These are the scheduled Plenary Speakers and Workshop Leaders for the joint conference of EMNR and ISCA, scheduled for April 30, 2021. Names are sorted alphabetically by last name.
Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church since 1986. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. His major field of study was Baptist Theology. He has been an adjunct professor for various seminaries, and is a former Teaching Fellow at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom currently serves as President of Founders Ministries, an organization committed to reformation and revival in local churches. He has written numerous articles for journals and magazines and has published several books as both an author and editor. He also is a host on The Sword and the Trowel Podcast.
James Bjornstad was one of the co-founders of EMNR with Dr. Gordon Lewis. He is PhD ABD (all but dissertation) in philosophy from New York University. For many years he was Professor of Philosophy at Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio. He is the author of The Moon is Not the Son (1976), Twentieth-Century Prophecy: Jeanne Dixon, Edgar Cayce (1977), Counterfeits At Your Door (1979), and co-author of Jesus Only: A Modalistic Interpretation (1970),
Marcia Montenegro was a professional astrologer and was involved in Eastern and New Age practices for many years before coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Through her ministry, Christian Answers for the New Age, Marcia speaks around the country and on radio, and writes on New Age and occult topics. She has a Masters in Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary, Charlotte, NC, and serves as a missionary with Fellowship International Mission, Allentown, PA. Based in Arlington, VA, she is the mother of an adult son. Marcia is the author of SpellBound: The Paranormal Seduction of Today’s Kids (Cook, 2006) and co-author of Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret (MCOI Publishing, 2020).
James Pittman is pastor of New Hope Community Church in Palatine, Illinois.
Bill Roach is the President of the International Society of Christian Apologetics and faculty member at several evangelical colleges and universities. He is also the author or co-author of six books and dozens of articles.
Alana M. Arguello is in the last year of her doctorate in apologetics at Veritas International University. Before this, she taught apologetics (mainly world religions and philosophy courses) at San Diego Christian College for several years. She has also taught on repackaged ancient heresies in the church today, as well as the truth of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Her testimony is that she came to Christ later in life out of much study (including travel and significant personal experimentation) in other religions. Jesus redeemed her soul and her past, and is using her to expose the occult, neopagan practices entering the church in a Christian suit. Before giving her life to Christ Jesus, she received a master’s in marriage, family and child counseling (Pacific Oaks College, 2007) and a bachelor’s in philosophy (concentration in East Asian studies) and minor in political science (Baylor University, 2000).
Robert M. Bowman Jr is the president of Faith Thinkers Inc., an evangelical Christian apologetics ministry. Formerly, he served for ten years as the executive director of the Institute for Religious Research. Rob is the author of 15 books including Jesus’ Resurrection and Joseph’s Visions: Examining the Foundations of Christianity and Mormonism (2020).
Collin Brendemuehl has been an IT professional for more than three decades, and has an MA from TEDS. He is an expatriated cheesehead, a hobbyist woodworker, and is generally harmless to be around.
David Clark is a Christian countercult apologist, a professional Thought Reform consultant, and a court-certified expert on cults. He was a former member of Church of the Living Word from 1972 to 1974. This pseudo-Christian movement, also known as “The Walk,” was a predecessor to the New Apostolic Reformation. In 1983, Clark was a script writer and associate producer for Vain Glory, a documentary by filmmaker Tony Cox, who joined the Walk after his marriage to Yoko Ono collapsed, remaining for several years. David has been the North American Vice President of the Dialog Centre International (headquarters in Denmark) since 2011. He is also FECRIS New York’s main representative to the United Nations. David has been interviewed countless times by media reporters. In recent years, he has been an instructor on cults for the Pastor’s Bible College, Hyderabad, India.
Adam K. Cochrun (whose friends call him “Ray Ray”) is a disciple, husband, father, evangelist, and apologist in life; barber by trade and musician for fun. Since becoming a member of the Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network in April 2017, he has been a ministry partner with David Van Bebber with T.A.G. You’re It! Ministries and its podcast. Adam has been an evangelist for the “Covenantal Apologetic” approach in conversation and instruction, also using this approach in moderated debate and to encourage congregations to defend the gospel with the gospel.
Rich Day is the lead pastor at Lakeview Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida. He also runs the Baptist Collegiate Ministries at the local community college and hosts an apologetics-based radio show, Defining The Terms. Pastor Day is currently completing a doctorate at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Phil Fernandes is the president of the Institute of Biblical Defense, which he founded in 1990 to teach Christians how to defend the Christian Faith. He is also the pastor of Trinity Bible Fellowship in Silverdale, Washington, and teaches philosophy, world religions, theology, and apologetics for CrossPoint Academy and the Imago Dei Institute (formerly Cascade Bible College).
