MORNING MAIN SESSION

Grace and Family Restoration

Speaker: David McConnell is a husband, father, and pastor from the Birmingham, Alabama area. He has served in pastoral ministry for ten years in a variety of positions, including ministry to children, families, youth, and his current role as Teaching Pastor of Agape Baptist Church in Pinson. He has also worked in a variety of IT corporations managing people and strategies. He is happily married to his wife of eighteen years, Alyson. The McConnells are parents to 6 children, including their son Jack whom they adopted in 2014 from Hong Kong. David and Alyson have volunteered with LifeLine for two years, serving as Co-Leaders in the Birmingham area for the Families Count ministry. They have also trained multiple churches and groups from a variety of states on the Families Count program. David is passionate about Christian discipleship, as well as family restoration. His goal is to one day transition into full-time pastoral work.


BREAKOUTS GROUP A (10:30-12)

1. Grace and Family Restoration:

God has entrusted the church with the message and ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). This truth must compel us to care for birth parents as they seek reunification with their children. We must first determine that the message of Christ’s restorative work on the cross gives hope to moms and dads whose sin has threatened their families. We must also allow God’s heart for reconciliation to compel us to encourage, equip, and support parents with gospel-centered training. In this session we will discuss practical ways that the local church can minister to at-risk and broken families, including a detailed look at LifeLine’s Families Count ministry that was developed for this purpose.

Presenter: David McConnell is a husband, father, and pastor from the Birmingham, Alabama area. He has served in pastoral ministry for ten years in a variety of positions, including ministry to children, families, youth, and his current role as Teaching Pastor of Agape Baptist Church in Pinson. He has also worked in a variety of IT corporations managing people and strategies. He is happily married to his wife of eighteen years, Alyson. The McConnells are parents to 6 children, including their son Jack whom they adopted in 2014 from Hong Kong. David and Alyson have volunteered with LifeLine for two years, serving as Co-Leaders in the Birmingham area for the Families Count ministry. They have also trained multiple churches and groups from a variety of states on the Families Count program. David is passionate about Christian discipleship, as well as family restoration. His goal is to one day transition into full-time pastoral work.

2. Foster Care:

A Ministry of Advocacy and Partnership

This breakout focuses on the essential components of foster care, advocacy and partnership, and is for prospective and licensed foster families. This breakout will help families better understand policy and how understanding this will help families more effectively partner with DHR and advocate for the children in their care.

Presenters: Dr. Alison Rudd, The Forgotten Initiative and Lindsey Gurley, Bethany Christian Services:

Dr. Alison Rudd is assistant professor of nursing at the University of South Alabama and has been a foster parent for the past 4 years. She serves on the Mobile County DHR Quality Assurance Committee and with her husband, is local advocate for The Forgotten Initiative. Alison is passionate about raising community awareness related to foster care, in particular, policy affecting child welfare and foster care as a social determinant of health.

Lindsey Gurley is a Licensed Certified Social Worker for Bethany Christian Services. She obtained her Masters of Social Work from the University of Alabama in 2006. In addition to her position at Bethany Christian Services, Lindsey also teaches social welfare courses at the University of Mobile. She enjoys recruiting promising students to the social work profession. Prior to working at Bethany Christian Services, Lindsey was a social worker with Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections. She also earned experience working with adults and children with cognitive disabilities and emotional and behavioral disturbances. Other experience includes a therapeutic foster care and family preservation.

3. Self-Care is Not Selfish

When participating in foster care, you must take care of yourself! You need adequate training and support to thrive in your present environment. Combat burn out and secondary trauma through having the right mindset, seeking support and praying continually.

Presenter: DR. DAVID FOSTER, Ph.D.

Dr. David Foster, D.Min., NCC, LPC, LMFT has over 40 years of ministry and behavioral health work with children. He is the Senior Advisor for the Whole Child Initiative. Dr. Foster came to Whole Child Initiative with more than 30 years of professional experience in children’s services. Over the years he has served as Regional Director for the Mississippi Children’s Home Services. Educated at Mississippi College, Columbia Biblical Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Wheaton College, and Reformed Theological Seminary, Dr. Foster brings a combination of both licensed professional expertise and active ministry experience. He is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist. Dr. Foster ensures the best practices are in place for the clinical and pastoral needs of the children of Palmer Home for Children.

