Special Guest Bio's
Pastor Javon Ruff
Free Chapel Spartanburg, SC - Lead Pastor
Pastor Javon Ruff is the Campus Pastor of Free Chapel Spartanburg. He has served at Free Chapel for the past 22 years collectively at the Gainesville campus (8 years), the Orange County campus (10 years), and currently 4 years at the Spartanburg campus under the leadership of Senior Pastor Jentezen Franklin. Javon is a four-year graduate of Spirit Vision Bible Institute and also a graduate of the National Institute of Christian Leadership.
His ministry responsibilities over the years encompass the School of Discipleship, Small Groups, Men’s Ministry, and Pastoral Care. Combined with his ability to uniquely preach and teach the word of God, he has a deep passion to help others discover their purpose, develop their leadership qualities, and a desire to see lives changed and generations impacted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Javon is married to Shana Ruff. Shana is a Counselor and has her Master’s Degree in Counseling. Together, they work hard to see people healthy and whole spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. They have been married for 22 years and have two children, Sydni (18) and Jacob (16).
Pastor Brian Oliver
Harvest Church, NC - Children/Youth Pastor
Pastor Brian Oliver has served as Youth and Children’s Pastor of Harvest since 2011. He is passionate about evangelism, revival, and the creative communication of the gospel. He enjoys telling stories in various forms and seeing lives changed by the truth and love of Jesus.
Over the years, Brian has been blessed to travel around the world to minister the gospel and encourage Christian leaders. He is a graduate of Brownsville Revival School of Ministry with a degree in Missions Ministry, and of Piedmont Community College where he studied Film and Video Production.
Brian and the love of his life, Hannah, were married at Harvest in 2006. They reside in Bath, NC with their three children, Lydia, Judah, and Mary.
New Hope Baptist Church, Ga - Worship Pastor
Zeke Listenbee is a worship pastor, producer, arranger, conductor, and 6 times Grammy nominated songwriter. He is also a Dove Award-winning songwriter. Zeke has written and arranged songs for artist Mal Pope of Wales. He worked on music for films with Warner Brothers and TV One. Zeke wrote and produced for Mary Mary's Tina Campbell, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, and Jennifer Hudson among others.
Zeke leads multigenerational and multicultural music ministries as he serves the local church and the body of Christ. He believes in encouraging the younger generation of musicians and singers to serve God with excellence and joy.
Zeke is the Executive Creative Arts pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in south Atlanta Georgia. He is married to Cintia and has 3 children: Zion, Zakiya, and Zelia.
Pastor Tad Tankard
Harvest Church, NC - Lead Pastor
Pastor Tad Tankard has served as Senior Pastor of Harvest Church since 1998. He and his wife, Treva were founding members when the church began in 1978.
With a BS in History, four years as an officer in the Marine Corps, and finally, 20 years as a farmer, God has now transferred Tad from the natural fields into the spiritual arena of sowing and reaping.
Tad received his Master of Theology and Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from the Christian Life School of Theology.
Pastor Tad's heart is to live out Jesus' commandment to be an ambassador of the Good News of Jesus Christ, training and equipping the body for God's service and preparation of the Bride of Christ for these last days. He knows that by using all the resources and giftings that God has made available to us, we can reach the people of our community and beyond.
Dr. Gail Stathis
EME Ministries Co-Founder
Dr. Gail Stathis comes to us from Athens, Greece where she is the vice president and co-founder of EME Ministries, which works in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. She also serves as the lead pastor of Glyfada Christian Center.
Born in the US, she has served overseas for many years and is constantly traveling to Conferences, Seminars, and Schools of Ministry, speaking and teaching. Her joy-filled, energized personality, along with her gifting in bringing the word of God in a transparent and powerful delivery, makes her everyone's friend and speaker.
As Gail likes to say, "I grew up with Isaiah 60:1, 'Arise and shine...' saturating my definition of the body of Christ. Life changes daily, but too often we settle for stagnation. Whatever happens, he has a plan to shine in our times, lift us up, and put into place plans that engage us individually, corporately, and in the world to declare the glory of God."
Awaken the Dawn
For over twenty years, Matthew Lilley has helped connect, equip, and plant houses of prayer, praying churches, and presence-centered communities. He is the author of the book David’s Tabernacle: How God’s Presence Changes Everything and the host of podcasts such as the Presence Pioneer podcast and the Jesus Movement podcast.
Matthew serves as a prayer missionary with Awaken the Dawn, a grassroots movement of day and night worship, prayer, and missions. He lives with his wife and four children in eastern North Carolina, where he has helped launch multiple houses of prayer. He currently serves as a worship leader, prayer room coordinator, and licensed minister at Opendoor Church in Greenville, NC. His vision is to see day & night worship & prayer for revival that touches the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Duane Hicks
Abundant Life Church, AL - Senior Pastor
Pastor Duane Hicks is the Sr. Pastor of Abundant Life Church in Samson, AL, where he has served since 1988 in the office of worship leader, associate Pastor & Sr Pastor. Also, God has opened many doors for ministry throughout the southeastern U.S. as well as international ministry to Africa, Mexico, and Germany.
Duane has a passion to see a church ‘led’ but the Holy Spirit and the five-fold ministry restored in the local church; the foundation of that being the Apostle & Prophet (1 Cor 12:28). In flowing in the prophetic gift, Duane understands that every word he speaks, he will give an account for.
With his straightforward insights and Southern humor, Pastor Duane brings a true and solid word that ‘hits the mark’ and reveals the truth in the midst of these changing times.
Duane is happily married to Sherry & the proud father of two children Aundi & Aiden. Family Is the primary focus of their lives & often all travel together for ministry.