Scott is currently at Riviera United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg where he has served as the Director of Youth Ministry since 2000 as well as the Director of Children’s ministry since 2008. Prior to arriving at Riviera UMC, Scott spent 8 years in a variety of roles within the mental health system including Case Management and Therapeutic Foster Care Supervisor. He is married to Laurie, his wife of 23 years and they have 3 children. Scott is a graduate of Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC where he earned a Bachelors degree in Psychology and played 2nd base for the baseball program.
Brian has served in youth ministry since 2004. Brian holds a Master of Ministry with a focus in organizational culture, team-based leadership, change, conflict, and peacemaking from Warner University. In addition to his degrees from Warner, he studied Christian Education at Asbury Theological Seminary. Brian has spoken at numerous camps and retreats. Brian married his lovely wife in 2007, and they have two beautiful daughters. During his free time, Brian loves to paint en Plein air, go to the movies, take Disney cruises, and root for the Cincinnati Reds and The Ohio State Buckeyes.
Keith is a retired attorney residing in Tallahassee Florida. He is a member of Killearn United Methodist Church where he and his wife lead Sunday school, bible studies and volunteer in a number of other programs. Keith and his wife have previously volunteered in the KUMC youth and college programs. Keith is presently a member of the Board of Directors at the Florida State University Wesley Foundation. They have one daughter and three grandsons. Since retirement Keith’s primary focus has been doing volunteer work in the church and in the community.
I started out just helping in my youth group and went on to lead small groups as a college student. Youth ministry not only changed my life, it defined me as a person. It helped me to find my purpose in God's kingdom. That was almost 20 years ago. I have been in youth ministry now for 16 years; 6 off and on as a volunteer, and 10 as a staff member. Serving in ministry has had its challenges, but it has been the most meaningful thing I have done. I even found a partner in life who loves to serve in student ministry, my wife Kelli. Together we have a beautiful girl named Sofia. I currently serve in youth ministry in sunny south Florida. I am a graduate of the Youth Ministry Institute and am honored to be able to serve in coaching others through this amazing ministry.
Amanda has served in Christian ministry for 19 years in many capacities. Graduating in 1999 from Pensacola Christian College with an Education degree in public speaking and theatre, she began her teaching career at Berean Baptist Academy in Fayetteville, NC. Her husband, Blake, pastored the youth ministry at Berean Baptist Church where she led with him while also leading the church’s drama program. In 2002, she and her husband moved to Goodyear, Arizona where they would help plant a church, leading and developing both the youth and children’s ministries of Desert Palm Baptist Church, that would later become Desert Joy Community Church. In 2007, Amanda and her husband moved to Florida to work at First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg in youth ministry and in 2010, Amanda would take the leadership of the children’s ministry through 2012. In 2014, after a brief move from the Florida area, Amanda and her husband returned to St. Petersburg to plant Radius Church. Amanda currently serves as family pastor at Radius and is involved in the vision and direction of the ministry as it continues to grow and transform. She regularly speaks at events around the country as well as speaking at times throughout the year at Radius. Amanda loves the privilege of being a mom to Allison and Zeke.
Dr. Jonathan Grenz has more than 20 years of ministry experience. He has served as associate pastor in youth ministry and Christian education, lead pastor and director of a parachurch ministry. His ministry experience has spanned the Midwest, northwest, southern California, western Canada, and now Florida. He has led numerous short-term mission groups and recently has enjoyed opportunities to teach pastors in the Philippines and Ukraine. He graduated from Taylor University College and Seminary with a bachelor of arts and a masters of divinity. He received his Ph.D. from Biola University. Jon is a full-time faculty member at Palm Beach Atlantic University, teaching Ministry Leadership Studies and Student Ministries. He is married to Susan and has two children, Jesse and Phoebe. Jon teaches the Systematic Theology core theology course for the Youth Ministry Institute.
Chad’s role at the YMCA of Central Florida, where he’s served since 2016, supports the Association’s strategic plan and enhances the member engagement experience. He is responsible for cultivating effective partnerships with community organizations, volunteers and staff. This will sustain the Y’s Christian values through faith-based programming at the Family Centers and create a national model.
