Speakers & Musicians

Micah J. Murray

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Kimberly Knight

Kimberly Knight is a regular blogger with Patheos.com and her blog Coming Out Christian. She is the Minister of Digital Community with Extravagance UCC and a pioneer in online church. For over a decade, she has led live, online worship in , Facebook, Twitter and Second Life. For the lastwgf-kimberly-knight four years, Knight has also served as the Director of Digital Strategy at Agnes Scott College, where she has developed, organized and managed the college’s main social media and communication across media channels. Knight is a social media coach and marketing consultant, online organizer and technology specialist with a passion and deep commitment to authentic online community. She’s southern-born, progressive Christian who’s been trying God’s patience since 1969.

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Rev. William C. Hamilton Jr.

Most people know him as “Pastor Ham” or “Pham”. Officially and for legal purposes he was born William Charles Hamilton Jr. in Springfield Massachusetts. He was raised in Detroit and that is where he fell in love with the “Girl Next Door”, you know her as Pastor Vicki. Married this November for 48 years, they have three adult children and fivimage2e grandchildren. This is Pham’s third career;  a 20 year Navy Veteran, followed by a 9 year career working for The Department of the Navy in Shipbuilding and 20 years as an ELCA Pastor.  Pastor Vicki and Pastor Ham attended Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (ELCA), in California, in the TEEM (Theological Education For Emerging Min
istry) program. (1998-2002). Currently, serving at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Jacksonville for the past 17 years and Dean of 15 ELCA congregations of the First Coast Conference.  He has served the Florida Bahamas Synod as Youth Organization Chair, Worship committee member, Diakonia oversight committee as well as a participant on the Bishops Consultation Committee and Race Relations Taskforce. He has recently completed a second term serving on the Synod Council representing the North Mission District. He receives encouragement and grounding from scripture especially the book of Ephesians, where he is reminded of God’s love lavished upon us. His joy comes from being a part of people’s faith stories and being entrusted into the intimate parts of peoples lives, such as births, baptisms, marriages, life changing events and deaths. This part of his life is reflected in his favorite passage Romans 1:11-12 “For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you-or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” He loves to “Pass some time” and “Swap some story”.

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Tom Chappell Lewis 

In 2015, Tom Chappell Lewis accepted an unusual call: to leave a seven-year career in youth ministry and step out as a chaplain to the bar scene. Embracing the concept of ministry of presence, Tom turned his mixology hobby into a serious study and acquired the nickname “thimage1-6e Bar Chaplain” from a colleague. As an intern and PRN chaplain with Baptist Health, Tom serves in hospitals and homeless communities around Jacksonville, but his passion is for taking this same skill set into Jacksonville’s breweries and cocktail bars. Tom consults with churches and bar owners and writes on theology, mixology, and other topics at www.barchaplain.com.

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Rev. Victoria Hamilton

Rev. Victoria Hamilton is co-pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, Florida. She co-pastors with her husband William (P-Ham).  Vicki was called to St. John’s in January 2000 as a mission developer to the then 128 year old historical congregation, whose membership was declining.  The congregation has changed dramatically and has become ethnicallimage1y diverse. The faith community is proud to be a congregation striving to love and respect one another as Christ does. Pastor Vicki (PV) has served within the church and community in several areas for many years. Her service includes – member of the taskforce for the formation of the ELCA race, ethnicity and culture social statement, planning committee member for the new women’s organization, two term executive board member for Women of the ELCA, and church-wide board member of the African American Lutheran Association (AALA).  She has served or serves synodically as small group leader at region 9 Bishop School, Assistant to the Bishop for the African American Strategy, synod’s leadership task force, outreach committee, anti-racism team and candidacy committee. She has also served ecumenically as keynote speaker with Church Women United, the Via De Christo movement, Beat the Odds (a community program helping and encouraging young teen parents to finish school) and has conducted numerous workshops on self-esteem and empowerment.

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Bethany Benz-Whittington

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Matt Hartley

Matt Matt Hartlyis the Director of Young Adult Ministries at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, the Lay Chaplain for the Osprey Episcopalians campus ministry at UNF, and the Program Director of the UNF Pilgrim Bridge, a Christian Interfaith Leadership program. He sits on the Executive Board of the Atlantic Institute of Jacksonville, an interfaith organization creating a legacy of understanding in the city. He recently completed a Master’s Thesis on the lives of Muslim Youth in the American South. Matt lives in San Marco with his two hilarious and brilliant kids.

