocate having served nearly 22 years in prison, and relishes his role of aiding in the transformation of lives from the inside out.  Pat is a member of Arborlawn UMC and works with the Prison Entrepreneurship Program.

 

Susan Luttrell
Susan serves at FUMC Mansfield as Director of Serving and Outreach Ministries.

 

Carmen MacMillan
Carmen is currently the Executive Director of the Wesley Mission Center at FUMC Mansfield.  She lived and worked in Canada for more than 15 years, but returned to her Texas roots in 2015. Carmen holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University in St. Davids, PA and a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Education from Tyndale University College in Toronto. Carmen also holds a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Trinity Western University and a Certificate in Developing Healthy Communities from Tufts University. Prior to moving to Mansfield, TX she served as the Regional Program Manager for World Vision Canada, and with Canadian Baptist Ministries as Global Programs Manager. She also currently serves as an adjunct professor at University of Texas at Arlington, teaching in the Non-Profit Management Certification program.
 

Rev. Amber Massingill and Kristen Von Gonten
Amber is an ordained elder serving as Associate Director of Faith Formation in the CTC Conference Service Center.  She graduated from Duke Divinity School in 2000 and served churches in Miami and Tampa, Florida, for 15 years before moving to Forth Worth.  A key focus in her ministry has been in the leadership development and spiritual formation of young people.
Kristen has a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and has been the Director of Nurture at Salado UMC since 2011.  
Recently, both ladies attended an ecumenical conference in Nashville called InterGenerate to connect and resource those who are building intergenerational models of ministry.

 
Amanda McNulty
Amanda McNulty is a member of Alliance UMC in North Fort Worth and the Director of the Kids Hope USA ministry there.  Alliance UMC has partnered with a local elementary school, Basswood, for the last four years and recently added a second school Park Glen Elementary.  Alliance UMC provides mentors to the at-risk students at both schools, host an afterschool Bible Club, provides emergency support to students and staff, and a variety of other activities throughout the year.  Amanda is also currently the Texas Program Support Coordinator for Kids Hope USA and assists over 200 school and church partnerships throughout the state.

 
Rev. Dr. Jannette Miller
Rev. Dr. Jannette Miller is currently the Pastor at Harker Heights UMC.  She also served as Associate Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Temple.  Jannette became aware of the evils of human trafficking several years ago through a series of events only God could orchestrate.  Since then she has been passionate about leading the church's involvement in the mission to end human trafficking and to bring restoration and healing to survivors.  Jannette is a pastor, a licensed attorney, an active member of the Bell County DMST Roundtable, and a certified trainer on human trafficking. 
 

Rev. Dawne Phillips
Rev. Dawne Phillips is an ordained Deacon and has served as the Director of Missions for the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church since 2010.  Prior to that, she was the Missions Pastor at Acton United Methodist Church for nine years.  Her passion is helping churches transform lives and communities with the grace of Jesus.        

 
Bee Moorhead
Bee Moorhead is the executive director of Texas Impact, a position she has held since has been 2000. She is also the executive director of the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Texas Impact’s sister organization that she helped the Texas Impact board of directors to establish to improve and expand interfaith public policy education and dialogue.  Bee previously served as a senior fiscal policy analyst for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts where she helped to lead the nationally known Texas Performance Review, providing members of the Legislature with numerous recommendations for strengthening state government and state services, many of which are now law. She was the architect of “Family Pathfinders,” a unique initiative linking families on public assistance with faith and community-based organizations.  Bee holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas LBJ School. An ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Bee has been a member of University Presbyterian Church in Austin since 1983.


Rev. Mike Rodden
Mike currently serves as an Associate Pastor at St. Barnabas UMC.  Over the past 3-1/2 years he has been learning about, leading, and inviting others into sustainable, relational, and transformational mission and ministry based on yearly trips to Nicaragua with The Rainbow Network.  His passion is helping others find a Christ-centered way of life that transforms lives by bringing the Kingdom of God to everyday life.


Becky Storey
Area Director with Refugee Services of Texas
Founded in 1978, Refugee Services of Texas (RST) is a social-service agency dedicated to providing assistance to refugees and other displaced persons fleeing persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group - as well as to the communities that welcome them. RST provides services to hundreds of refugees, asylees, survivors of human trafficking, and related vulnerable populations from over 30 different countries of origin each year. During this workshop, you will learn about the refugee resettlement process and the ways that community members and faith communities can partner with our offices across Texas in Amarillo, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston.

 
Rev. Amy Tate-Almy, AFC
Amy is an ordained Deacon in full connection with the United Methodist Church.  Her primary appointment is to Money Matters Ministries with a secondary, part-time appointment to City Point UMC as Associate Minister.  Amy received her undergraduate degree from Texas Wesleyan University and her Master of Divinity degree from Texas Christian University.  She earned her Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) designation through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE).  Amy currently teaches the federally required personal financial management course for the two Fort Worth bankruptcy trustees.  Amy patterns her classes after John Wesley’s “Way of Salvation” to promote a feeling of growth through grace for those starting over financially.