4. Sexual Abuse and Sexual Behaviors:

Facilitating Healing while Ensuring Safety in the Home.

The goals of this breakout include helping to diminish some of the fears adoptive and foster families have about parenting children with a history of sexual abuse and/or who demonstrate sexual behaviors, to provide families with insight into the various ways children respond to sexual abuse, and to equip families with a safety plan and responses that will help your children heal and thrive.

Presenter: Lauren Strickland, Lifeline Children’s Services: Lauren Strickland is a Licensed Certified Social Worker for Lifeline Children’s Services.

She is also certified for Private Independent Practice of Social Work. Through Lifeline, Lauren serves foster and adoptive families in the south Alabama and Mississippi areas. She obtained a Master of Social Work Degree from Tulane University, with a concentration in clinical work with families and children and has a background in counseling, primarily serving children with complex trauma; partnering with the families who love and care for them. Lauren is trained in the Trust-Based Relational Intervention model and enjoys working with children who struggle to connect. Most recently, she enjoys a very small, private counseling practice in Fairhope. Lauren’s husband, Gray, is the Pastor of The Way Community Church on the Eastern Shore where they have served together in ministry for the last ten years. They have one son, Judah, and a weimerainer named Ansel. Lauren is thankful to be part of such incredible ministries and is grateful for the opportunity to walk alongside children and families on their journeys and to share with them the healing and restoration Christ alone brings.

5. Connecting While Correcting:

Do you ever wonder how to stay in relationship with your child when correction is necessary? If so, come hear more about how to remain connected with your child, how to reframe misbehavior as an opportunity for growth and help your child heal from their relational traumas.

Presenters: Lisa Keane and Kristen Lowery of Pathways Professional Counseling

Lisa Edwards Keane is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensed by the Board of Examiners in Counseling of the State of Alabama. In 2012, Mrs. Keane earned her License Professional Counselor Supervisor credential as well. She is also a Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor (RPT-S) and National Board Certified Counselor (NCC). She has been the Clinical Director of Pathways Professional Counseling since March 2012. Ms. Keane earned her Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a focus in adolescent development from Auburn University. She also earned her Master of Arts (MA) in Marriage and Family Counseling from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Ms. Keane has completed additional graduate studies in Counselor Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Ms. Keane is also trained in utilizing Theraplay to work with children who have attachment challenges. She finds this to be an area of particular interest. As foster and adoptive families work through the challenges associated with their situation, she can be used as resource to help guide the family down the path of attachment and healing. Ms. Keane is certified to administer the PREPARE/ENRICH battery of pre- marital and marital inventories. Ms. Keane is also an administrator of the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessments (ASEBA). Ms. Keane has also been trained in Critical Incident and Stress Management (CISM) in the school, community, or individual setting. She has utilized CISM in school and communities settings after a traumatic event has occurred. She utilizes a brief-solution focused framework while pulling also from many different schools of counseling. This allows her to tailor her counseling and be eclectic in her approach toward individual client’s needs. Ms. Keane has experience working with children, teens and adults. Ms. Keane also believes it is very important to integrate faith into her counseling by using prayer, scriptures, and theological studies. Ms. Keane has worked at Pathways Professional Counseling since January of 2007.

Kristin Lowrey is a therapist and intake coordinator for Pathways Professional Counseling, a family ministry of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home. She is a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) and is certified for Private Independent Practice of Social Work (PIP) in the areas of social casework, clinical social work, and social work administration. She is also a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S). She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Harding University and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore with a concentration in Clinical Work with Families and Children. Kristin has over 10 years of clinical experience working with adults, children, couples, and families. She specializes in using play therapy with children and adolescents who have been impacted by abuse and trauma. She is trained in utilizing Theraplay techniques and the Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) model to work with children from hard places who have attachment challenges. Her clinical interests include childhood trauma, attachment struggles, and parenting. She has been with Pathways since December 2010.

