Meet the CareLeader team! They produce CareLeader as part of their work for Church Initiative’s editorial team. Find out their specific roles below.
Sam leads the CareLeader team. As a pastor, Sam knows firsthand a pastor’s desire to provide effective care to hurting people in the church and community. He directs and oversees CareLeader’s content, making sure the articles and videos equip pastors with information and ideas that are strategic, do-able, and consistent with Christ-centered, biblical care principles.
Sam also leads Church Initiative’s editorial team and has written and produced a number of Church Initiative’s video-based small group curriculums. They include GriefShare second and third editions (2006, 2014), DivorceCare third edition (2012), and Single & Parenting (2011). Sam is also coauthor of Grieving with Hope: Finding Comfort as You Journey Through Loss.
Sam graduated from Howard University with a bachelor of arts in communications. After that he received a master of divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Christian education. Sam has also served on staff as a discipleship pastor at Infinity Church in Laurel, MD. He is currently one of the pastors at Sovereign Grace Church in Apex, NC.
Sam is married to Rachel. They have four children: Katrina, Sam, Nadia, and Amber. Sam enjoys preaching, watching basketball, teaching his family, watching movies, rooting for Washington-area sports teams, and playing video games with his son.
An expert in the field of biblical counseling and education, Jeff contributes regularly to CareLeader. With his knowledge of theology and his skill as a writer, he brings valuable contributions to the Church Initiative editorial team.
Jeff has been a counselor and trainer for the Center for Biblical Counseling & Education (St. Louis, MO) and Biblical Counseling Center (Arlington Heights, IL). He has taught biblical counseling for Evangelical Theological College, Trinity College of the Bible & Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Reformed Theological Seminary.
Jeff is a graduate of Delaware Valley College (BA, biology), Westminster Theological Seminary (MAR, counseling/theology), the University of Alabama (MSPH, health behavior), and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (PhD, educational studies). He and his wife, Debbie, have two children.
As editorial director, Kathy upholds the editorial standards of the CareLeader.org text. Kathy is also a regular contributor to CareLeader.org. Over the past fifteen years, she has written a variety of care ministry and care ministry training materials for Church Initiative. Kathy’s writing and editorial work can be found in the leader’s guides and workbooks for GriefShare, DivorceCare, Single & Parenting, and Surviving the Holidays.
Through research and personal experience, she deeply understands the mind-set and concerns of hurting people. She is coauthor of Grieving with Hope: Finding Comfort as You Journey Through Loss, Through a Season of Grief: Devotions for Your Journey from Mourning to Joy, and DivorceCare 365 Daily Devotions.
Kathy graduated from the University of Maryland Asian Division with a bachelor’s degree in English. She and her husband, Tim, live in Palmyra, VA, and have three children: Jacob, Alanna, and Luke. She enjoys reading, dancing, cooking, and leading a ladies’ Bible study at her church.
Dr. Kristin Kellen
Dr. Kristin Kellen writes articles, conducts interviews with pastors and counselors on a variety of topics to be converted into articles, and prepares exercises and packets that the CareLeader.org audience can use in a counseling or care ministry setting. Kristin serves as an assistant professor of biblical counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Along with teaching, she specializes in counseling young women and their families.
Susan Lutz brings her years of experience as an editor, counselor, and writer to the CareLeader team. She conducts interviews with pastors, counselors, teachers, and other experts on topics important to our CareLeader.org readers, and she crafts articles based on those interviews.
Susan served as a counselor at CCEF for over fifteen years. She now counsels through her home church, New Life Presbyterian Church of Dresher, where her husband is senior pastor. While at CCEF, Sue edited a series of books and booklets by the faculty and staff, including her own booklet, “Thankfulness: Even When It Hurts.” She is also author of the booklet “How Do I Look? Important Questions in Every Girl’s Life.”
As a writer for CareLeader.org, Grayson helps turn our interviews with experts into helpful articles for pastors and church leaders. Grayson lives in Davidson, NC, with his wife and three children and is the pastor of community at Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC. After receiving a BS in business from NC State University and working in the marketplace for three years, he joined the team at his current church where he oversees small groups, pastoral care, and prayer, and he provides strategic input to the assimilation process.
He has a passion for resourcing the Church and encouraging people to take the Great Commission personally. Grayson is set to finish his master of arts in Christian studies (MACS) from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary this year. He loves reading, writing, and wrestling with his kids.
As a writer, Samantha contributes to CareLeader.org by creating meaningful articles based on interviews with the experts. While she has written for a number of different publications and organizations, her passion is writing in a way that points to God and helps others heal. She served alongside her husband who worked in full-time ministry for several years, so she has a heart for the church and its leadership team.
