Speakers


Convention Speakers

David and Jason Benham     

Benham Companies

David and Jason Benham are former professional baseball players, nationally acclaimed entrepreneurs, and bestselling authors. Their rise to success earned them a reality show with HGTV that was set to air in the fall of 2014 – yet the show was abruptly cancelled because of their commitment to Biblical values. Appearing on CNN, Fox News, ESPN, ABC’s Nightline & Good Morning America, the Benhams continue to stand up for what they believe and encourage others to do the same.

Mike Pence

Vice President of the United States

Mike Pence serves as the vice president of the United States. As a Congressman from Indiana, Pence was honored in 2009 with NRB’s prestigious Faith & Freedom Award. The association annually presents the award to a stalwart defender of religious liberty at its Capitol Hill Media Summit, the annual gathering of the NRB President’s Council in Washington, D.C.

Joel C. Rosenberg

New York Times Best Selling Author

Joel C. Rosenberg is a New York Times bestselling author with more than 3 million copies sold. He has been interviewed on top national and religious radio and TV shows. Joel has spoken to many audiences and met with religious and government leaders all across North America and around the world. He has addressed audiences at the White House, Pentagon, Congress, Canadian Parliament and the European Union Parliament.

Kay Arthur

Co-Founder | Precept Ministries International

Kay Arthur and her husband, Jack, founded Precept Ministries International in 1970. It has become a worldwide outreach to men, women, and children with Inductive Bible Study training and classes in nearly 185 countries and 70 languages. Kay has written 100+ books and Bible studies, four of which received the Gold Medallion Award. More than 90 million people have been touched through Kay’s teaching programs, “Precepts for Life” and “Precepts from God’s Word,” which have been aired on nearly 1,000 radio and television stations worldwide. Kay received the National Religious Broadcasters Best Television Teaching Program award in 2004 and 2009 for the half-hour program “Precepts For Life.”She was inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Tennessee Temple University.

Dr. David Jeremiah

Senior Pastor | Shadow Mountain Community Church, El Cajon, CA, Founder, CEO | Turning Point Ministries

Dr. David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California. Messages preached in the pulpit at Shadow Mountain form the basis of Turning Point, his international radio and television ministries. Dr. Jeremiah has authored many books and is a sought-after speaker because of his commitment to the truth of the Bible and his special ability to help people understand how to apply biblical principles to everyday living.

Eric Metaxas

Author, Nationally Syndicated Radio Host | Salem Radio

The Eric Metaxas Show offers compelling perspective on American culture, political life, and stories making news around the corner and across the globe.

Heard on leading radio stations from coast-to-coast, The Eric Metaxas Show taps the unique talent of one of America’s best known authors, commentators, TV personalities and public speakers for radio unlike anything ever heard before: compelling, compassionate and interactive as Eric and his listeners seek answers to life’s toughest questions together.

Luis Palau

Evangelist

Luis Palau and his ministry have shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with tens of millions of people through evangelistic events and media over the past five decades. He has spoken in 75 countries with more than one million registered decisions for Jesus Christ. He has authored close to 50 books, contributed articles on issues of faith to countless publications, and counseled business leaders, political leaders, and heads of state around the world.

This year, Palau celebrates 65 years of Christian broadcasting, having started in 1952 at the age of 18 with a seven-minute daily radio program at a local radio station in Argentina. Today, in addition to Palau’s radio outreach, his evangelistic festivals have produced some of the largest audiences ever recorded in cities from south Florida to South America. His ministry also includes an alliance of evangelists called Next Generation Alliance (NGA) that allows partner evangelists to collaborate, draw guidance and resources from Palau’s vast experience, and become equipped to reach the world for Christ. More than 650 evangelists are currently involved in NGA.

Rick Warren

Pastor | Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA

Dr. Richard Warren is a global strategist, philanthropist, pastor, and author. His influential book, The Purpose Driven Life has sold more than 35 million copies, and is published in more than 50 languages.

In 1980, Dr. Warren founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Today, it may be America’s most influential congregation with more than 100,000 names on the church roll, a 120-acre campus, and more than 500 ministries.