6. 10 Things that will kill your church’s orphan care ministry:

A breakout for Church Staff and Orphan Care Ministry coordinators.

This workshop is born out of several years of consulting with and observing many churches across America develop orphan care ministries. Over time, a pattern of common mistakes has developed that cause these ministries to struggle and even fail. In this workshop, Rick will share the 10 most common mistakes along with observations for how to address them and stir a discussion about the good things being done to minister well in orphan care.

Speaker: Rick Morton, Vice President of Engagement, Lifeline Children’s Services

As Vice President of Engagement, Rick Morton shepherds the ministry’s outreach to individual, church, and organizational ministry partners as well as the ministry’s commitment to publishing resources that aid families and churches in discipling orphans and vulnerable children. Holding both the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Rick taught on the faculty of his alma mater as well as the faculties of Bryan College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also served local churches in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi. He is an accomplished writer and sought after speaker. Most notably, Rick is the co-author of the popular Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-centered Adoption and Orphan Care and the author of KnowOrphans: Mobilizing the Church for Global Orphanology. Rick and his lovely wife Denise have been married for 25 years, and they have 3 children, all of whom joined their family through international adoption.


BREAKOUTS GROUP B

1: Serving Foster and Adoptive Families and the Children in Their Homes:

Understanding and responding well to the unique needs of vulnerable children and their families. A breakout for children’s ministry volunteers and small groups.

As more Christian families foster and adopt, the culture in many churches will change. As we talk with church staff and volunteers, we understand this changing landscape is both welcomed and greatly desired, however, many do not feel prepared to serve these families well. In addition, all too often, we hear that because of the unique needs of their children, foster care and adoption can be lonely ministries, isolating families even from their church families. Foster and adoptive families need their local church families; however, those serving children from difficult places and their families must understand the reasons for children’s behaviors and their connection to trauma and loss. This breakout seeks to educate volunteers serving foster and adoptive families about the unique experiences and behaviors of children from hard places and provide volunteers with positive, healing responses to them.

Presenter: Lauren Strickland, Lifeline Children’s Services: Lauren is a Licensed Certified Social Worker for Lifeline Children’s Services. She is also certified for Private Independent Practice of Social Work. Through Lifeline, Lauren serves foster and adoptive families in the south Alabama and Mississippi areas. She obtained a Master of Social Work Degree from Tulane University, with a concentration in clinical work with families and children and has a background in counseling, primarily serving children with complex trauma; partnering with the families who love and care for them. Lauren is trained in the Trust-Based Relational Intervention model and enjoys working with children who struggle to connect. Most recently, she enjoys a very small, private counseling practice in Fairhope. Lauren’s husband, Gray, is the Pastor of The Way Community Church on the Eastern Shore where they have served together in ministry for the last ten years. They have one son, Judah, and a weimerainer named Ansel. Lauren is thankful to be part of such incredible ministries and is grateful for the opportunity to walk alongside children and families on their journeys and to share with them the healing and restoration Christ alone brings.

2. Adoption 101:

This breakout is for prospective adoptive families and will explore different adoption options. The eligibility requirements, typical costs, and the process for adoption will be discussed. The breakout will also explore unique characteristics of each option for families and how to determine the best fit for your family.

Presenter: Lindsey Gurley, Bethany Children’s Services: Lindsey Gurley is a Licensed Certified Social Worker for Bethany Christian Services. She obtained her Masters of Social Work from the University of Alabama in 2006. In addition to her position at Bethany Christian Services, Lindsey also teaches social welfare courses at the University of Mobile. She enjoys recruiting promising students to the social work profession. Prior to working at Bethany Christian Services, Lindsey was a social worker with Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections. She also earned experience working with adults and children with cognitive disabilities and emotional and behavioral disturbances. Other experience includes a therapeutic foster care and family preservation.

3. African American Haircare:

A breakout on cultural sensitivity, proper care, and practical tips on styling African American Hair.