David N. Geisler holds degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary (MABS and ThM), and from Southern Evangelical Seminary (DMin in Apologetics) where he graduated summa cum laude. He is an internationally known speaker (Asia, Europe, North American, and Africa), and ministered in 13 Asian countries when he lived in Singapore where his headquarters was from 2004 to 2011.
Thomas J. Gentry II (DMin, PhD) has been in Christian ministry for over 35 years as a pastor, chaplain, counselor, apologist, and author. He is the senior minister at Fellowship in Christ Church (Carterville, IL), the director of Pulpit Apologist Ministries, and an associate editor at MoralApologetics.com. His books include Absent from the Body, Present with the Lord: Biblical, Theological, and Rational Arguments against Purgatory and Pulpit Apologist: The Critical Link between Preaching and Apologetics, both from Wipf & Stock.
Igal German holds a PhD in Hebrew Bible from the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto, as well as BA and MA in Biblical Studies from the University of Haifa, Israel. Dr. German has been teaching the Bible at a variety of academic institutions in Israel, Canada, and the United States. His expertise includes Old Testament studies, Second Temple Judaism, the New Testament, Biblical and modern Hebrew, history of Israel, history of biblical interpretation, and apologetics. Igal is actively involved in teaching, preaching, counseling, and apologetics ministries. His monograph has been published under the title The Fall Reconsidered: A Literary Synthesis of the Primeval Sin Narratives against the Backdrop of the History of Exegesis (Wipf & Stock, 2016). Igal is passionate about communicating to his students the full spectrum of biblical scholarship. He is the founder of Yesod Bible Center.
Dan Guinn is the founder of Francis Schaeffer Studies, the current treasurer of ISCA, and a student at Covenant Theological Seminary.
Jay Hess was a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses for 23 years. He was put on trial by that cult for worshipping Jesus, did not recant, was found guilty and expelled. Since then, he has been baptized as a Christian and become a member of ETS and ISCA. He has been in apologetic ministry to Jehovah’s Witnesses for 30 years and has been discipling Christians for 20 years. He is now the senior elder/pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship, a small evangelical church in Garner, NC.
J. Anton Hildahl teaches Apologetics at University of Northwestern—St Paul, trains missionaries, and engages with local mosque leaders in Minnesota’s large Sunni community. It is important to gently, accurately, and respectfully, compare the Word of God with the corresponding elements found in Islam’s Muhammad and the Qur’an. Dr. Hildahl endeavors to use what they accept as familiar and trustworthy as he introduces the message that we can know Truth embodied in the supernatural birth, the prophetic life, death, and resurrection of the One “I AM.”
Travis Horinek serves as a lay leader and teacher at First Baptist Church, Buffalo, Mo. He also has served as a Sunday School director, and he blogs at studywithfbcbuffalo.com.
Janice A. Lyons is co-founder of Current Issues in Alternative Medicine, a 501(c)3 organization. CINAM evaluates “alternative” medicine practices from both a Christian and a science-based viewpoint. A retired RN and licensed professional counselor with an MA in Education, she and her husband were missionaries in India and two of their children were born there.
Bill McKeever is founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry, a Christian ministry based in the Salt Lake City area. For 40 years MRM has been challenging the claims of Mormonism. Bill hosts a daily radio show, Viewpoint on Mormonism, and is co-author of several books, including Mormonism 101 and Answering Mormons’ Questions.
Marcia Montenegro was involved for many years in Eastern and New Age beliefs and practices. A former licensed professional astrologer, she taught astrology and served with the Astrological Society before her conversion to Christ. She founded Christian Answers for the New Age, has a Masters in Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary, and is currently a missionary with Fellowship International Mission, Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is author of Spellbound: The Paranormal Seduction of Today’s Kids, and has written many books and articles about New Age issues.
T. Montisé Peterson is the author of Finding the Path to God. A former Jehovah’s Witness, he has counseled and rescued many Jehovah’s Witnesses over the years. Montisé has been a Sunday school teacher and youth minister and is currently one of five lay-ministers at The River Church in Livonia, Michigan. He is a public speaker who has taught Bible classes across the United States, with special focus on Christian apologetics. He is a strong proponent of unity within Christianity, transcending denominational affiliations.