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Imani Hope 

Imani Hope is an education policy and reform professional currently serving as the Director of Strategic Investments for the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. Imani joined the JPEF team in December of 2013, bringing nearly a decade of experience working in youth development and education.  Imani comes to JPEF with a strong background Hope_Imani-9801bin education reform and education policy, and a passion for working to ensure that all children have access to quality education. A Florida native, Imani attended undergraduate school at the University of Florida and graduate school at George Washington University in Washington DC. Early in her professional career, Imani developed a passion for improving education outcomes in urban areas.  She served as a Program Director with the YMCA of Central Florida, as well as in the office of teacher certification at the Florida Department of Education.  Prior to moving to Jacksonville, Imani worked as an elementary educator with the School District of Philadelphia and as a senior research and policy analyst with the National League of Cities in Washington, DC.  Since relocating to Jacksonville two and half years ago, Imani has been engaged with several organizations and initiatives across the city. She serves as a City Year mentor and volunteers her time to organizations such as Teach for America, the University of North Florida College of Education, the YMCA of Northeast Florida, 904Ward and Girls, Inc. She has been on the steering committee for the Urban Education Symposium for the past three years, and was selected as a Fellow for the Women’s Giving Alliance in 2017. In 2015, Imani was selected to participate as a Fellow in the Weaver Philanthropic Initiative and through that program, she and two other members of her cohort created a philanthropic giving circle called MyVillage Project Community Fund, the first and only black giving circle in the state of Florida.

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ADAH SHAIR

Born and raised in the Kashmir valley, Adah moved to the states to pursue a bachelor’s in Civil engineeShair_adah_headhshotring. During her time in college, she became involved with the interfaith center on campus and the UNF chapter of Muslim Students Association. She currently works with HDR Inc. as a bridge engineer and intends to specialize in the field of sustainable engineering. Despite the technical nature of her work, she remains inseparable from interfaith work and dialogue. She is the co-founder of the Atlantic Institute Young Professional’s council and envisions interfaith cooperation to become the very fabric of Jacksonville.

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Matthew Benz-Whittington 

Matthew Benz-Whittington is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), is a husband to his awesome wife, Bethany, and is a cautiously-adventurous person.  Matthew was born andimage1 raised in Memphis, TN  and has been living in Jacksonville for almost two years.  During that time, he has discovered that the beach is actually kind of fun.  He loves to spend spare time playing guitar, participating in team trivia and being out in nature.

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Beth Tjoflat

The Rev. Beth Tjoflat, urban missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Florida, is developing a new form of ministry, calling us into some unlikely places.  This ministry – our “church without walls” — calls us beThe Rev. Beth Tjoflat[1]yond our parish walls to build a community of faith with the most vulnerable among us.  A key part of this ministry involves equipping and supporting those who are seeking very concrete ways to embody the Gospel in the world. A native of Jacksonville, Beth grew up at St. John’s Cathedral. Before finally saying ‘yes’ to a call to ordained ministry, she worked in health care development for more than 15 years.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville University, a master’s degree in creative writing from University of Southern California, and a master of divinity degree from Yale with a diploma in Anglican studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.

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Troy Capers

troy capers headshotTroy is a Junior studying English at UNF. He has been volunteering at UNF’s Interfaith Center since 2013 and identifies as a Secular Humanist. He has a passion for organizational theory and spends far too much time playing Overwatch.

 

 

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Susan Rogers

Susan Rogers is the planting pastor of The Well at Springfield.  She grew up in Jacksonville, worked as an occupational therapist for nine years, then followed a call into vocational ministry. After graduating from McAfee School of Theology and serving a church in Atlanta, she retuimage1-8rned home to start The Well in 2011. She is passionate about creating safe and welcoming community, re-imagining church and advocating for equality. She is part of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality’s Faith Committee and is active in advocating for criminal justice reform. She is also a trained leadership coach who especially enjoys encouraging other church planters.

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Triana Arguedas

IMG_5256Triana has a BA in Marine Communities and Conservation, minor in Environmental Studies.She has taken leadership training through the nationally acclaimed Interfaith Young Core and locally with the UNF Interfaith Center. She is Jewish. And a fun fact: she has assisted in a shark birth.

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Travis Trice 

Travis worked as a youth pastor at an evangelical church for about 5 years before Travis Tricecoming to work at World Relief Jacksonville as the Director of Church Mobilization.  During the first 2 years with World Relief, Travis traveled to Washington, DC multiple times to lobby Congress on behalf of Refugees, Immigrants and Survivors of Human Trafficking while working under coordinated efforts by the EIT (Evangelical Immigration Table).  Now Travis works locally with church and community groups in North Florida to build support networks for newly arrived refugees into Jacksonville.  He has been married to his wife, Jessica for 8 years and they have 3 children together.