Presenters: Frankonia Battiste is the owner of Split Enz Styling Team in Mobile, AL. She has been a hairstylist for more than 25 years and operates a very successful African American salon on Springhill Avenue. Split Enz Styling Team is equipped to care for all of your hair care needs including product selection, chemical texture services, haircuts, extensions, braids and more. You can view their services or book an appointment online at www.splitenzstylingteam.net

Matt and Jennifer Bergoon: Matt and Jennifer are proud parents to two children through adoption, Gabbie (2) and Micah (6 mos). As a trans-racial family early in their parenting journey, they desire to both deepen their understanding of what transracial parenting means for themselves as parents, and for their precious children, and share with others the joys and challenges that will come.

4. Preparing Siblings for Foster Care and Adoption:

Making the decision to foster or adopt is never a decision that one arrives at quickly or easily. Most likely, you have chosen to do so after a great deal of thought and with a desire to make a difference in a child’s life. Even though you and your spouse have come to agreement concerning this decision, the children already in your home may not have taken the same mental journey and could find themselves confused and unprepared for the road ahead. Additionally, research has shown that children currently in the home play a significant role in the success or failure of a foster placement or adoption. It is probable that you are here because you want to learn how and when to involve your children in the process, and what do you do to prepare them? If so, this breakout is just for you!

Presenter: Angela Mains Angela joined the Lifeline Team in December 2012. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Family Science from Anderson University, and a Master’s Degree in Licensed Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Angela is experienced in working with children on the Autism spectrum, adults and children experiencing anxiety, attachment difficulties, trauma, grief, depression, and anger, as well as marriage and parenting help. She has received training in Theraplay: Levels 1 and 2, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Level 1, and Prepare/Enrich. Angela has also been blessed to be able to train in Corrective Attachment Therapy (CAT) with Dr. Terry Levy of the Evergreen Psychotherapy Center. Angela is passionate about attachment and is excited to work with families who have welcomed adopted and foster children into their homes with the hope that God will use her as a vessel of healing in their lives.

5. 4. Older Child Adoption:

This breakout will address the need for families to adopt older children and help to dispel fears associated with older child adoption while at the same time helping families assess their own capacity and set proper expectations for parenting an older adoptive child successfully.

Speaker: Beverly Owings: Beverly is the Director of Outreach and Advocacy with Camp Hope Alabama, a program of Kids to Love. Previously, she worked with Children’s Aid Society (CAS) for 10 years serving in multiple capacities. She was the AdoptUSKids Specialist for Alabama, the Recruitment Coordinator for the APAC program and the Child Specific Recruiter for children waiting for adoption with State DHR. Prior to her work at CAS, she was a Family Support Worker with the Elmore County Family Resource Center as a certified instructor of “Parenting the Destructive Teen”. She has served as the Vice-President of Adoptions with Alabama Foster & Adoptive Parent Association (AFAPA) and in 2008 was appointed by former Governor Riley to serve on the Child Welfare Data Review Committee with the Alabama Department of Human Resources. Beverly and her husband have adopted four children including two teenagers from Alabama’s foster care system. Being a wife and mother is where Beverly finds her greatest joy.


BREAKOUTS GROUP C

1. Practical ways to become involved with the Foster Care Community:

A Breakout for orphan care coordinators and for families within the church desiring to serve children in care and the families serving them. A Panel Discussion by WRAP, CAMP HOPE, and The Forgotten Initiative Do you want to learn how to make a difference in the lives of agency workers, foster parents, and vulnerable adults and children through service projects, mentoring, and family support initiatives? In this breakout session, you will learn how you and your church can build ongoing, long-term, missional relationships by LEARNING THE NEEDS of the foster care community, SHARING THE NEEDS with the Body of Christ, and EQUIPPING the Body to meet the needs.

Presenters: Mark and Alison Rudd, The Forgotten Initiative, Beverly Owings, Camp Hope, and Madison Perekotiy: WRAP Ministry

Mark and Alison Rudd live in their hometown of Mobile, Alabama and have been foster parents since 2012. They have a biological daughter, age 9, and a boxer named Bailey. The Rudd’s have had 4 placements since becoming licensed and are advocates for The Forgotten Initiative in Mobile County. Mark is a pastor at People of Mars Hill and Alison is nursing faculty at the University of South Alabama. They are passionate about engaging the church to care for the foster care community, including meeting the needs of birth families in crisis.