He has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Wood Economic Forum in Davos, the United Nations, the Global Health Summit, the Aspen Ideas Institute, TED, and numerous world congresses. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Jim Caviezel

Actor

Jim Caviezel was recognized for his role as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, which earned him a “Grace Award” from the Movie Guide Awards for the “Most Inspired Movie Acting.” Among other outstanding roles, Jim was casted in Terrence Malick’s Oscar-nominated film The Thin Red Line, a dramatic adaption of a popular book about World War II alongside Sean Penn and Adrien Brody. Other notable film credits include Ang Lee’s Civil War drama, Ride with the Devil, Mimi Leders dramatic romance, Pay it Forward & Luis Mandoki’s romantic thriller Angel Eyes. In 2002, Caviezel played the lead in an adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo based on the classic novel by Alexander Dumas. His next two roles included High Crimes opposite Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman and in Robert Harmon’s crime thriller in film Highwaymen.
In August 2013, Jim played Ward Allen in Savannah with acclaimed actors Sam Shepard, Hal Holbrook, Bradley Whitford and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The same year, Jim starred as the insidious villain Warden Hobbes in the prison break action film Escape Plan (Summit Entertainment) opposite Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2014, Jim portrayed the legendary Coach Bob Ladouceur, opposite Laura Dern in the real-life football movie When The Game Stands Tall. Jim’s role on the mini TV-series The Prisoner for six episodes allowed him to prepare for his biggest TV role. In 2012, Jim appeared in the drama thriller Transit, alongside James Frain and Elisabeth Rohm. Premiering in 2011 Jim starred as ex-CIA special operations agent Jon Reese in CBS’s critically lauded drama, Person of Interest for all five seasons. In 2017 Jim starred in The Ballad of Lefty Brown opposite Bill Pullman and Kathy Baker. His upcoming film releases include Jo, the Medicine Runner with Matt Dillon and Paul, Apostle of Christ portraying Luke opposite James Faulkner as Paul.

Dennis Quaid

Actor

Dennis Quaid was born in Houston to Juanita Bonniedale (Jordan), a real-estate agent, and William Rudy Quaid, an electrician. He grew up in the Houston suburb of Bellaire. He was raised a Baptist, and studied drama, Mandarin-Chinese, and dance while a student at Bellaire High School. He continued study at the University of Houston but dropped out before completing his degree. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue a film career where his brother, Randy Quaid, had already begun to build a successful career. However, Dennis initially had trouble finding film roles, but began to gain notice when he appeared in Breaking Away (1979) and earned strong reviews for his role in The Right Stuff (1983). Among his many other roles, recently are “American Crime Story” and A Dog’s Purpose along with the March 2018 film, I Can Only Imagine. Aside from acting, Quaid is also a musician and plays with his band, The Sharks. He holds a flying license and is a five-handicap golfer.

Mike Lindell

Inventor, CEO| MyPillow

MyPillow inventor and CEO Mike Lindell is a successful entrepreneur. After being fired from his job at a grocery store, Lindell pursued an entrepreneurial path by starting his own carpet cleaning company, which he expanded into a larger business. After that, he went on to run lunch wagons, nightclubs, and small-town bars. In 2004, Lindell had a dream about a pillow, which prompted him to invest all his time and resources into developing the world’s most comfortable pillow.

As Lindell struggled to grow his burgeoning pillow enterprise, he also battled with drug addictions. But those addictions came to an end in January 2009 after he prayed and asked God to take away his desire for drugs, promising in return that he would do whatever He wanted him to do. Lindell has been sober ever since that day.

And since then, Lindell has seen amazing success. MyPillow is now a thriving near-billion-dollar company that manufactures and sells more than 75,000 MyPillow products every day, has a workforce of 1,500, and has sold more than 25 million pillows worldwide. More importantly, Lindell made good on his promise to God, donating to several groups, including Teen Challenge, The Wounded Warriors, and the Salvation Army. He also formed The Lindell Foundation, which provides worldwide aid to the poor through a unique approach to loving and giving.

In addition, Lindell has turned his attentions to producing Christian-themed films, co-founding LIGHTBEAMedia with actor Stephen Baldwin. Lindell and Baldwin are currently working on a movie called Youth Group, which will soon be released.

Larry Elder

Talk Show Host | Salem Radio Network

For nearly 20 years, “The Sage from South Central” aired his afternoon drive radio program on KABC in Los Angeles. He was previously syndicated nationally on the ABC Radio Network from 2002 to 2007. In 2016 Larry moved to Salem’s AM 870 The Answer in Los Angeles, where his new program will moved into the 6-9pm PT slot in Los Angeles. His program is now syndicated by the Salem Radio Network in the 3-6pm ET time slot, which is 3-6pm Pacific.

Larry says his philosophy is to entertain, inform, provoke and “to hopefully uplift.” His calling card is “we have a country to save,” and to him this means returning to the bedrock Constitutional principles of limited government and maximum personal responsibility. Larry added, “I see the Constitution as a contract that restrains the federal government, leaving everything else to the states and to the people.” As for those who need help, Larry says, “It’s the moral responsibility of the people, not the federal government, to assist. Compassion is our job, not the Feds.”

