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Lisa was born again at the age of 9 and was baptized with her step-father. Though saved at a young age, she didn’t have an understanding of what it meant to have a personal walk with God until much later in life. In her mid-20’s, Lisa re-dedicated her life to Christ, and really began to grow in faith by being involved in solid churches, being surrounded by loving community, and trusting God rather than her own understanding.
Lisa and her husband Mike have been married for over 33 years, and he serves as a teacher in Greenville Co. Schools. She has a son currently serving in the US Navy, and a daughter and son-in-law who live and work in the area and have Lisa’s two beautiful grandchildren – a boy and a girl. Lisa and her husband have attended Grace church for 13+ years and currently attend and serve the Greer campus. Through working various jobs and serving at church, Lisa has worked with children of all ages – from infants to college-age.
Lisa has many hobbies including sewing, cooking, and reviving old furniture. She especially enjoys working with plants and gardening. She also enjoys reading (historical fiction is her favorite), hiking, and spending time with her friends and family.
“I love to cultivate things – plants, systems, relationships, organizations-- and see them grow. I understand that God is in charge of the growth, but he utilizes his people to plant, care, and pray. I feel privileged to be used by God in this way and that fostering grows me at the same time.” Lisa joined the staff at CEF in 2018, and is excited to be a part of the ministry.
Jean is a lifetime resident of Greenville. At the age of six, she asked Jesus to save her at a church revival meeting. She is a graduate of North Greenville University (in the days when it was a Junior College), and Clemson University. Jean married Rev. Nick Ballew in 1975, and has served alongside her husband as a Pastor’s wife in churches where he has pastored for over 42 years. A retired 7th grade math teacher, Jean said she loved her job, the students and her coworkers. Jean and her husband have two daughters, Adele Dixon, and Kerri Schwager, and 7 grandchildren. “I love the Lord, and desire to serve Him every day. I love what I do here at CEF!”
Ruth grew up in Marion, North Carolina where her family were members of the First Baptist Church. At age 10, she joined the church and was baptized, which was the “expected” thing to do in her home. Jesus began to be real to Ruth during her college days at UNC, and she rededicated her life to Him after graduation. She is married with two adult children, and her husband and she are members of Eastside Presbyterian Church.
Ruth has had a passion for children’s ministry since she caught her oldest child praying in the bathroom at age 3, asking God for forgiveness after he had broken a DVD player. She knew that what he was being taught was making a difference even at that young age. Since that time, her work with children has included serving with VBS, teaching Sunday school, and working as Children’s Ministry Director at Shannon Forest Church (now Eastside). She believes God called her to start the Good News Club at Eastside 12 years ago and she has been involved in some way with CEF since that time.
Ruth has been on staff since January of 2015. She says, “I am so thankful to combine my love of fundraising with my passion to see children know Jesus.”
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Paula grew up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Her mother and father were believers, and she was blessed to grow up in a Bible believing church. There, at the age of 12, she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. She has been in Greenville for over 30 years and met her husband, Sonny, at Edwards Road Baptist where they are members. Paula has always worked with young people and children in church including serving as a G.A. Leader and Director, Sunday School teacher, and AWANA leader. Paula started working with CEF in January of 1999, after being on the CEF Board for 4 years. “The best part of what I do is working with GNC workers and our CEF donors. It is such a blessing to me to get to know these people who love the Lord and are called to His ministry by giving of their time, talents, and resources,” Paula says. One of her great loves is to read books, especially old fiction “antique books” that were written/published in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.
Paula started her walk with the Lord through guidance in His Word and the teaching in Bible Studies and church. She attended Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, OK, and then moved with her college roommates to Dallas, Texas where she began her business career with Bowater. She and her roommates were very active in their Singles Church group and they also attended Dallas Theological Seminary classes.
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Cindy was born in Seattle, WA to parents who were attending Bob Jones University. When she was four, Cindy told her mother she wanted to become God’s child and her mother helped her understand how. Later that year her family moved to Brazil, SA where they served as missionaries, often using CEF material. Cindy met her husband Bill at college here in the USA and they soon moved to Brazil where they served for 10 years and where their four sons were born. Southside Baptist Church (now Fellowship Greenville) was their sending church and was the body to which they returned in 1994. Cindy served as the Children’s Ministry Coordinator there for 10 years, after which she came on staff with CEF in 2005. In 2016 they left Fellowship Greenville to help with a small church plant on the west side of Greenville, Westview Baptist, where they serve in many ways.
She and Bill enjoy cooking, traveling, and watching football and baseball together. Even though they are technically “empty nesters” they enjoy having children, grandchildren, and various foreign students in their home often. “I have always seen myself as a missionary, and one of my favorite books is ‘A Chance to Die’, Elisabeth Elliot’s biography of Amy Carmichael,” Cindy said. “The two things I enjoy most about being a missionary to children is working alongside others with like passion and seeing the faces of precious children as they understand God’s wonderful love for them.”
Ashley grew up in southeastern Kentucky where her dad served at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. Blessed to grow up in a Christian family as a pastor’s daughter, she came to know Christ at the age of four. Ashley moved to Greenville, SC, when she began her studies at North Greenville University in 2012. There, she received a BA in Media Ministry.
Her family often attended the Southern Baptist Convention together, and, in the early 2000s, she remembers a man teaching her and her sisters 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, as well as giving her a devotional book. The man’s heart and animated teaching style made such an impression on her, that she never forgot that interaction. It was not until she began studying the Wordless Book in preparation for coming to CEF, that she realized that the devotional had been published by CEF, and the man was a CEF missionary. Ashley joined the CEF staff in 2018. “My heart’s desire is to use my gifts in media and technology to share Christ with the world. I am so thankful for the ministry of CEF, and the blessing to be a part of it,” She said.