Beverly is the Director of Outreach and Advocacy with Camp Hope Alabama, a program of Kids to Love. Previously, she worked with Children’s Aid Society (CAS) for 10 years serving in multiple capacities. She was the AdoptUSKids Specialist for Alabama, the Recruitment Coordinator for the APAC program and the Child Specific Recruiter for children waiting for adoption with State DHR. Prior to her work at CAS, she was a Family Support Worker with the Elmore County Family Resource Center as a certified instructor of “Parenting the Destructive Teen”. She has served as the Vice-President of Adoptions with Alabama Foster & Adoptive Parent Association (AFAPA) and in 2008 was appointed by former Governor Riley to serve on the Child Welfare Data Review Committee with the Alabama Department of Human Resources. Beverly and her husband have adopted four children including two teenagers from Alabama’s foster care system. Being a wife and mother is where Beverly finds her greatest joy.

Madison Perekotiy has been involved in many different facets of orphan care since 2001. She and her husband met in Ukraine in 2008 while serving at a children’s camp. In 2014 they became foster parents in Baldwin County and began to see the various needs in the world of foster care that could be filled by a local body of believers. Alongside friends and church staff, WRAP Network was created as an avenue for the church body at 3Circle to serve foster children, foster and adoptive families, DHR employees and birth families. Madison teaches as a co-leader for Baldwin County’s training classes for prospective foster and adoptive parents. Madison and Yuriy live in Foley with their two sons, Chambers and Lev and are expecting their first daughter in November 2016.

2. Transracial Adoption- Advocating and Caring for your Child

During this breakout, we will discuss the unique issues and challenges transracial adoptive and foster families face, with the goal of equipping families with the tools and resources needed to advocate for and meet the needs of their child. This workshop will include interactive discussion and education on issues adoptive and foster families should consider. Participants will be encouraged to examine their own capacity, level of cultural competency, convictions, and spiritual calling as they explore transracial parenting.

Presenters: Angela Mains Angela was excited to join Lifeline in December 2012. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Family Science from Anderson University, and a Master’s Degree in Licensed Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Angela is experienced in working with children on the Autism spectrum, adults and children experiencing anxiety, attachment difficulties, trauma, grief, depression, and anger, as well as marriage and parenting help. She has received training in Theraplay: Levels 1 and 2, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Level 1, and Prepare/Enrich. Angela has also been blessed to be able to train in Corrective Attachment Therapy (CAT) with Dr. Terry Levy of the Evergreen Psychotherapy Center. Angela is passionate about attachment and is excited to work with families who have welcomed adopted and foster children into their homes with the hope that God will use her as a vessel of healing in their lives.

3. Biblical Foundation for Trauma Sensitive Parenting:

How do parents and caregivers help to bring about healing in the life of a wounded child? They follow the model of our Heavenly Father who so tenderly and perfectly loves and care for us. These Biblical principles and truths supersede any amount of existing cultural differences and barriers. During this breakout developed by Whitney White, Lifeline Children’s Services, the Biblical foundation for how God views and cares for us will be shared. By understanding how God demonstrates His love for us, we will see how He wants us to care for children. Much of this information will be relevant to any Christian parents, however, for children who have experienced much pain and hardship early in their lives need Christ-like characteristics such as patience, grace, and unconditional love demonstrated to them as much as any child on earth.

Presenter: Lauren Strickland, Lifeline Children’s Services:

Lauren Strickland is a Licensed Certified Social Worker for Lifeline Children’s Services. She is also certified for Private Independent Practice of Social Work. Through Lifeline, Lauren serves foster and adoptive families in the south Alabama and Mississippi areas. She obtained a Master of Social Work Degree from Tulane University, with a concentration in clinical work with families and children and has a background in counseling, primarily serving children with complex trauma; partnering with the families who love and care for them. Lauren is trained in the Trust-Based Relational Intervention model and enjoys working with children who struggle to connect. Most recently, she enjoys a very small, private counseling practice in Fairhope. Lauren’s husband, Gray, is the Pastor of The Way Community Church on the Eastern Shore where they have served together in ministry for the last ten years. They have one son, Judah, and a weimerainer named Ansel. Lauren is thankful to be part of such incredible ministries and is grateful for the opportunity to walk alongside children and families on their journeys and to share with them the healing and restoration Christ alone brings.