Larry is a New York Times best-selling author of four books, including his latest “Dear Father, Dear Son.” His national TV show “Moral Court” was syndicated across the country and was at one time top rated in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Dennis Prager

Radio Talk Show Host | Salem Radio

Dennis Prager is one of America’s most respected radio talk show hosts. He has been broadcasting on radio in Los Angeles since 1982. His popular show became nationally syndicated in 1999 and airs live, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon PT from his home station, KRLA. Widely sought after by television shows for his opinions, he’s appeared on Fox and Friends, Red Eye, Hardball, Hannity, CBS Evening News, The Today Show, and many others.

In 2011, Prager co-founded with Allen Estrin, Prager University, an institution of higher learning on the internet with a unique difference: all the courses are five minutes long. The courses distill the best ideas of the best minds in the world and cover the disciplines of Political Science, History, Philosophy/Religion, Economics, and Psychology.

Dr. Billy Kim

Chairman | Far East Broadcasting Company, Korea

Dr. Billy (Jang Hwan) Kim is a pastor, evangelist, and broadcaster who has preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ all over the world to thousands of people in all walks of life.

He currently serves as Pastor Emeritus of the 15,000-member Central Baptist Church in Suwon, South Korea, where he has served 45 years as pastor. He is also the Chairman of the Far East Broadcasting Company in Korea, directing this network of 11 radio stations, of which two are high-powered AM transmitters sending the Gospel to China, Russia, Japan, and throughout Korea. In addition, he is the author of several books on Christian living, which are all published in Korean.

In 1992, Dr. Kim received South Korea’s highest civilian award for radio broadcasting and media ministries from former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo. The citation recognized his efforts for improving Korea’s relationship with China and Russia.

In 2000, Dr. Kim was elected to serve a five-year term as President of the Baptist World Alliance.


Musical Artists

Mercy Me

Artists, Singers, Songwriters

Since their debut in 2001, GRAMMY®-nominated, multiple American Music Award and Dove Award winners MercyMe have sold more than 9 million units in CD, single and DVD sales, garnered more than 28 No. 1 multi-format Christian radio singles and four consecutive mainstream radio hits.

Their radio success has continued with recent singles “Flawless” (No. 1 for 15 weeks) and “Greater” (No. 1 for 16 weeks), landing them the Top Christian Airplay Artist spot on Billboard’s 2015 Year End charts.

Fernando Ortega

Artist, Singer, Songwriter

One of Christian music’s most respected composers, Fernando Ortega has three Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and a Billboard Latin Music Award to his credit, while Ortega’s Christian radio hits include “This Good Day,” “Jesus, King of Angels,” and “Sleepless Night.” Renowned for his stirring arrangements of beloved hymns — “Give Me Jesus” and “Be Thou My Vision,” among others — Ortega’s solo discography features 18 projects in a heralded career spanning more than 25 years. Last month, Ortega released The Crucifixion of Jesus, his first project in six years, which brings together 11 contemplative songs and six readings. His works encompass modern hymns, liturgical songs, and inspirational and praise/worship favorites.

Michael W. Smith

Singer, Songwriter

An acclaimed singer, songwriter, and musician, Michael W. Smith has sold more than 15 million albums, achieved 32 No. 1 songs, and earned three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award, and more than 40 Dove Awards. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), Smith, along with Amy Grant, was honored as “a cornerstone of Christian music” for his groundbreaking career and significant influence on the genre.

Korea Children’s Choir

The Children’s Choir was organized as a ministry of the Far East Broadcasting Company in Korea. The Choir members are selected through a rigorous audition process. The children, ranging in ages from seven to thirteen, receive training from a voice trainer, choreographer and conductor. A variety of concerts are performed throughout the year at churches, cultural centers, theme parks, schools, and universities both in Korea and the United States. Cheerful adaptations, warm smiles and thorough professionalism characterize the performances. Colorful costumes and traditional Korean dance add to the excitement and pageantry of the concerts.


Special Israel Session Speakers

Kay Arthur

Co-Founder | Precept Ministries International

Kay Arthur and her husband, Jack, founded Precept Ministries International in 1970. It has become a worldwide outreach to men, women, and children with Inductive Bible Study training and classes in nearly 185 countries and 70 languages. Kay has written 100+ books and Bible studies, four of which received the Gold Medallion Award. More than 90 million people have been touched through Kay’s teaching programs, “Precepts for Life” and “Precepts from God’s Word,” which have been aired on nearly 1,000 radio and television stations worldwide. Kay received the National Religious Broadcasters Best Television Teaching Program award in 2004 and 2009 for the half-hour program “Precepts For Life.”She was inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Tennessee Temple University.