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Hope McMath 

 Hope is a cultural leader, educator, artist, and activist whose knowledge of, and passion for, the arts is matched by a strong commitment to social justice and effecting positive change in organizations and community. She is dedicated to connecting the arts to communHopeity needs including education, accessibility, the environment, wellness, and inclusion and diversity. Hope served at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens for 22 years, the last eight as its Executive Director. Currently, Hope is curating exhibitions, guest lecturing and teaching, running humanities-based programs out of the CoRK Arts District in Jacksonville, and consulting for organizations in arts education, program planning, curatorial practice, and non-profit management as she pursues her dream of creating a center for the arts and civic engagement. She also gives her time to a variety of organizations and causes including the State of Florida Council on Arts and Culture, Any Given Child Jacksonville, TEDx Jacksonville, We Are Straight Allies, and the White and Woke, a campaign and mobilization effort to raise awareness among white people to dismantle institutional racism. She consistently deploys the visual and performing arts to amplify the experiences of others and mobilize community around human rights.

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Alyssa Bourgoyne 

Ms. Bourgoyne uprooted to Jacksonville in 2012 after spending much of her childhood in the Detroit area.  Alyssa worked with the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department (JaxAlyssaParks)in 2014 to create an online, interactive amenities map. In 2013, Ms. Bourgoyne started work as the project coordinator of the then start-up, environmental non-profit, Groundwork Jacksonville. She led the Groundwork Jacksonville steering committee through the feasibility study process, which launched the organization. She has since led all of Groundwork Jacksonville’s programming and project work along the Emerald Necklace. Ms. Bourgoyne graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and Communications.

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Nathan Alexander

Nathan Alexander has followed Jesus since 15 years old (sometimes following good; sometimes not following so good). He resides here in Duval along with his wife, Nicole and son, Brayden where he works for a local nonprofit responsible for the foster children in nathan-aDuval County. When he’s not enjoying family time or mentoring, Nathan works as “The Jacksonville Affordable Housing Guy”. who is dedicated to helping working class families own their own home.  Jesus has carried him through some of his darkest times from the death of his brother and father to the failing of his beloved business. He is thankful for the adventure he’s on with God, and for God’s Grace and Mercy. 

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Betsy Laskowski

Betsy’s introduction to Buddhism can be described as a happy accident that grew into a purposeful pursuit. She has been practicing Tibetan Buddhism at varying degrees for over 20 years and is currently working wFullSizeRender (15)ith teenagers at her high school in mindful meditation practices to help reduce stress and anxiety. The idea of meditation can be intimidating to those unfamiliar with the practice; it is often misrepresented as a mystical, magical practice that leaves the practitioner floating on a cloud of bliss…if that’s the case, Betsy is definitely doing it wrong. Move closer to understanding the nature of your mind, the root of your turbulent emotions or simply enhance the connection between brain regions all through meditation.

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Gail Patin 

Dr. Gail A. Patin is a passionate social justice advocate who visions a world where all people are equal, free from oppression, and live in peace. For over twenty years, Gail has worked as a key leader in local efforts toimage1 end violence against women while providing for the safety of survivors of domestic violence and their children.  Deeply grieved by the Pulse massacre, Gail is also committed to developing resources for the LGBTQ+ community in Northeast Florida. Gail considers her faith as the catalyst for her work. She identifies as an evolving Christian, aspiring Buddhist, and practicing Yogi. Gail’s attends The Well at Springfield. Check out Gail’s new blog, A Chance Life, where she shares random thoughts on learning to love, let go, and life with her beloved Yorkie, Chance.

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Nathan Hamm

Nathan is a storyteller, creative, social media theologian, and the founder of StoryHouse, a church for the rest of us. StoryHouse believes the way of Jesus is a way of love, inclusion, generosity, peacemaking, and creativity. Like Jesus, they seek to welcome, include, and love everyone, especially image1-9people from vulnerable and marginalized communities. After all, if our gospel is not good news to the poor, people of color, women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, refugees, and everybody else, then it’s not the gospel. In addition to his work with StoryHouse, Nathan makes things and shares them online. You can find his videos and stories on youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. Both Nathan’s work with StoryHouse and his creative work are made possible by his patrons on Patreon. If you resonate with what he creates, you can support his work at patreon.com/NathanHamm.

