Board of Directors
WENDI REES, President
Wendi has lived in Tyler for over 11 years and has 4 children (2 natural born and 2 adopted) and 2 foster children. She was been blessed to run a successful mortgage business until 2007 when she then decided to home school her children. Four years later, God brought the first of two adoptions into her life and another just 19 months later. Wendi is a public speaker at youth camps, women’s conferences and lady’s retreats and ministers on the subject of sexual abuse. A survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hand of her father, a Baptist preacher, Wendi has had a journey through a dark side of life and has found healing in her Savior, Jesus Christ. Her desire is to help see healing and restoration in the lives of other young women and to be a vessel through which many families experience the miracle of adoption.
JIM REES, Treasurer
Jim has lived in Tyler for over 15 years with his wife, Wendi, and their 4 children. He has a passion to help others and has been able to accomplish that in different areas of his life. He is the President of Stoneway Financial and has been in the financial industry for over 25 years.
MICHELLE LOPEZ, Secretary
After working with Child Protective Services for over 26 years, Michelle retired in order to help The Magdalene Home and Chosen One Adoption. Michelle is a licensed Master Level Social Worker and a Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator. She has a heart for the Lord and sews her time into helping others including being the Administrator for The Magdalene Home and Chosen One Adoption. She is willing to serve where ever and however the Lord leads. She and her husband are active members of The Remnant Church where they help oversee small groups and prayer teams.
Lisa Moran is the owner of the Moran Law Firm and has 22 years of legal experience. Ms. Moran received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin and her Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law, where she served as President of the Board of Advocates. Ms. Moran was awarded the prestigious honor of induction into the National Order of the Barristers. Ms. Moran gained much of her legal experience working as a litigator with AV-rated Strasburger & Price in Dallas, Texas, where she served as her graduating class representative at the firm. Ms. Moran furthered her legal career by working as Associate General Counsel with Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas. Prior to opening her own law firm, Ms. Moran served as General Counsel for the University of Texas Health Science Center here in Tyler. Lisa Moran has been practicing law for 20 years.
Chris Legg, LPC, is the Lead Pastor at South Spring Baptist Church in Tyler, TX. He also leads the team at Alethia Family Counseling Center (offering counseling, speaking and business consulting). Chris and his lovely wife Ginger have been honeymooning since 1993 and have been blessed with five great kids. He has published dozens of articles on various topics on his website and a Discipleship program for men – especially fathers, called The Gauntlet. Learn more about SSBC at www.southspring.org More about Alethia at www.alethiacounseling.com Contact Chris, read any of his articles, and look for other resources at his website at www.chrismlegg.com
Spiritual Advisory Council
Bev is the founder of Living Alternative in Lindale, Texas, which she began in 1982. She began by offering free pregnancy tests from her own home and now manages an ever-growing ministry. Her ministry has grown over the years to include the Pregnancy Resource Center, Fatherheart Maternity Home, Loving Alternative Adoption Agency, Building Blocks, For The 1, Keeps Boutique and other ministries focusing on the spiritual health and welfare of pregnant mothers and children.
Don R. Spradling and his wife, Kay have been married for fifty years and currently reside in Tyler, Texas where they serve as Lead Pastors of CrossPointe Community Church. Since 1966, Don has been engaged in full-time ministry. He has pastored successful churches in Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon and California. Don has served the Assemblies of God denomination in Presbytery and Executive Presbytery positions. He and Kay had an award-winning television show on the Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN) for three years running. Don has authored and co-authored four books. His latest book is entitled, “Breaking the Barrier.” In 2006, Don helped to begin CrossPointe Community Church in Tyler, Texas. The church is now one of the leading churches in East Texas.
Randy Howard is the Senior Leader of the GATE Church of the High Desert located in Victorville, California with a vision for personal transformation of lives and social justice for communities. He is also the founder, president and overseer of Gateway Strategies International, a family of churches and leaders in Latin America, East Africa, India, the French Caribbean and the USA with nearly 4,000 churches directly and indirectly involved. In addition, he is a member of the Leadership Council for Kingdom Ministries International and serves on the boards of several other global ministries. With over thirty years in ministry, Randy’s passion continues for the message of God’s Kingdom and biblical relevance in every sphere of life thus producing the transformation of individuals, families, local regions and nations. Randy and his wife Tammy have four grown married children all serving in ministry and 12 grandchildren.
Erik was born and raised in East Texas. Presently a bi-vocational Pastor, Erik is employed at ETMC EMS as the Director of Support Services. Erik is married to his lovely wife Melinda and they have four grown sons, and three grandchildren. Called into the ministry in 2003, Erik was ordained a year later, and accepted the position as Pastor at Sharon Baptist Church in 2010. Erik also is on the Board of Directors for Christian Hunters and Anglers. Erik holds a B.S. from Liberty University in Biblical/Religious Studies and Christian Counseling, and is presently completing his MA/MT at Liberty as well.
