CCD Philosophy: Facilitators
Care For the Soul: Teachers
Ministry Stories and Site Visits: Presenters
CCD Philosophy: Facilitators
Robert Guerrero is a NY born Dominican who has served as pastor and church planter for over 25 years both in the US and Dominican Republic. In the late 80’s he co-planted La Villita Community Church with Noel Castellanos. Applying the principles of CCDA, Robert planted and pastored La Iglesia Comunitaria Cristiana in Santo Domingo for 16 years. Robert is also a founding member of La Red Del Camino para la Misión Integral – a fellowship of incarnational and missional churches from 10 Latin American countries committed to living out the Gospel holistically. He recently relocated to NYC where he serves with Redeemer City to City as NYC Church Planting Catalyst, coaching and mentoring leaders that are seeking to plant churches with a city vision. Robert and Damaris have four children.
Patty Prasada-Rao is serving CCDA as their new Chief Operating Officer, having moved to Chicago in early 2013 from the Sandtown neighborhood of Baltimore, MD, where she worked with New Song Urban Ministries for the past 15 years. Born to Indian parents in the U.S. and into an extended-family network that instilled in her an appreciation for a strong sense of community, she looks forward to helping the CCDA office better serve our members in communities around the country.
Sami DiPasquale lives with his wife and children in a low-income community on the U.S.-Mexico border where he serves as the executive director of Ciudad Nueva Community Outreach . He serves on the board of directors of CCDA, holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (International Development) from Wheaton College, and an MBA from the University of Texas at El Paso. Sami grew up overseas, spending the majority of his childhood in the Middle East. He has lived in Jordan, Cyprus, Egypt & India. He has spent the last eleven years working in refugee and immigrant communities in the United States.
“Q” Nellum has been involved in Urban Youth and Young Adult Ministry for 16 years now. She is a teacher/mentor in Denver Public Schools. She started a Christian Hip Hop Performing Arts Camp called Arts N’ The Hood. Additionally, Q is a mentor with the Issachar Center for Urban Leadership. She earned her Bachelors Degree from CCU in Organizational Management and Christian Leadership. She is married with four children and currently resides in Denver,Colorado.
Mayra joined the staff of Lake Avenue Community Foundation (LACF) in 2001 and was a part of the senior leadership of LACF, as Associate Director. In January of 2012 she transitioned to the role of Director of Community Outreach at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, CA, where she helped launch a new Community Outreach Department under the Missions and Evangelism Division. Her ministry focus has been developing ministry to serve the often forgotten and overlooked members of our community. She has a passion for helping the church to understand it’s relationship to the poor and disenfranchised in society as part of our discovery of who we are in Christ and our journey towards becoming more like Jesus.
Derek L. Lane has served as a senior pastor, nonprofit organizational consultant, and currently serves as the executive director of the CornerStone Initiative in Huntsville, AL. He has been engaged in Christian Community Development work for 32 years. He enjoys teaching and writing and is passionate about helping ministries making a difference where they serve.
Founder, former CEO, and president emeritus of Bethel New Life on Chicago’s West Side, Mary Nelson is presently coordinator of the Loyola University Institute of Pastoral Studies master’s degree program in Social Justice and Community Development. She serves on the boards of CCDA, Sojourners, and the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education and is in demand as a consultant, writer, teacher, and speaker in all areas of community development. Mary holds a Ph.D. from Union Graduate School.
Ryan and his wife Rachel have lived in Bellflower, CA since 2000. He is an ordained Ministry Associate in the Christian Reformed Church. He helped to start the Bellflower House Church, a small congregation focused on loving God and neighbors. He serves as the Executive Director for Kingdom Causes Bellflower, an organization dedicated to uniting the church of the city in Christian Community Development work. In 2008, he and other Bellflower residents created Our Place Housing Solutions, a non-profit affordable housing organization. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Shalom for Asia, a Christian Community Development organization committed to holistic community development in India.
Care For the Soul: Teachers
Dr. John Perkins
Christian Community Development pioneer John M. Perkins is, with his wife, Vera Mae, founder of Voice of Calvary Ministries in Mendenhall, Mississippi; the Harambee Christian Family Center in Northwest Pasadena, California; the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development; and CCDA. Author of the memoir Let Justice Roll Down, he has been recognized for his work with eight honorary doctorates from colleges and universities across the United States.
Wayne “Coach” Gordon is founding pastor of Lawndale Community Church and president of CCDA. In over 30 years of ministry, he has played a key role in numerous community development initiatives, and one of his major goals has been to develop new generations of leaders for North Lawndale. Coach holds a D.Min. degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Real Hope in Chicago.
Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah is a Milton B. Engebretson Associate Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL and the author of The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity (IVP Books, 2009); Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church (Moody, 2010); and co-editor of Honoring the Generations: Learning with Asian North American Congregations (Judson, 2012).
In 1989, burdened by the plight of Philadelphia’s homeless, he founded Restoration Ministries, to serve homeless families and children living on the streets. In 1997, he joined FCS Urban Ministries serving as the founding Director of Atlanta Youth Academies. Since 2006, Leroy has served as the President of Mission Year, a national urban initiative introducing 18-29 year olds to missional and communal living in city centers for one year of their lives. Leroy is also the co-pastor of a church plant, Community Life Church, and on the boards of CCDA and Word Made Flesh. Leroy is married to Donna and they have five children: Jessica, Joshua, Joel, Asia, and John.