Dr. David Jeremiah

Senior Pastor | Shadow Mountain Community Church, El Cajon, CA, Founder, CEO | Turning Point Ministries

Dr. David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California. Messages preached in the pulpit at Shadow Mountain form the basis of Turning Point, his international radio and television ministries. Dr. Jeremiah has authored many books and is a sought-after speaker because of his commitment to the truth of the Bible and his special ability to help people understand how to apply biblical principles to everyday living.

Susanna Kokkonen

Director, Christian Friends of Yad Vashem

Dr. Susanna Kokkonen, originally from Finland, is the Director of the Christian Friends of Yad Vashem. Dr. Kokkonen travels around the world to speak about Israel, the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. Fluent in six languages, she also writes regularly on Jewish and Israeli issues, and her articles have been published in various publications. Her book, Journey to the Holocaust: Hatred of Jews in Light of the Bible and History came out in April 2014. She received her Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2004 in Holocaust studies.

Luna Fuss-Kaufman

Holocaust Survivor

Luna Fuss-Kaufman, a native of Krakow, survived the concentration camps of Krakow-Plaszow, Hasag-Skarzyskol and Leipzig. Following a Death March, she returned to Krakow where she completed a degree in Musicology and immigrated to Israel. In 1952 she moved to USA where she pursued a life of social activism. This included being President of Temple Sholom in Plainfield NJ, President of New Jersey State Opera, Member of NJ Holocaust Commission, and Chairman of Liberty State Park Monument Committee whose purpose was erecting survivor Nathan Rapoport’s Liberation Holocaust monument in Liberty State Park, New Jersey.

Following a friendship with the late Sister Rose Thering, a tireless fighter of anti-Semitism, Luna became chairman of Seton Hall University’s Sister Rose Thering Fund. Seton Hall University awarded Luna an Honorary Doctorate for her devoted work towards Jewish-Christian relations. Her autobiography “Luna’s Life” was released in May 2009 for which she received 3 book awards.

Luna’s commitment to freedom and human rights manifests in her constant efforts to promote an understanding of both the horrors of the Holocaust as well as the sacrifices of many Righteous Christians.

Michael W. Smith

Singer, Songwriter

An acclaimed singer, songwriter, and musician, Michael W. Smith has sold more than 15 million albums, achieved 32 No. 1 songs, and earned three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award, and more than 40 Dove Awards. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), Smith, along with Amy Grant, was honored as “a cornerstone of Christian music” for his groundbreaking career and significant influence on the genre.


Super Session Speakers

Mike Pence

Vice President of the United States

Mike Pence serves as the vice president of the United States. As a Congressman from Indiana, Pence was honored in 2009 with NRB’s prestigious Faith & Freedom Award. The association annually presents the award to a stalwart defender of religious liberty at its Capitol Hill Media Summit, the annual gathering of the NRB President’s Council in Washington, D.C.

Luis Palau

Evangelist

Luis Palau and his ministry have shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with tens of millions of people through evangelistic events and media over the past five decades. He has spoken in 75 countries with more than one million registered decisions for Jesus Christ. He has authored close to 50 books, contributed articles on issues of faith to countless publications, and counseled business leaders, political leaders, and heads of state around the world.

This year, Palau celebrates 65 years of Christian broadcasting, having started in 1952 at the age of 18 with a seven-minute daily radio program at a local radio station in Argentina. Today, in addition to Palau’s radio outreach, his evangelistic festivals have produced some of the largest audiences ever recorded in cities from south Florida to South America. His ministry also includes an alliance of evangelists called Next Generation Alliance (NGA) that allows partner evangelists to collaborate, draw guidance and resources from Palau’s vast experience, and become equipped to reach the world for Christ. More than 650 evangelists are currently involved in NGA.

Dennis Quaid

Actor

Dennis Quaid was born in Houston to Juanita Bonniedale (Jordan), a real-estate agent, and William Rudy Quaid, an electrician. He grew up in the Houston suburb of Bellaire. He was raised a Baptist, and studied drama, Mandarin-Chinese, and dance while a student at Bellaire High School. He continued study at the University of Houston but dropped out before completing his degree. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue a film career where his brother, Randy Quaid, had already begun to build a successful career. However, Dennis initially had trouble finding film roles, but began to gain notice when he appeared in Breaking Away (1979) and earned strong reviews for his role in The Right Stuff (1983). Among his many other roles, recently are “American Crime Story” and A Dog’s Purpose along with the March 2018 film, I Can Only Imagine. Aside from acting, Quaid is also a musician and plays with his band, The Sharks. He holds a flying license and is a five-handicap golfer.