Ashley enjoys reading, going to the movies, and attending local theatre productions, as well as spending time with her friends and family. She attends The Church at Greer Station, and loves being a part of the community there.
Debbie grew up in Summerville, South Carolina known as “The Flowertown in the Pines.” Though she grew up in a Christian home, attended church, and had a grandfather who was a pastor, she did not make a decision for Christ until she was 12. Debbie met her husband, Billy, while attending Baptist College at Charleston, now known as Charleston Southern. They have a grown daughter (Melanie), a grown son (Colby) and daughter-in-law (Keri.) They are the proud grandparents to their grandson Nicholas.
Debbie is a member of Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church, PCA, and a former public school teacher. She says the best job she ever had started when she joined the CEF staff in January of 2010. “I find joy in every part of my job. My family and friends sometimes refer to me as Pollyanna because I’m always looking for the good in every situation. I look forward each week to sharing the Gospel and the love of Jesus with my third graders in Sunday School at MRPC.” When in junior high school Debbie performed in numerous plays that were done for the community. Through modeling during high school, Debbie was named Miss US Keds.
Roxanne is a “Southerner that was born up North.” She grew up in Michigan and was blessed to meet a wonderful man on a visit to South Carolina…that was 29 years ago. As a result of that move, She became a Christian when the Lord presented her with the opportunity. They have attended Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley for the past 28 years.
Roxanne started working with CEF as a volunteer in an Good News Club that her church sponsored. She took TCE and loved it, and when a position on staff became available, she applied for it. That was four years ago. “My favorite part of my church activities and my job is working with the children and telling them about Jesus,” Roxanne said. She and her husband have three children, and they are their greatest blessings!
Christel was born and raised in Loris, SC. She became a Christian at the age of seven. She and her husband Sam have a son (Austin) and a daughter (Ada Marie), and they currently attend Edwards Road Baptist Church.
Christel enjoys working with the children in AWANAS, and helping at the Preschool Desk every fourth Sunday, as well as Women’s Ministry events that they have at her church. She also enjoys being a chaperone for the children’s camp during the summer. Christel started working at CEF in November of 2013. She said, “I enjoy all the smiling faces that I see at work. God is so good and I am blessed to be working with such great people.”
“Having been a pastor for 30 years, ministering to and with all ages, I am thrilled to have a part in this unique ministry of reaching boys and girls for Christ in the setting of our public schools and communities—through Good News Clubs, “ said Paul. He and his wife Tammy are also active in their church, Westview Baptist, ministering to children and teenagers. They have three children and three grandchildren: Maggie, Josiah, and Paul. In the heritage of his faithful grandfathers and father, Paul says it is his desire to leave a godly “inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22, Deuteronomy 6:1-25).
When time allows, Paul enjoys reading (he says there are piles of books all over his house), hiking the Appalachian Trail, and his great passion—fly fishing. He and his grandchildren have formed a hiking and fishing club, allowing them to discover the wonders of God’s creative work.
Kinley was born and raised in Greenville, SC and is proud to say he is a Southerner through and through. Blessed to be raised in a Christian home with parents and grandparents who taught him truths from God's Word, he became a child of God when he was 6 years old, and shared the love of Jesus with anyone who crossed his path. Kinley began his adventure with CEF in 2009 as a CYIA summer missionary and came on staff in October of 2013.
With Kinley, there’s never a dull moment. On any given night, you can find him at the movie theater, at a new restaurant in town, reading a book, traveling somewhere distant and intriguing with his close friends, or sitting around a table sipping tea and eating dessert with his family. As a movie connoisseur, he enjoys watching quality films and television (British television being his favorite). He also enjoys reading two chapters of a good book each and every night. Each January, he takes a week off to go on a “Friend-venture” with his closest friends (who are really like family). If you are unlucky enough to ride in the car with him, you’ll soon realize that he loves to trying to out-sing the radio (and most of the time he wins).
“I love being a part of The Church at Greer Station and teaching children on Sunday mornings there,” he said. They definitely keep him moving and grooving, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love working with our Good News Club volunteers and seeing their hearts for serving the Lord. Those relationships are my favorite part of working with CEF.”
Donna grew up in Rock Hill, SC, in an unsaved household. Her life with Jesus didn’t begin until 1990, at the age of forty, in upstate New York (Saratoga Springs, NY).
Nothing is impossible with God. In 2014, by His grace, the Lord directed her steps to become a volunteer at a Good News Club in Anderson, SC, and from there, in January of 2015, he designed that she would become a part of the CEF staff. Her church, New Covenant Church, is a sponsor for an elementary school in Anderson.
Donna said, “I love sharing His Good News with the children and working with such a great staff and team of volunteers. My favorite thing to do is to pray and watch the Lord answer! He is able to do so much more than I can think or ask!” She loves reading Christian Classics and stories about missionaries, old and new, because they inspire her to pursue the Lord with even greater passion! Her hero in the Bible is Caleb who, in his old age, had much more to do in the Lord, “by taking his mountain.” She says her mountain is the hearts of these children.
Taylor grew up in–you guessed it, Taylors, SC! She also lives in Taylors with her wonderful husband, Benjamin. She is the third generation of her family to grow up at Taylors First Baptist Church, and she loves worshiping with her church family there. She graduated from North Greenville University in 2013 with a degree in Mass Communications-Broadcast Media, but she always felt called to work in ministry. “I’m so glad I found a way to combine my passions here at CEF!” she said.
Other passions include taking too many pictures (or so her friends say), painting, coffee, British television, bike riding, but most of all learning more about her precious Savior. She has worked with children’s ministry in various ways for 17 years, so she feels like the Lord has been preparing her for this job for quite a while, and she is so excited to be a part of what God is doing through CEF and Good News Club!