For 17 years prior to joining the YMCA of Central Florida team, Chad held the position of Founder and Executive Director of Impact Ministries of Central Florida. Chad managed multiple cause-driven projects that impacted individuals and families in need, by engaging more than 700 volunteers and leading a staff team to serve in their own communities. In 2002, accompanied by a strong board of directors, Chad led his organization to the next step and IMPACT received official 501(c) 3 status. Under his leadership as Executive Director, the organization doubled its budget and its services within the first four years. As of the summer of 2015, IMPACT has impacted over 420 residents throughout Central Florida. Chad also enjoys utilizing his creative strengths and knowledge in technology and social media to engage audiences and deliver his messages. Chad has held previous leadership roles as minister for a local church and past Chairman of the Board for the Youth Ministries Institute. He is currently involved in Central Florida Commission on Homelessness as a Faith-Based Committee Member, serves as a Board Member for Youth Ministry Institute, and a Cabinet Member for US Mission Network. Chad was raised in Central Florida, where he and his wife of nineteen years, Kimberly, have adopted Faith (1) and Micah (5), and are raising them along with Rileigh (12) and Elijah (15). Chad has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Belhaven University. He also holds his Ordination in Christian Ministry.
Dr. Jon Davis is a husband, father, pastor, teacher, scholar, musician, writer, and most of all seek to be a faithful follower of Jesus. He enjoys life's journey through many forms of music (classical / rock n roll / bluegrass); flourishes in the mountains; cool temps; autumn colors; college football; and Braves baseball. He is passionate about Berry College, where he graduated with a degree in religion and philosophy. He also graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry and received a PhD in Christian Worship from the Graduate Theological Foundation.
He has served in the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida. Currently he is the Executive Director of the Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center. Living the sacramental life of discovering the presence of Christ in everyday moments is Jon's true mission in life.
Perri is an Elder in the United Methodist Church. She serves as the Senior Pastor at River of Life UMC in Jacksonville. Perri is married to Gil. They have known each other since 8th grade and attended church and youth group together at CrossRoad Church in Jacksonville, FL. Gil served in Full-Time Youth Ministry for 12 years prior to stepping into the local school system. Perri likes to say they have been in Youth Ministry for 19 years. The summer before senior year of high school, the Most Amazing Youth Minister, Rev. Mike Hudson, moved on to pastoral ministry and the 2005 senior class took over for 9 months. This was a time for Perri and Gil to fall more in love with God and their passions for ministry. Perri attended Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida where she graduated with a B.A. in Educational Studies and a Religion minor in 2009. She is a sister of the Kappa Delta Sorority and was very involved in the campus ministries. Perri attended Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky where she received her Masters of Divinity in 2014. Perri and Gil were married August 14, 2010. They have three young children, Olivia, Gilmer III (Trey), Lukas and Rubie.
Joshua Joseph “JJ” is the Youth Director of The Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Orlando, FL. For the past six years, JJ has experienced and observed the small church/youth ministry dynamic and has made uncommon strides to address the issue of slow to no growth in a small youth ministry setting. He is A Youth Ministry Institute (YMI) graduate, a father to his newborn son Isaiah, a husband to his wife Angela, and a man of faith who is committed to serving the youth by spreading the gospel as far and as wide as possible.
Dr. Bob Bushong was appointed District Superintendent to the East Central District effective July 2015. He is a graduate of Stetson University and Duke Divinity School. Bob has served as a pastor in the East Central (formerly Orlando) District since 1984, and for fifteen years as the Senior Pastor of First UMC, Winter Park. He also was the founding pastor of Peace UMC in Hunter's Creek, where he served for nine years, and an Associate Pastor at First UMC, Orlando and Christ UMC, Ft. Lauderdale. Before responding to his call to ordained ministry, Bob received a Master of Social Work degree from Florida State University and worked as a counselor for troubled youth and families at Apalachee Community Mental Health Center in Tallahassee and the Florida United Methodist Children's Home. He also earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Bob has been married to Jeanne for forty-one years and they have two adult children, Robbie and Kimberly, and three grandchildren, Kaylah, Marley, and Jordan. In addition to his local church experience, Bob has chaired the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the Committee on Episcopacy and is a member of the Bishop's Strategic Leadership Team. He has thoroughly enjoyed serving as a pastor of local churches as well as engaging in various local and out of country mission opportunities. Bob has a deep appreciation for the variety of churches and approaches to ministry in the East Central District and is excited about working together with clergy and laity in the district to continue our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.