Brian Bird

Screenwriter, Producer

Brian Bird is executive producer and co-creator of the Hallmark Channel original series When Calls the Heart, now in its fifth season, and co-author of the new book, When God Calls the Heart. In his three decades in Hollywood, he has written or produced two dozen films, including The Case for Christ, Captive and Not Easily Broken, and nearly 300 episodes of such shows as Touched by an Angel, Step by Step, and Evening Shade. He is currently developing three new films, Northern Lights, Junction 395 and The Case for Miracles, along with a new television series, Big Sky.

Alex Kendrick

Writer, Director, Actor, Author | Kendrick Brothers

Alex Kendrick has dedicated his life to serving Jesus Christ and making His truth and love know among the nations through movies, books, speaking, and prayer. Alex and his brothers, Stephen and Shannon, operate Kendrick Brothers Productions. In 2002, Alex founded Sherwood Pictures with the blessing of his church’s senior pastor, Michael Catt, and with his brother Stephen began production on their first movie, Flywheel. After an overwhelming response, he partnered with his brother once again to write and produce Facing The Giants. Most recently, in 2014, Alex co-wrote the screenplay for War Room with Stephen. The film was released theatrically in August of 2015 and became the #1 movie at the box office. It was subsequently released in 20 other countries in theaters. To date, Alex has received over 30 awards for his work. His other acting credits include the films The Lost Medallion (2013) and Mom’s Night Out (2014). Alex and Stephen are serving as Executive Producer of the new 2018 FamilyLife project, Like Arrows. Alex and Stephen have also co-authored multiple bestselling books. Their latest book titled The Battle Plan for Prayer, made the New York Times bestsellers list.

Ed Stetzer

Executive Director | Billy Graham Center

Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., serves as the Billy Graham Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College and acts as Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written dozens of articles and books. Previously, he served as Executive Director of LifeWay Research.
Stetzer is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine and is frequently interviewed by news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is the Executive Editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than one million individuals each week. Stetzer is also the executive editor of Facts & Trends Magazine, a Christian leadership magazine with a circulation of more than 70,000 readers.
In 2015, Ed started serving as the co-host of the BreakPoint This Week radio program with John Stonestreet. He also serves as a Visiting Professor of Research and Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, a Visiting Research Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he has taught at many other colleges, seminaries and universities. Stetzer also serves as interim teaching pastor of Moody Church in Chicago.

Gabe Lyons

Founder | Q Ideas

Q was birthed out of Gabe Lyons’ vision to see Christians, especially leaders, recover a vision for their historic responsibility to renew and restore cultures. Inspired by Chuck Colson’s statement, “Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals,” Gabe set out to reintroduce Christians to what had seemed missing in recent decades from an American expression of Christian faithfulness; valuing both personal and cultural renewal, not one over the other. Re-educating Christians to this orthodox and unifying concept has become central to the vision of Q.
Gabe and Rebekah Lyons founded Q in 2007, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Described as “sophisticated and orthodox” by The New York Times, they convene leaders in America’s most influential cities and equip them to engage public life in winsome and thoughtful ways. Gabe is the co-author of Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You’re Irrelevant and Extreme (Baker 2016), author of The Next Christians (Doubleday 2010) and co-author of UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why It Matters (Baker 2007). These books and the numerous writings and events Lyons’ hosts are credited with shaping a new imagination for how the Christian church can live faithfully and engage modern times.
Prior to launching Q, Gabe served on the team that co-founded Catalyst, the largest gathering of young church leaders in America. Gabe and Rebekah’s work represents the perspectives of a new generation of Christians and has been featured by CNN, The New York Times, Fox News and USA Today. They have three children, and live in Nashville, Tenn.

Marsha Blackburns

United States Congressman, R-Tenn

Marsha Blackburn is an American politician and former businesswoman. A member of the Republican Party, she represents southwest Tennessee’s 7th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.

Additionally, Blackburn served the Tennessee Senate from 1999 to 2003. In October 2017, Blackburn announced that she will run for the United States Senate seat, being vacated by Bob Corker in the 2018 Tennessee U.S. Senate election.

Tony Perkins

President | Family Research Council

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council, Washington D.C.’s largest Christian organization fighting for life, religious liberty, and economic freedom for families.

During his nearly 15-year tenure as FRC’s president, Tony has substantially deepened the organization’s influence on Capitol Hill and throughout the country. Tony has also expanded the organization’s reach across the nation by building a major network of pastors and churches, encouraging them to impact the culture by thinking nationally, but acting locally.

An effective communicator, Tony is the host of a daily, nationally syndicated radio show, Washington Watch with Tony Perkins. He frequently appears as a guest on national news programs and talk shows. He is the author of No Fear: Real Stories of a Courageous New Generation Standing for Truth.