R. Philip Roberts is past-president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. Previously he served as Vice President of the Strategic Cities Strategies Group of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He also serves as the Executive Director of Christian Ministries to the U.N. Community office in New York City as well as ministries to government leaders in Washington, D.C. Phil was a professor at Southeastern and Southern Baptist Theological Seminaries and pastored churches in Belgium, England and Germany. As former Director of the Interfaith Witness Department, he was greatly involved in the production of the SBC-produced video The Mormon Puzzle, which brought him into extensive dialogue with LDS leaders and experts, including Stephen Robinson (one of the co-authors of the controversial book How Wide the Divide?). Dr. Roberts was also a contributor to The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism.
Bob Stewart is Professor of Philosophy and Theology and Greer-Heard Professor of Faith and Culture at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. His academic work focuses on Philosophy of Religion, Christian Apologetics, Christian Theology, Historical Jesus research, and New Religions. He has authored or edited 11 books and numerous articles in journals and books edited by others.
Andre Traversa was born in 1970 to first-generation immigrants, an Italian father and a Ukrainian mother. Blind from birth, Andre spent much of his childhood in his own world, reading books, daydreaming, and thinking. As a teenager, Andre received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and was born again. Unfortunately, he was recruited into a New Age religion and strayed from his faith for a long time. He returned to Christ in 2010 and has never looked back since. For the last decade, Andre has primarily worked in the PR industry. Andre is former host of “The Andre Controversa Show,” a politically-oriented BlogTalkRadio forum whose guests included U.S. senators, congressmen and major political candidates. Andre is currently residing in Chicago but his real home is heaven.
David Guy Van Bebber Jr is pastor at FBC Buffalo (Missouri) and a member of ISCA. Pastor Dave holds an M.A. in Communication from Missouri State University, an M.A. in Counseling from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in Communication from Southwest Baptist University. He is working towards his doctorate degree in Theology at Columbia Evangelical Seminary. Mr. Van Bebber blogs and he has published numerous articles on the Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network page. His Master’s thesis, “On the Death of my Sister: A Crystalized Account of Family Grief and Bereavement,” was the first Master’s thesis to apply Laura Ellingson’s qualitative methodology, crystallization. Dave taught for five years at the university and college level, he is a decorated army veteran, and he is an incomplete paraplegic. He contributed to Routledge’s Handbook of Autoethnography and has presented research on Islam, Generic Criticism, and Postmodern Research Methods. He is a member of Pi Kappa Delta (the nation’s oldest speech honorary society). As an intercollegiate debater he finished 2nd in the nation in the International Public Debate format, and received the ranking of Superior with his rhetorical analysis on the Rhetoric of Reconciliation. He has been greatly influenced by the writings of Greg Bahnsen and Cornelius Van Til. Dave is the co-host of the T.A.G. You’re It! Weekly apologetics podcast and is author of two books.
James Walker, president of Watchman Fellowship, is a former fourth-generation Mormon with over 25 years of experience in Christian evangelism, apologetics, and discernment. He has been interviewed as an expert on cults and new religions on network television, including Nightline, ABC World News Tonight, and PBS NewsHour. He has spoken at hundreds of churches, colleges, universities, and seminaries throughout the United States and internationally. Rev. Walker holds a BA in Biblical Studies and an MA in Theology (Summa Cum Laude) from Criswell College in Dallas. He has served as an adjunct professor at Arlington Baptist University, Criswell College, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an ordained Baptist minister and a member of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, the Evangelical Press Association, and serves on the Board of Directors of EMNR. Mr. Walker is also cofounder of the Atheist Christian Book Club, a monthly gathering of atheists and Christians discussing books from both perspectives. He and his wife Jimmie are members of Fielder Church in Arlington, Texas, and have three children and eight grandchildren.
Keith Walker co-founded Evidence Ministries with his wife Becky in 1995 as a missionary outreach to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. They specialize in teaching Christians how to witness to these groups in a respectful, loving, yet challenging way. He has been full-time in this ministry since 1999.
Joe Whitchurch has an MA in Christian Thought from TEDS, with emphasis on Systematic Theology and Philosophy of Religion. He has 37 years of campus ministry experience with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Zambia (south-central Africa). For the past three years he has been committed to apologetics ministry with Ratio Christi, where he is currently VP of Campus Operations. Joe is also a musician and a sleight-of-hand illusionist. Married for over 42 years, Joe and his wife Kim have two adult children and four grandchildren. His sermons and messages are online at http://tinyurl.com/jbwsermons
Donald T. Williams, PhD, is ordained in the Evangelical Free Church of America. He has many years of pastoral experience and has spent several summers training local pastors for Church Planting International in East Africa and India. He currently serves as R. A. Forrest Scholar at Toccoa Falls College. A past president of ISCA, he is the author of 12 books, most recently The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019).