Barbara Williams-Skinner is president of Skinner Leadership Institute. For many years, Williams-Skinner was the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C., and she currently serves as national director for ecumenical and legislative outreach for a Broadway-caliber civil rights musical, If This Hat Could Talk. Author of Becoming an Effective 21st- Century Leader, Williams-Skinner holds multiple graduate degrees from UCLA and Howard University School of Divinity.
Currently the CEO of CCDA, Noel Castellanos has served in full-time ministry in urban communities since 1982. He is a highly sought-after speaker, motivator, and mentor to young leaders throughout the United States, and is a former member of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Noel is coeditor, with John Fuder, of A Heart for the Community: New Models for Urban and Suburban Ministry.
Ministry Stories and Site Visits: Presenters
Cheryl Miller is the Executive Director of Perpetual Help Home, a housing program for women and children. She is also a volunteer mediator for the Victim Offender Mediation Dialogue program, facilitating mediation between victims and offenders to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She just published her first book called The Language of Shalomthat addresses her work in restorative justice and Christian community development. www.perpetualhelphome.com
Joel Hammernick – Sunshine Gospel Ministries
Joel serves as the Executive Director of Sunshine Gospel Ministries, a 107 year old urban ministry in Chicago, where he has been on staff since 1999. Sunshine’s mission is to seek renewal in the city through ministries of discipleship, mercy, and justice. Sunshine does this through building relationships, teaching and mentoring, developing life skills, care and advocacy in the community. Joel and his wife Paula have seven or eight children. They live in the Woodlawn community on the Southside of Chicago and are members at Christ Bible Church of Chicago. sunshinegospel.org
Gregory Ijiwola – The CityLight Church
The ministry of Gregory Lanre Ijiwola began at an early age, when as a teenager he heard the voice of God that he was called to devote his life to the ministry. He has subsequently served in various capacities in several ministries, fulfilling such roles as college pastor, associate pastor and lead pastor. Nigerian-born, now a Chicago resident, he and his wife Debo are the Founding Pastors of the CityLight International Assembly in response to God’s leading to pioneer a church that would nurture people to be Christ’s light in their communities. thecitylight.org
David Wu – Pui Tak Center
David Wu is the founding Executive Director of Pui Tak Center, a church- based community in Chicago, IL. Each year, they serve over 3000 Chinese immigrants through ESL classes and tutoring for adults, children and youth programs, services for new immigrants, family literacy, school, a music program, computer center and outreach programs. puitak.org
Isaias Mercado – La Casa del Carpintero
Isaias was 6 years old when he sang for the first time in church and he was hooked. At 18 he preached his first sermon leading him into a life-long journey of preaching and singing that gospel. Isaias has a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate in Ministry form McCormick Theological Seminary and is the vice-president of The Latino Leadership foundation and senior pastor at La Casa del Carpintero in the Chicago’s West side neighborhood of Humboldt Park. lacasadelcarpintero.org
Wayne “Coach” Gordon and Darryl Saffore – Lawndale Community Church
Lawndale Community Church is a nondenominational Christian Church that seeks to provide a place to worship Jesus Christ. We place importance on a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ and growth in Him through the meeting both the spiritual and physical needs of the community through involvement in people’s lives. lawndalechurch.org
Brian Jenkins – StartingUp Now
L. Brian Jenkins, the Founder and CEO of StartingUp Now, a Chicago-based business development company focused on providing solution based business planning tools and resources for new startups. Brian is the author of StartingUp Now: 24 Steps to Launch Your Own Businessalong with the development of the StartingUp Now Skillcenter, a content and social networking platform, providing members access to their business plan and growth resources in 64 languages. Brian also operates a nonprofit, Entrenuity, that provides entrepreneurial training and resources to under resourced urban students. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Religion; additionally, he earned his Masters of Arts in Theology from Wheaton College Graduate School. startingupnow.com
Angela Sedeño is a licensed clinical psychologist who earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Chicago in 2006. She has been employed with the Isaac Ray Center at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center since 2007 where she serves as a Center Psychologist and program director of family services. Angela has worked with community mental health for over 20 years in community, hospital and university settings. Her research interests have been in the areas of cultural identity, acculturation, help-seeking, and the impact of community violence and trauma on inner-city youth. Her evolving focus is helping to engage the community and church in restorative practices that support youth and families involved in the juvenile justice system.
Ruston has dedicated his adult life to ministry and community development with under-resourced rural communities throughout the US. His work began in 1980, when he was picked up while hitchhiking in South Dakota by the missionary pastor of Peoples Chapel Church located in Chestnut Ridge, West Virginia. Ruston eventually became pastor of the church, along with his wife Donna, and continues in this role today. New Vision Renewable Energy has evolved from a rich 50 year history of ministry and development in rural communities in Appalachia and around the country. New Vision’s home base, research and training center, “The Innovation Station”, is located on Chestnut Ridge in North Central West Virginia, a small community rich in ingenuity, creativity and skills. The Seaman’s are the first family in their community to convert their home heating, electric and vehicles to all operate on alternative energy sources. newvisionrenewableenergy.org.