Tony, who is an ordained minister, remains active in Christian ministries serving as an elder in his home church and frequently filling pulpits across the country. He is a board member of Caring to Love Ministries, one of Louisiana’s largest pregnancy resource centers.

A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a former police officer, Tony brings a unique perspective to the public policy process. In addition to domestic law enforcement, he oversaw the training of hundreds of international police officers as the general manager for a Washington, D.C.-based firm contracted by the U.S. Department of State to provide the training and services in anti-terrorism.

Tony holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University, a Master of Public Administration degree from Louisiana State University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate of divinity from Liberty University.

Dennis Prager

Radio Talk Show Host | Salem Radio

Dennis Prager is one of America’s most respected radio talk show hosts. He has been broadcasting on radio in Los Angeles since 1982. His popular show became nationally syndicated in 1999 and airs live, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon PT from his home station, KRLA. Widely sought after by television shows for his opinions, he’s appeared on Fox and Friends, Red Eye, Hardball, Hannity, CBS Evening News, The Today Show, and many others.

In 2011, Prager co-founded with Allen Estrin, Prager University, an institution of higher learning on the internet with a unique difference: all the courses are five minutes long. The courses distill the best ideas of the best minds in the world and cover the disciplines of Political Science, History, Philosophy/Religion, Economics, and Psychology.

Todd Starnes

Radio Host | Fox News & Commentary

Todd Starnes is heard daily on hundreds of radio stations around the nation as the host of Fox News & Commentary. He also writes a column and hosts a digital show for FoxNews.com. In addition, he makes regular appearances on Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. He is the author of four books and is a frequent speaker. Todd’s journalism has been honored by the Associated Press, the Radio, Television, News Director’s Association, and the National Religious Broadcasters.

His book, The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again was released in 2017. His latest book, Silencing the Lambs: How Truth Became the New Hate Speech released in January. Follow Todd on Twitter @toddstarnes and find him on Facebook.


Industry Session Speakers (Digital Media)

Carl Bliss

Manager of Interactive Media | Northwestern Media

Carl Bliss serves as Manager of Interactive Media for Northwestern Media. Carl has worked with Northwestern since 1998, and has helped guide the radio network through digital media growth. Carl and his wife, Katie, are raising three girls near Stillwater, MN. Carl and his family are actively involved at Hope Church in Oakdale, MN, where he has served on the Elder board, and leads a highly energetic group of K-5th graders on Wednesday nights. Carl holds a Master of Organizational Leadership degree from the University of Northwestern.

Tim Kachuriak

Founder, Chief Innovation & Optimization Officer | NextAfter

Tim Kachuriak is the Founder and Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer for NextAfter, a fundraising research lab and consulting firm that works with businesses, nonprofits and NGOs to help them grow their resource capacity. As a nonprofit thought leader, Kachuriak is the lead researcher and co-author of the Online Fundraising Scorecard, Why Should I Give to You? (The Nonprofit Value Proposition Index Study), and The Midlevel Donor Crisis. Kachuriak has trained organizations around the world as far away as Bangalore, India and Oslo, Norway and is a frequent speaker at national nonprofit conferences including Christian Leadership Alliance, National Religious Broadcasters, the Data and Marketing Association, and others. Kachuriak is also the co-founder and Vice Chairman of the Human Coalition, a member of the board of directors for Open Doors USA and the Halcyon Movement, an Advisory Board member for Kids Prosper Kids, and is on the MECLABS Advisory Board for Optimization.

Ivan Leon

Founder, Chief Strategist | Kerux Group, Inc.

Ivan Leon is an accomplished cross-cultural marketing strategist. He is credited with making GodTube.com and Logos Bible Software irresistible among Hispanics. Through his leadership, GodTube gained a-half-a-million Spanish registered users in its first year and Logos online sales grew 400 hundred percent during his five-year tenure. Drawing from this wealth of experience, he founded Kerux Group, an agency that partners with ministries to effectively attract and engage the Hispanic population, which is the largest and most influential minority in the United States, currently standing at 58 million. As the Chief Strategist, he leads a seasoned team of content creators and campaign activators that come alongside organizations such as FamilyLife, Back to the Bible, and HarperCollins to help them connect to Hispanics with authenticity.

John Paul Mains

CEO | Lumentis

John Paul Mains is the Product Leader for Lumentis.io and has spent the last 20 years as a digital marketing and technology leader for companies like Google, BMC Software and AT&T as well as small software start-ups and web agencies. John Paul brings a wide range of industry experience in B2B and B2C digital marketing, data management, e-commerce and technology best practices. These days, John Paul is changing perceptions on how to take the guesswork out of digital marketing through user data and engagement analytics.