Chris and Ginger Legg have been living the adventure together since 1993, and have served together in a number of church and ministry roles. They have 5 great kids, Mark, Ellie, Holland, Michael and Emma, all of whom Ginger trains and educates daily. Chris owns and operates Alethia Family Counseling Center in Tyler in his spare time, and is very passionate about the power of godly men and women coming together to grow in the Kingdom of God together… and First Baptist’s South Campus in Tyler is certainly a place where this is happening! One particular calling they share is that for kids who need families as evidenced by the fact that their two youngest children were fostered and adopted!
Dr. Grace English has lived in Tyler since 1997 when she and John moved here to begin their medical practices. She is an internal medicine physician and has been a volunteer physician at Bethesda Health Clinic since 2003. She is also a physician at the Hospice of East Texas. She & John are members of Green Acres Baptist Church & are raising three teenagers Sarah, Daniel & Matthew. Grace is also the founder of C.A.R.E. (Christ-centered Abortion Recovery of East Texas) in which she has led & trained others on how to help women & men find hope & healing through Jesus Christ from their past abortion experiences. She is very active in her church as well as involved in many organizations in our community for ex. Junior League, PTA & Scouts.
REV. GAVIN N. VAVEREK, JCL
In addition to being a pastor of St. Patrick's Church and School in Lufkin, TX, Fr. Gavin is Respect Life director for the Catholic Diocese of Tyler. He works with the Catholic parishes throughout the 33 counties of Northeast Texas. He has worked with Gabriel Project, a grassroots outreach to pregnant women in need of help. He has also worked with crisis pregnancy centers and a maternity counseling/adoption service agency. Fr. Gavin is the oldest of 7 siblings with their family home in San Marcos, TX. He worked as an engineer in East Texas before entering seminary. He was ordained in 1990. In addition to study of theology, he has completed an advanced degree in Catholic Church Law.
Dale currently serves as Minister of Missions at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, TX. He has trained leaders, developed partnerships globally and has extensive international ministry with churches and non-profits. Dale also serves as President of ENGAGE, a non-profit humanitarian organization that educates, trains, and provides humanitarian help to people worldwide by evangelizing, educating and providing positive helps to individuals and families, groups and organizations. Dale and his wife, Judy, have three children and three grandchildren.
DR. JERRY PHELPS
Dr. Jerry Phelps is founder and president of Tyler Metro Ministries, Inc. founded in 1983 with a charter membership of 17, and grew to a membership of over 800. He has been in full-time ministry a total of 54 years. His wife, Martha, is an integral part of this ministry. They have two daughters, Camilla and Carissa, and four grandsons. Tyler Metro Ministries also includes a camp and conference center - Stone Fort Encampment. Dr. Phelps has served on the Board for Church on the Rock International. He is a member of the Whitehouse Ministerial Alliance. Dr. Phelps also serves as Chairman on the Board of New Creation Restoration Center.
Marty Dunbar is currently the Executive Pastor Marvin UMC. He is also the pastor in charge of implementing the strategic vision of the church and in charge of the Discipleship Team (All children, youth, and adult staff). He serves as the preaching pastor and design pastor for Contemporary Worship (oversee worship & production staff). In May of 2013, he began a 3 year term on the Tyler ISD School Board. He is the author of the book STOPS: 40 Encounters to the Cross. Marty was married in 1997 to Jami Jordan Dunbar. They have a daughter, Jillian (13 years old) and two sons, Noah, (10 years old) and Grayson, (8 years old). Marty is a graduate of Baylor University. Jami is a Registered Nurse and works for Tyler Cardio Vascular Consultants as a research coordinator. Jillian attends Moore Middle School and Noah and Grayson attend Caldwell Elementary Arts Academy.
Linda is a dedicated leader of whatever she is involved with. A successful State Farm Agent owning her business for 32 years. Her passion is helping and serving others in the community. She is a member of many organizations, has chaired many events, served on many boards and most recently was recognized by the National Philanthropy Organization as The Outstanding Volunteer Fund Raiser. Her passion for Life is contagious and always valued as a part of any organization.
Dr. Brad Merritt received his medical degree in 1993 from the University of California at Irvine. He completed an internship in Preliminary Medicine at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California and his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Merritt is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as the Association of Academic Physiatrists, Physicians Association of Spine, Sports and Occupational Medicine, Texas Medical Association and Smith County Medical Association.
Lisa is the owner of Moran Law Firm and has 17 years of legal experience. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin and her Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law, where she served as President of the Board of Advocates. Lisa was awarded the prestigious honor of induction into the National Order of the Barristers. She gained much of her legal experience working as a litigator with AV-rated Strasburger & Price in Dallas, Texas, where she served as her graduating class representative at the firm. Lisa furthered her legal career by working as Associate General Counsel with Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas. Prior to opening her own law firm, Lisa served as General Counsel for the University of Texas Health Science Center in Tyler, Texas.
Jill and her family moved to East Texas 9 years ago from Sonoma, CA. Jill is the Director of Community Connections at 89.5 KVNE and 91.3 KGLY. She handles all eventas, promotions, outreach, social media, digital media and web. For the past year, she has served as the national moderator of Christian Music Broadcasters (CMB) promotions forum for all Christian music across the United States. After working in Government/Community affairs with 3M Corporation and being a stay-at-home mom to her two children, Jill has the privilege of serving in radio ministry. Sam, her husband of 23 years, currently runs Medical Ministry International in Allen, TX.