vRLC 2020 Speakers

We are very excited to have some outside speakers along with some familiar YFC voices...

*Listed in order of speaking

Vince Sarfraz, Co-Emcee — Director of External Marketing, Youth For Christ USA 

Vince Sarfraz is originally from Southern California and moved to Denver, Colorado in 2011 to pursue his Master’s degree from Denver Seminary. Vince has worked for Youth For Christ USA since June 2016 and is currently serving as the Director of External Marketing. His wife, Kristen, is the Parent Life Director for Denver Area YFC. You have probably seen the Sarfraz family serving at the YFC Store at RLCs. They have a heart and passion to serve and lead together, reaching kids and recruiting ministry leaders and giving partners in Denver and beyond!

Andi Woodring, Co-Emcee — Director of Campus Life Ministries, Denver Area Youth For Christ

Andi is a Colorado native and has been part of the YFC family for seven years. Currently, she works as the Director of Campus Life with Denver Area YFC and serves alongside an incredible team. Some of Andi's favorite things are: Jesus, Disneyland, cats, cold brew, playing volleyball, summer nights, people, her spunky daughter Zoey, and Campus Life!

Dan Wolgemuth President/CEO, Youth For Christ USA 

Dan is serving as the ninth president of Youth For Christ USA and is in his fifteenth year of tenure. He has always enjoyed connecting with the greater YFC family at RLCs over the years and will continue that tradition as both the opening speaker and first General Session speaker at this year's vRLC. He and his wife, Mary, live in Denver, and when they are not at a YFC function, they stay busy with their 11 grandchildren.

Deb Smith — Youth For Christ USA

Deb began her YFC journey in 1987 as a volunteer with Lehigh Valley YFC. She served in many different staff roles at Rochester YFC, and during the last eleven years, with the national YFC Camp team. Deb is passionate about prayer, God’s Word, and the Spirit's transformative work in the lives of His people. She and her husband, Joel, live in Rochester, New York. They are blessed with four amazing children and seven grandchildren.

Dr. Eric Mason — Co-founder and Lead Pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia

Dr. Eric Mason is known for articulating and proclaiming the gospel with clarity, passion, and authority at churches and conferences nationally. In addition to his role at Epiphany Fellowship, Eric serves as the president of Thriving, a ministry dedicated to resourcing and training ethnic minorities for ministry in the urban context. He also serves on the boards of the Acts 29 Network and Reach Life Ministries. Eric received his Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary as well as a Doctorate degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He resides in Philadelphia with his wife, Yvette, and their three children.
Instagram: @pastoremase
Twitter: @pastoremase
Eric's website

Terry Linhart, Ph.D. — Founder and Director, Arbor Research Group

Arbor Research Group is a hand-picked, all-star team of experienced researchers led by Terry Linhart, Ph.D. Their mission is to provide organizations and mission-driven businesses with the data, insights, and confidence to make their best strategic decisions and achieve the success they desire.
Instagram: @terrylinhart
Twitter: @TerryLinhart
Arbor Research Website

Jessica Taylor, Ph.D. Special Advisor to the President, Youth For Christ USA

Jessica Taylor live in Portland, Oregon and serves as Specifical Advisor to the President at YFC. She leads our Culture Team and helps us specifically focus on living out our mission with the goal of serving kids from every background. Her passion for inclusion and for bringing about the kingdom of God in tangible ways drives her to open doors so all people would come to know Christ and His love. 

D.A. Horton — Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies, California Baptist University

D.A. earned his B.S. in Biblical Studies from Calvary Bible College, his Master's degree in Christian Studies from Calvary Theological Seminary, and is working on his Ph.D. in Applied Theology with a North American Missions emphasis at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has authored eight books, including G.O.S.P.E.L. and DNA: Foundations of the Faith (both by Moody Publishers). On October 22, 2019, his newest book, Intensional, released (published through NavPress). He and Elicia have been married for 17 years, and they have two daughters, Izabelle and Lola, and one son, D.A. Jr. (aka Duce).
Instagram: @da.horton
Twitter: @da_horton
D.A.'s website

Curtis Wright Juvenile Justice Ministry Director, YFC Kansas City 

Curtis Wright migrated from the urban core of Philadelphia to Kansas City in 2017. He serves as the Director of Juvenile Justice Ministry for YFC Kansas City and as a part of the pastoral staff for Forerunner Church. He has over 15 years of pastoral ministry and nonprofit management experience. He is fueled with a passion for a bibliocentric view and approach to the areas of social justice, racial reconciliation, and empowering this generation of youth to fulfill their purposes in Christ. Curtis currently resides in South KC with his beautiful "Wife for Life" and three "super cute" children. 

Dr. Josh Packard — Executive Director, Springtide Research Institute

Josh is an accomplished researcher, speaker, and academic who studies the sociology of religion and new forms of religious expression. He has written numerous articles and given dozens of speeches about religion in America. He is also author, with Ashleigh Hope, of Church Refugees: Sociologists reveal why people are DONE with church but not their faith. Compelled by the urgent desire to listen and attend to the lives of young people (ages 13-25), Springtide Research Institute is committed to understanding the distinct ways new generations experience and express community, identity, and meaning.
Instagram: @wearespringtide
Springtide Research Institute website

Rachel Askew  Ministry Equipping Coordinator, Tacoma Area YFC 

Rachel has been a part of the YFC family since 2014 when she began volunteering for a City Life ministry called Sozo. Currently she works as Tacoma YFC's Ministry Equipping Coordinator, where she facilitates training on youth culture, trauma, and ministry essentials for YFC teams and youth workers across Pierce County, Washington. In her free time, you can find her running around with her three-year-old nephew, playing outside with her friends, and trying to find the best food in her city.

Myron Bernard Training Specialist, Youth For Christ USA

Myron Bernard began youth ministry in 2001 and began serving with Tacoma YFC in 2009. There, he had his life changed by the amazing young people who have shown him who Jesus really is. A proud father of four, Myron serves with Youth For Christ USA as part of the training team.

Dan Darling — Senior Vice President of Communications for the National Religious Broadcasters

Dan is a prolific writer for a wide variety of publications, as well as a speaker, preacher, and host of a popular weekly podcast, The Way Home. Dan has served churches in Illinois and Tennessee. Publisher’s Weekly called his writing style “substantive and punchy.” He and his wife, Angela, have four children and reside in the Nashville area. They attend Green Hill Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, where Dan serves as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.
Instagram: @_dandarling
Twitter: @dandarling
Dan's website

Teddi Pettee  3Story® Advancement Evangelist, Youth For Christ USA 

Teddi Pettee lives in California where she enjoys empty-nest life with her husband, Chris. She loves her garden, her dog, and family gatherings. Teddi served in Sacramento Youth For Christ for 18 years before transitioning to serve the National Service Center in Parent Life, and currently, in Mission Advancement. She's a certified Spiritual Director, meeting with individuals and groups to help people notice the movements of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Sharon Wada, MA — Spiritual Director

Sharon completed her Master’s degree in Cross Cultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1992, with course work in spiritual formation. Her special interests include multi-ethnic issues and leadership development in church and nonprofit ministries. "I desire to help people create space to connect with God in the midst of everyday life and ministry. For over 25 years now, God has loved and shaped me through my marriage to Jon. We enjoy serving together by mentoring younger couples. We love watching our three sons grow up and discover their own unique passions and giftings. I am drawn to nature, particularly sitting on beaches or strolling through forests."