Ron Weber

Chief Operating Officer | Trinet Internet Solutions, Inc.

Mr. Ronald Weber is the Chief Operating Officer at Trinet Internet Solutions, Inc., a digital marketing firm with offices in Irvine, California, Alexandria, Virginia, and Dallas, Texas. Trinet has a 23-year track record of developing advanced digital media experiences including websites, web applications, social media advertising, emails, efundraising and streaming media experiences specifically for ministries, including over 500 successful webcasts with some of the best-known ministries, parachurch organizations and Christian broadcasters in America. Trinet’s focus is on using digital technology to help ministry and corporate clients impact their organizations and their outreach. Trinet’s clients include World Vision, Focus on the Family, and Trinity Broadcasting Network. Ron is responsible for operational management, business development, consulting, sales and marketing, but his passion is working with ministry clients. Ron has a 25-year technology industry background, and he is excited about magnifying the impact of ministries using digital technologies, and speaks regularly on the topic of how best to use innovative digital strategies at national conferences and events such as the National Religious Broadcasters conference, CLA and Outreach conferences.


Industry Session Speakers (Film)

Phil Cooke

Co-Founder & President | Cooke Pictures

An experienced filmmaker and media consultant, Phil Cooke has advised some of the largest churches and nonprofits on crisis communications issues. He’s one of the most respected media voices helping to influence the culture’s perception of Christianity in today’s changing, disrupted culture. He’s appeared on NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, and Fox News. His work has been profiled in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He wrote the book Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media, and in addition to writing his blog at philcooke.com, he’s also been a contributor to Fast Company, Wired, Forbes.com, and FoxNews.com.

Rick Bonn

Head of Development and Acquisitions | Pure Flix Entertainment

As Head of Development and Acquisitions at Pure Flix Entertainment, Rick Bonn developed the feature films Samson, The Case for Christ, and God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness as well as the streaming series The Encounter. In two years, Rick has acquired more than fifteen completed films for distribution including The Stray, Until Forever, Wish For Christmas, and Little Notes From Heaven. In twenty years of development, he has consulted on 4,000 screenplays for Disney, Nickelodeon, Wind Dancer Films and other companies. His writings on film and theology have been published by Westminster John Knox Press, Prism Magazine, Christianity & Theatre and on the websites aint-it-cool.com, hollywoodjesus.com, and upperleftedge.com. He’s been a guest teacher at Pepperdine University, Los Angeles Film School and the Act One Program, and has coordinated media/theology conferences at Wheaton College and Fuller Seminary. He’s also an optioned screenwriter, published author, and creator of indie comic books.

Jon Erwin

Writer, Director, Producer | Erwin Brothers Entertainment

Jon and Andy Erwin are a directing team that focuses on creating faith-based and inspirational feature films. The duo began their career when they were teenagers, working as camera operators for ESPN in their hometown of Birmingham, AL. They soon embarked on full time careers as sports cameramen covering University of Alabama games all over the country. The brothers had the opportunity to work with ESPN College Football Primetime, FOX NFL, and the NBA covering events like the XGames and the Superbowl. In 2002, the Erwin Brothers started their own production company. They ventured into creating commercials, documentaries and music videos. They found their greatest success in the world of music. Soon they were directing music videos and producing concerts and television programs for platinum artists like Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns, Switchfoot, Skillet, and others. The brothers received eleven nominations and were honored with wins for “Music Video of the Year” at the GMA Dove Awards for three consecutive years.

Ken Rather

Vice President, Theatrical Distribution | Pure Flix Entertainment

Ken Rather is an experienced movie-industry executive with 20-plus years of experience in leading theatrical distribution on both major exhibitor and studio sides. Ken negotiates and oversees all theatrical distribution for films including calendar dating, terms, booking, settlements, collections, in-theatre marketing and exhibitor relations. He manages a team with an ability to handle release footprints up to 4,000-plus screens. As a former VP Film at Regal with an 18-plus year career, he booked thousands of films and developed strong relations with all of the major studios, mid-majors and independents. He formed and maintains strong relationships with all major exhibitors – including Regal, AMC and Cinemark as well as all regionals and independents, which allows the company to attain a footprint as large as a film dictates.