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Allishia Bauman

Allishia is a proud graduate of Florida State College at Jacksonville and received her Bachelor’s Degree from The American Women’s College at Bay Path University for Organizational and Leadership Studies. Currently in her fourth year at City Year Jacksonville, AAllishiaBaumanllishia has held roles such as Teacher Pipeline Coordinator, Corps Support & Career Services Manager, Learning and Development Manager and now Chief of Staff. She is a board member for the Leading Ladies 904 group, a Leadership Jacksonville-Collegiate Experience alum, the co-host for this yeasr Eve Women’s Summit, a current Delores Barr Weaver Fellow with the Women’s Giving Alliance and the Executive Producer for TedxFSCJ. She also volunteers as a local facilitator for a New Politics Leadership Academy Program- Answering the Call. Allishia co-founded the #withlovejax and #withloveworld movement alongside 100 dedicated City Year AmeriCorps Members and was proud to give a Ted talk about the movement at the 2016 TedxFSCJ main event. Above all else she is a proud wife to her husband Joshua and a loving bonus mom to her 14 year old bonus daughter, Esperanza.

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Emily Timbol

Emily Timbol is a YA author who sometimes dabbles in non-fiction. She is a University of North Florida graduate who has lived in Jacksonville for most of her life. When she’s not sending frantic emails to her agent about her novel or attending a workshop, you can probably find her image1 (11)doing the work she’s actually paid to do at her IT job testing software. After searching a few years for a church that was affirming of the things that mattered most to her — LGBT rights, women’s rights, and civil rights — she’s settled into the StoryHouse community with her husband.

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Larry Milford

Larry is a lifelong wonder junkie and lover of all things art. He has a Masters degree in theology and currently teaches World History to high school sophomores. In his younger larryphotodays he wrote songs and sang them for anyone who would listen. Larry has also written a short story inspired by the documentary, Promises by B.Z. Goldberg. He is now attempting to write a novel about love, loss, death, and the afterlife. In many ways, it is a reflection of his own spiritual journey. Larry once believed he was someone who had all the answers. He realized over time, that his expertise was extremely limited and had a change of heart. He is now much happier with questions than he ever was with answers. He and his wife Susan, are part of the StoryHouse community.

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Rachael McNeal

Rachael is the Director of Youth Ministries at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl. Prior to that she worked as the Coordinator of the Interfaith Center at rachael mcneal headshotUniversity of North Florida. She has written on Interfaith Cooperation for Sojourner’s, Huffington Post Religion, On Faith, The Jewish Voice, Interfaith Youth Core, and Kindred Youth Ministry. She currently serves on the Speaker’s Bureau of Interfaith Youth Core. Rachael is a graduate of Flagler College where she studied Religion/Philosophy and Youth Ministry, and received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.

 

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Musicians & Artist

Oh Great Sea

Oh Great Sea is more a group of souls perform16833064_10154955683083376_2047892503_oing together than anything else. This “band” at it’s core is a musical “collective” started by Alex and Lizzy Hobbs, pouring out the sounds of souls filled with hope. Alex and Lizzy started writing and performing thought provoking music together since 2008. With a beach folk sound that could be in the waves of the ocean and at same time in a mountain breeze, the tunes from this band get inside of you and turn your heart on.

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Kim Marsh
captureKim was called by God in 1992 to become singer/song writer.
Throughout the years, Kim has written several songs. She also held the posi”on of
worship leader in several churches in Jacksonville, Fl. Kim’s songs are a
bluesy/folk genre. Kim’s songs are from the heart; inspired by her journey with
God and the people she’s met on the way.

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Mo Leverett

Mo MOis the founder and president of Rebirth International .Mo brings nearly 20 years experience in urban community revitalization in the Desire Housing Project of the Upper Ninth Ward. His perspective, enduring vision, and unique incarnational ministry model continue to inspire new efforts around the country. Mo’s music & stories are the outgrowth of his many experiences and reflections as he lived out incarnational ministry principles in one of the most challenged urban communities in the U.S.

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MK Hollowell 
MK Hollowell is a self-taught exhibiting artist out of Jacksonville, FL.  Her style of paintings comes mostly from her childhood fascination with “I spy” and seek and find books, while implementing her personal mission to display her artistic abilities in a way that elicits deep journeys of thought and opens images to deeper levels of consciousness to all who experience it.  She atteimage1 (12)mpts to create artistic visual challenges that free, enlighten and stimulate everyone, everywhere!  She endeavors to leave a landmark of enlightenment, inspiration of choice and an example of spiritual freedom. MK accomplishes this by marrying multiple images in her works to complete a thought, theme or phrase using bold colors to express bold spirit.

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