Mark Teasdale

Mark Teasdale

E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Garret-Evangelical Theological Seminary

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B.A., The American University
M.Div., D.Min., Wesley Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Southern Methodist University

Mark R. Teasdale is a professor, author, and pastor who focuses on evangelism, church leadership, mission, discipleship, and Wesleyan/Methodist studies. He currently teaches at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary where he is the E. Stanley Jones Associate Professor of Evangelism, and has lectured at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Southern Methodist University, and Wesley Theological Seminary. In addition, he has been privileged to consult with several local churches and denominational bodies, including the cabinet of the Methodist Church (Lower Myanmar) and the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church.

He is the president-elect of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education (AETE) and served for six years as the editor of Witness: The Journal of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education.

Dr. Heather Heinzman Lear

Dr. Heather Heinzman Lear

Teaching & Research Fellow

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After serving as the Director of Evangelism for UMC Discipleship Ministries, Heather joined the staff of The Foundation for Evangelism in 2019. Prior to that, she served as an ex-officio trustee and member of the Grants committee.

When Heather joined the FFE team, she brought with her experience and a passion for teaching and training current and future leaders. She has also been a tremendous asset to expand the Foundation’s ecumenical networks and partnerships.

For the past three years, Heather has co-taught the online course, "Evangelism for Non-Evangelists" with Rev. Dr. Mark Teasdale. In addition to being invited to teach evangelism courses at several UM Seminaries she has also led workshops at the United Methodist Leadership Institute and various annual conferences events.

Heather lives in Brentwood, Tenn., with her husband Casey and son, Caleb.

Dr. W. Stephen Gunter

Dr. W. Stephen Gunter

E. Stanley Jones Professors Director

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Professor Stephen Gunter spent more than two decades at Emory University and Duke Divinity School – where he served as Research Professor and Associate Dean for Methodist Studies. He has lectured and preached in more than 20 countries and world areas on Wesleyan soteriology and Evangelism in the Wesleyan Spirit. In addition to serving as the director for The Foundation for Evangelism’s E. Stanley Jones Professors of Evangelism program, he serves as the Theologian in Residence at Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City. He remains active in his annual conference as an ordained Methodist clergy.

His most recent book, Arminius and His ‘Declaration of Sentiments’ (Baylor University Press) was recently translated into Portuguese, and his timeless publication The Quotable Mr. Wesley is set to be republished in 2020.

Jane Boatwright Wood

Jane Boatwright Wood

President

"Reclaiming the early Methodist movement’s synergy - a movement requiring active participation by lay and clergy leaders in ministry together – allows Christ’s church to thrive."

As president of The Foundation for Evangelism (FFE), a Catalyst organization devoted to equipping disciples to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, Jane joins a generative board and staff of highly motivated Christ-followers in global ministry. Now, in its 71st year, the FFE focuses exclusively on resources for evangelism training. Our five-year CATALYST 2024 initiative brings these resources to the laity.

As the out-going Conference Lay Leader (CLL) of the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, and member of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Board, she advocates for the approximately 275,000 lay members of the Western North Carolina Conference.

A native of Haywood County in Western North Carolina, Jane is a lover of the glorious Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains. She recharges her "batteries" by hiking with her husband, dabbling in photography, and hanging out with her nephews and niece.

Barby Bowser

Barby Bowser

Communications

Barby began working with The Foundation Evangelism in 2003 as part of a technology grant with the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church (UMC). A graduate of Florida Southern College (B.A. Communications and Graphic Design, 2002) in Lakeland, Fla., she grew up steeped in the Wesleyan tradition.

In 2013, Barby began working for The World Methodist Council, which connected her to the many Wesleyan-tradition denominations around the world. She was on the planning team for the 2013 and 2018 World Methodist Council meetings (London, UK, and Seoul, Korea) and for the 2016 and 2021 World Methodist Conferences (Houston, Texas, and Gothenburg, Sweden). Her most memorable moment with the World Methodist Council was getting to shake hands with Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2017.

In 2018, Barby returned to The Foundation for Evangelism, bringing over a decade of institutional knowledge and a deeper understanding of the broader Wesleyan tradition.

Barby has served in small to medium sized churches as a youth leader, delegate to annual conference, and member of the church administrative council. She also managed websites for several churches and related organizations. She is a member of the Communications Commission for The Western North Carolina Conference of The UMC.

Barby lives in Clyde, N.C., with her husband and two children. She loves art, photography, and taking hikes with the family. She recently began refreshing her Spanish conversational skills and is obsessed with sourdough.

Lynn Sisk

Lynn Sisk

Finance
Allen Black

Allen Black

FFE Board Chair

Rev. Allen Ranold Black was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Allen professed faith
in Christ and accepted God’s call into the ministry at the age of fifteen and was licensed and ordained in Birmingham, AL. He was active in the Boy Scouts and received the Eagle Scout and God and Country awards. He served as Youth Director, Associate Pastor and Senior Pastor of churches in Alabama while getting his BS degree in Religion and Philosophy at Samford University in Birmingham. Allen received a Master of Religious Education (MRE) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity (M.Div) with honors from Memphis Theological Seminary.

Since 1995, Allen has been under appointment by the Tennessee Conference, and has served United Methodist churches in Mississippi and Tennessee. After 8 years as Senior Pastor at the Hermitage United Methodist Church, in June of 2014 Allen was appointed District Superintendent of the Columbia District.

Allen has served as Chair of the Order of Elders for the Tennessee Conference and on the Conference Board of Ministry, and was Chair of the Work Area on Evangelism for eight years. He was a recipient of the 2013 Denman Evangelism Award. He is Vice President of the
Council on Evangelism which sponsors the Congress on Evangelism, and is now a Trustee of The Foundation for Evangelism. He presently serves as a delegate to the World Methodist Council and is a member of its Executive Council. Allen is a member of the Order of the Flame and the National Association of United Methodist Evangelists. He is a member and Certified Counselor of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He has been an active Rotarian and is a Paul Harris Fellow.

Allen and Marjorie were married in California and they have 5 grown children (Mike, Stephanie, Brian, Wesley and Meredith) and 16 grandchildren.

Neil Alexander

Neil Alexander

FFE Grants Committee Chair & Task Force Facilitator

Neil Alexander has worked as a lay person with United Methodist agencies since 1969. He and his wife, Leslie, began their journey in UMC related children’s services in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Neil served in the mid-1970’s as an executive with the former Southern New Jersey Annual Conference. This was followed by nine years of program and administrative leadership as the administrator for the Section on Ministry of the Laity and later General Manager of the Discipleship Resources publishing unit of what is now Discipleship Ministries in Nashville.

Neil joined the United Methodist Publishing House in 1988, serving first as General Manager and later Editor-in-Chief of the Abingdon Press division. In 1992 he was elected as the Vice President for Publishing and Book Editor of The United Methodist Church, followed by his 1996 election as Publisher of the UMC and President of UMPH.

Among his favorite projects was his work with Bishop Rueben P. Job as co-editors of the 2014 book, Finding Our Way: Love and Law in The United Methodist Church.

Neil retired at the end of 2016 after twenty-eight years with The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) with headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. He and his wife, Leslie, live in Nashville, Tennessee. They have one son, Sean, who is married with five children and serves as an officer and lawyer in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corp.