Bill Reeves

Writer, Founder | WTA Group

Bill Reeves has extensive experience in the Christian product industry since 1988. He has served in various Christian retail roles, including a position with Word Entertainment/Warner in distribution support for recording artists such as Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. At Big Idea Productions, Bill led Christian retail product licensing and distribution for the successful VeggieTales® brand and worked on the theatrical release of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie. During his tenure at Thomas Nelson Publishers/HarperCollins he served as executive producer of several children’s video properties, including Max Lucado’s “Hermie & Friends”® series. As vice president of marketing for Propeller Consulting, he participated in the marketing launches of leading faith-based films such as, Fireproof, Courageous and Soul Surfer and led the consumer products campaigns for the Kendrick Brothers’ films, including the New York Times #1 best-selling book, The Love Dare, and many other top-charting books. In 2009, Bill launched The WTA Group. Since then, he has led the marketing campaigns for such films as 90 Minutes in Heaven, The Ultimate Life, and God’s Not Dead, and the agency has steered the release of films such as Heaven is for Real and War Room.

Michael Van Dyck

Writer, Founder | Inspired Entertainment

With an impressive resume as a TV/Feature Executive and longtime literary agent, industry veteran Michael Van Dyck has left Paradigm after 13 years to fulfill his vision of building unique, high quality inspirational brands with broad mainstream appeal through the launch of his management/production company, Inspired Entertainment with Pure Flix, the independent faith and family studio, backing the new entity. Inspired Entertainment, a management and production company, will develop, package, and broker original mainstream and inspirational content to broadcast, cable, and streaming networks, building a presence and fulfilling a need in the entertainment market

Van Dyck brings his extensive mainstream entertainment experience and work in and outside of the faith and family market to the new company. In his new role, Van Dyck will manage and direct Inspired Entertainment’s operations identifying and representing top accredited writers/content creators, actors, and directors through long standing relationships with the artists, TV and feature lit agents, managers, and studio/network executives. His successes in mainstream entertainment and growing inspirational genre include: James Mano’s Dexter (Showtime), Peter Barsocchini’s High School Musical (Disney Channel), Martha Williamson’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Hallmark), Karen Kingsbury’s The Baxter Series (MGM), A Time to Dance, and The Bridge (Hallmark) Kirk Franklin’s Sunday Best (BET), and John Sakmar and Kerry Lenhart’s Unveiled (NBC), and others. Van Dyck will also continue to work with staff writer and director clients on current network series.


Industry Session Speakers (Radio)

Jennifer Hayden Epperson

Director of Research and Learning | Moody Radio

Helping others in Christian media reach their potential is Jennifer Hayden Epperson’s passion. Currently, she serves on NRB’s Radio Committee and is Moody Radio’s Director of Research and Learning. Previously, she was a Station Manager with Moody Radio and Blount Communications. Jennifer has worked and taught in international contexts with Moody Radio’s Global Partners Training program and spent five years as the Executive Producer of TWR’s Women of Hope. In 2012, she completed a doctorate in organizational leadership with a minor in human resource development. She has taught leadership and radio courses on both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Collin Lambert

Vice President of Broadcasting | Moody Radio

Collin G. Lambert serves as Vice President of Broadcasting at Moody Global Ministries in Chicago. Moody owns/operates 38 stations (English and Spanish) covering 15 states, and Canada, a Christian broadcast network, plus numerous online-only stations. Collin has been with Moody for 14 years, serving in the areas of leadership, programming and promotions. Before joining Moody Radio, he worked in management and hosted various programs at country, talk, Christian, and jazz stations in his home state of Texas.

Paul Martin

Founder | Advocace Media, LLC

Paul Martin desires to help ministries flourish so the Gospel can be taken to more people. Specializing in Business Development Consulting, he imparts to nonprofit leaders decades of knowledgeable experience. With a degree in radio/TV management, Paul helped spread the Gospel at KCFO, starting KLTY-FM (twice) and running the radio Sales Division for CBN. In 2003, Paul started Advocace. Originally Advocace solely worked with Christian radio, growing station revenue. Currently, Advocace works with Christian nonprofits — from radio stations to rescue missions, Christian universities, and K-12 schools.

Paul Virts

Consultant | Advocace Media, LLC

Dr. Paul Virts is a consultant for Advocace Media, LLC. From 2002 to 2015, he was the Senior Vice President for Media at the University of Northwestern, overseeing Northwestern’s 15 radio stations and one satellite radio network, with a staff of 90 employees and an annual budget of $18 million. Prior to joining Northwestern’s radio network, Virts served for four years as the Chief Operating Officer of Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef. Before that, he was the Director of Media at the KMA agency in Dallas, TX. Virts served as a Vice President for Development at The King’s College (New York), Director of Client Services and Manager of Corporate Research at Christian Broadcasting Network (Virginia), and Professor of Broadcasting at Regent University (Virginia). He also spent two years as a researcher, administrator, and consultant with Daystar Communications, Nairobi, Kenya.




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