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 11 years and has been a financial advisor for more than 20 years. President of Stoneway Financial, LLC and a branch manager for LPL Financial, Jim has provided his clients with the support they need to identify their goals and develop sound plans for their financial future. He is married with 4 children (2 natural born and 2 adopted) and 2 foster children.
LINDA ROWE, Secretary}
Linda has lived in Tyler, TX for 23 years and has been blessed to run a successful business. Her passion is helping people and giving back to the community. Over the years she has served in many organizations, boards and chaired events in the non-profit world. Throughout her years of experience, she has learned much about community responsibility and the true spirit of giving and receiving that are core values to any community. She is married and has 4 children and is a member of Marvin United Methodist Church.
Lisa is an active member at West Lake Baptist Church Chandler with Van Ministry, Awana Club, choir, and Sunday school leadership. She is an active Mission Board member, serves with food bank Backpack program, and Serves on Board of The Scroll and TEWN. Lisa is co-owner of L2 Marketing for the past 10 years and is a member Tyler Chamber. Married for 37 years and a Christian for 46, Lisa is an avid cat lover and Jesus Freak. Her favorite pastimes include TCM movie classics while eating a Hershey Bar with almonds.
Dr. Doug Flanders is a Tyler physician who has been providing anesthesia care to East Texans for nearly two decades. He has held a number of leadership roles over the years, including Chief of Staff at East Texas Medical Center, prior to joining the Board of Magdalene Home. He is the author of several books, the happy father of twelve children, and the proud grandpa of six grandsons. Having been adopted himself, he is especially enthusiastic about serving with Magdalene Home to help young mothers in crisis pregnancy situations. Dr. Flanders’ oldest daughter, Bethany, is also excited about providing dental care for the residents of Magdalene Home when she finishes dental school and returns to Tyler this summer to practice pediatric dentistry.
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.
Operational Action Committee
Dan attended Franciscan University, where he met his beautiful wife. While in college, he and his future wife developed a passion for Pro-Life ministry. Within three weeks of graduating, he got married, and moved to East Texas. Since then his family has grown, and he and his wife are the proud parents of three growing boys. Dan has been active in ministry since college, teaching in Christian schools and leading the youth group at his church. He is currently the Development Director for Catholic Campus Ministry in Tyler.
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.