4. Beliefs and Behaviors of Children in Care:

Exposure to abuse, neglect, loss, or abandonment will mold and shape how that child thinks about and navigates their world. This session addresses some of the most common issues foster children and families face.

Presenter: DR. DAVID FOSTER, Ph.D.

Dr. David Foster, D.Min., NCC, LPC, LMFT has over 40 years of ministry and behavioral health work with children. He is the Senior Advisor for the Whole Child Initiative. Dr. Foster came to Whole Child Initiative with more than 30 years of professional experience in children’s services. Over the years he has served as Regional Director for the Mississippi Children’s Home Services. Educated at Mississippi College, Columbia Biblical Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Wheaton College, and Reformed Theological Seminary, Dr. Foster brings a combination of both licensed professional expertise and active ministry experience. He is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist. Dr. Foster ensures the best practices are in place for the clinical and pastoral needs of the children of Palmer Home for Children.

5. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD):

What Foster and Adoptive Parents Need to Know: Did you know the majority of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are not raised by their birth parents? This breakout will provide an overview of FASD, discuss the impact of fetal alcohol exposure on development, cover overlapping diagnoses and misdiagnoses regarding FASD, and discuss how caregivers can best support and advocate for their children.

Presenter: Lindsey Gurley, Bethany Children’s Services

Lindsey Gurley is a Licensed Certified Social Worker for Bethany Christian Services. She obtained her Masters of Social Work from the University of Alabama in 2006. In addition to her position at Bethany Christian Services, Lindsey also teaches social welfare courses at the University of Mobile. She enjoys recruiting promising students to the social work profession. Prior to working at Bethany Christian Services, Lindsey was a social worker with Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections. She also earned experience working with adults and children with cognitive disabilities and emotional and behavioral disturbances. Other experience includes a therapeutic foster care and family preservation.

6. Discipling and Orphan Care:

A Breakout for Church Staff and Small Group Coordinators.

How do we integrate care for the fatherless into the overall plan for helping people to follow Jesus through the local church? Join orphan care advocate and author of the popular orphan ministry books Orphanology and KnowOrphans Rick Morton to explore this topic to discover practical ideas for you and your church. Included in this seminar will be a proposed gospel-centered strategy that addresses both the theological and practical aspects of leading believers to respond to God’s heart for the fatherless.

Speaker: Rick Morton, Vice President of Engagement, Lifeline Children’s Services

As Vice President of Engagement, Rick Morton shepherds the ministry’s outreach to individual, church, and organizational ministry partners as well as the ministry’s commitment to publishing resources that aid families and churches in discipling orphans and vulnerable children. Holding both the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Rick taught on the faculty of his alma mater as well as the faculties of Bryan College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also served local churches in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi. He is an accomplished writer and sought after speaker. Most notably, Rick is the co-author of the popular Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-centered Adoption and Orphan Care and the author of KnowOrphans: Mobilizing the Church for Global Orphanology. Rick and his lovely wife Denise have been married for 25 years, and they have 3 children, all of whom joined their family through international adoption.


CLOSING SESSION

Orphan Care and The Church

Speaker: Rick Morton, Vice President of Engagement, Lifeline Children’s Services

As Vice President of Engagement, Rick Morton shepherds the ministry’s outreach to individual, church, and organizational ministry partners as well as the ministry’s commitment to publishing resources that aid families and churches in discipling orphans and vulnerable children. Holding both the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Rick taught on the faculty of his alma mater as well as the faculties of Bryan College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also served local churches in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi. He is an accomplished writer and sought after speaker. Most notably, Rick is the co-author of the popular Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-centered Adoption and Orphan Care and the author of KnowOrphans: Mobilizing the Church for Global Orphanology. Rick and his lovely wife Denise have been married for 25 years, and they have 3 children, all of whom joined their family through international adoption.