Samantha graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. She lives in Raleigh, NC, and enjoys writing, traveling on a budget, indoor rock climbing, playing music with her husband, and doting on her little one.
As CareLeader’s copyeditor and proofreader, Greg ensures that the text is accurate, is logically structured, and maintains a professional standard.
Greg joined the Church Initiative team in the fall of 2015. Having been both a participant and a facilitator in DivorceCare, he knows firsthand the healing and blessings that come through these types of ministries. He earned his bachelor of arts in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and has been doing copyediting and proofreading in some form his entire career.
One thing Greg loves is being on worship teams at church—whether singing, or playing drums or percussion. He also plays guitar and leads worship in small-group settings. He was part of a team of musicians who went on a missions trip to Haiti.
Greg lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife, Marlenis, and has two grown sons. Some of his favorite activities are reading, making music, listening to music, word play, hiking in the woods, and proofreading cereal boxes.
Anne Leake Johnson
As a copyeditor and proofreader for CareLeader, Anne Leake Johnson aims to help authors communicate with clarity and precision.
Anne joined Church Initiative in late 2016 and is driven by a desire to help families and women. She has a background in local journalism and academic editing and is working on a certificate in biblical studies and theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She holds a MA from Wake Forest University, a BA from Salem College, and a certificate in technical communication from Duke University.
Anne lives in Holly Springs, NC, with her husband, Nathan, and two young daughters. She leads a women’s Bible study and, with Nathan, serves in the marriage and preschool ministries at First Baptist Church Cary. Anne loves reading English Renaissance authors, such as John Milton, and more lighthearted works of contemporary writers—preferably with characters in period costumes.
Linda brings an informed viewpoint to the table as she writes posts for children’s pastors on how to provide nuanced care to children with behavior issues and to those who’ve faced life traumas, such as fractured families or the death of a family member. She also contributes articles on caring for single-parent families.
Linda is one of the forefront leaders in the areas of children and divorce, and single-parent family needs. Having been both divorced and widowed, Linda was a single mom who learned firsthand the emotional and support needs of broken families, and she developed a passion to help hurting families. As a children’s ministry director, children’s program developer, speaker, author, trainer, and therapeutic child care center owner, Linda has assisted countless single-parent families and their children.
In 2004, Linda created and developed the DivorceCare for Kids program, a ministry tool designed to bring healing, comfort, and coping and communication skills to children of divorce. For eight years she served as Church Initiative’s DC4K executive director and is now the DC4K ambassador. She spreads the word about DC4K and teaches ministry leaders how to create a family-friendly church for single parents and their kids and how to help children who have challenging behaviors. She contributes to many blogs and periodicals, including Kids & Divorce, DivorceMinistry4Kids, Relevant Children’s Ministry, BiblicalParenting.org, CMConnect Radio, and K! Magazine.
Linda and her husband, Bruce, have ten grandchildren. She enjoys gardening and playing the piano. She also has a collection of teapots from different places and enjoys making flower arrangements to give away.
With Heidi’s ability to organize multiple, broad-gauge projects, Heidi keeps the CareLeader team on track so we’re able to produce CareLeader, as well as handle our other responsibilities, such as marketing projects and new curriculum development.
Heidi joined the ministry in 2010, and she also coordinates the video production of Church Initiative’s video-based, small group curriculums from preproduction to post production. She’s had the pleasure of serving the ministry through the production process of GriefShare’s third edition (2014), DivorceCare’s third edition (2012), and Single & Parenting (2011).
She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied business and earned a degree in economics. Heidi’s interest in video production began with an elective film course at UNC-CH.
Shortly after graduating, she co-founded a video production company with her husband, Matthew Bowman, Macobo ViewPoints. Heidi met Matthew in 2008 and the two have been partners in life and business ever since! Heidi is an avid sports fan and especially enjoys rooting for her alma mater (go Tar Heels!).
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling with her husband, watching films, video editing, and being a co-owner of a small business.
As Church Initiative’s graphic designer, Micah helps create graphics, branding, and other forms of visual communication in print, web, and video resources.
Micah hails from Boston, MA, where he graduated from MassArt at the top of his class with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design. He has a diverse range of design experience, from designing toys at Hasbro and large-scale technology devices at EMC to designing local church branding and ministry conferences. In 2015, he moved to Wake Forest, NC, to pursue a master of divinity in pastoral ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Micah loves design and has a huge heart for ministry to the local church. He is currently a member of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh. He loves music, the outdoors, reading, cooking, hearing people’s stories, and serving alongside his wife, Felicia.